A.A. Laporte Payne letter 28 January 1917
January 28th 1917
Thank you so very much for your letters and the box of cigarettes. You are much too good. I am afraid I am failing horribly in writing. We have had another move much to our surprise – and all at a moments notice. It was an awful rush but at last we are getting a bit straight. I had a large number (this shews how mad I am getting) of lines to take over – telephone ones I mean, and headquarters to move into. To-day I have spent arranging for rations and forage for the brigade which has been a horrible nuisance and my temper has suffered sadly.
Now I am trying to write in the mess, but others are here and talking at great length, so I am, not like you, able to get away and think quietly what I shall write. My bedroom is much too cold to sit in.
I suppose you are having hard frosts as we are here. It is brilliantly fine but oh! So cold. Everything is as hard as iron and shells and shrapnel instead of burying themselves nicely, bounce about in an alarming fashion.
This is perfectly horrible note paper to white on. I got it from the Doctor who delights in such stuff. I have mislaid all my writing materials such as they are.
At present we have got a fairly comfortable mess but the bedrooms are not nice. It was the other way round in the place we have just left. I hope they leave us alone for a bit now. I am tired of moving about.
So you think I have been ‘good’ lately in not ‘answering back’. Well you see I am only waiting until I see you and then I shall have a field day. So I don’t think I deserve anything; but I should probably take what I wanted all the same. You know what that would be don’t you, dearest.
You really must not behave badly in public. Especially with Maude and Kathleen Gattergood who are usually very rowdy I know. You must look after them better.
By Jove, how I wish I could have been in that room then – you know – the room with the red lamp and fire etc. the pigtails are easily remidied – but I did not think you went in for such atrocities! It is funny but I do remember pulling your hair once or twice, but I thought better of it. I remembered in time how trim and smart young ladies hate to be ruffled in any way. I can even remember the cushion fight and can quite imagine myself under certain circumstances indulging in such a fight. I suppose it was an unfair advantage to protect myself with my boot – but that is nothing to what I am capable of, in the way of taking mean advantages. Wait and see.
I do hope you and all are keeping fairly well – no colds or any such thing. How is Mrs. Cross? Please give her my kindest regards. I am keeping fairly fit my head has ached a bit once or twice but I am much better now.
This letter I know is a miserable failure; but I have been trying to write it on and off since 9.o’clock and now it is 11.30 p.m. It has been nothing else than a series of interuptions – and I do so want to write something special for you – but this existance, Muriel, is very soul deadening. You will have to take me in hand after it is all over.
Leave is quite out of the question at present. However you never know your luck in this life.
You seem to be having quite a gay time. London is still living then. Do you still go to the Strolling Players every week? What an age it seems since that night! Does it seem a long time to you?
Well! I must close now and say good night as I have to be up early in the morning – and closing my letter does not prohibit me thinking of you.
With my love