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Letters between Sylvester and Eva, June 1918


June 1, 1918
June 8, 1918
June 15, 1918
June 22, 1918

SBButler Letters, June 1918


Bricktop
June 1, 1918

Dearest,

Daido and I undertook to do some cleaning and had about fifty visitors.

I thot I was going to have bad news to tell you again after my good news letter of the morning as Miss Davis came in about one o'clock and said she would not take the house as Mrs. Japhet Pierce had offered her one room and a kitchenette, with no gas bills to pay or no cleaning to do, for nine dollars a month and she thot that would be fine. It was for her. I was certainly disappointed but about three she came back again to say that she had discovered Mr. Le Compe was rooming there and naturally she didn't want to go, so I guess I'm safe.

It feels as if we are going to have an August day tomorrow. I hope not. If you go to Italy you just needn't send home pictures of you making snow balls in summertime for I sure can't appreciate that kind of humor and especially if the thermometer is 202 degrees here.

It's getting late so I'll kiss you good night and hurry away. Good-night, sweetheart.

Be Good.

Your Lady Me.


Camp Devens
Sat. Eve. June 1 / 18

Dearest One,

Evening on the porch, but I can't watch the sunset, except by reflection, for our porch forces the east, and anyway, we're backed up against a hill. There is a pretty cloud formation over in the east, though, which I have been watching - a great flat canopy with an edge, a filmy ostrich-plume-like edge, about half way up the sky; the canopy covering a big billowy bulge of wave clouds. It's shortening up a lot more now. And there's another billowy bulge over to the left which has come up which first looked like a giant mushroom, but in settling down two tips have grown out and it looks just like an Argentine steer.

Today has been frightfully hot, and it has been quite a push to be able to do anything in it. Our quarters seem just to absorb all the heat there is, just as before in the winter the cold wind found every crack. You should see how this damp weather has curled my hair, particularly as I left it so long on top just to please you, lady.

The afternoon has been particularly lonesome, being Saturday and scarcely anyone around. I would have liked to be out, but not walking, because it was distinctly one not to walk in, unless there are cooler spots than this around. I would have liked to have ridden to the end of nowhere, with you to hold up my left arm, and feel the air in my face. My arm I suppose can't say it really needs holding up much more for its own sake. I have a great ambition now, to be able to hold the arm straight up over my head in one week's time. A physical examination of all officers is coming soon, and I've got to be ready to fool them. If it should deny me a chance to go over the sea with my organization, I just don't know what I'd do; Pop says I'm coming along if he has to put me up in a packing box, and ship me as baggage. You bet your life he will! But I'm going to fool the medicos on that arm. It's going to be all right, anyway, I guess so it won't have to be a matter of fooling.

Ralph has been down with me some this afternoon, and is going to stay down at the Supply Train to-night. Tomorrow afternoon we are going to drive the Ford up to Lowell to see a Cousin James Savage, whom I have never been up to see since I've been in Camp Devens. He is only a distant relative, but has always been quite a close friend of our family's, and the people have been anxious for us to run up and see him. Besides he sent me a special invitation a couple of months ago. We are just going to drive up, stay a couple of hours, and return. It will give me a chance to get out & get a little change. I've hardly left the place except the night I drove out with Leviseur to Groton. On a hot day one feels particularly cooped up here, for the heat just bears down on me, and gives me the desire to fly somewhere.

My vaccination didn't take so I have two perfect arms now. After ten days, I'll have to try the vaccination again.

There has been a little interval here, as it got absolutely dark on the porch, and I sat for some time talking to Ralph who had gotten around here again. Now I'm writing in my office. It is in the southwest corner of our building and is somewhat cooler than my room. My room seems so confining these days, I don't like to be there; the porch makes it dark, and the heat makes it hot. I guess that must be why.

When I first read your letter of Memorial Day evening, this afternoon, it almost melted me when you spoke of the fireplace going, for I was trying my best to keep cool. But now there is a nice breeze blowing in the window and I can read it very appreciatively. I just guess I ought to, with the almost-promise for me if I were with you.

Just wait until you're boss, huh? I thought there wasn't going to be any boss. Oh, no. I do remember somebody saying something about who would do the bossing if any was to be done. It's like Major Schoonmaker used to say when he was C.O. "If there's any swearing to be done around here, it will be done by the Commanding Officer." I guess Andy still holds the prize, however.

Isn't there some rather silly song about "Daisies Won't Tell"; perhaps it has something to do with the reason you had to pull half a dozen extra petals off. But you said you did that right after your last yes; however, I'm going to be conceited and take it that it was on the yes you did it. I don't believe it would make you tell me an untruth. Eva, there are no nos or chances; it is Yes, Yes, yes, all the time. He just told me so.

Dear sunshine lady, I love you every minute of every day. A good-night kiss.

Your Sylvester.


[June 2, 1918]

Dearest,

Goodness it is warm. I am almost melted. I thought we were going to have a day like this.

Did any of the boys run ahead of the commander this Memorial Day?

My peas are almost ripe. Isn't that just grand? I wish you could see the garden. I know you'd be proud of it.

Goodness, I'm afraid I'll have to go to Maine or Canada this summer if the weather is going to be like this.

It is so open here we ought to be cool but there is not a breath of air blowing. It's just perverse.

Now in the enclosed envelope there is a s'prise and don't you dare to open it until you're real, real, lonesome, and not just curious, remember! [note - what ever it was is no longer there]

I think I'll stop now as I wont have anything to say tonight if I don't.

Your sweetheart


Camp Devens
Sun. eve. June 2/18

My own dear Sunshine Lady,

I am surely happy that you are going to stay at Bricktop thru the summer; that's great news. And I hope Miss Davis will come there with you; I don't see how she can resist it when she has to choose between it and the Maple Inn. And I don't see how you and Miss Davis could help having a pleasant time together. And I am so happy to think you can keep that one corner of the garden for me, for you will, won't you, lady? Or for Us?

Eva, dear, I am sorry you have had that cold, but glad you got over it successfully. I'm sure I don't know where you get the idea there's no use taking anything for one, sweetheart. Of course, it has to run its course, but that isn't saying anything except that it has to start and end. Three 2-grain quinine pills have often stopped them for me when I felt one coming on; taken just before going to bed. And if they (the colds) get going, I break them up with a preparation known as Bell's Syrup of Codeine. Just because it's got to start and end is no reason why one shouldn't help it along toward the ending and incidentally prevent more serious trouble. Well, I am glad my dear girlie is better, but what must she think of me when I have talked so much about myself and my health, sometimes good news, of course, but not always. I guess she thinks I'm a terrible infant. When we're married, you'll think I'm going to bother you with every little toothache, tired feeling, & uncomfortableness I feel. But I won't. I'm going to reform. Eva, I don't believe I've told you how pleased I was with your sending those sweet alyssums up to my home. Mother spoke about them to me in last week's letter and she was very much pleased, too. If you could get up there this summer and see Lucinthia & Winnie & Eleanor & the Us gardens this summer it surely would be nice; or if Lucinthia could come down a week-end & see you; or both.

Don't be sorry you wrote me the other letter about not staying at Bricktop, for of course I want to know all about your plans at any time. Are you going to tell me when we go hunting for our first house which one you want us to take? Would you like one just like my Aunt Kate's bungalow? You know, I'm just hoping some of the old family furniture will descend to us, and I'm sort of thinking maybe it will, for they know how much I like old things. And wouldn't I like one of those cloth comfort rockers? Now that sounds wicked, doesn't it, as though I didn't care whether I lost relatives or not so long as I could get things? I trust I may not be thought of as thus sordid; perhaps somebody might give us some things outright.

I got started thinking about old furniture to-day when Ralph and I were up at Cousin James Savage's in Lowell. He was showing us a four century old desk with all kinds of secret, unfindable compartments in it. He is quite an antiquarian and genealogist. I have little patience with genealogy as a hobby but I do like old things. Ralph was with me here all morning; we read the Sunday papers. I did a little work, and wrote Mother & Lucinthia letters. I guess that's about all. Foe I didn't rise till 8:30. Right after dinner we started for Lowell in the trusty Ford. Some of the roads were very poor and in Lowell itself they were and in a Ford every bump is felt. However, I stood the trip without fatigue. We stayed there a couple of hours only, chatted and listened to some real treats on their Victrola. The music that speaks to the soul, dear. Kreisler's Viennois Caprice, played by himself; I wonder if you have ever heard it. It's a favorite of mine of many years standing, but I don't believe I've heard it for two years. I remember a friend of mine who used to play it a great deal on his violin. And I do love a violin. I think we ought to have the Viennois Caprice at out wedding, lady. Now don't get frightened. I have been thinking up a wedding that will please us both, perhaps lots more than what either of us has been contending for. But when I think of your talking about 19 years, then I think it's a little early to speak of it. And besides, there are some details, such as the preacher, which aren't arranged yet in the scheme. But I was just a-thinkin' when the music was playing this afternoon, how perhaps I could make a wedding that my sunshine lady would like.

Our doctor, Capt. Stewart, has a violin here, I discovered this morning. He was out playing it to the accompaniment of Victrola records. He plays quite beautifully. I have been afraid to play the Victrola since I got back, not really afraid, but just hesitating, because of a feeling it would make me too lonesome. His violin this morning broke the ice. It did give me a tug, but lonesomeness isn't always unhappiness, particularly when you know there's a Sunshine Lady who loves you.

I must say good-night, as it is getting late. A kiss for the nice letter I got to-day, for I found lots of nice things in it. And I am glad you are better of your cold. Take good care of yourself, sweetheart, please.

I love you.

Your

Sylvester.


[eve of June 2,morning of June 3, 1918]

Dearest Sylvester,

The for-get-me-not you planted long ago is getting ready to blossom for me. It was so hot yesterday and when I went out to water them I discovered it. I meant to tell you about it before. I covered it up from the heat today and it is almost out.

I went out and got some ice cream and made some sundaes so that made it feel a little less like the Torrid Zone for a few minutes. I'm working hard on my surprise and Daido said that it would be a surprise all right and I'm afraid it will.

I love you just lots.

Good night my Sweetheart

Eva.

Dearest

The Alumni Dance is to be held in the High School. It is not principally a dance but as it is customary for the Alumni to give either a dance or a banquet and we decided not to give the former. We thought we would give an entertainment - of Singing, Lee Terry to play his violin and of course Miss Haskell and a Jazz Band composed of John Weaver, Norman Reed, Ward Weaver, one of the Parsello boys and some others, and a buffet luncheon. We are to have games and things and the guests may dance if they wish. I don't think there will be very much dancing done so few of them know how.

Dorcas and I are going over to Atlantic tonight to finish getting the things.

Why, of course, Sylvester I wouldn't let anyone take me places and bring me home and as for dancing - everyone knows my reputation as a dancer and I think I will have all my time free to manage matters.

Sylvester, you needn't have asked me that for when I told you I loved you I meant that I was yours and some day I would be your wife and after making such a promise I would not want to do anything you would not want me as your wife to do and I won't knowingly.

Oh, I love you so and I want to do things that please you and make you happy.

Eva.


Camp Devens
Mon. eve. June 3/18

Dearest One,

I'm getting so I've almost moved into my office, it is so much cooler and airier than my room; and being in the same building, it is a simple matter to do my writing here, and plenty of things that are more personal than official. There is a most delightful breeze driving thru the two corner windows between which is my desk. It makes paper weights somewhat essential but that's a minor detail. It's gotten very dry again now, so that the sand is blowing around something tremendous; that's not such a pleasant feature.

I'm gradually getting up a little earlier each morning, and feel myself gradually regaining strength, & becoming capable of taking on a little more. My arm is doing very nicely, I think. I hope your cold didn't get any worse again.

I had a letter from Ernest Binks this afternoon, the first I've had since he knew we were engaged. He thinks its the limit I didn't tell him before. Well. I certainly should have told him, if I had been telling anybody. I am just hoping his wife will drop down to Pleasantville to see you; and am thinking she may, because Ern has written her about us. I wish their home and our could be in the same place, for I surely think a lot of Binkie. He says he knew I was engaged a month or so ago; of course he didn't really, when I tell you the circumstances under which he heard. He says that Tot (that's Mrs. B.) was judging a musical contest in Atlantic County, and got acquainted with some Pleasantville people who knew me and told her you and I were engaged. Whoever the people were, their source of information must have been gossip, or Mr. MacMillan's article in the A.C.G.R.

No letter today, but I naturally know it's because yesterday was Sunday. How did I ever get along before without your daily letter? But you surely always were good to me.

A frog or two just began peeping from the distance, and are reasonably cheerful frogs. I think those frogs in the quarry pond down home must be so melancholy because they are so near that cemetery.

I think I'd better get to sleep pretty soon, but I am going to write a sort of silly one of these soldiers' letters that I found in Everybody's, which tickled me when I read it.

I miss you so much, my sweetheart. But you will be my sunshine lady always, won't you, and waiting for me, until we can be always together. A good-night kiss.

Sylvester.

-ENCLOSURE-

A Soldier's Letter to His Sweetheart

Dere Mable:

I been thinkin of you a lot during the last week, Mable, havin nothin else to do. I been in the hospital with the Bronxitis. I guess I caught it from Joe Loomis. He comes from there.

I got some news for you, Mable. The cook says we only drew ten days supply of food last time. He says he guesses when we eat that up we'll go to France. Hes an awful smart fello, the cook. Hesgot a bet on that if the allys don't buck up an win the germans is comin out ahead. Max Gluckos, a fello in the tent, is referee. We're all eatin as fast as we can. Perhaps we can eat it all in less than ten days. So maybe we'll be gone, Mable, before I write you from here again.

There's a french sargent comes round once in a while and says the war is goin to be over quick. He ought to know cause hes been over there and seen the whole thing. He smokes cigarettes somethin awful and dont say much. That because the poor cus cant talk much English. It must be awful not to talk English. Think of not bein able to say nothin all your life without wavin your arms around and then lookin it up in a dickshunary.

I feel so sorry for these fellos that I'm studin french a lot harder sos they'll have someone to talk to when we get over there. Im readin a book now thats wrote all in french. No English anywhere in it, Mable. A fello told me that was the only way to talk it good. I dont understand it very well so far. The only way I know its french is by the pictures. Some day Im goin to find out what the name is. Then Im goin to get the English of it. Those are some pictures. Aint I fierce, Mable. I guess thats why I get on with wimmin so well.

As soon as we got the hot showers all fixed the pipes busted. So the other day the Captin walked us all in town to take a bath. I didn't need one much. I used my head more than most of em. Last fall when it was warm I took as many as two a week and got away ahead of the game. I went along, though. More for the walk than anything.

I saw the Captin didn't make no move to take a bath himself. I thought he might be shy. He dont mix very well with the fellos. I felt sorry for him. Everyone else was laffin and throwin things around with him standin off and no one throwin nothin at him. I wwent up an says "Aint you goin to take a bath this winter, too, Captin?" Just jolly, Mable, that's all. I says, "You don't want to mind the bunch. They dont care a bit. Therre as dirty as you are anyway. Probably more." An I bet they were, Mable, cause I aint seen the Captin do a stroke of work since we come here. Just stands round givin orders.

I says, "If no one wont lend you a towel you can use mine, I was just goin to have it washed anyway." He got awful red and embarrased, Mable. I thought he was goin to stroke. Hes awful queer.

I keep herein more about this fello Broggins. I suppose he belongs to the Home bards an wares his uniform round in the evenin. An I suppose he has an American flag on his writin paper. It dont mean nothin in my life though, I aint goin to put up no arguments or get nasty like most fellos will. Dignity. Thats me all over, Mable. Let me tell you though if I ever come home and find him shinin his elbos on the top of your baby grand piano I'll kick him down the front steps if I only have one leg to do it.

As ever

on guard

BILL.


[Undated; postmark Jun 4]

Dearest,

I have just returned from the Alumni and I think that at last we're in a fair way to get things straightened out.

We had a most wonderful sunset tonight. At first it looked exactly like a Japanese fire mountain, then the mountain gradually melted and streams of rose just seemed to pour through the clouds. After evening had gone and night had come the glow still lingered a silvery rose. It certainly was most beautiful.

Sylvester, I love you oh so much and I do wish you would promise me one thing. Please, please never be jealous of me. I'll try as hard so you'll have no reason to be. Mother was jealous of Dad for no reason whatever and her senseless jealousy has absolutely wrecked his life. Of course, I love you and want you to be all mine and it would hurt me terrible if I thot you weren't but I'd try my hardest not to be jealous for I'd know you really were mine even if you didn't appear to be.

It's a long long trail we're going to travel someday and sometimes I get frightened when I think about it. It means so much oh so much and I feel so little wise in things I should know and I don't seem to know how to go about finding out. You know, I never really expected to tell anyone I would marry them. You can't imagine how I fought my love for you.

I can't sew, cook, sing, play or do anything nicely. I can smatter at lots of things but a smattering seems to be all I ever get of anything. How can I keep you happy? I want you to be oh so happy. You deserve to have a wonder girl. You work so earnestly, so faithfully and you're so wonderful yourself.

I love you Wonderful Man. I do, and I kiss each curl that was kept for me.

Eva


[June 4, 1918]

Dearest,

Wouldn't you like a little extra note from me this morning?

I found some more money to add to our savings account. A whole penny. I found it down by the station. I am forwarding it to you to save.

I am writing some little notes for you when you will be where you won't get mail from me. They are just little notes as you won't want to carry much and I am putting four or five in this envelope and will send some more when I have time. Remember read only one note at a time.

I expect to spend the night at Mannie's tonight. At last I guess I'm to get there.

There goes the train by that should bring me a letter from you. It's hurrying real fast and I think it's anxious about me. Don't you think if it knew how I wanted your letter it would stop right out here and give it to me?

I think I better stop now and get to work.

I am making the whole sum of $12 now and must work harder to earn it.

One kiss

Your Sweetheart.


Camp Devens
Tues. eve. June 4/18.

Dearest One,

Now, I've been real, real good to-day, and haven't opened that s'prise all day and the letter came in early morning. I knew it would be following the spirit of what you intended if I didn't open it during the day when I had to run right out to work again, but left it until evening. But now it's after Taps, there is no one 'round, and the heart-strings sure do pull for a heart that beats with them far away - so may I open it? Please? All right, then, I'm going to. Oh! Bless you, my angel girlie! I'll keep that little part of you with me forever and ever with those other things you know I have. That's a lovely surprise, lady. Now I can talk to you, can't I, but I'll talk and write at the same time. You call me your Happiness Man and I shall live up to it, my sweetheart; to bring you happiness always is the greatest thing I live for.

A lot of trucks went into Boston, 50 to be exact, starting at 4:00 a.m. this morning to get supplies to deliver to the camp Quartermaster. Two of the officers went along with them. Pop got up to see that everything went all right, and being a practical joker woke everybody but me up and made all kinds of noise around at 3:00 a.m. They're all so careful of me still. Of course I was awake just the same even though he didn't kick on my door. 35 more are going in tomorrow morning, so it may mean a repetition.

I have had the have an interruption because things began to start out in the hall. Pop found his comfort slippers full of dirt, so began kicking up a little racket and knocking on doors; and when the Doctor came out of his room and had his back turned Pop let him have an unfinished half glass of milk. Then the Doc retreated & Pop ran to prepare himself further with the fire-extinguisher; then Leviseur came out of his room and Pop let him have the stream full in the face. Which started in a battle-royal, a naval battle I should say, for the whole hall is flooded. Leviseur captured both fire-extinguishers and drove Pop outdoors. I think Pop is a little bit "sore", particularly as some one had stolen all his blankets just for fun. He's inclined to get put out when the joke's on him. But he's a great old boy, just the same. There isn't a man in the army I'd like to be connected with more than him.

I don't feel as though I had accomplished a great deal to-day. I laid a few plans for getting our headquarters records, forms, books, & stationary packed for shipment, so that we would have a ready plan when we get orders to move. I have been getting the company fund of Co. C ready to turn over to Moody. It took some time as I found we had $30.10 too much, and I couldn't tell where we got it. So I finally told the clerk to put an item in the account "Donations from interested parties" and made the account come out even. I don't believe I ever did make the thing come out exactly even.

