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April 1, 1918
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April 24, 1918
SBButler Letters, April 1918
[this was in a envelope postmarked April 6, 1918, but I think may have been in the wrong envelope or mailed late. It appears to have been written April 1st.]
I certainly have been going some lately.
Friday night Miss Tolbert's Cousin Grace came down - singer artist and altogether a wonderful woman. We took a short ride to Somers Point and got home about 8:00. Daido then made me get ready and go to Jennie's party because I had half promised. My only excuse having been that Daido would be left alone and of course Grace took away my excuse.
Saturday we went over to Atlantic, up to the Red Cross and watched the dance a little and then to a wedding. It was "the Bridal Not" by the Mask & Wig of the University of Penn. It was not very good as the cast had been changed so many times as the boys went away to war. Lucky for me and my boast they held the wedding off stage.
At the Quaker Inn, why named I don't know except that the china may be Quakerish, we paid 50 cents for a two inch square of bread, without butter, and a lovely delicate slice of chicken.
Yesterday we went over to the Easter Parade. It wasn't much.
Altho I did do lots of things not many of them were really interesting.
Your letter arrived this morning. You wonder how I keep track of anniversaries and I'll tell you, if you keep real still for I must whisper it, on Hemlock Manor day a little bird told me and he sang "don't you remember when you saw me first last year and where I was, your brand new robin, and on the 23rd the moonlight seemed to be a million waterfalls and a million frogs, at least, booming 'Remember! Remember!' " How could I forget.
My garden isn't progressing much. I think I'm lazy.
Hoping get down Pleasantville
Friday morning wire collect
S. P. Butler
Just a little note to-night, as I am well crowded up, and want to be sure things are in shape for me to carry out the intentions expressed in my Telegram to you this afternoon. I do hope that I won't have to cancel my plans, now that I've made them & notified you; also hope that this week-end is going to be all right for you.
I plan to go into Boston Thursday afternoon, and take the Federal Express direct for Philadelphia at 7:30 in the evening; I don't know exactly what time it will get me to Phila. but it should be fairly early in the morning. As soon as trains can carry me I will be in Pleasantville from there.
Seven months since I have seen my lady companion of the out-of-doors of Jersey, and I hope she will be glad to see me.
I can stay until Sunday morning probably.
[Gram must have wired back that this was not a good weekend and this special delivery letter (13 cents) was a follow up letter.]
You were disappointed I know and so was I.
I wished lots of times I hadn't sent it but it seemed to be the only thing to do.
Daido got a notice to come up about the deed for the burial lot and she had made plans to spend the week-end with a girl friend and I tho't it would be better for you to come when she was home.
I did want to see you so badly and I suppose I was silly but I just couldn't seem to think what to do. I've just felt awful wretched all day today and I've watched all the trains for I tho't, silly thought, that you just might come.
Please don't be angry, because I did want you to come
Next time I won't stop you for anything "weather or no".
[note - Another letter from Gram must be missing here, as he mentions getting three letters]
Your three letters all came to-night, this afternoon, I mean, the special delivery one arriving last, strange to say, so I didn't quite know what all that discussion of the verb "to snub" was all about. I was surely glad to hear from you finally, for when a letter didn't follow the telegram right away, I didn't know what was up. It is too bad I hit the wrong week, and I'll try to make a better guess next time. Next time will be this week if I can possibly make it, and beginning Wednesday I won't open any telegrams which come for me. How will that do? Watch. I shall do my best. I shall try to do the same thing I planned for last week, leave here Thursday night, and be with you sometime Friday morning, I think. I hope next week-end will be as pleasant as this. This would have been ideal, if it is as pleasant in Pleasantville as it is here. But our motto is "weather or no," is't not, lady?
Not all news I got Thursday morning was disappointing, for about an hour after your telegram came, the Division Adjutant's office called me up to say an appointment had come in for me from Washington the night before, promoting me to the grade of First Lieutenant. Of course I am very much gratified over it, and I hope you will be glad with me.
