A.A. Laporte Payne letter to Muriel 27 August 1917
August 27th 1917.
Your letter of the 22nd has just come – thank you so much for it. It cheered me up a lot to know that someone, and that one you, still cared – everybody plus the elements seem to be against us – you and your letters are the only bits of sunshine I get now. It has poured for two days and a gale so ferocious that we can hardly stand up has blown for a day. It was really most amusing of course but I am like a cat and hate the wet. All our tents were levelled on top of us last night, and to make matters worse the Boche shelled us and killed one of my best horses – it was a marvel it did nothing else – the first shell I mean as it landed right in our lines – we cleared out with all the gees and in the confusion I managed to ‘make’ another horse which was going stray and no one has claimed it yet so I shall stick to it.
You would have laughed to have seen me in pyjamas and a pair of old gum boots with a large hole in one of them.
Forgive my telling you about some of my worries but I feel sometimes I must write and tell you. It helps me a lot and you will also understand why my temper is not of the best always. It is difficult to be a philosopher – even to the most philosophical among us – under some circumstances and I am selfish enough to want someone who is not one of us here to sympathise with me in these silly little troubles. It is the little things which try us most isn’t it? It is easy to pose as heroic in some great thing but very hard in the multitudinous little things of everyday – and that is where you come in for me, darling. But don’t tell anyone else for I hate anyone else’s sympathy real of affected – and after all I should not worry other people with these silly things – not even you but I can’t help it at times.
So you are back at Finchley again. It is great getting home again after a long absence. I hope you found everybody well and everything as you wished. I don’t suppose you will get any tennis yet unless you have different weather to this. You are not very far away you know.
How are you all keeping? All well and jolly I hope. Give my love to Mr & Mrs Cross.
So you are doing some reading again. I have not read a book for months and have not seen a paper for days. I shall soon be forgetting how to read, or is it one of those things you can’t forget. I hope so. I should never have the energy to learn to read again.
With all my love dearest and a long kiss