After supper and getting out orders for to-morrow's truck details and attending Adjutants' meeting, I drove down town in the Ford myself. My first time since April. The position of the left arm on the steering wheel isn't a difficult one, and tooting the horn and operating the emergency brake are simple operations for it; the only thing which isn't easy is putting the arm out when getting ready to stop or turn. But, by the way, I've got my arm almost straight up. I drove down town to try an a new uniform I am having made, just a khaki for every day summer use; but I've got a new serge in the works, too; that ought to make me complete, I hope so. I also went to get a strong box to keep important papers in which we receive with instructions to keep absolutely confidential & let fall into no unauthorized hands. They are each numbered & record kept of which one each organization gets, so that it wouldn't pay to have one found around loose somewhere.

Dear, I do hope that there won't be anything more to make Miss Davis change her mind. I surely want you to have your Bricktop home thru the summer. I am glad the forget-me-not is getting ready to blossom for you, sweetheart. How I wish I could see the garden, & you!

Another letter to-night, which is the Post office's way of paying me for Sunday's letter it didn't deliver till this morning. Thank you, my own true sweetheart, for the promises; I never doubt you are mine, and my true sweetheart. I love you more than all the world. Good-night, and a kiss for the curl, MY curl, and my girl, my Lady of Sunshine.

Yours, all yours, forever.

Sylvester.


[evening, June 4, morning, June 5, 1918]

Dearest,

I am over at Manny's and just happened to have this paper and pencil. A perfect accident, of course.

What do you think as I was coming home at noon I found another cent. So again you are going to be burdened with money.

We played victrola records awhile this evening "The Lullaby from Joselyn" with Kreisler and McCormick, the "Serenade" by Moszkowski, Kreisler & McCormick again and lots of others.

Manny lives right down at the inlet so her mother saw them bringing the survivors from the submarine attacks in. We went down and saw the life boats. They are painted dark green. To think of about twenty-five people being in one of them two days. They are only about twenty-five feet long.

It's way late sweetheart, so I'll say good-night.

Eva.

Dearest,

I would like very much to have Lucinthia and Winnie both down for a week. I asked Lucinthia and she said she would love to but I don't exactly know how to ask Winnie. They would be lots of company for each other as I would have to work.

Grace Lewis has hinted quite broadly for an invitation but I didn't know whether to invite her or not. She was quite kind to me. I know she would enjoy the sea shore.

I am going to send you 'nother letter or so with this. I just hope you never have to use them.

I guess your friends Tom Beers and Ruth Austin (is the name right?) were married yesterday. Haven't I a wonderful memory for dates?

My honeysuckle on the way up to work is just ready to burst into blossom. I suppose I'll be sending you some so you can see just how lovely it is.

Wasn't your Uncle Will inspired to think of such an ideal name for a cat? Are we going to have any little "Dippies" in our home? I'm going to have about a dozen collies so if there are any little "Dippies" they better watch out. I might let you have four but not many more.

Do tell my sweetheart I love him. Won't you please? I'll kiss you if you do.

Your Eva.


Camp Devens
Wed. eve. June 5/18.

Dear Sunshine Lady,

I just got Curls and said "Hello"; so you are with me again to-night; looking right at me. I've lifted the over-card about half way up & clasped it there, so the curl is held in and the wind can't blow it away; and right above it is the message from Her whom I love, and says I'm her Happiness Man. [See the packet he describes]

Interruption again to-night. Jim Greene came into the office at Taps, and later Travers, Thorpe, and Andy. Jim and Andy have stayed to talk quite a while. But it wouldn't matter how late it was, I'd have my little moment with you before I'd call my day done. When Jim came in I turned the card down before he could see I had company.

This morning I definitely turned over everything in Co. C to Moody, so I can devote all my time to my Adjutant's duties now. There are plenty of things I see can be done for the good of the organization, besides daily routine, and other duties marked out for me.

I think I shall run down home Saturday afternoon, returning early Sunday afternoon. Ralph is going down home, so that I can have company, and queer enough, it will be the first time we have been home together, I think it's since Thanksgiving, except for the day he brought me home from Bridgeport. We never happened to find a convenient time to go together thru the winter. I didn't think very much about going until to-night, when Ralph called me up and said Father had taken a house in Rocky Hill, presumably the one we looked at, and Mother had written him they would like to see us both if possible this week-end to speak of the family arrangements connected with it, and so on. It will give me a chance to give US gardens a message about you, the nice letters I have had, and everything. It is now Wednesday night, and I'm afraid this will get you too late to have you write me a letter to Cromwell. I'll be gone only a few hours over a day, though, sweetheart, and be back here by supper time Sunday. I'll tuck away Curls and the message somewhere with me and read for my Saturday night message; and perhaps some more things. I have so many precious things now.

There is a card in here which I wish you would put your signature on, just two lines above "address", just for a specimen of it. It's for that thing we were speaking of the last night we were in Cromwell. I haven't been able to find yet whether I could have part of my pay sent each month to a bank, but what I do want to do is anyway to leave in the bank here $100 deposited in your name. It's such a little bit, just for if you ever do want any of it - if you were ever sick & had a lot of expense, or if you wanted to go to summer school next year, or anything at any time, & didn't have just quite all that was necessary, here is our fund you can draw on. I couldn't go with a clear conscience if it weren't there, and if there is an opportunity to have more deposited there from time to time in the same account, I want to have it done. It will be our little nest egg, and when I come back we'll use it for the comfort rocker & the rest. But while I'm away as much as you ever want is yours, just for signing checks, a few blank ones of which are enclosed; if they run out, send for a check book. And if arrangements can be made to add amounts to it periodically or once in a while, I'm going to try to see that the bank lets you know, so you'll know how much is there. I might just as well keep my money that way as any, and why not, if possible, keep it where if my sweetheart wants it she can get it. How would I be loyal if I didn't? Keep the blank checks in a safe place where you won't lose them, and please send the card right back to me.

Our $1.01 is safely packed away with S.B. Butler, banker. You'll have to prove you're 21 before you can draw out of this bank; this is a movable bank, follows its owner. What's more it will produce the same 1.00 & the same .01 that has gone into it. I hope, dear heart, you won't be so many months beyond your 21st birthday before we can meet, banker & depositor, to have that vast sum drawn out.

Aren't you the best lady there is to send me those little notes. I'm numbering them on the outside as they come, so I'll read them in order. I wonder where I'll be when I read the first. I'll do just as you say and read only one note at a time. It will surely be good to have something to bridge the time between when I go and the time that first batch of letters will reach me over in France. How I will look for them! I wonder if the increased shipment of troops may not mean more frequent mail, too. If only they would get to me one every day over there! There will not be a day go by in which I don't write you a message, although of course there might not be a place to post one every day. I suppose we'll both have to expect our mail in batches.

But then when I get back, pretty soon after I get back, we won't either of us get any, shall we? Unless we sit across the table and write them to each other. I'll hide my face behind the lamp shade so you can have plenty of inspiration, and write me a bit of verse now and again.

I feel very hopeful, dear; all of us here feel very hopeful that, despite present events, a break is coming before many months, and a break the right way. I feel that there are tremendous happenings yet to occur in 1918, and that when our enemies do go, it is going to be a sudden, irrecoverable collapse; and I don't think it will be far into 1919 before it occurs. It must, it must sometime & it must soon; wrong cannot maintain itself against right much longer; brutality and ruthlessness and faithlessness against humanity and mutual regard and good faith and justice. The world would not be right if it did. There can only be one outcome, and it is coming. And when it does, won't you be glad, and I be glad, that perhaps I had some little part toward bringing it about?

I hope that train that passed you did have my letter and didn't disappoint you.

That extra two dollars is fine. It surely shows Mr. Hammell is pleased with the way you do things. I knew he was by that letter he wrote & you found in the Pleasantville post office.

I will not make you unhappy, dear girl, with foolish jealousies, never, never; as you asked me to promise. 'Deed we have a long, long trail to follow together, but don't be frightened, dearest, ever. I am not a man of whims and I am not blind, if that is any comfort. I have seen unhappiness caused in homes, I think I know most roads to them, and those we will never go. Trust me to be a good guide, and a true-pointing guide, if, as you look ahead toward them, there seem unknown ways ahead. Perhaps on some you will be the guide. If I ever unknowingly make you unhappy always tell me, then I'll know. But, "there shall be no shadows" - that's a motto I once made myself say over and over again when every thing looked dark and hopeless. Together you and I shall maintain it; "the whole world rejoices when we are together", our whole world anyway; we have found that out together. You mustn't say you can't do anything nicely, besides you couldn't make me believe that. And anyway, what one can do isn't the whole thing; don't we also think of what one is? And if one finds one's own completion in another's companionship? Just the person who makes one's life complete; makes it complete just by being with one. And together we'll do lots of things; of course I can't sew with you, I'd have to get Uncle Bill to do that, and God didn't give me a voice to sing with, but we'll have a garden together; we'll read books together and go into things just the way I was speaking of on the train that day, so that we will know a lot about them; we'll get duets and play together - you put that as one thing you couldn't do nicely - but oh, you will, for I won't let you say you can't; you know I used to tell you in school that you mustn't say you couldn't get at studying History or something. We shall find worth while things by the score, my own dear girl, and shall have the realest home ever was; and you can keep the realest home ever was, I know. And I shall be so proud of Eva Butler, my lady, so proud to say "This is Mrs. Butler"; just as I experienced such special pride the first time I ever introduced you to anyone as my fiancée, to Cousin Will Marshall, in the hospital, you remember? Oh, I just glowed all over with pride! And since then at the many compliments on my choice.

Eva, dearest, I must stop, for it is quite late. I am going to kiss the Curl and send one that way to you. I love you oceans.

Sylvester.


[June 5, 1918]

Sweetheart,

You have several pictures of me that aren't very good. This picture is a rather good one of the flowers. If you'd rather exchange.

You may have the picture of "Bricktop", if you want it. Aren't I Maggie Nannie Mus?

[note - I read that last sentence about 20 times and it wasn't until I typed it and read it again that I realized she was saying magnanimous and not talking about the picture of her with the flowers and calling herself some idiomatic name of the time.]

I took some more but the photographer thot they weren't clear and didn't make any prints. They looked pretty good to me so I told him to go ahead and take a chance.

I certainly thot that soldier's letter to his sweetheart was funny. He was such a combination innocence and ignorance. I certainly did laugh over it.

I certainly am glad you are getting all right again but you won't mind if I hold the sick arm when we go automobiling will you?

I just wonder who it was that told Mrs. Binks of our great secret. The contest was decided in our favor and maybe that was the reason. She might have wanted to give it to our town, you know.

I'm sorry you don't get letters on Monday but I've thot of a way to remedy it. You get a letter on Sunday don't you? There is a mail leaves here Sunday afternoon and I send a letter off on that. I always imagined it reached you Monday. Will you look at the post marks on my letters and then tell me what time the different mails reach you, please?

That's me (I) sitting on the porch with my back turned and way over back of the post is Daido. Miss Davis took the picture. I don't want to give you too many pictures as they will be a nuisance for you to manage so just you keep what you want and send the rest back. I'll not care.

Don't you think the front view is a dandy one of "Bricktop". I took it.

Daido is going away the 15th and Miss Davis is going home until July 1st. I do wish I could have Lucinthia and Winnie down then. I think they might have a dull time of it while I was at work but I could introduce them to Dorcas, who has nothing to do all day, and I could tell them nice places to go and I think they could manage. I have a vacation day for Memorial Day anyway and if I take a Monday I'll have 2_ days straight.

A Good-night kiss

Eva.


Camp Devens
June 6, Thurs. eve.

My own Lady,

Aren't you afraid I'll spend all that money foolishly? $1.02, now, and going up.

I did appreciate that little bit of honeysuckle, sweetheart; I surely do love honeysuckle, especially the yellow kind. And we'll have a nice bunch of it around our home, shan't we? And the addition to my ahead-of-time letters has gone into it's place, waiting for the time when I'll need them. I am sending you to-night a little bunch of that blue lupin, which grows so much around here. [lupin still in letter] Does blue lupin make you see a railroad bank? And more, does it remind you of a perfect day? I did walk you pretty fast, though, didn't I? Next time we take that walk, you'll know the way, and I'll let you go ahead and find the dollar bills. When you get this letter, I presume it will be Saturday night, won't it, and you can think of me as with the Us gardens. When your sunshine has been anywhere, it just never seems to go away, lady. Your sunshine is around my home and the gardens and the places where we walked; gives a new beauty to it. Think of it, dear, that things familiar to me for ages before I knew you, and were well set on my mind, should now say Eva to my mind whenever I think of them or see them. For you are all sunshine, and genuineness and you are you, my Eva, my own always-to-keep lady.

Father didn't take any of the houses we saw, but a different one, further north in Rocky Hill; one much nicer, I think, from what I've seen of the outside of it. We went by it when we drove up to Hartford that day, but there's nothing which would mean anything to you by which I could describe to location. Aunt Sarah & Uncle Bill feel pretty badly that we should not stay longer, but it is the best thing to do. Mother has just been getting used up, and she must be where she doesn't have so much care of things. It will seem strange to think of the folks not being in Cromwell, where they have all their lives. But I shall probably always have some ties there. And I don't imagine a letter ever addressed to me at Cromwell will fail to reach me as long as I live.

This has been an uncomfortable day, exceedingly damp, but not warm, thank whomever should be thanked. It is rumored there is a chaplain down here in our barracks, but I think it's just something Pop started for the fun of it. If the poor unoffending eyes-lifted-unto-Heaven man could hear the various threats against his safety, I fear he'd do all he could to stay away. I hope we're going to be spared having chaplains on our hands, and I think we shall. The Infantry and Artillery regiments are not so fortunate.

You people in Jersey surely should have had something to talk about with the submarine raids. But I didn't realize you had had it brought quite so close home to you.

Mother wrote me of the Beers Austin wedding and said they had gone to the White Mountains for their trip. You remembered the date it was to come better than I.

I hope I cam make some little notes for you, too, against the time when my letters won't get to you for awhile. I'll try to very soon.

If you wanted to ask Winnie to come with Lucinthia at some time, I think it would be all right just to speak of it to Lucinthia, that is, invite her thru Lucinthia.

I must say good-night, dearest one. I love you. I've told your sweetheart you love him. Now the promised reward? I'm going to get The Curl and take it.

Your Sweetheart.


[June 6 - 7, 1918]

Sweetheart,

Just home from decorating up at the school. Dr. W.W.W. was quite amiable. Helped us out in all our plans. Actually hammered and worked like a Trojan. I was so surprised.

Outside it feels like rain but inside it's nice.

Daido is calling. She is quite sick and I am certainly glad school is about over. I love you my sweetheart.

Good night.

Eva.

You never said anything about the sunshine columbine I sent you so I'm not sure whether I want to send you this bit o' blue sky or not but I think I heard you say you were fond of larkspurs, so you might like it.

It is raining so perhaps we won't have so many out to the Dance tonight. I'm not worrying much. I am sending you the program and you see I have my partners picked in advance. They haven't accepted yet but I don't think I'll be refused.

I have some lovely honeysuckle here with me and it's so cheerful. I'm not cheerful today, I'm sleepy.

Oh horrors! It has started to clear off. Isn't that the limit. It's slang but it expresses my feelings exactly.

Goodness I'm afflicted and sleepy and hungry and cross. Terrible cross. I'm glad you're not here cause I might be cross to you and I never want to be cross to you but I really don't feel one bit like being sunshiny today and I ought to be doing double duty helping out the poor sun who is trying so hard to smile. I'm afraid I'm a slacker in lots of ways.

This is a stupid letter and the more I write the stupider it is getting so I think I better stop.

I went out and picked lots of daisies yesterday to trim for our dance. They are just wonderful now. I finished a daisy all in peace and quietness and it said my sweetheart loved me to write to him. I don't know how true it is.

Please, are these the right dimensions to build a house 30 X 60 X 1000.

Eva.

Here's one little letter for later on.


Camp Devens
Fri. eve. June 7/18.

Dearest Lady,

This is the most delightfully cool evening. How I wish I might enjoy it with you! A porch, and a single comfort rocker, the night, and you! I'd have to have my big overcoat for you again, too.

I think I'll see money in my sleep all night, for I was handling it most of the afternoon. I think I told you that in the Supply Train the Adjutant now pays off instead of the Supply Officer, and has to make up the payrolls for the whole organization, instead of their being made up in the individual companies. The payrolls go in to the Disbursing Quartermaster of the camp the 1st of each month, and as soon as an organization's roll is figured up it is notified that its' money is ready, and the paying officer goes down to get it. I was glad that I counted what they turned over to me, for it was $5.00 short. Inasmuch as the sum turned over was more than $8000, you can't blame me for taking the precaution; of course the only sensible thing to do; all the paying officers do it. When I got back to the Train, I made ready to pay off the different companies, establishing headquarters in Co. B mess hall, and I had previously sent notices around setting a time for each company to be there, about twenty minutes apart. Before starting I get the money out into piles of the different denominations - pennies up to twenty dollar bills. I have my sergeant on my left to call out the amounts, as the company commander, who is on my right, calls off the names. Then I get the amount from my piles, and turn it over to the company commander who turns it over to the man who has come up the pay table as his name is called. By custom the man always salutes when his name is called, and just before he leaves with his money. It took about 2_ hrs. to pay off the whole Train, and I was glad when it was finally done.

To-night after I came back from Adjutants' meeting I walked up to the Knights of Columbus building with Capt. June & Lts. Greene & Anderson. It was a kind of Supply Train night there for our men. Some of the men in Co. A, which seems to have considerable talent of the vaudeville type, gave some singing & dancing arts, and there were a few boxing matches in which the participants were men of the Supply Train; and then they showed moving pictures of the trip up from Bridgeport, which naturally were very interesting. Pop and Andy showed very plainly in them several times.

Pop has been acting very strange the last 3 or 4 days, I think he's overtired or something. Sometimes he doesn't seem to want anything to say to anyone. And he'll go and lock himself up in his room for no reason at all. He got on a streak like this last fall for a couple of weeks or so, and we all thought he was going crazy. I hope he gets over this one pretty soon.

If it's all the same to you, sweetheart, I'm not going to return any of the pictures you sent me. And thank you for them. My lady was full of sunshine, wasn't she? I see Miss Tolbert hides back of the post where the watchful camera can't catch her. That front view picture is indeed a very good one of your house.

Eva, it was silly of me to bother you by speaking of not getting a letter Monday. They are postmarked Sunday but get here Tuesday morning. Most of your letters are postmarked noon and get here the afternoon of the following day, which isn't bad time, is it? Please forgive me for mentioning it.

You know, that would be fine if Lucinthia could come to see you when you are alone the last of the month, and if Winnie could come with her. I don't know what either of their plans are just now, but I shall probably see Winnie to-morrow, and perhaps Lucinthia has already written you of hers. I didn't quite make out from your letter whether you had already written her or not. All I'll find out from Winnie is what she is going to be doing, and let you know. As I recall it now, she was to leave Boston this week and have a little rest before going back to the Home Office. Don't feel that you must invite them both, for I wouldn't want you to try to do too much. But if Lucinthia or both could I'm sure they wouldn't find it dull at all, on the contrary would have a very happy time. Lucinthia graduates next week and I expect to go over to Wellesley for one evening if I can. I couldn't go to the actual Commencement Day exercises as it's in the day time & she couldn't get me a ticket, only being allowed two, and they'll be for Father & Mother. What I shall see is a Greek play enacted by girls of the college, a regular part of each Commencement week.

You must have had a good time getting up the line of talk on the Alumni people. You didn't need to impress upon me so much that they were funny, for they are quite entertaining indeed.

Good-night to my sweetheart, a kiss, and all my love.

Sylvester.


[June 7-8, 1918]

[note - enclosed with this letter was a little pasteboard box that had held "Pine Bros. Genuine Glycerine Tablets, Menthol Flavor, highly recommended for all throat troubles," and now held a few little flowers with a little cotton wrapped around the stems, probably moist at one time to keep them fresh. It isn't mentioned in the letter.]

Dearest,

The dance is over without a dance being danced. Everyone said they had a nice time and especially when the refreshments were served.

I was going to wear curls and had my hair fixed when I decided I wanted my curls for someone else so I tucked them in and here I am now curls and all and terribly sleepy. You won't mind if I say good night until morning. If I kiss you will you? No. Good-night.

Eva.

I'm going to reform now and as we are not going to bother much with Alumni now until next winter probably I will be able to write nice letters every night. I really am ashamed but I've been awful tired at night and Daido is not a bit well.