Lieuts. Anderson and Moody, and 21 of our men, returned Friday noon from a trip to Lima, Ohio, where they went a month ago to get ten Liberty trucks, and drive them overland to Camp Devens, where they are to be for our use for training and instruction purposes. They have had an interesting trip, and one of valuable experience to them in our transportation work when we finally - finally get into our real war service across the water. Among the ten is the original liberty truck which was driven overland from factory to Washington last fall, inspected by Secretary Baker, President Wilson, and all the notables. I think probably you'll remember it for there were pictures of the President looking it over, in all the Sunday supplements, and movies, at the time. There were movies taken of Moody's & Andy's trip, and Moody is making the write-up for them, he tells me. He was in command of the trip, but his chief function on it was that of press agent, and his chief activity, hand-shaking, I am told, while Andy did the work. They drove here themselves in a Dodge touring car, which Capt. June started to drive back to Baltimore yesterday, where it belongs. He has left me in command in his absence. Says he'll be back Monday night probably but I imagine it will be Wednesday before he's here. I hope it isn't any later, for reasons which you may well guess. His goings and comings are a standing joke with us, for we never know just where he is when he goes away, nor when he's coming back. The particular difficulty comes when sometimes he goes away in a hurry, and Mrs. June telephones over from Fitchburg and is surprised to find he's not here.
It has been very quiet around here to-day; only Moody, Taylor, and myself have been around. I busied myself in the morning with the newspaper, then with saddle-soaping my working shoes, and shining up my other shoes & puttees, all of which I despise. The rest of the day I have been working on one thing or another, The Major's book more than anything, for a new set of proofs came back this week embodying the changes and additions I made in it.
That deserter of mine I have written you about before, has been declared mentally defective by a medical board, so the charge of desertion has been removed, and I received an order last night to prepare papers for his discharge from the service. He isn't "all there", I guess, but I do think he has been making the most of the idea, to get himself discharged, instead of paying the penalty for his act. Self-preservation being the first law of Nature, no doubt you can hardly blame him. All I care is to get rid of him, for I would never trust him with any task of any kind in my organization. He would be merely dead wood. His case is quite pitiable from the standpoint of his people, for his peregrinations have caused them no end of worry all his life.
I hope it won't be in vain this week again that I think with a thrill what a short time it will be before I am really to see Eva again. Marveling at Reality - I stop to do it often.
Be a good girl.
I've finally caught up on my dates, and I believe the 8th is correct, but I have been a day behind all month. This has been a full day, so full, as most are, with varied activities, that when I try to sit down and think of what I have done, it's hard to figure out. Let's see, I do know I had a telephone chat with the gruffest old Colonel in camp, whom I have fiendishly & secretly wished in his grave many times. He's trying to get his hands on these ten trucks of ours for transportation use in the cantonment, but our instructions from the War Department say they are for training and instruction purposes only, and we don't propose to have the old boy get his way. Only when you're fighting the gruffest Colonel in camp, you have to use diplomacy & subterfuge. I am possessed of an inordinate desire to block him.
My company clerk, Sergeant Fernald, brought me down a box of delicious maple sugar from New Hampshire to-day, and if my young brother doesn't discover and eat it all before Thursday, I'll endeavor to bring you a taste of it. I have gotten off the candy habit altogether but I still have a sympathetic taste for maple sugar. I am losing my sweet tooth, I guess. Couldn't eat any apple pie for supper, because I'd been working at high tension all day, and consequently had little appetite; cook gets so worried when I can't eat much, he comes up to my room afterwards to find what's the matter with me. Cook looks after his flock well.
I'm getting past the time I wrote Mother last night I never stayed up beyond - 11, and I scarcely ever do, nowadays. Mother's got an idea into her head that I'm a poor overworked creature, in need of a prolonged rest. And goodness, I never was fitter, as I wrote Mother last night. And the Army's not the place to talk about rest. Though if the shindig's over at the proper time of year, I plan one good long vacation for myself before starting to work again, if I can find someone to live on. I think I'll have to go around and see all my multitudinous relatives a couple of weeks at a time. This is more or less foolish rambling, what?
What would you do if you got a request as I did over the phone yesterday for an extension of a pass for a day so a man could wash his thoroughbred hounds. That beats the grandmother's funeral gag all to thunder.
Would you believe it, violets are out and arbutus, too!
We took a jitney up as far as Uncle Will's Sunday and then walked up to Hemlock Manor. We found the violets there and our japonica is just ready to burst.
I found one lone daffodil out and a bud. I left the bud.
The house and barns and out houses are all gone but the fire place still stands and the fence.
The grass is getting green and the maples are wonderful.
The birthday candles are beginning to light up too.
I've gotten a lot of my garden planted now - peas, lettuce, radishes, parsley and some onions for seasoning. I don't think there will be a garden up at the Manor this year as we don't go up very often. I think I'll go take some pictures of my chimney and things next Sunday before they go too. I'd love to have a picture of the Manor but I shall always remember it anyway.
