A.A. Laporte Payne letter 22 March 1917.
Wednesday March 22nd 1917
My own darling,
It was very sweet of you not to be angry with me for that silly letter I wrote you. I awaited your answer very anxiously. Thank you so much for your letters and the lovely box of chocolates which arrived safely. You are a darling to be so thoughtful. You are quire right you are spoiling me dreadfully. Do you know what the Doctor said the other day when a parcel from you arrived – ‘Someone seems to love you’ – and that from a man who has just been married!
I am very glad to hear that Mrs. Cross is better. You say nothing about yourself so I hope you are alright, and enjoying yourself. The weather is not at all spring like yet. It snowed hard yesterday and froze last night. What do you think of the news? We are not on the move but the Boche are retreating not far away. We are very busy and anticipating a move forward in a few days. We have had another move. We never seem to be in one place more than a few days. We are getting quite accustomed to it now.
There has been great excitement lately; two houses on either side of us have been burnt down. It is our turn next.
The Colonel is in a very bad temper because he is not in the advance, but I expect we shall have our fill of such things soon.
You say you wish you could write sense. You do, or if it is not sense it is ‘divine nonsense’ and I can quite understand your meaning.
Leave seems to be as far off as ever. It is making me very bad tempered I am afraid. It is over 5 months since I saw you last and it seems ages and ages ago.
Have you been reading any interesting books lately? I read one of O Henry’s the other day but have not finished it yet. The ‘Times’ is about all I read now.
The post has not come yet. I wonder whether I shall hear from you this afternoon. I hope so as I am feeling ‘humpy’ and I want to hear from you again. I am very greedy I know.
I read somewhere in Locke – ‘There are no persons harder to read and easier to misunderstand than those of whom we are fondest.’ Do you think that is true? Perhaps that is why I made such a silly mistake the other day.
You would like my horse. I must have a photo taken especially for you. I have also managed to get an excellent groom. He was a ‘whip’ before the war.
No! I am not jealous. It would be insulting to be jealous. So please go on telling me all your news. It is rather greediness in wanting to keep you all to myself. You must try and cure me of all these bad faults.
So you are going away in May. I must get home before then to see you. Don’t make your hands rough and hard or get burnt. I hope you will like your work. Take care of Maude and make her behave well. Do you have to live in tents and sleep in blankets and wash up the crockery? I can imagine it! I hope you will have fine weather. You must be careful of your rheumatism. Please pardon my teasing. I only wish I were at home to tease in person. You used to be very annoyed with me, didn’t you? Very justly too. I was very rude in those days – but my being so in that way shewed that I did not want to offend you. You will know how to treat me in the future.
I must close now as there are heaps of things for me to do.
With all my love, darling, and kisses.