The Jazz Band was just fine and afterward when the refreshments were served - good fruit salad, ice cream and punch. Norman, and Curtis and Lewis (we couldn't think who the other was) at the request of Dr. Whitney reproduced "Butler's Boys Trained Singers." John Weaver played the piano. Of course it wasn't as good as last year. Dr. Whitney gave a speech five times as long as he should have and in it he said that Christmas he laughed the first real laugh he ever laughed.

When Lewis and Curtis got up to recite the boys made them laugh so when the Jazz band got up for their second encore it was turn about as they were grinning so they could hardly play.

When Dr. Whitney spoke he said they were pretty good but they needed more practice on their second piece and they needed lessons in manners and modesty because they sat down on the steps leading up to the platform when they played. Why he said it I don't know as it was very insulting and at first from the looks that passed from one to the other I thot we were going to lose our orchestra but they were good sports and stuck although some left as soon as the program part was over.

I'm glad the things over but it's really not over. The place is to be cleaned up this afternoon. Goodness that's some work.

I sent just a tiny note to your home hoping you would get it just so you'd have a letter. I'm afraid you won't tho.

My s'prise is most _ finished and it's getting s'prisier and s'prisier every day. It's wonderful what variations, and s'prising things can be done with an innocent little piece of embroidery and what crimes are committed and called that.

Well good-morning and good day.

Your lady.


[morning, June 8, 1918]

Dearest,

I am sending you the copy of the funny things I wrote for the Alumni. They are funny. There is no doubt about it. Do you understand? They are not to be printed. Think what the world is going to miss. I was afraid it would make the kids Mad some of them are fierce. I corrected a few of the most obvious mistakes but not all as I thot you would never notice. [note- this copy is not with the letter]

Do you know there are going to be just two flowers on our for-get-me-not. One for Me and one for you.

I bought this paper at Pettet's and it must have been near some cheap soap. I didn't have time to air this before I sent it but will try and see what I can do with the rest. To think and I have a whole pound of it too.

I am going to write to your mother today so will have to stop writing to my sweetheart but I love him.

Eva.


Cromwell
Sat. eve. 6/8

Dearest One,

Your letter came to Cromwell in time tonight, and you were a dear thoughtful girlie to send it to me. [note -We don't seem to have the letter sent to Cromwell] There is no Sunday mail out of Cromwell, but I'll take this letter up to Hartford when we go up to-morrow afternoon, in the hope that it will get to you no more than a day after my last one.

Ralph and I left camp at about half-past eleven and were in Hartford shortly after three, which was the best time I ever made. We took a jitney to Worcester, and the train from there. Ralph met Winnie on the train, she having started with it in Boston. The train was very crowded and the end of the journey was most welcome. We went up to Father's office, and after a while he drove us down home. Most every one was surprised to see me, though Father & Mother knew I was coming. Aunt Lucy is home now for the summer. Everyone inquires for you.

Aunt Sarah has had the US gardens hoed once, she says, except she doesn't know they're the US gardens. The plot of plants we bought at the greenhouse is coming along quite well, the coleus especially having grown quite appreciably. The wood plant garden doesn't show up so well, but that isn't a cause for discouragement, for they needn't be expected to show up much until spring; now that spring is over, it's their time of rest. But I think they'll come up all nice & fresh next year. The nasturtiums are up quite a little way, and it didn't seem as though they could be up anywhere near as far.

This evening I have been talking to the folks, first all of us out on the porch, then to Uncle Bill, and still later to Mother & Father again. They've made all the plans for moving into our new house, and I believe are to begin next week. I wish now that this would have been a couple of weeks earlier; I don't know as I do either, for then Mother couldn't have had Lucinthia's help. But I do wish it might be different so that Lucinthia could be down with you at that time. But Mother feels she must have Lucinthia this month while she's making this move. Of course I want Mother to have her help, but I am so disappointed. Mother is going to write you about it soon.

A good-night kiss to my own true sweetheart. I love you, dear Sunshine Lady, and I am lonesome for you.

Your Sweetheart.

Dearest

I thought I would have time to write you this morning but there was someone around all the time, and then Father & Ralph & Winnie & I went up to the new house. We got back just in time for dinner and now it's time to go. I am putting in a syrinza & wigelia blossoms which are blossoming quite beautifully now. More to-night.

I love you,

Sylvester.


[evening June 8, 1918]

Dearest,

Just back from Atlantic. We took over the library books and then went out and got Daido's pictures then walked all the way up to the suburban cars.

It's nice and starry out tonight I wish you were here and I show you how much faster I could count than you.

I s'pose you are just composing yourself for bed in Cromwell after having inspected the U.S. gardens and told them all my secrets. Of course, I'm jealous because I can't see them too but then I have a branch of them with me all the time.

Good night sweetheart.

What do you think. I was making strawberry jam this morning and there came a knock at the door and just who do you suppose it was. It was Mrs. Binks. Lucky for me I did happen to have on a clean white waist and skirt but goodness! She was on her way to Atlantic with friends and stopped in to see me.

She said you'll be sorry for not letting them know the secret before you did as if you had she and I could have been dandy friends by now.

She only stayed a few minutes and probably won't get to see me again for some time at least as she leaves for Florida next Saturday and will, of course, be quite busy with commencement until then. I like her.

We had our own peas today. I mean they are cooking now and I must tend to them so I'll have to stop.

Eva.

I worked for about 16 hours and as a reward have three jars of strawberry preserves and one of jelly - but while spending all that time on them I picked peas, cooked dinner and did a two weeks wash so I've worked terrible hard. a kiss.


Camp Devens
Sun. eve. 6/9/18

Eva dear,

I found two letters when I came back to-night, the one you started the night you were decorating and the one you started the night of your Alumni party. You were good to keep your curls for me, dear girl. Always do, will you? That's a good lady. I am terribly sorry if I didn't say anything about the sunshine columbine, dear heart; I was sure I had, and I wonder if perhaps there is some letter you didn't get. So, thank you, dear, right here and now, and a kiss for it and for the bit of blue sky you almost weren't going to send me. The Butler family must have been out in force for your party, there were so many of them on your dance program; strange how they all had the same initials.

Those house dimensions - 30 x 60 x 1000 - are they inches, feet,, or miles? The proportions look to me more like a bowling alley. You're not cross at me for that, are you?

I mailed you a letter from Hartford this afternoon, which I wrote mostly last night. It went up the same chute we struggled with to get the round mailing piece when you were with me.

I slept pretty late - 8:15, this morning; the best sleep I've had in some time, for my camp bunk never has seemed comfortable after my 3 or 4 weeks in May. The Us gardens were still flourishing when I left, especially that little sweet alyssum I brought up from Bricktop. The syrinza bush in the front south corner of the yard and the wigelia in back are blooming very nicely now, and I sent you little samples of each. Uncle Bill's tomatoes are flourishing. Lots of people inquired for you. Martha Warner told me to tell you to be sure to come and see her whenever you were up in Cromwell.

Father drove Ralph and Winnie and me up to our new house in Rocky Hill the later part of the morning. I wish you could have been with us. I think you will like the house very much when you see it. It is quite old but well kept, a brown square house, with dark brown turnings. It has a delightful old knocker on the front door. There is a lily of the valley bed in front, a privet hedge which is somewhat dead however, quite a few different shrubs, a nice row of maples, and quite a few apples and pears north & back of the house. There is room for quite a good garden. It is altogether quite desirable. As soon as Mother goes up to Wellesley Tuesday, Father is going to start to move the things up, and by the end of the month they will probably be settled. I shall be glad for Mother's sake when they are, for it will mean the beginning of a much easier time than she has been having for years. The care of the house where we have been, and so many people, which has been practically all hers, has been absolutely too much for her, and I've been more than once frightened she would break down under it.

Winnie has come back from Boston permanently and is back in the home office of the Connecticut Mutual. She lives right at her home, and rides up with Father every morning.

Ralph and I had a terribly dusty ride back this afternoon. The only good thing on the trip was a whole hill full of mountain laurel we passed on the way, and that was simply gorgeous.

I do hate to think of your being alone next week. Of course it's only a couple of weeks. And perhaps you had someone like Dorcas in mind to ask to stay with you. And it wouldn't hurt surely to write Winnie if she would like to come to see you; she wouldn't mind it that you were away in the daytime, I know. Miss Winifred B. Russell, Cromwell, Conn., is all you have to write whenever you address her. I am more sorry than I can say that Lucinthia couldn't be with you just at that time. I am glad though, anyway, that you didn't decide to go to Cape May for the summer, for I think that would have been very unwise. Well, I hope Miss Davis doesn't stay away very long.

I must say good-night, as this week I must begin getting up real early mornings, and am going to try to keep a 10:30 limit at night.

Be a good lady. I love you.

Sylvester

I forgot to tell you there is a well-house goes with our new house. And I haven't thanked you for the pictures of yourself and our garden. It is one of my best pictures. I am just as glad as I can be to have it.

More love, and a good-night kiss.

Him.


[June 9-10, 1918]

Dearest,

I'll say good afternoon as I just imagine it will be about afternoon when you get this.

We are just back from a walk thru Somer's Point. It was a delightful day and is cool this evening.

We found little partridge berry flowers and they are so fragrant. They peeped out from among their leaves just like little stars. I am sending you a few. They are the fragrant, four pointed, fuzzy, little white stars.

The little pink flower is a wonderful wild oxalys. I have often seen the wild yellow oxalys, or wood sorrel, but never the pink. We brought home a few plants. I certainly am going to have a nice wood garden this year.

Can you imagine what those little red berry like things are? We just found oceans of them.

Oh goodness I just wish you could have been with us. We went down the sunset trail a ways and I found some new holly. It looked like the old holly only you could crush it all up without being hurt a bit as I said oh it reminds me of a soft shell crab and Daido isn't thru laughing yet. There must be a joke to it somewhere and I thot you might enjoy it so I am telling it to you.

Good night my sweetheart,

Eva.

Dearest,

Oh goodness I had an awful scare this morning. Saturday I saw two autos run together and no one was hurt and this morning just as I got to new road the 7:30 car was coming and a old man was coming driving an auto and I thot he would have to stop for the car and started to cross. He didn't see the car and kept right on coming. I was scared to death. I couldn't even scream but I did raise my hand. He stopped about one foot from the car. Goodness I was so nervous I just ran and cried all the way up here. I was so ashamed I thot I could stand more than that and nothing happened anyway.

I'm sending you some of your first forget-me-not. There is one flower a piece on the plant. I don't know whether this little bouquet I am sending will keep or not. If it does I will send one every once in a while.

Mr. & Mrs. Hammell have started for Wellesley via auto. I hope it doesn't take them as long in proportion as it did to get to Cape May once. Poor Helen would probably graduate family-less.

"A porch, a single (Underlined) comfort rocker, the night and you." Do you mean I must sit on the floor? I rather like to sit on the floor.

I would like very much to have both Lucinthia and Winnie down but won't write until I get your letter from Cromwell after you have see Winnie and have heard about your mother's plans for Lucinthia.

Good morning my sweetheart and I love you.

Eva.

I 'most forgot to mention the poor little faded most dropped wild rose but I thot you might want to play "To a Wild Rose" to a real one and see how it liked it.


[postmarked June 10, 1918]

Dearest,

I'm lonesome so I'll write to you. I just feel sorta like I'd like to see you. Just see you. I wouldn't want to kiss you or tell you I love you or anything like that. I guess I just want to see if your hair is still curly and cut nicely or something. Maybe I just want to tease. That might be the reason. I'm not sure. Maybe I'd be too glad to see you to tease. I'm not sure. I would be some glad. I just don't know why I should be lonesome. I just know I'm going to have you all the time some day soon. I guess it's because it's so nice outside. It is nice outside.

Don't you wish I could hide in this letter and when you opened it out I'd step. Wouldn't that be fun? I think I shall try and get in before I seal it. So don't get scared.

Don't you wish we were "at home" today. Me "at home" to you and you to me. Then I could tease you all I wanted. I'd be peacefully seated in the single comfort rocker and seeing that you hoed the garden right. It would be so nice and cool on the porch for the shade of the cut leaf maple tree would fall all over it and I'd have the nicest pitcher of ice cool lemonade or orange aid or grape juice. I'd be just so nice and comfortable. Of course you wouldn't mind that it was 98 degrees in the sun as you would be so anxious to get the garden in good condition and make it look nice and then every once in a while I'd say nice and encouragingly, "the paper says it will be cooler tomorrow'" or "you better hurry and water the snapdragons or it will rain before you get finished," or something like that. You really would appreciate my help, I'm sure. I would pick the flowers too for you and save you that much labor.

I really couldn't be out in the sun much, you know, because I might get freckled.

If we had a rose arbor, I might run off the porch, when you weren't looking, and hide there. You never would find me then. You'd wonder and wonder where I'd gone but you never would think of the rose arbor. You'd go most every place else and I never would be discovered if you didn't see me peeking thru at you. I wouldn't care much if you did discover me because I love you.

Your Lady.


Camp Devens
June 10/18 Mon. eve.

Dear Girl,

I received a letter today which you hoped I'd understand. I respect you, of course, for standing to a position you think is right, as I have respected you and honored you from the very first I knew you, for a girl who was striving to live ever by high ideals, and up to the best that was in her. I do wish, though, you could see this differently; I tried so hard to put it to you in what seemed the right light to me, and I feel as though you couldn't have tried very hard to understand me, or see it my way. But I suppose you did, and I needn't argue any more about it. But please, dear girl, try hard when anything else comes up to see what my point of view is, give me a fair show in your mind at least. [note- I don't find a letter from Gram along these lines among those we have but think it was probably about an actual WEDDING which Gram wanted no parts of]

Oh, my little girlie, I wish I could talk to you this minute. And then when I do have you, I forget half the things I want to tell you. But it does seem as though I could say so much tonight. About oceans of things. My heart is full to overflowing, my lips already to speak, but my pen is helpless. Just please dear if there comes ever the time when you have to think of your future yourself, be guided by what I have said before; believe that I am wise; that I know what I'm saying, and why I'm saying it, for I do.

You frighten me when you speak of leaving your present position, and "demand for stenographers", and so on. You plainly agreed with me, dear, when we were talking of things that a small quiet place such as your present one was the best sort of one, as long as you were working for a business house. Yet you make no mention of what we previously said, and what reason, if any, you have for thinking differently about it; just as though we had never spoken of it. All you say is something about somebody else getting more pay. Of course it's desirable to have as much money as possible, but please, oh my dear best girl in all the world, don't go into a large place, or a place where lots of people come and go, just for more money. My advice would be to stay absolutely where you are, unless you got into library work - of course lots of people come and go there but the atmosphere is so much different than in a commercial place; or until you get into teaching work. Eva, dear Eva, don't keep your eyes off the future; I know you have them on our future together, but we don't know how near that is; pray God, if I did, it is not far. The future is more than a living, it must be a life, for anyone who thinks of it rightly; something which is more than working and eating and sleeping - the doing of things worthwhile, the enjoyment of things worthwhile. There are difficulties in the way of all of us. I have had my share, if I do say it; and there is no one but myself knows what labyrinths I have had to fight my way thru. You have had more than your share, I guess; I know; and in going into the world, there is a lot you don't know about it; or at least I think there is, and I do wish I could point the way to you successfully, that is, be of some real help in pointing you the way. Don't say "can't" quite so easily; I don't like to see you say something like this: "I'm always so satisfied with conditions as they are" or you're this or that, which you think you ought not to be. Say "I will look ahead" and Do so.

Dear girl, this is not a scold. Not at all a scold. I have been in a scolding mood all day toward the world in general and I have snapped at most everybody, but I ran it out by nightfall. I wish I could think of a few things which would be a keynote, and which you would never forget. I have lots of them for myself, something which has come to me as a catchword just expressing the meaning of an idea which has given me a light I wanted - different ones for different times - "There shall be no Shadows", when I was letting my troubles and the "dark brown thoughts" of my verse on living eat into me - "I will be a self-conqueror", at another similar time - those are relics of two hard struggles, which I won. It is the first time I ever put them on paper for any one else to see.

I haven't written a bit of news tonight, but I have overstayed my 10:30 limit by half an hour, and been two hours writing. So good-night, lady of sunshine, and I hope I am not a total failure in what I am trying to say. Be a good lady. I love you and because I love you so greatly, I want to leave no stone unturned for your happiness forever.-

Your Sweetheart.

P.S. Just something a little separate. Please never use the expression "ask for work". Oh! I hate it! I've heard my mother use it, & others lots of times, and it makes me furious. And you used it in your letter. (Hence, you say, I am furious!) Anyway, it is an atrocious phrase. You don't ask for it; you give it after you have been put in the position where it's done. You ask for a position or place; or apply for; or try to get into a certain place or institution or line of work. But never the other! It's so absolutely wrong, and though not meant that way, it sounds so horribly servile. Next to the popular adjective "some" it's my pet antipathy - in the class with such horribles as "have a nerve", "swell", and "good-night". I have heard you use them all unconsciously, because people around you do, (as does my young brother), but don't, just for me.

S.


[postmarked June 11, 1918]

Dearest,

What do you think I made for supper? You'd never guess so I'll tell you. It was a cherry pie. See I'm determined you won't get to laugh at me about my pie crust at least.

I tho't it was pretty good and I tho't Daido did too until she said, "Why that's the best pie I've had for ages. It's just like mother used to make." That was too much to believe.

Aren't you fond of cherry pie?

It's most time to go to bed and I just ate some more and I suppose I'm due to get indigestion.

I got your letter you wrote in Cromwell tonight.

I'm so sorry Lucinthia can't come down now. She might be able to come later tho.

Weren't the gardens glad to see you? Did they miss me? I suppose they wondered why I wasn't with you. I hope you gave them my love and told them I often think of them.

I read three books thru last week. I'm getting into reading again. I read "Country House" - by Galsworthy. Deals with the problems of divorce in England. The unfairness of the law and its effect on the lives of Capt. Bellow & his wife. She's quite the vampire. Made so I believe by the law. I didn't like the book very well.

"The Melting Pot" - a play by Zangwell. I liked that. A young Russian Jew violinist comes to America with hopes and ideals. He leaves the land where his friends and family are outcasts and beaten and murdered and comes to America the melting pot. He loves and the girl is the daughter of a Russian nobleman, who is a Revolutionist (the girl) who (the girl) comes to America to escape Siberia. Here she takes up work in the settlements. There she hears the hero who is never so happy as when playing to the cripples, "who if they have lost one leg dance with the other, if they have lost two legs with their hands, and not having hands with their eyes." There is an element of humor thru it too. They have an Irish maid who is disgusted with the way of Jews and is about to leave when David speaks with her and asks her to have patience with his aunt who is old and not understanding or wanting to understand English, still clings to the customs of her people and longs for the time when they will be united in Jerusalem. The girl becomes so enthusiastic, that on the night of the debut of David and his masterpiece "The Melting Pot" when he wants to send her and his aunt down in the elevator she says, "Say, don't you know we Jews ain't allowed to ride on Sunday. Begora and if I don't think you're losing your religion."

I had a terrible long interruption just above to help Daido get her marks together and averaged.

The other book I read was the "Laughing Muse" by Guiteiman. It was poetry and very clever.

It is now after twelve so I must tell my Happiness Man Good night.

Eva.

Dearest,

I'm writing you again. This is two letters even if it does come in one envelope, so you owe me another.

[the next sentence is written as tiny dots strung together then returns to regular writing]

What do you think I am writing this way for?

Just because I'm lazy and haven't anything to say but I want an extra letter so I'm going to fill up paper.

I'm glad the U.S. gardens are doing well. I knew they would.

To night is class day night. Don't you think you can come down and go with me.

They have just phoned for the doctor as one of the men in cutting got a piece of steel in his eye. I don't think it is serious. Mr. Collins just said it was the apprentice boy. Poor kid, I bet he's some scared. Steel's out

It is getting most noon. Don't you really think I've written enough to deserve an extra letter.

I love my sweetheart.

Eva.

[note the " he's some scared." One of the things Gramp just mentioned that he hates. - Sue]


Camp Devens (smudged)
Tues. eve. June 11/18.

My own dear Lady,

That is not a tear on the word "Camp" which blotted it above here; it's the result of a gust of wind which made me put my hand up to shut the window, almost, and made me brush my sleeve over the just started letter in the process.