It has been raining but I don't care, for it is good for my aforementioned garden. We expect to plant more peas and grass seed tonight.
Last night I went to water my garden and there was some sort of a loose connection and I flooded the cellar and got soaked and then only to find that the hose would not reach far enough.
Daido saw "Bricktop" when she was up in the city and he is again having trouble with his teachers. They say they are going to put his conduct average in with his class average and not promote him. If they do it its goodbye for even tho class averages are around 90 they won't pull up averages that range from 0 to 10. Poor kid, if they only had sense enough to keep him busy he'd be all right. He just skims thru his lesson in no time and has nothing left to do but get into mischief.
Won't you forget all about last week.
Gramp did go to Pleasantville for the 12th, 13, & 14th. This is when they got engaged and his letter to his mother tell that story. They must have promised each other to write EVERY day, and just about did. They each wrote one within hours of Gramp leaving to go back to Camp Devens.
I have a wait of two hours here in New York before being able to get a Boston Train, and have come up here as a much more comfortable place to spend it than the station. I did think some of running up for an hour or so to an old classmate's home, but remembering the deficiency on the left side of my collar, I thought no further of it.
I didn't bother with the parlor car after I left you, but took while I could get it a seat on the left side of a regular coach and when my seat mate got up for a drink of water, I slipt over to the half next the window, took off my overcoat, and pretended I was all dressed. It wasn't long before I devised means of sleep, by the judicious setting of the curtain, and the use of my gloves. So I slept most of the way up, and while I was glad to be able to pass the time away most quickly, I have as a result a most glorious headache, presumably because my head being against the curtain got every vibration of the train.
I've had my usual luck on getting berths, and will again have to climb up to the upper story tonight. I hope to get about five hours sleep on the train. Am going to beat your reveille hour, though, by an hour, and with no extra snoozes to snitch either. I find that the train stops at Worcester, and by getting off there I can save a great deal of time, and perhaps get to Camp Devens in time to begin morning work at the start.
You know, dear, what would have expressed better what I have seen, in the first line of "Lady of Mine", is "grey eyes in wonder shining"; but never mind, we'll leave it as in the original. Oh, how beautiful you are when that wonder-look comes into your eyes!
I hope you were able to take a reasonably sized supper, though I guess it's hardly time for it till just about now. Mine consisted of a chocolate malted milk, which really is nutritious, isn't it?
Eva, will you please copy off on a sheet of paper some where that Greek inscription on the right hand side of the back of the pin; I know what everything else on the back is, but I can't remember with exactitude the sequence of Greek letters there. I want to do this so that in case it ever should be lost, we can get another and have it engraved the same way. Oh, how glad I am you are wearing it for me! What will you do, I am just wondering, if a brother, perhaps a sister, such as you, in ZY [zeta psi], approaches you and wants to give you the ZY [zeta psi] grip?
I hope you can get plenty of rest tonight, and be fresh in the morning; also that Mr. Long makes himself scarce during the day. And don't forget "sometimes" you are going to think of me.
Here's love and a kiss for my sweetheart.
Daido came on the 6:45. I was asleep when she came and woke up just as she was tucking me in with a quilt. I stayed in bed and she got supper. She spent the week end with Ethel Blattner her Cape May girl friend.
I asked her why she went and she said, "What was it Emerson said? - 'I write "Whim" above my doorstep and my friends shall not ask me the whys nor wherefores'." She would say nothing else.
It is 9:25 now and I wonder what you are doing. Waiting for the train, I suppose, and occupying your mind with the "Literary Digest."
It is now morning. Daido told me why. She said she wants love and companionship as well as anyone else and she was vain enough to think in her heart of hearts that we loved one another so well she could keep me forever. We had been such good companions, such good friends, that she had deceived herself along with this hope. She wished me happiness and said in the future she wished I would not be so affectionate. Not that she didn't want me to be but to keep from hurting her more, but I love her and I know she loves me and there really is no reason why we shouldn't. Is there? She tried to tell it all in a matter of fact way but she just couldn't. She said she supposed I would tell you and I could if I wanted to but she would rather I wouldn't. It might make her more unhappy to know I have.
I'm just going to put in a few of the Manor flowers in that box to your mother. You forgot to take yours, you know and I think she would like them and perhaps save them for you, if you wanted them.
It certainly does seem queer to go places and not have you with me.
