A.A. Laporte Payne letter 14 March 1917.
Wednesday March 14th 1917
So very many thanks for your letter and the box of lovely cigarettes. I am of the opinion that they are better than De Reske – perhaps because you chose them. At any rate the name of them at once attracted me; but they are much too good for me out here on active service. Such cigarettes ought to be smoked with you in England.
Please, miss, you must not sit up late writing to me or you will damage your health which is much more what I want than that you should grow pale and ill burning the midnight oil because, forsooth, a wretched creature in France waits for a letter – even though he longs for them.
I am so sorry to hear that Mrs. Cross has such a bad throat and that Mr. Cross has a bad back. They are both better now I hope.
Please excuse this paper. I cannot find any other and I simply can’t tear one out of the book properly this afternoon – and paper is so precious now isn’t it? I must not waste any more government property in throwing form papers away.
It is a glorious day to day. I wish I were at home and able to go out for a walk with you. At present the Boche is shelling – and a shell has just dropped close to the office and lots of bits from aeroplane shells are falling about, so it is not very pleasant going out for a walk here.
I don’t see any prospect of leave yet alas! I shall certainly do something desparate soon. What are the ways in which you say you are not longing for me to come? I want to know – perhaps they will reconcile me to the waiting which is getting worse and worse. Nobody is going away from here at present, and I don’t know when they will. In a short time I suppose leave will be stopped for everyone.
Reg is out here now. I heard from him the other day. I wonder how he will like it. I have not heard where he is going to yet.
Now please burn my last letter and forget all about it. I was very miserable when I wrote it and I imagined all sorts of things. I was very silly and it was all my imagination, but you see I want you so much to trust me absolutely. I am anxiously awaiting your reply to my letter. I wonder what it will be. I hope it will be a good talking to and then I shall feel better, I am sure.
How are you keeping dear? Alright I hope – with nothing to worry you.
I have been away for two days on an expedition and have just returned. I went into Belgium. The country is horrid – so flat and the mud is awful. It does not look as if it ever would dry again.
There is no news to tell you. Things go on much as usual. I suppose they are the same with you.
With all my love and many kisses.