You know, I noticed on the envelope in which you sent the picture of yourself and the garden, the "Don't Open", the next day after I wrote you about getting it. And I wonder what you will be thinking. I really didn't see the Don't Open, dear, it was hidden in the print, and it was not sealed anyway. I am sorry, for it was a nice surprise you had made for me, but it is good to have anyway; you don't know how pleased I am with it.

I have played "To a Wild Rose" to the wild rose, as you suggested, girlie, just before I came in to write you. Wild roses are beautiful, they are so delicate, so modest, so expressive of gentle sweetness - I don't know as that's just it, but I love them anyway. And McDowell's music in "To a Wild Rose" is so perfectly expressive of them. That and Berceuse, the lullaby from Jocelyn, are absolutely the two most beautiful musical pieces of the soft, sweet, delicate strain. Berceuse, you remember, you heard at Miss Parsons' the other evening.

Thank you for the little collection from your afternoon tramp. Aren't those berries wild strawberries? They seem just like it. And for the forget-me-not, a special thank you, and, if I may, a kiss for my lady; if I may not, I'll steal that as well as having the forget-me-not. So!

I am indeed pleased that Mrs. Binks - did she tell you she went by the name of "Tot", really Flora, though - had stopped to see you; and I wish it could have been for much longer. I knew you would like her, and she would like you. And I do hope our two families can be a lot together.

Mother started for Wellesley today for a few days during Lucinthia's commencement. Father is coming up Thursday. I am going over Thursday evening by machine with Lieut. Taylor, and coming back the same evening. We shall have supper there and then see a Greek play by Wellesley students.

Pop is on a tirade out in the hall, not a water-battle this time, but a real growl on some delinquencies in the conduct of guard duty & guard ceremonies. Last night he was out and some of the other officers removed the side springs of his bed so when he got in he'd have a sudden jolt; but when he came in he saw it sagged some, and got suspicious, investigated, and fooled them.

I am working hard to get my headquarters records & work on a permanent system for the field; and also working on other things all looking toward having the organization ready.

I love my lady; you are my lady, my beautiful lady. Good-night dearest one.

Your sweetheart


[postmarked June 12, 1918]

Dearest

You don't object to my writing you with pencil when I come home late and go to my room to write. I don't like to write with pencil but I'd have to carry ink and blotter, pen and a desk into my room if I did otherwise.

Well class day is over. It was rather good. Nothing decidedly clever about it and of course it wasn't half as good as ours.

The jam lady and I were talking tonight and I told her of my wonderful success with the strawberries. She told me to come in this week, one afternoon, and she would show me how to put up delicious cherries and raspberries, and she said whenever I wanted to know anything about preserving not to hesitate a minute but to come and ask her. Of course I shall make it a point to go when her brother-in-law is not there. I really would like to know how to preserve things nicely and she makes delicious jams and preserves.

I fixed Daido up so sweetly tonight. She certainly is beautiful. She had on her flame dress she had for graduation last year and a spray of that wonderful blue larkspur. She didn't want to dress up but I made her. She certainly did look lovely. Everyone admired her.

It is getting late my sweetheart, so I will kiss you good-night.

Eva.

Dearest,

I just do hope you're not opening those little "don't open" notes yet, if you are, it is a calamity indeed.

I think we are going to have a thunder shower. It is quite dark and Heinrick Hudson has come to Jersey.

Today is Frank's birthday and I forgot all about it until I happened to look at the calendar this morning. I don't exactly know what to get him.

I am commencing to read a lot again. I hope I have lots of time this summer. Last winter was so broken up and there was so much to do. I think it is easier to keep clean in summer as there is no furnace to keep and no ice and snow and not much mud.

I want to put up lots of preserves for this winter tho. I am paying for the sugar, paraffin, jars and fruit myself and then am keeping an account of the cost and will count it in my weekly allowance next winter. I have planned to put up just bushels of things. I have never been able to put up corn yet so it will keep but I have tomatoes and string beans.

Goodness, if I don't watch out, I'm afraid I'll be able to really cook soon. I don't think there is much danger tho as I don't have very much time to sparament and besides when I have to ask if you cook pineapple, grease your pie tins and a thousand other silly things. I get pretty much disgusted and sometimes the book doesn't explain whether you stir with your right hand or left hand or both and then I'm lost.

I dreamed we were riding down from Philadelphia last night and you were so tired but you just wouldn't go to sleep. You were terrible perverse. What made me dream it I think was Jean Jarvis came over to me and said, "you know that night I saw you in Philadelphia I thot you were married". Wonder if we looked worried or cross. She had a diamond on the engagement finger and I asked her if best wishes were in order. She said No, she really shouldn't be wearing the ring on that finger as it was a Christmas present but she had broken her guard ring and it was too large entirely for her other hand.

I discovered I was an artist this morning. It was quite accidental I assure you but I will not keep the secret hidden from you longer and will give you the benefit of my

'Nuff, I won't be silly any more but I'm lonesome and I want to write to you and I haven't anything to say.

Eva.


Camp Devens
Wed.eve. June 12/18.

Dearest One,

An anniversary evening, lady - two months ago the greatest event in each of our lives, the Together night, and a month ago you came to Cromwell for the week that kind Providence gave us to have with each other.

I liked your happy little letter I got this morning ever so much. Did you find the envelope just a little too small to get into? But even if you didn't jump out just as the letter was opened, I didn't read far but what I felt you were right with me. What a meek creature you paint me to be, sweating my head off at 98 degrees in the sun with you cooling off and poking fun at me. You must think I'm terribly meek. Now, knowing my perversity, don't you think you could accomplish the same result by just begging me to sit in the rocker while you took the hoe and the sun; then I would insist that my dear sunshine-lady-wife don't work too hard, & endanger her head in the sun. I don't believe I'd say much about freckles because they're not so terrible - not since my childish notion that they indicated each one the utterance of some terrible forbidden phrase like "Oh, Gosh!" - I suppose yours might be the result of your profane husband's delinquencies.

But now tonight I have another letter which tells me you can make cherry pie, so that if you make me work too hard, why I'll just send you in to make me a whole one for supper. And perhaps I'll finish before you do, and I'm going to be the one to tease, for I'll sit on the nice cool porch and ask how it is in there by the stove. So there!

Of course the gardens missed you, dear girl! In fact, I don't think they quite knew me without you. Because we belong together. Something would have brought us together anyway. I know you thought of one or two other ways it might have happened. I like to think so.

I was interested in the books you have been reading, especially the "Melting Pot".

We have had two thundershowers today, one in early morning and one in late afternoon. Signs I learned when I was young I believe said those in the morning brought continuous rain for forty days. I trust not. I never saw it work yet.

We have had a salesman here with us today selling various articles of officers' necessary overseas equipment. I've ordered my "Sam Browne" belt, those that go over one shoulder, you know; can't be worn in this country but are worn continually overseas; everyone of us ordered a trench coat - a beautiful mole-skin with detachable lining, waterproof, and snappy-looking. The price was most modest, too, nothing that would startle anyone. They are also cootie proof which the short bobtailed sheep-lined or fur-lined coats we have worn this winter are not; but I don't imagine we of the Supply Train will encounter the cooties very much. I have also ordered a new double mattress, made like a sleeping bag; fits right inside the bedding roll, and should be delightfully warm. My old one has been useless as far as comfort is concerned for sometime, as the filling got loosened up inside & would bunch all around, making it thin in spots and generally lumpy. And I haven't had a real rest on it since I returned.

There was an item in Sunday's New York Times about wireless stations in the Jersey pines near Atlantic City, being in touch with German submarines, and Federal investigators scouring the woods for them. I haven't heard you speak of it, so I guess the woods aren't exactly full of them. I trust they aren't using the chimney at Hemlock Manor anyway, nor our frying pan as a sounding board.

Of course you deserve extra letters, dear lady. I've wanted to lots of times when I've had an extra letter from you. But if you could see the stack of things I have to be done at this minute and done quick too because something is going to happen in a very short time, you would know the extras have not come because of my being disinclined. I try to give you the best I have; I write you when there is nothing more I am going to do - there always is a lot else to do, but I have decided the day is done - ; that is, I write you when I can just think of you, and you only. And I have not failed to take that time every day, and will not fail to, even if everything is crowded on me so I can't let it go till midnight. And I shall try to give you when I can the extras you deserve. I feel so afraid that you think me ungrateful, or not as considerate of you as I ought - oh, I hope not; I don't see how you can, for I love you, you are ever in my thoughts, and I live for you - you must know all that.

Good-night. A kiss for my Eva. I love her.

Sylvester.


[postmarked June 12, 1918]

Dearest,

You tell me you are thankful for the flowers and you even actually guess that the little red berries are strawberries but you never said once in what condition they arrived.

Mr. Pennhollow was around this evening trying to get Daido to accept the principalship. She is half willing now that the force will be practically new.

I haven't done anything at all exciting today not even mildly exciting. I don't have an extra amount of work to do now that Mr. Hammell is away but I have enough as his brother and Mr. Long are running a race to keep me supplied.

I'll just close now sweetheart as it is after eleven and I haven't been to bed early for so long. Good night.

Eva.

Sweetheart,

Nearly every day it looks like rain and we never have a really real rain and have it over with.

I might have sent you some more flowers today as my honeysuckle bower is just wonderful but you never told me how the others came.

Miss Hodgson asked about you the other evening as did lots of the Highschoolers. - the reason being, I suppose, the little notice in the Alumni to the effect that I was well informed concerning the movements of Capt. S.B. Butler the former History instructor.

I just looked back and saw I was determined to have Miss Hodgeson preserve her identity.

The grass had just been cut in the cemetery and I walked thru it purposely. I just love the fragrance of new mown grass. It is just the spirit of nature just the very breath of the out-of-doors. There is no flower or leaf to distract you, it just seems to come from no where. I do like to walk thru it. You weren't up in time so I couldn't take you. Aren't you sorry you didn't get up earlier. I might take you some other time if you will get up real early. I love it real real early when the whole world is still except the birds and everything is so fresh and fragrant like mignonette. Goodness some day I'll see if I can't coax you to get up real real early. Captain June is spoiling you.

The Latin Club is to have a farewell meeting at our house tonight. I wonder if activities will ever be over.

Rambler roses are running everywhere. I just love a rose summer house. I like red ones and pink ones each by each but my aunt had lots of rose bushes and when she built her new house she wanted some ramblers around a summer house Uncle Charlie built for her and she wanted her red ones by the porch. He got them mixed and the other day I went down to see her gorgeous pink and red rambler summer house. It's a pity for both are beautiful large bushes. Now she plants her own. If ever I have a summer house I think I'll see to the planting of the roses. Goodness after such a mixup.

Must close now - Love

Eva.


Camp Devens
Thurs. noon [June 13, 1918]

Dearest,

An extra noon letter. I don't know whether you'll call it a letter or not. I have just finished dinner, a most delicious dinner for Cookie overdid himself on his rolls this noon, and also had nice raspberry gelatin for dessert. In a few minutes I have to take the Ford and run up to Adjutants' meeting.

This morning I succeeded in getting quite a replenishment of our supply of blank forms, and I am trying to get a much better more careful way of keeping them. I'm going to have a record kept of all of them and not let any out of headquarters without a written order for same from some company commander; and then have a record kept of what each company has so that they can't fool me and come around for more when they're not entitled to them. For some of them are scarce and precious, and Pop has accused some of the companies of using them for writing paper. You'd be astonished to see how many different blank forms there are in the Army which have to be filled out when different events occur.

Two lines above I was stopped because it was time to go to Adjutants' meeting and now it is one o'clock next morning. After Adjutants' meeting I was hustling every minute until four when Taylor and I started out for Wellesley. We went over in a Dodge car which the Supply Train has now. We lost our way on the way down thru Waltham but eventually got there. We met Lucinthia and Mother at Lucinthia's society house. Lucinthia and Mother and Aunt Lucy had already had supper, as we were late, so Lucinthia went and got Taylor & me some from what was left. Then we went out to the open air theater which had been constructed specially for the play, which began at 6:30. It was an admirable location for it, being right on the lake, which helped the imagination quite a little, because there was supposed to be a sea near in the play. It was "Iphisgenia in Taurius," based on an old Homeric myth. The acting was splendid, and the music with it was very enjoyable. After the play we went back to Agora, Lucinthia's society house, for a short time. Raymond and Eleanor Coe had in the meantime joined us; and we all visited together awhile and met a few of Lucinthia's friends. Father wasn't able finally to come up. After driving Mother and Aunt Lucy to the place they are staying while here, and Lucinthia back to her dormitory, we started back, with Capt. Butler at the wheel. Taylor was very patient, for I drove back the whole way, the first time I have ever taken a real car any more than just around a square or so; for driving a Ford is somewhat different than driving a real car. Although I must say this Dodge of ours has its limitations. Once when we came suddenly to a turn we had to make, I almost ran it into a fence on one side & then in the quick turn to the left most ran into the fence on the other side. Aside from that the trip was uneventful.

Of course I'm not opening the don't open notes, dear. What made you think I would? Oh, I guess it's because I didn't see the "don't open" on the picture of you and the garden.

Aunt Lucy gave me another pair of socks she had knitted, this evening, and I know I have at least two more pair on the way, one from my cousin in Lowell, and another I think from cousin Eleanor. I don't know what to do with so many of them; and am afraid I won't have room for them all; for there is a lot to take, and only one trunk, one bedding roll, and one piece of hand baggage allowed in which to take them.

I don't believe I'll want to get up at reveille this morning, I am glad though to have seen part of Lucinthia's Commencement. I never thought I was going to.

Good night, dear girl. I love you.

Your sweetheart.


[postmarked June 14, 1918]

Dearest,

What do you think, I haven't seen a single German wireless yet. There might be a dozen up at the Manor and to think I mayn't go and find out. I don't s'pose I may even take you up there on 'maginary trips.

Now this is an extra letter just because I want to write to you. I know you are bushels busy but maybe it won't take up much time. I appreciate the fact that you are working hard, when didn't you work hard, and I wish I had a play room I could hustle you off to now. Can't you just 'magine me hustlin' you off. I know you don't have much time to spare and am glad you do have time for me every night. I know I am neglectful about writing at night but Daido is usually around and I can't write then. I am really very much alone here, but I start my letters and write when I have time and then don't finish as I think I will have more to say, then usually have to finish in a hurry to get them up at the post office in time.

Here's a poem just come to me.

I rose with the day this morning
And wandered away from the town
Out where the new grass whispers
And blossoms flutter down
I heard a robin singing
As he bathed in the sparkling dew
A wood thrush and an oriole sang
and they all sang of you.
I turned me then, to go once more
Where the noisy houses stood
But a silvery web enmeshed me then
And I could not if I would.

Why are the belts called Sam Browne belts? Is that a terribly ignorant question? You say you got a mole skin coat. That's very nice. Coats are easily made into muffs and furs, aren't they?

Goodness I'm terribly selfish. I don't want you to go away 'cause then I won't get a letter every day. I haven't heard from Miss Quimby yet and she's been gone a long while. You might meet her over there. She's awful nice. I'm surely envious of her sometimes, she's so pretty and she sings and plays, is a star at tennis and swims like a fish, good in all outdoor sports and is so entertaining and has poise and a thousand other desirable things. I'll have them all some day.

I'll take a whole sheet of paper to end on.

You said my freckles might be the result of your delinquencies. I haven't any freckles. They are terribly unbecoming and girls use lemon and sandpaper or files to get them off. Please remember hereafter I have no freckles!

I'll not attempt to get in this letter but I'll send this beautiful daisy, which says I love you. {Yellow daisy still in envelope}

Your lady.


Camp Devens
Fri. afternoon [June 14, 1918]

Dear Sunshine Lady,

I got a surprise this noon when I went up to take a bundle of things to Ralph. He goes next week to Camp Hancock, Georgia, to a machine gun school. It will be just a continuation of his training for a commission, but will be specializing in machine gun work. He gets a pass to go down home tonight and early next week starts for Georgia. It will seem pretty lonesome for awhile not to know he's right near where I can see him once in a while. But I'm glad he accepted the opportunity, for it will be a little bit more in his line than straight Infantry work. He surely has made a lot of shifts since he's been in the Army, and had a great number of varied experiences. Here's his record in brief.

Isn't that a varied history for one short year?

I did not get up at reveille this morning. The Adjutant doesn't have to, and hasn't since he got back, but he's been closer to it each day until this morning, when he back slid until 10 minutes of eight.

I must dip into my pile of work. More tonight. All my love, as always.

Sylvester.


Camp Devens
Fri. eve. June 14/18.

(I think we may be missing another letter from Gram in here )

Eva, dear Sweetheart,

I ask your forgiveness for saying anything which would hurt you.

I am glad you are not going to be alone for very long.

So you are going to teach me history, are you? I shouldn't wonder but what you could, with the time I shall have had to forget it. You know, I had three years to forget a lot before I went to Pleasantville. That's why I had to sit up nights, so that Miss Lutz wouldn't know more American History and Miss Test more European History than i. Because I remembered once I thought I knew more than my Latin and Greek teacher in High School. Now I'm really hoping you won't believe the former statements. But if I remembered rightly I awarded you a 92 or thereabouts and Miss Test something similar, and if I, as teacher, were 100, as I should be, supposed to know everything, it was a close race, wasn't it? Oh, I'm talking silly; it's the relaxation at the end of an energetically spent day, I guess.

Since I wrote you this afternoon, I've been to a meeting at the Y.M.C.A. auditorium which every officer in the 76th Division was required to attend. It was on nothing at all interesting, the subject being merely the system of rating officers, with which there was no one there who was not familiar. The system has its amusing sides to Greene and myself, who were sitting by each other, and Greene got me going with his side comments on the speech. General Hodges, the Camp Devens and 76th Division Commander, presided, and strangely enough, it's the first time I've ever heard him talk. To look at him you would never pick him out for a General, for he is very short and slim, a little stooped, and walks almost as though he had rheumatism. But he was physically O.K. when examined for overseas service, and that examination was very strict. He is without doubt a very able man.

After I came home, or as I was coming home, there was a beautiful shiny sunset; not the deep colors so much tonight. An hour or so before that I spied a lost end of a rainbow over in the east; I don't know how it got there, for there has been no rain; probably it was done thru a cloud or something. Is that possible? Ask our old puncture-bubble friend Cruse. I wonder if he's gotten his chance yet to show what he can do with a rifle in the army.

You have a surprise package - though a pretty old kind of surprise - coming in about 3 weeks' time. I'm telling you so that if I'm not here by chance you will know why it's sent from here. It won't be ready till about that time and directions that it be sent to you, or one of it, rather to you, and the other to Mother.

Good-night. You are the beautifullest sunshiniest lady there ever was and I love you. I want to kiss you good night.

Your sweetheart.


Camp Devens
Sat. eve. June 15/18.

Hello, Lady. This is the person you say is spoiled, whom you think you never can get up to enjoy the early morning with you. You don't know me if you say that, for I have been preaching early morning to the afflicted people who have to live near me for years. I have heaped my scorn on the common idea that it's the worst time of day, & those who say they don't begin to enjoy the day until it's about ten; it seems so out of the order of things. It's a common by word in the army that reveille is the lowest hour in the soldier's day, but I shan't accept the doctrine. I do love the morning indeed for it's delightful freshness, and my lady won't have to coax real, real hard to get me to enjoy it with her when she wants me to. Let me be with you next time you wade thru the new mown grass, won't you, for I'll be up in time, and I'm not sure I wasn't before.

Tomorrow is Sunday - astounding statement - but not a day of rest. All officers and men of the Supply Train have been required to stay here over Sunday this week-end, as tomorrow morning it is to be inspected by the Inspector General, who is in camp on a periodical visit. This morning we had a practice inspection at ten o'clock. The inspection is with full field equipment - that is with packs, with canteen & first aid packet on the belt, and everything on the person which is carried into the field. The Inspector General can then see just how well equipped each organization is. I made up the order on it for the Train this afternoon, prescribing the time to fall in, uniform to be worn, order in which companies would march, what would go into the packs, and so on. And I have been finishing up other details this evening. We are going to have reveille the same hour as week-days, instead of an hour later, as usual on Sundays, for in order to get up to the place the inspection is to be conducted we have to leave our headquarters at seven o'clock. It will be all over about half past nine. I hope the old boy will be satisfied. I'm just a bit nervous about it.