Miss Davis was waiting for me at the post office this morning and she had the "Review". Here is the copy. I'd have him arrested for libel - calling you "old man".
It is a wonder day today.
I just can't seem to realize you are mine but I say it over and over again. I'm so happy.
Your (little) Big Lady.
Dear Sylvester -
Miss Quimby did not get her passport as yet so she sprung a surprise on us and came down today. She got up a picnic of all the friends she could and about 60 went down on the 4:10 car with her. I came on the 4:50. We sure did have lots of fun. It was one of the picnics such as we used to have when the High School was first started.
We rowed, we sang, played base-ball, three deep and in short we did everything that makes for a good time even to eating cakes, sandwiches, drinking lemonade and splashing one another with water.
I got your letter tonight on the last mail and was so glad. I'm stupid I wrote to you last night and this morning so as to get it off in the noon mail and then I put it in my pocket-book and forgot to mail it. I'm so sorry as you probably won't get it until Wednesday now.
Manny was away all day today. She was to play at a recital in Philadelphia. It was rather lonesome without her but I had so much work to do I hadn't time to miss her much. There certainly was a lot of people out to the cemetery today as it was so nice but they kept me from getting even one-half of my letters done.
P P P K P Q P P [note - she has these letters, in Greek, written upside down and backward]
What do you bet I haven't copied them upside down? Just after I finished the K I had a premonition of the fact.
It isn't proper, of course to sign XXX at the bottom of a letter but isn't it perfectly proper to do a problem in algebra such as
x< + 3X = 3X> (does it?)
Please teacher, boy, correct aforesaid problem as I'm sure it is incorrect.
Oh I most forgot to tell you Miss Quimby changed my name back to my old tease name again. You almost wouldn't have known whom the letter was from but it's from me - Eva.
Just a little added note to tell you I sent the flowers to your mother.
It doesn't seem as if you were just here yesterday it seems just ages ago.
You know you didn't give me the "24" grip so how can I know what to do? I'll hold out my left hand with two fingers extended and put the third finger on the right hand at the bottom thereby making a perfect P and in the same way I'll form all the letters on the back. I know them already. Here's from memory
P P P K P Q P P
A perfect peach pie.
(or yet I should say.)
Your box of insignia is ready to go to you. The chief ones are mounted on a card; at the top of the card is the shoulder bar you caught your hair on most, as per orders; below that, on the right are a pair of second lieutenant's shoulder bars I wore before my promotion, to the left the crossed rifles, with 301 S.T. and adjutant shield, which didn't fall off; at the bottom a complete set of shirt collar insignia I wore as a second lieutenant - the USR & the little gold bar on the right hand side and the crossed rifles on the other I no longer wear; the U.S.R. because that is Reserve Corps (in which my 2nd lieutenant's commission was), and my 1st lieutenant's commission is in the National Army so that in place of the U.S.R. I wear a US with "N.A." superimposed, like this: [here he shows a large US with a smaller NA centered on top of it] The other two USR's, the larger ones, are a pair from both sides of a coat collar. So I'm quite loading you up with trinkets.
I went down to the Grand Central a little early after I wrote you last night, and found the train all made up, fortunately, and lost no time ascending up to my little loft. I slept the best I ever have on a sleeper, and knew nothing until the porter woke me just outside of Worcester this morning. I changed there for an Ayer train, and got back to my proper station, as the military orders say, shortly before eight.
The first question asked me, dear, was whether I was married, which is going one better than Mr. Macmillan, isn't it? Don't forget to write me the results of my interview with that persistent gentleman, will you, that is, if it is published? Also I was told (but not by Capt. June) that I wasn't expected to-day, that they thought I was going to be A.W.O.L. (absent without leave). Capt. June wanted to know how Mrs. Butsie was, so you see that not only in Pleasantville do people think they are on to me. Which reminds me that we never did make that announcement in the First Presbyterian Church on Sunday.
I spent all morning on the rifle range as I told you I would be doing. In a way, it's kind of tiresome, just watching a lot of your men at target practice all morning, but of course it's good to be out of doors. One must keep a sharp lookout for all the men; see that positions are assumed properly and naturally; try to see what is the matter with those who are shooting poorly, and correct the same; and seeing that all rules and regulations, which are very rigid there, are carried out.
You should have seen my letter box when I returned, packed to the brim - but there's a reason, - I paid my monthly mess bills just before I left last week. Receipts are such interesting reading, one grade above bills anyway. Out of the batch, only one was really a letter, from the president of the concern I used to work for in New Britain before teaching school, who had heard of my promotion
To-morrow I hope to find a letter from my lady, and oh, I hope she has good news. And then the next day and the next.. how much I have to look forward to!