There have been lots of wives around tonight. Greene, Travers, and the Doctor all had their wives to supper. SO much company that I, being the last to come in to supper, had to wait before someone finished before I could eat. So in the meantime I went in to see what Dr. Stewart's baby was crying about. I guess he wanted company, for he didn't cry anymore when I came into the room. I also made my ugle-ugle sound down in my throat at him, and really, he was much more appreciative than someone else I know of that great accomplishment of mine. You'll forgive me, won't you, for it was done in a good cause.

I should like to hear that Miss Tolbert had accepted the principalship at the High School. With a new force, especially with the chief member of an opposing faction out, the task ought not to present itself to her as unpleasant.

I'm sure I didn't realize what a dreadful & unpardonable omission I was making in not saying just how the flowers you sent me Sunday arrived. I even get poked fun at for what I did say, and don't get any more because of what I didn't say. I have read your letter in which they came and do not find you asked me to say just how they came. So how was I to know, as we have lots of times sent flowers to each other, and I hardly believe have invariably reported on condition received to one another. These were nice and fresh. How did the lupin I put in a letter a week ago reach you, and the syringa & wigelia I sent you from home? I don't know whether you got them at all or not. Dear Eva, please don't stay cross at me for just one thing. I never meant to be mean, or say anything you wouldn't want me to, for I only said "Please don't, just for me" and never thought of trying to be didactic. Won't you please forget it and forgive me and tell me you don't hate me any more? For two days' letters you haven't said you loved me, even when you finished the night part of it, though you did send me one kiss one of the mornings, and you told me you hadn't done much on the garden lately, and made up the scold about the flowers. And my heart aches. I want you, want you always for my own; you have given me so much happiness by your friendship and good comradeship in happy times, and your sunshiny self - maidenly and modest and right-minded and characterful - and lots of things I like; and you have made me so very, very absolutely happy by giving me your love - I never want to seem, as I never am, unmindful of that blessed thing you have given me, the love you weren't going to give any man. I always swore I would be a bachelor, too, but I don't believe I really meant it, for deep down in I've wanted a home always, where I could find the right companion whom I would love and who would make the home I wanted and be the Wife and Mother I wanted for Queen of my home. A Home is a great responsibility, isn't it, dear? The realest home ever was, that's what we shall have.

Good-night. I love you, Eva.

Sylvester.


[postmarked June 15, 1918]

Dearest,

This is a little note for Monday. It will be just a little note, too, because I haven't done a thing.

Daido and I are getting ready to go over to Atlantic and do some shopping. She wants to get some clothes and I am going to get some books for Frank and something for Katie as she has a birthday Monday.

Today has been a delightful day, all day with never a sign of rain.

We have not done much reading this week so I guess we won't get any new books at the library.

I think I shall get Frank "Huck Fin" and "Tom Sawyer." They are not very helpful educationally except that they will help to stimulate his interest in reading and he needs something to do that.

I wish you could see the sweet alyssum out in front of our house and the house next door. It is wonderful. Didn't you see it, a tiny ridge of white, in the picture?

I'll have to say 'nuff 'till tonight my bestes' sweetheart whom I love

Eva.


Camp Devens
Sunday afternoon

June 16.

Dearest,

This is a nice bright and sunshiny day. I hope you are having one, too, and enjoying it.

From everything which happened this morning I had good reason to feel a bit nervous about the Inspector General's visit, for he took in several things we hadn't planned on. Pop was determined every one would be up in time to start this morning, for he was going up and down the hall at 5 a.m. with a Big Ben, 5 a.m.. being 15 minutes before first call for reveille. So everyone was up and had plenty of time to get ready. We got off promptly at seven, Capt. Moody's company in the lead, and we were up on the main Camp parade ground long before we had to be. So Capt. June gave the Train a good stiff practice drill while waiting. Then we got into place and waited for the General. The Military Police were being inspected at the same time and were formed on our left. Our Colonel was in general command of both organizations. The way the Supply Train was lined up was in "column of companies" which is this formation:

|   |   |   |   |   z
| o | o | o | o | o y ¦
|   |   |   |   |   x

Each company in line in double rank; the dots represent the commander of each company, the x is the Commanding Officer of the Train, Capt. June; the y is the Adjutant, the z the Train Supply Officer. The Adjutant is a pace to the rear & to the left of the Commanding Officer, in all formations, and the Supply Officer at the left of the Adjutant. In the Supply Train the Adjutant and the Supply Officer are what are known as Staff Officers - they are the Commanding Officer's staff. Well, when the General came the first thing we were asked to do was to have the men unsling their equipment & open their packs, laying everything out for the inspector to see. A great number of our men have only been with us a month, and haven't had instruction in laying out equipment - for of course it all has to be done in a certain way, at certain commands, and according to a regular uniform method; in fact our old men were not very well versed in it. We realized we might be asked to do that, and in getting out the order yesterday for Capt. June, I stated thereon that if a layout of equipment was called for it would be in accordance with a certain diagram in a certain military manual which all companies had. So when the order went around to the companies the 1st sergeants should have gotten busy and seen that the men knew how to do it, and if they didn't understand it to consult their company commander, or in his absence some other officer. But they didn't do all that I guess for there was some little hesitation on the part of the men in some companies; still they did it better than I thought they would and that inspection got along all right. After that the packs were rolled up and each company commander was directed to take his company & drill it for a short time. In the meanwhile the inspecting officer, who was some Major, assistant to the Inspector General, was asking Pop all sorts of questions about the organization, the extent of its equipment, the training its men had had, and so on. Then we were directed to go back to our barracks and await an inspection there. That was something we hadn't bargained on; the men had had no time to clean them up before falling out this morning, and it meant everything had to be done between the time we got back and the Inspector General came. Pop immediately got all the officers & 1st sergeants together to warn them that the men must be gotten to work in a hurry to have things ready, and had a man sent over from each company to clean out and mop out the hallway & headquarters room in our quarters. Well, the General came too soon; he went to Co. A First and the men were hardly started; Co. C, & it was a little better. In the meanwhile his Major assistant went through B, D, & E and I followed around with him; there were a few discrepancies but they weren't really in such bad shape. But A was awful, and the General himself saw it, and although I think he appreciated the difficulties in the way, it didn't help create a good impression, and this naturally was a disappointment to Capt. June, it being his outfit and he being held responsible. He got pretty worked up over it, vowed no one had made an attempt to get ready, & swore no officer or man could leave the camp from the Supply Train this week. He softened down though, and only A Co. was blacklisted, and part of C's privilege's withheld. He was on a huge tear for a time, I really think everyone worked as hard as they could to get ready, unless it was Co. A, but he can't be blamed for being disappointed. Altogether it was quite an exciting morning to us, but I hope my two sheet account of it hasn't been a horrible bore to you.

Lieut. Greene invited me out to his house in Harvard, a little town just below Ayer, for dinner, and I stayed out there with him about half the afternoon. He and Mrs. Greene, and Lieut. & Mrs. Travers have a house out there together. I guess I have spoken of running out there once or twice before, though I never have gone out for a meal before. I think a great deal of Greene, and always find him enjoyable company.

I'll be writing more tonight. So long, Lady. A little Don't Open message is going with my love, a lot more of it than you would think it could carry.

Your Sweetheart.


Camp Devens
Sun. eve. June 16/18.

Dearest Lady,

It isn't many hours since I mailed you my last letter this afternoon; that told you about our exciting morning and my going out to Greene's, and the time since hasn't been very eventful. I drove the Dodge up to the post office with your letter and went up to see an officer in one of the infantry regiments, came back and had supper, did a little work, and wrote a letter to my Father and to my Mother. I'm like a child with a new toy driving that car; if I had time, I'd be thinking up excuses all day, I guess, for errands to run with it. It seems strange that a man of my age shouldn't have known how to drive a car, but I never have happened to have a chance to learn. I have never been home long enough or at the right time to learn on ours, and besides Father's only had it since the fall I was down in Pleasantville. Other cars are really much easier than Fords as soon as you learn, for you get so much more control over them. I was driving this afternoon where soldiers were thick on both sides of the road, & passing cars coming thru, and wasn't bothered about controlling the machine at all, where with the Ford I might likely have stalled.

Your letter with the out door call poem came in this afternoon's mail. Do you know, darling, I think that's just about the most beautifully written poem you've ever given me. Your whole letter made me feel happy all over, and especially the poem, and the "beautiful daisy which says I love you." Bless you for hope and cheer and sunshine and love.

The outdoors is ideal tonight with a nice fresh wind, a half a moon, and with the frogs singing most cheerfully. Won't you please come out on the porch a little while, and listen to it all, perhaps beat me counting stars; if you beat me doing that, I guess I'd have to try you on wind velocity. Oh, I know what would be better, guessing the musical note each frog was singing.

It is staying delightfully cool. I was afraid the end of last month it was starting to be unbearably hot. But for two weeks I've had nothing of which to complain in that line.

Ralph is down home over Sunday this week end again, having a special leave on account of his going away to Georgia. I guess the folks were surprised to see him breeze in Friday night. He won't be back till Tuesday morning, and may or may not get a chance to see me before he goes. I indeed hope so.

Eva, I am especially lonesome tonight, and just before I go to bed I am going to kiss the curl. May I ? The daisy does say you love me, indeed, I just counted. So I am very happy. And think, someday, soon, I'll have you always. Isn't that just about the happiest prospect any man could have?

A good night kiss, for I love you, dearest.

Your sweetheart


[June 16, 1918]

Dearest,

I have been up home today for a few minutes. I got Katie a little manicure set and Frank a "Penrod" book. I didn't see Frank at all but Katie and the rest of the family were home. Frank has his tent up in the yard and I suppose is living there now. He certainly does enjoy that. I did so want to see him as it has been some time since I have. I told them to tell him to come down as I wanted to see him. I don't know when he will get down as he is working on Uncle Henry's, (Dorcas' dad's) farm.

We worked quite hard today and cleaned the house from tip to toe. It looks rather nice.

You certainly are lucky about getting so much knitting done for you. I wish I could knit nicely.

A submarine drove a great big boat ashore off Atlantic City this morning. I didn't go over to see it and haven't heard whether it is off yet or not. They are getting to be a nuisance it seems to me.

Mrs. Harley heard from Miss Quimby and Miss Q. says they rode over without lights and they'd be walking about the deck and bump into people. She also said Paris was very beautiful but nothing about her work so I suppose she isn't into it as yet..

I wish you didn't work so late. It really does worry me as I don't think it is good for you. Goodness just wait until I get a chance to manage you!!! A good night kiss.

Eva.

Dearest,

It's a wonderful morning this morning - a morning of sunshine and roses. The cemetery is just full of red ramblers and the green and red against the grey of the monuments is just wonderful.

This is just the kind of morning on which discoveries are made. While walking thru the grass one thinks how soft how cool and suddenly appears a blade of red amid the green a single blade and yet it thrills and thrills you. Why I don't know except that it's different. The butterfly weed is just ready to burst. It must have been almost so yesterday but if you had seen it then you hadn't felt the spell as you did today and then too, yesterday the birds never could have been so musical or the air so fragrant. Nature's a good mother isn't she? She wants no one to be unhappy.

Please Sylvester won't you give me some of those circulars to fill out as perhaps I'd like to send a fireplace, a kiss, or my love or something sometime.

I have some clover on my desk, some honeysuckle on my table and above the file some yellow daisies. It seems I'm plentifully supplied.

I'm quite anxious to know about my s'prise package but not so anxious if it means you're "over there." Goodness I tho't this war would be over long ago.

I'm going to s'prise you too but not so pretty soon.

I love you my sweetheart, my happiness man.

Your sweetheart.


[postmarked June 17, 1918]

Dearest,

I told you today was the day for discoveries. I had hardly taken ten steps this noon before I discovered an almost ripe blackberry. I want to gather and can lots of blackberries and huckleberries this summer. I do so love to go get them and used to have lots of fun. I used to get up about four o'clock and go before the sun got too hot.

Mr. Hammell isn't back yet so I am not very much overworked. I thot he would be back today and would be very busy so I did not bring a book up to read. I have almost finished my "Architecture and the Allied Arts." It is very, very interesting. Daido is going to bring us lots of interesting books home to read this summer (from school). She does not know about the principalship yet.

Our forget-me-not is blossoming just wonderful. I have not picked my branch yet as it is getting larger and more beautiful every day. I'm glad there were only two branches on it as that made it seem really just for us. We are lucky as I think all the flowers will live.

We have had peas twice from our garden and one of my four potato plants is in blossom and every indication points to a bumper crop.

We expect our new crop of radishes soon and knowing you are so fond of them I shall put forth every effort to see that you get some so "be prepared."

I wonder how the manor looks now. I imagine it is a veritable wilderness of weeds and flowers run riot also mosquitoes.

You caught a rainless rainbow in the sky the other day you say. I'll tell you what I saw once and don't you laugh. I saw a double rainbow, the moon, the sun and one star, now wasn't that a combination? It seems to me there was something else but I can't think of it just now.

I just had to go out in the cemetery, it was so wonderful, so went over to the well house for a glass of water. The cemetery is prettier at a distance as the hedge hides all the flowers which are different from the red ramblers, also the graves, and the cemetery just appears to be red and grey.

Now I'll whisper a secret. I love you. Amo Te. Amo Te Me? Plese ans. bi return male and oblidge.

Me.

I just sent you a million kisses.


Camp Devens
Mon. noon 6/17

Dearest,

If I recall rightly - yes I know I'm right - it was two years ago today that I sent that telegram from New Britain, which signed me up for Pleasantville. Are you sure you don't remember it?

This morning I was sure I was going to accomplish more that any two previous days for weeks, but I fell far back in my expectations; there were so many little puttering things to interfere.

I have changed my table around so that it's in front of my window now; the first time I've made any change in my room since I first was here in this building. I don't believe I ever kept things arranged so nearly the same for so long before; I always did like to change around once in a while, as it would give things a fresh look. The summer I lived with the Coes in New Britain Eleanor used to shift things around in the living room about every two weeks, and when Raymond and I would come home afternoons after such a change, He used to have the funniest blank looks imaginable, as though he had come into the wrong house. Usually it meant his smoking outfit was misplaced, too, and so an imaginary fuss of some duration used to follow. He used to have a new name for her every week; names you could never imagine whence they came; the only one that sticks in my mind is "Pups". Isn't that a beautiful one?

You've got me on the Sam Browne belts, for I don't know where the name comes from. That's what they are known as in England, and I think they must be named after an English manufacturer. Since they have been adopted for our officers, they have given the name "Liberty" belts, for the Americans. I'm afraid the moleskin coat isn't as soft as my lady would want to cut up for muffs, and so on.

Two letters this morning. Good girl - dear girl - best girl ever was. I'll answer them more tonight. I stopped this about in the middle for Adjutants' meeting, and it is now a little before supper.

More this evening. I love you.

Sylvester.


Camp Devens
Mon.eve. June 17.

Dearest,

It's just starting to rain on the roof - the soft song of contentment of rain on the roof. It has been the nearest approach to a hot day we have had since the 1st of the month, hot enough to hinder my working capacity at least.

I've been playing with the Dodge a little again this evening; had to do a few errands in different places around the camp, and then came back and found one hadn't been done right, so took the plaything out once more, with Spaulding & Leviseur for passengers, and we incidentally drove down to Ayer for soda water - a general term which I suppose can cover my chocolate malted milk, Leviseur's lemon lime & Spaulding's coffee ice cream soda. I certainly enjoy driving that machine around. I think it's partly just the idea of controlling such a big thing moving along, and with such little moves. I never get over the perhaps childish enjoyment at the sensation of wonder - and making large forces move with little movement is something to cause it always - to turn off an electric switch and put a city in darkness, or on and make it light as day - things like that. Half the fun I first took in swimming, I know, was the fact of wondering that by the simple movements of hands and feet the whole body could be kept afloat, where if nothing were done, by the law of Nature it must sink. Such an attitude isn't so terribly childish, is it? It adds to a real enjoyment of life to me.

[We must be missing the letter that this next paragraph is talking about. Mrs. Davison would be Gram's cousin Dorcas Reiner Davison]

I don't believe it absolutely impossible that Mrs. Davison's husband would be allowed to come and see her while in an embarkation camp. Still, it would be hard to expect that he might for a surety. His company commander might have promised that he would do so if he could, but I doubt if it was an outright promise. I don't believe it wise, really, to address any letters to soldier relatives & friends overseas, until it's known they are over there, on account of the information it gives or could give, that a certain organization is on its way. We have no instructions at the present time for telling our men what they should do in the way of having letters addressed; we know how they will be addressed for there is a general rule covering that but whether they will be allowed to tell their people definitely they are going soon and to address them overseas as soon as they want to, I don't know. I surely would like to have letters waiting for me over there, but don't do it unless you get definite word from me it's all right to do so. In the absence of such word just keep right on addressing me at Camp Devens, and letters will be forwarded by the Camp Post Office, properly addressed for overseas. When we get orders to move we shall probably be at an embarkation camp for ten days or so, and then get put on shipboard. But, still, it might not be that long, and you can never tell what port we might be sent from. At the rate men are being sent I expect our turn before so very long as I guess I've said several times. I wish you weren't so far away. Still, I might, you can never tell, just for an evening and a day, or a little teeny time. But I don't want to say much about it, for I'd rather surprise than disappoint both you dear, and myself.

One of the most welcome sights I ever expect to see is that first batch of letters over there. If the censor doesn't rub off the postmarks I can put them in order of days and read the whole story they tell in proper sequence. I think that officers are allowed to censor their own mail which they write, and I have a notion I shall be the censor for the Supply Train. That letter I received from Lieut. Younglove in England while you were home with me he had censored himself. I don't know whether they can censor it coming the other way or not. Anyway, if they do pass thru some big central black-liner and ink eradicator's hands, I don't believe it would be so terrible if they saw you loved me every day, would it? He wouldn't know me & wouldn't know you in all probability; besides he would be just a machine. Well, don't forget me, anyway, sweetheart, will you. a little at least every evening, and more when it's your pleasure? Goodness, I hope we won't be long out of touch, and if any boat with your mail on it is torpedoed, what won't happen to the German Army! I'll get some of my friends up in infantry to take it out on them.

We won't be ever really out of touch shall we? I'll be thinking of you and perhaps you'll be good enough to think about me, because I flash a little mental message across the sea to you. And the "Don't Open" letters I have, and the memory of all our precious times together & all you have been to me, & the thought of all you are & will be. And the box of mementos and You in the curl. Alone but not alone.

Good-night, my sweetheart,

Your Soldier


[postmarked June 18, 1918]

Sweetheart,

I just got your second letter today and it certainly was a happy letter.

I'm glad you liked my out-of-doors call. I don't remember one word that I wrote now and I think I wrote it right in the letter. You have me curious. I write so many different things and so much that isn't worth while I can't remember half I say.

You ask me won't I please come out on the porch with you and then never offer me your arm and just walk out without me. You're afraid I will beat you with the frogs, the wind and the stars.

I'm sorry you are lonesome. I wish I could keep you from ever being lonesome. Goodness if I were around you wouldn't have time to get lonesome, for Daido says I keep her busy.

They tore down a hedge out in the cemetery this morning and Mr. Long just brought in a thrush's nest with three eggs in it and put it on my desk. I asked them to take it back but they say the bird won't come back to it if they do. I feel so sorry for the poor bird. I wish I knew how I could get the eggs to hatch. I have wrapped them up in cheese cloth. They are so pretty - quite a heavy spotted brown on the large end and a greenish white on the other. I wish you were here you might know what to do.

I'm lonesome too sometimes but I always think of some day, too, and then I'm not so lonesome.

I got your other "Don't open" not today and goodness I haven't opened it yet. Of course I'm growing curiouser and curiouser but I'll see that I don't grow curiousest. I am keeping them in a box far removed and where they will not be a temptation.

I want to tell you that I love you yet, for I do. I'll kiss you good afternoon my sweetheart.

Eva.


Camp Devens
Tues. eve. June 18, 1918.

Dearest Sunshine Lady,

This has been a full day, also I feel as though I had accomplished something at the end of it. Tomorrow will be fuller, I guess. In the morning at ten o'clock there will be a review of the whole division by the Commanding General. At one-thirty Colonel Arnold is going to inspect the equipment of all the officers of the Supply Train, to see if they have everything prescribed for overseas service.

Ralph went away this morning at a quarter to eleven. I expected to run up and see him at eleven-thirty but got a telephone call at ten from him that he would be on his way at a quarter to eleven, so it was too late to get to see him. I suppose he's quite well on his way by now. He told me he would be about 300 miles away from Ern Binks, which I guess as you say doesn't make him much nearer than here.

Greenie & Pop just broke in to pass the time of day; interruptions aren't welcome just now.

[another letter must be missing]

I don't know which of those blank forms you could send some of those nice things on. Surely not the Daily Sick Report, nor the Duty Roster, nor the Property Return, nor the Abstract of Memorandum Receipts, nor the Report of Survey. Perhaps you could send it on Form 600, "Transfer of Property" on which all property delivered to an organization is invoiced in quadruplicate, two to be kept by the organization & filed, two to be returned to the invoicing officer. Then the organization receiving the goods has them charged against it, and the Supply Officer by signing the invoices makes them receipts and is accountable for every article invoiced, and be ready to show that he has it at all times. Do you think I could account for your love, when you sent it, that is, be able to return it when ordered? There is quite a difference here, for you never could get it back; what you get back will be mine, and I'll keep yours forever and ever and ever. Then I suppose you might fill out a charge sheet on Form 594 for violation of the 64th Article of War - disobedience to a superior officer. (I'm thinking of your indefinite "but" on the end of your saying there'd be no boss in our home). Then I'd come back and prefer charges against you for violation of whatever Article of War concerns theft, because you had stolen my heart. So then we'd be even.

The doctor and Pop and Greenie are making so much noise out in the hall that it is quite distracting. You are writing me so nicely, dearest; everything is so full of your angel sunshine. My, but we are going to be two happy people some day!

I try to keep good hours, dear, and get all the rest necessary to keep in trim. Sometimes they can'' be as good as I want, but in this military life what there is has to be done, sometimes more, sometimes less, but it has to be done, and if it isn't, whoever is responsible has to make explanation, and it has to be good. Since I've been an officer of the Army I haven't had any trouble of that kind to amount to, and I never want to. I don't remember just now what I could have said to have made you think I was working so terribly late, for although I haven't kept to my 10:30 limit, I must be averaging as good as 11:00.

I can see the moon out the window of my office, and the old man says he sees you, too, and the Hemlock Manor Falls, and they are waiting for you and me. When we go up to our dear old place again, we'll just make it seem as though it were only the last Sunday since we were up before, because you won't have been there and I shan't have been there, so there'll be no intermediate Manor trips to make us realize there had been any time between.

My, but I'm proud to have you call me your happiness Man.

Good night, dearest, and I love you.

Your sweetheart.


[started June 18, postmarked June 19, 1918]

Dearest,

Daido and I just had a party. I went up to the drug store and as I went out the door asked if she wanted anything from up town. She said, "Yes. Cake, candy, peaches & ice cream." So I spent the whole sum of 35 cents in procuring the same. When I brought it in she actually said she was surprised. We had a dandy party. I wish you could have been there and here now because now we could be eating peaches and cake as there are some left.

I just can't think of much to say, having written twice today already but I love you best in all the world, my sweetheart, and I'm so happy when I'm with you.

A little kiss because you have to work so hard and another for good night.

Your sweetheart.

Dearest,

I just got a dandy long letter from Lucinthia in which she tells me all about her last days at Wellesley. It is most as long as some of the letters you used to send me at first. It is so interesting, too, but I suppose you have heard all about what they did.

My thrushes eggs are still here this morning. I have arranged the nest in a bower of honey suckle and sweet clover. Poor little birdies that can never be.

Mr. Hammell just called up on the phone, said they arrived home about two o'clock last night and that he would be over about noon. That takes me from the idle rich list. There are letters piled almost to the top of his desk.

Daido went walking with Ella Field again yesterday and brought back some beautiful flowers; red columbine, hop clover, toad flax, magnolias, lobelias, alfalfa and lots of others. She says she is trying to get used to the world without me. We certainly have been good friends.

I didn't get any extra letter from my sweetheart this morning. I have gotten two tho and he certainly has been a good sweetheart to me and I love him so much. I'll have to give him a little hurry up kiss now tho as I want to have everything in my work done so as to devote the rest of the day to Mr. H. I love you sweetheart.

Eva.


Camp Devens
Wed. eve. June 19.

Dere Eva,

Referring tu ure rekwest for ans. bi return male to a surten query in Latin, I hasen to reply in my best French,

Je t'aime plus que tout le monde. I didn't have to look this up in a dictionary, as I would have to, to get it in Latin, and Latin dictionaries are scarce around military posts.

Me too.

Dearest,

I am glad to get such good reports of your garden, both the War garden of vegetables and the flowers in which I have a partnership. I wonder just how should I prepare for the radishes, begin to starve in a few days, so as to have room for all that bumper crop of them you are going to send me? You remember I did really eat the part of the 1917 crop from Hemlock Manor which you sent me.

Speaking of gardens what do you suppose came to me in the mail today? A bunch from the Us gardens which Aunt Lucy sent me; there were some that came from other places in the garden but the Us gardens were well represented by the snapdragons, heliotrope, a tiny forget-me-not, and three nice lacy sweet alyssums; along with them were two sprigs of phlox, several of maiden hair fern and several columbine. It was surely good to get them. I have them in a little glass on my table in my room; and tonight I have made an addition of a honeysuckle and daisies - where do you suppose I got them? Well, I don't know whether to tell you or not. Any way, I got them in a letter, and the person who wrote the letter I love dearly. She's my Us garden Partner, who turns over the earth after I press my foot on the spade. I think you remember seeing me in a garden back of my home with a beautiful lady who had happy gray eyes. Well, that was me an' Her. The daisies are fresh as new, though the honeysuckle blossom is a little browned; but its leaves are freas & green, and it has all its fragrance. Honeysuckles always bring me back to my first home for we had a beautiful vine out in front of our house.

The whole 76th Division was reviewed this morning by the Commanding General on the main parade ground. That would have been something worth while for you to see - 27,000 men. Each organization had a definate place given it on which to form, and had to be in place at ten o'clock. Then in an order previously prescribed, the organizations marched by the reviewing stand in column of battalions - that is each battalion made up this way, facing in direction of arrow, and marching one behind another:

             /\
              |
     __  __ __ __ __
     __  __ __ __ __
     __  __ __ __ __

For the purposes of the review the Supply Train constituted a battalion. Unless you will get an idea I think I'm the whole review from my telling you always where I was, I'll point it out for this time, as we marched by the reviewing stand

		dcba    /\
			  |                   x= position of company commanders
	__ x   __ x  __ x  __ x  __ x      a= Capt.June,as commander of the whole Train
	__     __    __    __    __        b= Yours Truly, as Adjutant 
	__     __    __    __    __        c= Our medical officer 
	__     __    __    __    __        d= Lt.Leviseur, Supply Officer.

All the 4 Infantry Regiments went by first, then the 3 Artillery Regiments, then the Train, including first the Ammunition Train, then Supply Train, then Sanitary Train, then Military Police. These were followed by the 301st Engineers, succeeded in turn by the 301st Field Signal Battalion. Capt. Stone, adjutant to our Colonel, told me at adjutant's meeting today that the General complimented the Colonel on the appearance of the Trains and Military Police.

The Colonel didn't finally inspect our equipment until about 4 o'clock this afternoon, but I was glad to have the extra time, for as all of us I wanted to be sure my room was presentable. And it has never gotten such a thoro dusting and overhauling as I gave it this afternoon; ledges have been dusted which have a four month's collection on them. I think the room usually presents a pretty neat appearance, but when you start looking for work to be done on it, you find it a plenty.

Raymond and Eleanor Coe and two friends of theirs drove up from Worcester this evening to see me. They had a lunch with them which they were going to eat picnic fashion but as it started to rain they came into my room and ate it. I had already had supper so couldn't eat much with them. I think I must not have been in a company mood this evening for I felt after they had gone that I had been very stupid; I surely was not at all animated, and if they did enjoy themselves, I don't believe it's any credit to me.

Eleanor thinks I have a lovely lady, with which I guess I couldn't very well disagree. And Raymond is looking forward to knowing my lady, partly because she is my lady, he and I being such special cousin-friends, and then I think too for the enthusiastic way Eleanor has spoken of you. They were telling me a queer story tonight of a chap down at this factory who thinks he can sing, and had his tonsils clipped so he could strike higher notes; the same chap one day got a notion in his head he was going to faint, so he spread out some cloths or something soft on the floor; then called Raymond on the phone and said in a weak voice, "Coe - Coe - I think I'm goin' to faint." Ray hustled down to the room where he was and found him still standing beside the soft place he had made for himself to faint on.

I met an old college classmate tonight - Stanley Eddy of New Britain. It was a queer meeting too. The Coes had taken me down to the tailors & were waiting for me outside, when he passed by; he recognized them & they told him I was inside, so he came in. He was in civilian clothes, having just been discharged from the navy on account of his eyes, and now he's up here trying to get into the army. It is possible for men to be taken into the National Army on voluntary application, if they are over the draft age, or, if in the draft age, are not going to be called immediately.

I had another sort of queer thing happen tonight. I was telephoning a government message up to the Western Union, and in giving my name at the end, the operator wasn't sure whether my middle initial was B or D, so he said, to make it plain, "Is it B for Benjamin," just taking anything casually as they do, to establish what the letter is. So I told him Yes, but how did he guess it?

The wigelia I think must belong to the honey suckle family. It grows on an ordinary sized shrubbery bush, is pink but with a squarer flower than the ordinary honey suckle.

I suppose Mr. Cressman is likely to boost his Ocean City summer school & make attendance at it a condition to securing a teaching position. If you did go down there to it, I suppose you'd be able to stay at Pleasantville & Bricktop, and go back and forth every day. Surely I'll make myself a bank; awfully glad you'll let me.

I am sending a little piece of snap dragon with a million and one bushels of love. I did want to get in another Don't Open note or two tonight but it's getting later than you let me stay up, so tomorrow, I hope.

I love you, Eva. Oh, I just love you oceans, Eva. Good night, dearest, and a good night kiss.

Your sweetheart.


[started June 19, postmarked June 20, 1918]

Dearest,

One of the heads of the Bethlehem Steel Co. was in today and he said they had found a wireless outfit between Cape May and Palermo but the operators had skipped away before they got there. Do you remember the saloon at the foot of the car line at Somers Point. He also said the owner of that, a Mr. Shick, had been found down on our Fisherman's Point with a crate of carrier pigeons. SO it looks as if we were pretty active down this way.

The girl who lives next door to us, a Miss Mezzeriole, has been offered a position as stenographer and not knowing anything about it, the people told her she could have the position and learn shorthand the while, so she has asked me to teach her nights. I told her I didn't know anything about teaching it but I would try and help her.

Here's a good night kiss for my sweetheart whom I love so much.

Eva.

Dearest,

I didn't get any letter yesterday morning or at noon but I did get two when I came home after work.

I think I told you that Dorcas didn't get to see her husband as they were not sent to an embarkation camp at all but direct to the boats when they arrived. One man went up as soon as he got his son's telegram saying they were to leave Anniston as he just had time to see them a few minutes. He told Dorcas Harry was looking fine. Goodness I'd love to see you. It hasn't been quite a month yet actually since I saw you but it has seemed a thousand times that long.

I have been working hard all morning and it is just noon so I'll have to end in a hurry. I'll write more to my sweetheart later.

Eva

I love you.


Camp Devens
Thurs. eve. June 20/18

Dearest Girl,

Do you know what was a month ago tonight? Don't dare say you don't. There was a waterfall in it, there was a moon, a lake, and a man and a maid. There was a supper of lamb chops cooked on a tin roof for a frying pan. There were visits to places the man and the maid loved, places which were shrines, specially memoryfull of a sweet companionship of an earlier time. And the man loved the maid and the maid loved the man. And the night was late before it was done.

Isn't it strange how you'll work like a trip-hammer all day, and at the end find it difficult to recount what you have done in terms of anything that sounds like more than the work of an hour or so. In general my time is bent toward getting our headquarters records in the shape they have to be for overseas service. They'll have to be just right or I'll hear about it from the Inspector at the Port of Embarkation. There are a number of big general things which I must see to completion in a matter of 3 or 4 days, and to make life fuller it seems as though there were never so many small & petty things coming up for consideration - petty complications which take about five times the time they're worth to settle them and tire the brain in the process. All of my force isn't as intelligent as I wish it were, particularly a chap who has the grade of Sergeant 1st Class, but who ought never to be better than a corporal at the most, in my opinion. He doesn't have so much to do either, just look after property and property records for the small Headquarters Co. which belongs to the Supply Train and over which the Adjutant automatically has command; and keep track of the blank forms, the latter of which is no job at all after he once gets them listed on his book. But he's so slow getting that done. It will be before tomorrow afternoon, or the fur will fly around here; I've got to get them issued out to the companies, so as to know just what I'll have to take away with headquarters and can plan on packing box room. I was going to have him index the orders & correspondence, too, but I decided tonight to put an intelligent private on the job and have been breaking him in this evening.

The longest days in the year in these days of daylight saving make it seem like the land of the Midnight Sun. That just occurred to me at the sunset we had last night; most of the sky was clouded except a fairly wide rim along the west; the sun was just above that, and gave the whole earth by reflection a subdued light which brought me back to the pictures of northern Norway in my early geographies showing the midnight sun.

I wrote Mother tonight that I wouldn't send my laundry home any more, as I needed practice doing it myself. Several of the officers here have been washing their own for some time, although sending white shirts to the laundry, as I shall. With all this experience, and with my known ability at drying crockery, won't I be a handy man around the house? But I hasten to add, lest I be taken up on this too quickly, that all I'm going to learn to do is wash one person's things Sunday mornings in a little canvas collapsible bucket. I'll tell you, though, Mrs. B. to be, I'll do this much, - I'll dust off the piano keys when I want to use them, and you haven't already done so. That's what I call the height of generosity.

Corp. Johnson is getting out of the hospital this week, and Capt. June is going to drive down and bring him back. Poor chap, though, he'll be on crutches some time yet; his leg was pretty well shattered at the break, much worse than they would tell me at first. He won't have the use of it for some time now, we were told, altho it is improving as well as could be expected. As soon as he gets back, Greene and I are going to try and hustle thru negotiations for his discharge from the service.

I want to kiss my sweetheart good-night. I love you, dear lady. I am yours forever.

Sylvester.


[started June 20, postmarked June 21, 1918]

Dearest,

These evenings are delightfully cool and lovely for sleeping. It certainly is somewhat different from last summer.

Daido and I took a trolley and went over to Atlantic for a little while this evening. The sunset tonight was just a wonder glow and it lingered and lingered long after nine o'clock.

We went into a shop and Daido had an orangeade and, as usual, I had my chocolate nut sundae. I also got some wool to make myself a little sweater such as I wore up your way. The color is not quite the same but I like it much better.

If Daido really gets what she wants she is going out to Ann Harbor (note- I think she means Ann Arbor) this summer. She fully expects to go and has made plans.

I certainly am glad she has the chance to be principal as she has the ability and it is something more nearly of what she deserves for the time and money and study she has put into it.

There's a moon tonight and he says he sees you, too, and he also says you're doing something. That is natural but he really didn't say whether you were writing to me or working hard, and I just couldn't get him to tell me which. He was so far away he felt safe and he just twinkled and twinkled at me but never a word would he say. Will you get him for me so I can give him a punishment? He deserves one, don't you think?

There are so many roses and flowers out down this way and I can see the next door garden now in the moonlight. It certainly is nice.

I just ran out and told our garden that I love you. Aren't you glad I do?

I just picked my forget-me-not too. I left it on as long as possible. It says you'll never forget me and I'll never forget you.

It is getting late sweetheart so I send you a kiss and my love.

Goodnight. Eva.


Camp Devens
Thurs. eve. June 21/18

Dearest

I look like an Indian chief, as near as anything as I write you this evening, for I'm wrapped in my artistic green comforter with the red non-descript flowers. Besides this I have on two sweaters for the nights have suddenly become very cold, and my room is an ice box. It seems strange they should be so much chillier now than two months ago. Pop comes in to breakfast in the morning and says if this is June he's going to change his name to July, and Andy calls me all kinds of names because I dare say I like it cool.

I guess you think my daily chronicle doesn't sound very much like that of a soldier's life. I am as little out-of-doors just now, and have nothing directly to do with the training of the men, except as I help Capt. June work out general plans for the same. This afternoon and evening I personally checked up to see that records were complete in each company on all men, and turned in tonight the necessary certificate that they were complete, although there were a few deficiencies which must be cleared up before an inspection looks them over. Inasmuch as I was signing my name to a certificate I didn't feel like trusting to someone else to do the checking; and the matter is so important I couldn't afford to take any chances.

Greene's mother was here for supper tonight. She has the most unfortunate nervous affliction of periodical twitching of the right side of the face making her eye wink.

I feel so incapable of half repaying you tonight for the 3 letters I had today - (one should have come yesterday but was delayed in mail by looks of postmark) - . My brain is leaden; or perhaps wooden could hit it better for it isn't heavy but it's insides just aren't working together. I think I'll have to go get some sleep. I love you best in all the world, Sunshine Lady. Goodnight and a kiss .

Forever his Eva's

Sylvester.

Morning.

Good morning, Lady. Just to finish last night it started to sprinkle but by now the sprinkle has developed into magnitudinous proportions. So that just today it isn't so bad being more or less of an indoor man for the present. Capt. June drove down to Bridgeport last night so I'm the boss around here today. I haven't eaten breakfast yet, but I'm a little late on it and I'm already getting interrupted by the telephone. What a desirable person one is when some one else wants something from him! But it's funny how some of them ask for one or two trucks as though they were asking for all you had, and others ask for an absurdly large quantity without winking an eyelash, as though you could give them anything.

My light's just gone out, and it's such a dark day that with the porch on front and all, I can hardly see to write so pardon the penmanship, please.

I think I'd better go get my breakfast or Cookie won't have any more saved for me.

More later in the day.

Your sweetheart, who loves you.


[started June 21, postmarked June 22, 1918]

Dearest,

I saw some wild canaries this morning. They are black and yellow, like goldfinches , only smaller. There are about four of them that live in the cemetery all the time.

Dearest,

I was busy the whole day and beyond the few lines above had no more time to write.

Does the censor read mail that the soldiers receive? I'm sure he doesn't, it is only the outgoing mail that is censored. I think I am safe and can tell you, I love you, as much as I want to but poor you will have to let me know by signs or something: for instance shake your head "yes" or cross your fingers or something.

Thank you so much for the snap dragon from our garden. It told me lots of beautiful things.

Wasn't today a queer day for the first day of summer?

Just exactly a month ago you went away.

Dorcas got a letter from Harry yesterday that he had started in Anniston and dropped off the car in Georgia last Friday.

I got a postal from Miss Davis yesterday. It was a picture postal of an Indian tunnel she had gone thru.

It looks as if it might rain tomorrow and Daido and I were to have a picnic afternoon.

Here's a good night kiss, my sweetheart, and I love you.

Eva.


Camp Devens
Sat. early eve. June 22.

Dearest Lady,

You notice early evening is noted above, that's because I'm going to write you now and then again in the late evening, too. I talk as though I were magnanimous as could be, don't I?

It has been rainy and cold all day and not conducive to a state of mental clarity, to say the least. But it's clearing off tonight, and getting warmer, but I hope it doesn't get too warm. It's been so cold earlier in the week that there have been frosts in places about New England.

This morning I received a card from Ralph which he had posted at Rocky Mount, North Carolina. It seems strange indeed to think of his being so far away.

My moleskin coat came today but not the double mattress, which I am especially anxious to have. The coat fits in good shape and I think you would like it. I am not going to take that short lined coat away with me, and gave it to Raymond and Eleanor along with a pair of arctic overshoes to store for me. I told Raymond he could use it when he went fishing and so on, but he didn't seem to think it appropriate. It's not at all distinctly an army coat and I intend to wear it when you and I go fishing and camping and gypsying.

What was the orange-brown flower in the letter I had yesterday - several little flowers to make one large one. I don't seem to recognize it. I like the color and think it must be very pretty. In the same letter you put a folded sheet of paper which was not marked "Don't Open" but I wonder if perhaps it wasn't meant for that. I was afraid that I might read something you didn't intend me too, so I just opened it to give it one glance, saw it was a little poem, and then closed it & am putting it with my "Don't Open" notes unless you write me it's meant for me now. Now isn't that self-denial and marvelous self-control.