Spaulding has just been in talking to me. He got a first lieutenancy, Quartermaster Corps, today, which is rather grim irony, for of all of us he has been most vociferous in his tirades against said Q.M. Corps, although, like the rest of us, willing to accept commissions in it, if it is the only way to stay with this organization. He had formerly an infantry commission, as a 2nd lieutenant. He is trying hard to get used the "birdie" but as I suggested to him, to get real pleasure he had better look at his silver bars and not think of the insignia of branch of service. "What's in a name?" may properly be said, for we'll have the same work, whether rated Infantry or Q.M. Corps, but because Q.M. Corps means desk warriors so entirely in the public mind, a commission in it, as Deck and I have been saying today, means a life-long apology. Not as bad as that, let's hope.
Must say good-night, girlie, with lots of love,
Your own Sylvester
It's me writing to you again. Isn't that a s'prise?
I didn't get a letter from you today either. I was so disappointed, but then maybe I'll get it in the first mail tomorrow.
I had a sore throat when I woke up this morning but it is gone now and I feel fine. I can't imagine where I got it unless from Daido as she had one last week. Kissing is Dangerous. Q.E.D.
The Alumni meets tomorrow night and I suppose I must go. Perhaps I'll be too busy to write your letter, so don't worry if it doesn't come. I might be, you know.
Miss Daido and I went out for dinner. We swore a halt on dishes and went up to Smiths to dine untroubled by the thought of any terrible after china.
My garden is growing wonderfully well, as I dug up some of my peas today, and found they were way started. I'll soon be sending you enough fresh vegetables to supply the train and have a few over to distribute to the needy.
When we were playing at the picnic yesterday we all took off our coats and today Miss Higbee wished me happiness. Of course, I looked very questioning and she asked me if I had the nerve to deny it in the face of the frat pin. I looked like a "Questionaire" then, and asked her if she didn't know that I belonged to the "24". Her car came then, but what is the "24" there might be a next time? [note - I think that Gram was either mistaking or kidding about the Greek symbols for Zeta Psi (ZY) when she asks about the 24]
We took a lot of pictures down at the pond yesterday and if any are good I will send you some.
Now that you are mine for "keeps" I can scold you, can't I? I just sure will if I don't get a letter tomorrow.
(I'll try pretty hard to send a letter tomorrow. Good night, E.)
(If you'll forgive me this time I'll not tease with Algebra or tit-tat-toe anymore)
Dear Lady Mine,
Your first love letter (may I, for are not all lovers' letters love letters?) came to-night. It is hard for me to understand Miss Tolbert. But I am trying to take what you tell me in a hopeful way - that the Whim may pass away, that she will see you love her none the less for loving me, and will forget it and be sorry. I do hope that it will come out this way, and that my girlie will have that full & delightful companionship she has had, always. Write me all you care about it, Sweetheart, and be sure I appreciate your telling me all this time. I do so want to be able to feel you are happy, when I'm going to be so far away.
I am glad you put in the Manor flowers with the arbutus, and thank you ever so much. I shall write Mother & ask her to save them for me. It was stupid of me to forget them.
Is the only libel charge against Mr. Macmillan calling me "old man"? That is undignified and altogether outrageous, I will admit, but some of the rest of it! I have just won a commission and am called a "newly fledged officer" ! Oh! Oh! Oh! Do I look like it, or what is the matter? A veteran of 11 months, 8 of them as an officer, and then a newly fledged one. Explanations ad lib!!! I vow I never "spoke with pride" and as for noticing a marked improvement in all the boys (ugh!) along physical, MORAL, and RELIGIOUS lines, do you believe I said that ! Wow ! A man going into the army to get religion ! And I, I, I, to be put in print before the good people of Pleasantville by whom I hope I am reasonably respected, as making a remark like that! I, who refused that old busy body's continuous invitations to his old temple, and told him why I refused them, to be quoted as speaking of my men's religious development ! That is the unkindest cut of all ! And Mr. Macmillan has lost a friend thereby! Eva, wasn't that thing awful? I have fairly raged since I saw it, and heaped anathemas on these civilians who won't learn anything about the army - that is, male civilians. You must have believed that I really did conduct those Sunday services I was telling you about! As a last gasp, how could anyone get things so hopelessly mixed up? And Religious, RELIGIOUS, how can he say I said that; I banished the word religion between us a year ago and more. And that "77 men directly under his command" makes me out such a Crusean self-advertiser ! Do you suppose anyone will believe all that bunk? A fledgling ! Oh - h - h - h - h - h - h - h !