My hardest task today was to make up and turn in a report to the Commanding General thru our Colonel of the amount of training our organization had had, the degree of proficiency it had attained in each subject of training, and the amount of training necessary to bring the organization to a proper standard of efficiency for overseas service. A short concise report was wanted, and there are many difficulties in the way of making such a report short and concise; for our men came to us at different times and are not equally trained, and "degree of proficiency" is something hard to put down in clearly defined lines. "Amount of training necessary to bring a proper standard of efficiency" &c. is more or less a matter of opinion, perhaps guesswork. However I got it out after laborious pondering, and trust it meets with Captain June's approval when he comes back, for it had to go up today and couldn't therefore wait for his return.

I'm going to take a little walk, a ride-walk, I think, for once - up to the post office now. It will give me a little exercise and air and you a letter sooner.

Good bye, dear. I love you always.

Sylvester.


[June 22, 1918,]

Dearest,

Daido and I are just back from Atlantic. We had a lovely time.

The water was quite rough so we went out to the end of the breakwater on the Steel Pier and when the waves hit the end of the breakwater the spray flew oh twice as high as a house. They were the most wonderful waves I ever saw.

We went and listened to the concert by Lehman's Symphony Orchestra which was not as good as usual. At the end of the concert, Community singing was in order - "America" with a few voices, "Star Spangled Banner" with a few more, but the people let loose on "Keep the Home Fires Burning" and "Over There."

Then we went to the Cake Walk. I had never been so coaxed Daido for most an hour and a half to take me. It wasn't at all like I had expected. I wasn't so pleased with it but at least now I can say I have seen a cake walk.

Well my sweetheart it is rather late and as tomorrow is Sunday and I can write a longer letter explaining lots of things I'll close after giving you a good night kiss and all my love.

Eva.

P.S. I wrote to Lucinthia today and also received a letter from your mother.

Good night sweetheart.

Eva.


Camp Devens
Sat. late eve. June 22.

Dearest,

On my way back from the post office I found two tiger lilies on the hill between where we were quartered that first month last fall and our present quarters. I am using a large envelope so that I can send you one. I like Tiger lilies; they are not pretty, they are better described as handsome, I think. I like their brilliance, as other flowers I like for their delicacy or fragrance. They are to an apple blossom or a mignonette or a lily-of-the-valley as Bizet's 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody or the Fantaisie from the William Tell overture is to the McDowell's "To a Wild Rose." I like them both, but the qualities for which I like them are very different.

I seemed to have an insatiable desire for fruit, juicy fruit, this evening. So when I got back and went out to the dining room where Andy and John Achorn, and Thorpe were playing cards, and expressed my extreme desire for a watermelon, Andy immediately pricked up his ears and allowed we'd better have one. So he sent over for the moto-cycle driver and asked him to go down town and see what he could find. In the meantime he was recounting some of his feats with watermelon, the best of which was however only that a party of seven he was in at one time ate eight of them. I came back with my beat 'em all tale, which is true, by the way, of having eaten two whole ones for dessert at one time. Andy's heart warmed right up at this, so we shook hands as he was allowing I was a man after his own heart. Fortunately the moto-cycle driver found one and then we had a young feast, only there were six to eat it instead of just us two. However, before the watermelons came I had devoured two whole grapefruit so my tremendous desire for juicy fruit became fairly well satisfied. The watermelon was real good, too, especially for this time of year. I think my reputation was know to you, wasn't it, in Pleasantville? For I acquired a very sizable one that first month I was there, before school was open.

Goodness you were right near me for a whole month, weren't you, and didn't know me at all .

I have worked awhile this evening between grapefruit and watermelon, getting out memorandum to company commanders showing deficiencies still existing in company records of individual men and requesting correction before Monday 6 P.M. Aside from that I've done nothing except eat fruit, and play the Victrola awhile.

We'll take your forget-me-not and my forget-me-not which you sent me some day and put them together in a flower book we'll keep together.

I am sure I must have been writing you when you ran out and told our garden the Secret and picked the forget-me-not. And you want to know if I'm not glad of what you told it. I just guess I am. I just couldn't help being glad you loved me, sweetheart. Now I think I'll toddle off to sleep. Good night, dearest girl - love and a kiss from

Your Sweetheart.


Camp Devens
Sun. afternoon June 23.

Dearest,

True to my word I've been playing washer-woman to myself this morning. The experiment is not over with yet for it is a bad day in which to dry. It's sprinkling from time to time outdoors, so that I put up a clothesline in my room, and the line is rather crowded. Probably about Wednesday they'll be almost dry and the experiment can be pronounced a success.

I didn't get up very early this morning. In fact John Achorn asked why I got up at all; but there was really no point to that, for it was only 8:30 at the time he asked me and I had been up more than a half hour.

It's the usual quiet Sunday around. Andy is pacing up and down the hall, not know what to do with himself, and every so often goes in his room and reads another detective story. He spends the best part of his time reading detective stories out of the Detective Story Magazine, and Greene is a good second. Andy used to be Supply Officer for the Train, but he hated the job, hated anything with any paperwork attached to it, and just let it slide and trusted to luck things would get along somehow. It's really a very responsible post, and if certain things weren't looked after he would be likely to lose a lot of money and perhaps get into trouble, and I had been apprehensive for some time. But Lieut. Leviseur is on the job now and straightening out the mess Andy left, and Andy is with one of the companies, where he will fit in much better. He's been all his life on railroad construction work, and is so used to outside work that he doesn't fancy anything else.

Some mail just came in, a card from Ralph showing he had arrived at camp Hancock. He says that it is very dusty and hot there. I don't envy anybody in a southern training camp this time of year. Well, that isn't all the mail that just came so I'm going to stop a little while to read a letter from my Sunshine Lady. - She loves me, she does; that's what she says; it wasn't meant for me to tell anybody else, but I thought she wouldn't mind if I told you. You know, I have never stopped to think about outgoing mail to soldiers not being censored; I don't believe it is; it's strange that never should have occurred to me before. So you can tell me just as much as you want and nobody will know it - now I expect you'll say I'm conceited - to be talking about your wanting to write me you loved me and everything. You remember once when you said I must be? But you took it back without my asking. However, I'm proud, anyway, proud I can have the love of one so beautiful in every way as my Sunshine Lady.

This makes a whole sheet just to finish on, but I'll also use it to pack a little "Don't Open" note in.

I love you.

Sylvester.


[June 23, 1918]
Golden Moon Rise Time.

Dearest,

Here is the promised nice long Sunday letter. I mean here is the promised letter.

We have had a strenuous day. We didn't get up until 'most ten and I am 'fraid if you were around you would have laughed at the early Riser.

I did a little preserving of cherries this morning and made a cherry pie, as we expected Marion Campbell to dinner and she seems to be a little jealous of me. She came. Ate some cherry pie and was still alive when she went home tonight.

We went down to Bargaintown and passed a sweet pea farm on our way. We stopped and got a beautiful bunch of red ones and Marion a bunch of mixed ones. There were some lavender ones in her bunch.

We went down to the pond and I reached in and got an arrowhead flower and the only water lilie that we got on the whole trip.

We borrowed Helen Smith's boat and started up the pond. The water was terribly rough, the white caps almost coming over the sides of the boat at times. I did all the rowing. We went in along the bank and reached up and got some wonderful honey suckle. Daido wanted to cross the pond. I was rather afraid we wouldn't be able to get over and pretty sure we would have to anchor the boat on the other side and leave it there if we did. We finally crossed over and rowed up and down shore, narrowly missing stumps, for some time and finally started back. We thot the dams were covered and that it would be best to go around that end. One wasn't and just as we got opposite it, the wind and waves were so strong we nearly went over. Finally we got back just loaded down with honeysuckle and arrowheads.

I forgot to tell you last night about the company I had for dinner yesterday. Now, don't be shocked. We buy ham by the whole piece and when we near the end cook it with cabbage. I don't like it much but it seems to be the best way to use the end of the ham. Yesterday, I thought I saw a way to get out of it. When I came home at noon there was a scissor grinder man and his wife grinding our knives. I smelled ham and cabbage, so did they but they thot differently about it than I, I could tell. We were out of butter so I let Daido get it and invited my guests into the kitchen. They didn't want to wait for the butter as they didn't use it anyway. The man put his hat down in the center of the floor and when they got to the table said a long long grace. I was rather anxious as I was afraid they wouldn't get enough eaten before Daido came back, but I don't believe they had eaten much for months and besides they were certainly fond of ham and cabbage. There was some ham left for us and I fried some mashed potatoes we had in the refrigerator and warmed over some peas.

Goodness, do you know I should love to see you washing. You wouldn't mind if I laughed a little would you?

Mr. Cressman says for me to go to summer school but I can't make up my mind whether to or not. I just hate to think of going to Ocean City. It's the most stupid place, and naturally that's where he said for me to go. I won't know anyone either.

We found some ripe huckleberries today. I didn't think it was time for them yet.

Please won't you, while you are about dusting the piano keys, dust the gas radiator. I never can seem to remember that. Of course, appreciate the wonderful help of dusting the aforementioned keys but couldn't you just squeeze in the other also, Please?

Goodness if you only were here tonight I wouldn't tease you at all, much. I do love you my sweetheart, oh so much and I'll try and make you happy. Good night and a medicine kiss for the sore arm that's well so I needn't hold it up any more

Eva.

Dearest,

Is it proper for me to tell you I love you before breakfast? I mean is it proper, before breakfast, for me to tell you I love you? I do.

Eva.


Camp Devens
Sun. eve. June 23/18.

Dearest Lady,

I just looked up at my wall as I started to write you, and do you know what I still have there? Four little sprigs of bittersweet which you sent me way back last fall with that Hemlock Manor party, you remember? It surely does keep well. And bittersweet I love because it bears a vivid memory of the first day we were ever together, when I was a stranger in the midst. That was a great, happy day.

All afternoon and early evening I have been looking up orders and bulletins and all data relative to what should be done when orders to move are received and what things must be done before going. Tomorrow I am going to try to arrange the data in orderly fashion, have it typewritten for the use of the company commander, myself, and the supply officer, in making preparations when they have to be made. It pays to be ready, for in receipt of any sudden orders one would be absolutely lost, there are so many little things which must be attended to, if he didn't have it down all in one place what they were. It is something I have been trying to get at for some time.

In the early evening I took a moto-cycle ride up to the Post office, mailing you the letter I wrote this afternoon. I went over to see Tom Beers but he wasn't in. Outside of his quarters they have a fancier but smaller porch than ours, all made of white birch. The camp looks really quite spick and span now, with the different places fixed up with such improvements as our porch, and it is all kept well cleaned up, too. It looks a thousand percent better than it did last fall.

My washing is still quite damp but what chance does it have when the air is almost equally humid? Of course, anyway, I must impress the fact that it is impossible for me to become a really proficient clothes washer.

The moon is striving hard to drive the clouds away, and the wind has a sound and a feel that make it seem like fairer weather tomorrow. One or two frogs are croaking contentedly not so very far away, and then I am back with you at Hemlock Manor. With you ! I wish I were now, anywhere. I love you, my own sweetheart.

Sylvester


[Monday, June 24, 1918]

Dearest,

I didn't get any letter at all from you until late today and then they were letters you had written Saturday. Your Friday letter has missed me somehow. I usually have a letter in the first mail Monday but none came. Let's make a raid on the P.O. for making me worry.

Ralph sent a card saying he arrived safely in Georgia and had a very interesting trip. The card is a picture of the battery street.

I also got a card from Miss Davis this morning. She certainly must be having a dandy time as the cards she sends of the places are ideal. She took Mrs. Hughes home for a vacation too. I rather expect her back tomorrow but don't know whether she will come or not.

Daido is going to Cape May tomorrow for a few days.

I just thot of something lovely to do about nineteen years from now. It isn't taking an automobile picnic with me holding up your arm, or it isn't a trip to Hemlock Manor, but it's something very, very nice 'cause you're my sweetheart.

Goodness it seems queer to me sometimes to be having a sweetheart and I actually write a letter a day, at least, to him when my usual correspondence never exceeded, in its most flourishing state, about three letters a year. But I love him so and always want to write him nice letters altho some times I don't.

Of course even after I'm "Mrs. B. to be" I shall write you letters.

Dearest
Detained, Supper in ice box.
Eva.
--------------------------------------------
Sweetheart
Sewing circle meets tonight. Please
come in back door, quietly.
Eva.
---------------------------------------------
Dearest Sylvester-
Am out shopping. Must get Bridge prize for
tonight. Restaurant around the corner.
Me.
--------------------------------------------

Dearest Sweetheart,

I love you.

Your lady.

Don't you want me to write to you? Of course, I wouldn't write long letters that were tiresome to read and on Kissless Friday I could send you a "don't open" one that I had prepared Thursday.

It is late dearest and I gave my first shorthand lesson tonight, so I'll kiss you good-night and send you my love.

Your lady

Me.


Camp Devens
Mon. eve. June 24.

Sweetheart,

This is an evening we could enjoy to the full, if you were only with me, it is so very beautiful and fresh. I was out doors just as the big round moon pushed over the hills, and until it had gotten up perhaps 3 or 5 degrees. I had to take a ride in one of our motocycles up to Division Headquarters and on my way back stopped off at the 302nd Infantry to see Tom Beers; sat on his white birch porch and talked for a matter of 15 or 20 minutes.

Capt. June came back this morning after driving all night. He didn't bring Corp. Johnson back as he told Capt. June he didn't think he felt able to make the trip by automobile. Capt. June saw him onto the train instead. But this afternoon he got a telegram from Johnson that he had gone back to Bridgeport. It seems that he was to stop over at his sister's in New Haven or somewhere, and I guess she talked him in to going back to Bridgeport. His telegram says his leg had gone back on him but Capt. June thinks and I'm inclined to think he went back because his sister talked him in to it, & because he thought he'd get better treatment than in the camp hospital. It's somewhat disappointing, as we thought we could get him up here where we could put thru a discharge for him for his physical disability, and save him lots of trouble in case we shouldn't be here when he got back and he would be in the hands of officers who didn't know about his case at all, and wouldn't take the interest in it we do. He's our man and we want to see him taken care of right. Of course I feel a special obligation to do everything in my power for him, and have tried to carry it out.

My washing is almost dry, which is beating my expectations. It has been dryer today and more propitious for hung out clothing. Besides this is Monday and more of a regular day for clothes today, I suppose. I don't know whether it would be practicable to get a flat iron & try to make a little ironing board or not. I guess I'll wait until we get over and see what our facilities are there. I understand each captain is allowed an orderly all to himself, so that may solve the problem as far as labor is concerned.

Today is, I happened to think, the anniversary (27th) of Mother's and Father's wedding. I didn't think of it last evening when writing Mother, but I guess she won't even notice the omission, as when they had their silver anniversary two years ago she tried her level best to have everyone forget it was coming, and was bound and possessed that no one should remember it in any way - even said she'd skip away for the day if any one planned any kind of a party for it. I've forgotten now just how it turned out, as I think I was away at the time anyway.

It's strange, I've not felt a bit energetic all day, nor for several days; have kept right at work, but its been more or less of an effort. But now, without having taken any rest except the short moto-cycle & visit with Tom, I feel as though I could write or work for a long time. But in the morning I would feel somewhat differently if I did, no doubt. The first morning after my having been back here a month was this morning, and I got up at reveille for the first time since returning; now I intend to keep it up, or I'll forget I'm a soldier.

Eva - a little secret, let me just whisper it and then kiss you, sweetheart - I love you. Good night and a mountain of love for you.

Your Sylvester.


Camp Devens
June 25/18 (Tues. eve.)

Dearest Lady,

I hope you have gotten a bouquet from the Us Gardens before now for Aunt Lucy wrote me today that she had sent one. I am ever so pleased she did. She has been keeping the garden most faithfully, not only keeping it watered but she's been out & hoed it too, Mother tells me. She sent me another pair of socks she has knitted with a lavender band around it toward the top - incidentally sent them to me in another purple box.

Mother and Father have definitely gotten into the new house now up in Rocky Hill. It seems strange enough to think of them there. I haven't addressed Mother at Rocky Hill yet but I suppose next week I begin. Mother was writing me about having the fireplace lit so next time you and I are in my home together we'll sit in front of another kind of a fireplace. I wonder whether it will be dusty then. Anyway, whether you like it or not I am going to read you a fireplace poem about watching "the merry sparks race," by a poetess I know. I am the proud possessor of the first edition of a certain collection of poems by this same lady in the original pencil, & hand writing of the poetess. She is my favorite poet, being the only one whose work I keep with me. In fact she is a favorite in many ways of mine, my favorite lady, to be exact. I've got a little part of one of her curls.

My washing is still on the line but all dry. So the experiment is now pronounced a success - so far as it goes.

The little daisies you sent me with the honeysuckle are still just as nice and fresh as can be, out lasting everything else in the bouquet except the phlox. Still the snapdragon is only just a little gone.

This seems awfully short, but I don't seem to have done a thing today which would interest you in the telling; or there hasn't anything amusing happened in the household of the officers of the 301st Supply Train.

So guess I'll say good night, dear heart. I love you always.

Your sweetheart.


[June 26, 1918]

[note - A couple of Gram's letters are missing here as there is not one for the 25th and this one says she had written earlier this day.]

Dearest,

This will be just a little letter as I told you about most all of today's happenings and I have been busy tonight putting my things in order.

I started out in the beginning of the year with the idea of having one bureau drawer for nothing but you but you grew and grew so that you overflowed into all of them so last night I started in to straighten you out and here tonight I am not finished yet, of course I stop once in awhile and examine.

You certainly have assumed proportions of "wonderous magnitude" both in my treasures and in my heart.

Goodnight my sweetheart. I'll write more in the morning.

Your Eva.

Good morning and a kiss - it's way late

Your sweetheart


Camp Devens
Wed. eve. June 26/18.

Dearest Lady,

There is a band over in Co. A, just across the street from the officers' quarters, which is most distracting, particularly when one wants to be alone with his lady. You didn't know you were here, did you? That band of nothing but drums is trying hard to chase you away, but we'll not let it succeed.

Two letters tonight. The P.O. has been slow to me, too, for it brought me nothing Monday, one yesterday noon, and no more till tonight. I wonder where my Friday letter could have gone; I wrote it & posted it anyway. And I think it had a "Don't Open" note in it, worse luck. Not that it was anything wonderful but I want you to get all that's possible, and haven't sent you near as many as I have wished I could.

Your flower collection of sweet pea, two kinds of daisies and (is the purple what you call arrowhead?) and the other is a honey suckle, isn't it. I am keeping these and some others you have sent me right inside the letters they came in. I hope I shan't ever lose my packet of letters, and most of all my box of Sunshine Lady mementos - poetry, curl, Original Apple Blossoms, forget-me-not from the Us gardens, trailing arbutus and tea-berry from the Sunday after April 12th, your little picture in the hoop-skirt, the Together poem we wrote as the seal of our love. Thus you will follow me everywhere and come back to yourself with me.

So you're going to skip and let me shift for my own self and my supper once in a while. Well, my fine lady, we'll have to look into this! I'll forgive you if it's just an excuse to write me notes.

Just about nineteen years from now, if you will have it that way, I'm going to see if you can't remember what you thought of to do. Now don't forget it, because I'm very curious, not just plain curious, though, but feverishly anticipatory. I know anything my lady plans will be lots of fun or full of rich pleasure. It seems so strange and beautiful that some day you are going to be with me all the time. Who said there was going to be a Kissless Friday? We'll take it off the calendar if there is.

I drove down with Capt. June tonight to a place near the main entrance to the camp where tests are being made of chauffeurs by an officer from Washington. They are using 3 of our trucks for the tests and our men will be taking them in a couple of days so that we went down to look it over. There has been an S-shaped course laid out with white stakes bordering its narrow road, and after doing a straight-away the drivers have to go thru that S-road; then they have to try to do it backwards. Only one man has backed all the way thru it today, we were told. All that we watched tonight bumped into a stake before they had really made the first curve. After that operation was complete they had to drive up into a space about a rod square up against a hill, turned around in that space & come down again. It makes a good stiff test for the men. John Achorn tells me he has had his men out today getting into mud holes for the sake of experience in getting the trucks out. That's the kind of experience they need, for anybody can hold onto a wheel, and let a machine move along.

I think I shall say Good-night, Sweetheart. I love you, and am so very happy that I have you.

Sylvester.


[June 27, 1918]

Dearest,

For two nights now I have worked on bureaus but tonight I rebelled and sewed and knit.

We had Miss Schiable around to dinner and she also spent the evening. Ella Field came in a little while too.

Today has been windier than March and delightfully cool. I just hope we have an entirely cool summer.

I got a short letter from Daido and if you hear of her sudden death in the paper don't be surprised. She has a horrid nickname "Tiglath" after some old Bible prophet for me, just because I called her a little Igkin, which means translated little tiny piggy; and she addressed my letter to Miss Tiglath Lutz, Box 293. Now isn't that terrible? Wouldn't you be afraid for your life if you did any such atrocious thing as that?

Your letters never arrive until night now when your usual ones always came at either 10:30 or two thirty and usually 10:30. I guess some trains have been taken off.

This ink is abominable. Daido got fountain pen ink - why I don't know except that she uses an old fountain pen that you dip to write with.

I was supposed to do some preserving tonight, having invested in some raspberries but it seems I couldn't get to them. I'll have to get up early as they won't keep.

Miss Davis and I are renting a sewing machine and I guess she will sew all day and I all night.

Well, my dearest happiness Boy, I'll say good-night and give you an extra little kiss just because I want to.

I love you.

Eva.

Good morning. I just don't believe you are up yet but I'm working away like a worker that works hard. I've heard Trojans didn't and never saw a trip hammer so won't use them as standard.

Your sweetheart.


Camp Devens
June 27, 1918 (Thurs. eve)

Dearest Lady,

The Doc just called in to see if I wanted part of a melon he had - something like a muskmelon but not a muskmelon, I've forgotten just what it's called. You know how my mouth waters at melon of all kinds, so I accepted the invitation. He apologized for its being a bit green, and as it was a new kind, I thought those two things accounted for the peculiar taste. But I just ate the last mouthful, more or less like medicine, when I realized the Doc had put salt on it. And I had put sugar on top of that! I don't know whether that horrifies you as much as it does me or not but for me, the salt and sugar combination is most revolting to think of, and to spoil perfectly good melon with salt is to me little short of high treason. However, I haven't accused the Doc of any treasonable intent, though I was impolite enough to say, "I guess you put salt on the melon, didn't you", instead of being much obliged for the treat.

I expected to do a lot of work this evening but I didn't fulfill expectations. Instead I drove around with Leviseur on a personal errand or two, none of which I accomplished, the necessary stores being closed. And instead of getting back in half an hour, we got back about Taps, as Leviseur met an officer down town he knew, who has a house in Ayer for himself and his wife. They invited us up to their house to have grape-fruit as they kept saying but it turned out to be grape juice. However, it was very good. After being a lieutenant so recently it seems strange to be the object of the slight deference which one gets from any new lieutenant when one meets. Of course among our own crowd here who have been with each other all along it doesn't make any difference, except as to who is boss in case of conflict of orders or something of that sort. And conflicts aren't very numerous among us except with Moody. Something may happen to that fellow before long. If it does I wish it would hurry up and happen and be out of the way for it is most distasteful to me to have unpleasantness around. I've had to hold hard on to my temper, though, sometimes, to avoid it with the above named gentleman, then ease my feelings later by ridiculing him to Greene or somebody. But I haven't had much trouble with him lately. He bears watching, however, and I don't trust him as far as I can see him. He's the kind of chap who wouldn't care if he did an injury or injustice to his best friend so long as he could gain an advantage for himself.

Two letters today, too - long ones.

I couldn't tell for sure whether you wanted me to say what I thought of the Summer School idea or not. I presume that the school starts pretty soon and it is likely you have decided one way or the other before you get this letter. I really don't know just what I should say, sweetheart, for I don't know just what Mr. Cressman told you - whether he promised you a position or not, if you did attend; and did you in writing him tell him of your Summer School training last year at Penn? I presume naturally that you did. But if you didn't, by any chance, you might write him again, stating that you note his reference to Summer School courses, and in that connection would say that you had had a summer's training at the University of Pennsylvania for kindergarten work, or words to that effect & some more. If he has made no promises to you, I think it would be best for you not to go to the Ocean City Summer School; but just try to get him on the basis of you last summer's work. If he did make a promise of a position, and the School is a condition to securing it, I should be happy to have you attend, particularly if you could stay at Bricktop and go back and forth on the Shore Fast every day. Wouldn't you be able to do that?

If I have to be very long away I surely would like you to change over and teach school. The salary I don't feel enters into the matter, if it's more than enough to live on comfortably. And I don't know as I think so much about "opportunity to learn something", though of course one will learn things every day, and it is a healthy desire to want to. But it gives one a chance to plan one's day for oneself, it is pleasant work, and though there are undesirable people in everything, in teaching in any new place where you didn't already have friends you would most always find more people you would like. The chance to plan one's own work appeals to me more than anything; it is so much more interesting than to wait for some one else to give you something to do. It lets the mind work all the time toward something, gives it the enjoyment of seeing its own planning carried out, and makes life altogether happier and richer.

Now I'm not going to be so fussy as to make you worry over the time you should boil eggs for me. You don't ever need to boil them, dear. And if they are fried all you have to remember is to break the yolk, fry on both sides, and do to a brown. Isn't that easy? Really, I'm going to be good on the eating question, and I'm not going to be a bother to my lady at all.

I must say good night, Sweetheart. A kiss, all my love, and a wish for the day when you won't have to decide anything more than whether you'll wear a blue or a brown suit on a wedding trip.

Sylvester.


Camp Devens
Fri. eve. June 28/18

Dearest Lady,

It is the Eva-hour again. Will you come with your curls and your hoop-skirt and smile for me tonight your unmatchable sunshine smile? Because you are near, then, I shall forget I am at all weary.

I have indulged in the periodical luxury of a haircut this evening. I have a man over in my old company whom I send for and he comes over to my room & fixes me up. For a chair which will be high enough we combine my trunk with a chair on top of it.

Later I talked to Andy a little while, old red-faced, rough, good-natured Andy. He has the heartiest laugh I ever heard on any man; I remember last fall when we used to go up to that theater at Lowell once in a while that he would have the whole house going by his laughing. Andy gets confidential once in a while, and began tonight on how he hadn't been use to the world for 12 years; I asked what was the idea of that crazy line of talk, but he allowed it was so & then somebody came in and interrupted. I think he must have been affected by a throw-down he got in his younger days, and probably that was what he referred to. He has roughed it most of his life, and shows the effects of it; but he's big-hearted and jolly and very much liked by all of us.

Our trucks will surely be all on the job tomorrow for we got a call for 32 to go to Boston and back, and 25 have to take men from an Infantry regiment out to the Combat range in the morning, there are several smaller details, and we have to keep feeding 20 chauffeurs an hour to this officer who's testing the chauffeurs on that S-track I spoke of. We've never had quite so many calls as this afternoon & this evening for trucks to go out tomorrow.

I wonder, how has the garden grown the last week or so. Is everything I planted still alive and green? And the marguerites anywhere near blossomed? And how about that bumper radish crop? You didn't know I had cut down to two meals a day waiting for that did you?

I've had lately the funniest sort of an appetite, what I call a nibbling appetite; I don't feel particularly hungry at meals, and always hungry for a nibble of something between meals. If my boss were here, she would cure me; for I know what the reason is - I'm right in quarters most of the time and can go out in the pantry and get a banana when I want it, or a few dried prunes, or a piece of cake. Small wonder I don't always have an appetite at meals. So, as I said, if my boss were here, she would cure me; you see, I really do need a boss, so I guess you'll have to be it.

I love you dearly, my own sweetheart. A good-night kiss.

Your Sylvester.


[June 28, 1918]

Dearest,

Goodness! You seem fond of fireplaces. Isn't that queer. First it was Hemlock Manor then ours, and now your mother's and then too Lucinthia's at Wellesley. You didn't dare tell your mother about ours being dusty did you?

Did you ever for a minute feel just wildly exultant, just as if you were on wings or some thing and you are suddenly so and for no apparent reason? I am often and then sometimes I'm just otherwise and try as I might I can't think of any definite reason why I should be any more so than usual just at that particular minute.

Aren't you afraid your sweetheart might get jealous because you carry around the works of a certain poetess? She just might you know, "you never know what a girl is going to do next."

I'm doing just bushels of work as you can see by my letters but I never seem to get so many bushels done as there is so much more to be done.

Today again is a cloudy day.

Don't you wish this horrid old war were over and today were 19 years from now? It takes a long, long time to get ready if you are going to have a wedding so if you're willing to wait we'll have a wedding. I decided last night that I would let you have one, if you would wait. We'll have it 'bout the middle, no the 13th for luck, of June and will have flowers and music and bridesmaids and confetti and everything that goes with a wedding except the old shoes. Won't that be lovely? We'll take all our proposed 19 year trips for our honeymoon.

It is now mail time. I love you best in all the world my Mr. Butler.

Miss Lutz, your student.

I love you.


[June 28, 1918]

Sweetheart,

Dorcas has been around all evening and we sat in front of the fireplace and I knit and she embroidered. Miss Davis went to the County Commencement and isn't back yet altho I just returned from taking Dorcas home. Harry has arrived in France, or at least they have let the letter that he wrote and gave to the pilot come thru.

Dorcas has been away and just got back on the 4:30 tonight.

I saw Pearl tonight and that wonder baby. Goodness it's so fat and it smiled at me and then wrinkled up its nose and frowned and frowned. I must have looked terrible cross.

I haven't done anything interesting except make some more raspberry jam from the jam Lady's recipe. It tastes good too. Am I conceited? Please let me answer myself "NO."

I knit another quarter inch on my sweater tonight. I'm 'fraid I'll hurt my eyes working at it so steadily and speedily. I'm gaining tho for I never purled before, and now I can go one-sixteenth as fast as ordinary mortals.

It is getting late my sweetheart so I'll wireless you a kiss even if it is Kissless Friday.

Your Eva.

I love you lots.


[June 29, 1918]

Dearest,

I wrote you last night and then walked out this morning leaving it on my bureau so I will have to send it off this afternoon. It was only a short note to which I intended to add a little love message this morning but I've been fooling the alarm clock every once in a while by pretending I didn't hear it and today it returned the act by not ringing altho it was my fault as I had the silencer on.

I got a letter from Daido and she is coming home today. She says their cottage at Cape May Point must be moved at once as another heavy storm will carry it out to sea and as she says she's no business woman, doesn't know real estate values and hardly knows what to do.

Miss Davis has received an appointment in Washington. I don't know whether she will accept or not and neither does she.

I wish my course didn't depend so much on what other people do. I just seem to have to be regulating my plans to suit circumstances all the time.

She mightn't go as she is rather afraid she will fail but the salary is a big one and she thinks she better.

Gladys' brother has been brot up to Camp Mills preparatory to going over and she has been up to see him several days.

I'm glad Harry is safely over as Dorcas looks 1000% less worried.

I s'pose I'll have to close as nothing has happened yet today except to took my shoes to the shoemakers to be half soled and they needed a sole for last night as I was going to bed I discovered I wasn't a saint for in the dark I stepped on one rocker of my chair and in getting in somewhat of a hurry stepped on the other. I bet I get lots of freckles, tho they ought to be light ones.

I love you my sweetheart.

Your Lady me.


Camp Devens
Sat. eve. June 29/18

Dearest Girlie,

Just for a change I'm writing in red tonight. Wish I had some purple, I think that would go especially well with this brownish paper. Still the red doesn't seem so bad.

It has been really summer again today almost for the first time this month, I should think. But I'd just as soon have it continue as it's been but not quite so damp.

I am all alone here this evening as the other officers who are here over Sunday have gone to a dance up at the Officers' Club. The different organizations take turns giving dances Saturday nights at the Officers' Club, and this week it was the turn of the Trains. I got out of going, and I guess some of the others went more with a sense of duty to represent the Train than anything else. But I notice they're not back yet, though Pop allowed as how he was only going to stay long enough to get a few dollars worth of ice cream & cake, then bring it back here and eat.

I wonder if you couldn't have just come up here by aeroplane or somehow to help me work this evening. Wouldn't you like to spend an evening helping to run a part of Uncle Sam's army? I'm sure you could have been a help to me, just by sitting near me and furnishing inspiration, if not a lot more. Then I could finish a bit earlier, and we could sit and listen to the night. It is just the right coolness and comfortableness in my office, and thought there's nothing more like a fireplace than a steam radiator, I could get along without it and all the other extras - for I haven't a comfort rocker either - if I only had you, my Sunshine Lady. One thing I could do is to treat you to grapefruit, one of those prime essentials of a Butler household. But I wouldn't guarantee not to spatter you in the eye. I just ate a particularly spattery one about an hour ago. If you were here I wouldn't ugle-ugle down in my throat more than 3 times - isn't that self sacrifice? Not fear?? Or perhaps you may think it's the most brazen courtship of Disaster to do it only once! My poor wonderful accomplishment which I had been so proud of! Any how I wouldn't wink, for I think I am overcoming that habit fast, though I do notice when I'm in a deep discussion with Pop or somebody, that the under part goes up to meet the upper in the affectation of profound, careful thought.

Corporal Johnson came back today but I wasn't around when he came, so haven't seen him yet. I hope to get a chance to run up to the hospital and see him tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be a busy Sunday and I don't look forward to it one little bit. We have muster at reveille, it being the last day of the month and at 9:00 an inspection of all individual equipment. Capt. June is going to take 3 companies and leave the other 3 for me. This means each of us checking up each article of personal equipment of 240 men. I shall be heartily glad when it is done, and guess I'll feel like a vacation the rest of the day. But I'll have my clothes to wash for one thing. Under the circumstances the novelty of that will be somewhat less appealing.

I am going to say good-night, I love you, dear lady, more than all the world.

Your Sylvester.

I don't know why my letters don't get to you as early as they did, for the regular ones go at the same time. Perhaps its the Camp Post Office, congested on account of so many new men in camp or something.

--

Good morning, my lady. I feel quite more like doing a day's work than for some time. Perhaps its because you were helping me last night and I didn't know it. A kiss before I start.

Sylvester.


[June 30, 1918]

Dear Sylvester,

Daido and I have been to Atlantic and we took dinner over there.

I wasn't in extra good spirits as Miss Davis had said she was going to Washington but she has just now informed me that she has changed her mind, again.

I have been sewing a little today but not doing very much as work goes as I was feeling rather "all losted" and upset over Miss Davis.

Daido looks as if she had been having a fine time. She says Harold is as bad as ever and wants me to send him more jam. I sent some strawberry down with Daido.

I'll say good-night my sweetheart. I love you.

Eva.

Today has been rather uneventful, except that there's a butterfly - a purple butterfly that is hurt and I found him in our garden this morning. Miss Davis says she saw him there yesterday. I don't know how I came to miss him.

What makes you think I am going to decide on blue or brown for my going away dress? I'm rather thinking of getting one like the cerise lady's that you liked so well in Bridgeport. Naturally I want to have one that you will like, and a little hat with a two foot feather. Wouldn't that be striking? Wouldn't you just love to see your little sweetheart so dressed? I think the color would be rather becoming, too. I'm just about satisfied that is what I will get.

Just two months ago I saw my poor boy all hurt. I certainly was frightened.

I'll have to close now as Daido has just proposed Mays Landing.

I love you my sweetheart.

Eva.


Camp Devens
Sun. eve. June 30/18.

My own Sweetheart,

This has been a busier Sunday than any week-day ever thought of being. I never saw things pile on as they have today. I've been interrupted at everything I've started, and at nine tonight I was only just getting at something I expected to have all cleared up in the middle of the afternoon by the earliest. The whole morning was taken up with muster and inspection, the latter of which is a most tedious operation when it comes to checking over the personal equipment of each individual man and the list of stuff he has to have is no small one. They have it all laid out on the bunks in a prescribed manner for the inspection. And the inspector goes around and growls at this that isn't and that that isn't and what not. Don't you think I ought to be good at growling? I suppose I can't do it quite as well as an old Regular, but still for 10 months in the service, I am getting reasonably expert.

Early in the afternoon we got a call for all our available trucks for tomorrow, and as about 100 of our men have to shoot on the range, and 150 take the chauffeur test I described to you the other evening, I have had to spend some little getting things dove-tailed so that we could do the three things called for at once. I thought I had hours and men and everything would work perfectly but found at 9:45 tonight it wasn't quite so, when a sergeant from A Co. came over to tell me it was physically impossible to send out as many trucks as he had been called upon to. I thought my whole structure was going to pieces, so began to growl some more, but finally got him fixed, and nobody else has come in with a can't story. So I trust everything is now serene.

I've been my own typist today, too, as I've had some things I wanted to get out in a hurry (8 carbons, you'd like that, wouldn't you?) and there was no clerk around who could do it in any decent time. There is no really speedy typist in the Train. I have Sergeant Eaves, who is chief clerk & acting sergeant-major, a most thorough and conscientious chap, and can pound the keys reasonably well, but he was on pass today and I was glad to have him, for he doesn't take all he's entitled to. Then there is a Sergeant Schoonmaker, whose main job is repairing typewriters anywhere thru out the Division when called for, but who does clerical work at our headquarters when he hasn't any typewriters to repair. But he is absent without leave. He is the most exasperating man I have under me, and perhaps the fur won't fly around here when he decides he wants to return. He asked Capt. June for a pass last Tuesday to Sunday, which was a most ridiculous thing as there is no authority for these headquarters to give a man such a pass. Capt. June just sort of cut him off easy, and asked if he didn't think that was kind of long or something to that effect, & told him to come around later. When the duffer came around later, Pop may have talked in a similar way so that the fellow took it for assent and went to Capt. June's desk, got his stamp, & stamped the pass himself. Or he may just have gone off. Whatever way it is, a hornet's nest will start when I see the gentleman; if it isn't for skipping out knowing absolutely he had no authority, it will be for jumping over my head or imposing on Capt. June's good nature or delegating a job to another man the morning after his departure - a job I had specifically given to him; the other man already has heard from me for accepting the job, and informed whence he'll take his orders in the future. Oh, I'm a regular tyrant, Eva.

During the course of the afternoon I did up my weeks washing once more. I think it was a much more successful wash than its predecessor. For my clothes weren't hung until a little after four, and they were most dry at sundown. I use this Lux washing powder, which seems to be the favorite material for this purpose in the Army. Today I followed instructions on the box instead of the example of some of the other officers, and it looks to me as though the box were right. I'm afraid however there will be times when 3 relays of clear hot water for rinsing won't be available.

So I have got to wait if I want a wedding? Now supposing I compromise on half a wedding then will I have to wait? But perhaps June 13 will come the natural time and then we can have it without waiting. (I suppose that "we" will have to be editorial). Spring or June does seem the most appropriate time for a wedding, whether it has fixings or not. But I don't want to make any waiting promises. Supposing I should get back and out of the service on a July 1st. Then I'd be just out o' luck, as the Army has it. Wait a whole year? Well, I guess not, unless you made me. I'll tell you what I'll do, if I don't have to wait, I'll agree to cut out the bridesmaids and confetti as well as the old shoes, and just keep the flowers and the music. I do want that if there isn't a guest at our wedding. (An after thought. It's just occurred to my stupid brain that you are talking about 19 years. I guess you want me in my 2nd childhood.)

If you do only get light freckles for what you said to the rocking chair you ought to get one big brown one for not keeping on to tell me about the bruises. I suppose you thought I wouldn't see where you put the ink eradicator over "and I got two bruises" and wrote "I bet I get lots". If you don't want me to see, you will have to eradicate much more carefully, for I am a great detective. If you do succeed in eradicating, no doubt my imagination is worse than actualities, so don't you think you ought to just keep on and tell me? It was just the same when you hurt your knee, you wouldn't even answer a question about it, said you thought I'd forget about it if you didn't? You're a great one, to think I wouldn't concern myself over my sweetheart any more than that. Besides that's not the way to make me forget. A question unanswered just makes it worse for me. And I don't readily forget.

Goodness, dear heart, you don't need to think it's so terrible to let me know anything of that kind. I'm not going to sit around and fret myself silly over anything I know isn't serious. Though I'd be much more likely to for something you wouldn't tell me of & I wanted to know about. I hope your bruises are better.

I hope that Miss Davis doesn't take that Washington appointment. I would surely be disappointed to have you change your living plans for the summer.

I like your little morning messages, Lady, just as I like everything about you. It's just one more of the many rays of Sunshine from my Sunshine Lady.

I love you.

Sylvester.

Morning.

Good morning, my sweetheart. I'm up before breakfast this morning. How about you?

I love you, dearest.

Sylvester.


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