I am almost tempted to write him & correct him on some points, but I suppose it doesn't make a picayune's difference, as far as anybody will think of it. The last two sentences will be undoubtedly the most interesting for gossip. Say, I was just thinking, will the atrocity be repeated in this Friday's Pleasantville Press? Please save me from the indignity if you think there is any danger of it being perpetuated.
This morning I got out on one of the new trucks for some time, the truck which has been assigned my company for instruction purposes. I was chiefly testing out those men whom I felt to be most proficient this morning, in order to seek licenses for them to run trucks within the cantonment. Of course incidentally I gleaned a little about the machine myself. It appears like a mighty fine article, this Liberty truck, and I'm sure it will do us good service.
I took a little spin out on the motor cycle with Travers this evening. In the first place I wanted to go down to the tailors to try on a uniform, and Travers wanted to go out to his house for awhile, so I suggested we combine forces and I drive around with him in the motor-cycle - I taking it easy in the side-car. It was a nice soft spring evening and I thought I should like to get out in it for awhile, but I well wished I hadn't at times for whenever we stopped it took ages to get started again, and sometimes she stopped without a permit. But I enjoyed it O.K. except for that, for the frogs sang for me out in the country, and brought me back to loved scenes. Bobby swore he would stay but 15 or 20 minutes, but he lingered for a half hour with wifey. Terrible, isn't it? Ten whole minutes overtime.
What do you think, Mother misunderstood my Saturday telegram and thought it meant I was leaving that night. For Ralph got a letter from her to-day in which she said he would probably be surprised to see me back so early. Undoubtedly she knows somewhat differently by now.
Good-night, and be a good girl,
Forever yours, Sylvester
I just came back from lunch and am far too lazy to think of working. It actually is hot out most too much so to be comfortable.
Your letter came this noon so now you need not fear the promised scolding.
How did you get by with it when you were teased? Have you a sure think stop for blushing?
Am I supposed to wear all the insignia at once? Please answer at once as I want to know what to do as soon as it arrives.
Miss Ryder asked Manny if I came in all smiles Monday and she told her she (Manny) didn't work Monday.
Manny had a wonderful bouquet given to her when she played in Philadelphia and she brought me one of each kind - an orchid, a tea rose, some sweet peas, a daffodil and a carnation. Wasn't that lovely of her?
Don't you wish now you had been A.W.O.L. as long as they expected you to be?
Shall I get up and make the announcement in church next Sunday? Mr. McClelland stopped me Monday with "What's this I hear? What's this I hear?" I don't know what he heard but I said I heard the one o'clock whistle calling me to work. He said when it happens I should come to him as I almost had once before. There was a Boy Scout camp fire Girl Social in the Presbyterian Chapel one year and I went around to the parsonage with one of the boys to pick out some silver for the table and he was to carry it and some sandwiches. When Mr. McClelland came to the door he said it was no use we were too young and pretended to believe the silver and sandwiches were but an excuse. He's so funny, He talks so fast and starts on another topic before he finishes one.
I know "Together" all by heart. I learned it last night just after I wrote your letter.
I haven't learned the other one yet but I will soon. You have dated it April 14, 1917 so seeing's I had over a year to learn it I should know it by now.
Now, don't work too hard please.
I love you, my own Sylvester, boy.
And who said Miss Quimby might change your name? Hasn't that privilege fallen under my jurisdiction - if last names, why not the others? I hadn't forgotten that R stood for Rebecca, but you don't really want to be Becky, do you?
Now a year ago I might have run my fingers thru my hair and knit my brow, and explain what an impossible result you gave your algebraic problem. But now, being now, I am moved to say it all depends on how many x's, x stands for; if it's only one, then proving by substitution you get a better result for your addition, than by multiplication which by the laws of nature, which give us daylight saving & fixed it so we wouldn't have to reprint our train schedules, should have been the process used to get the result designated. If there be more than one x to an x, then multiplication will produce much more favorable results. Perhaps the fundamental fallacy to the solution is that it takes two to make one. So now, small student, (that's for teacher, boy) I hope my explanation clears up your mind completely.
Your upside down peach pie must have a cast iron crust, not to spill out on the floor. Are you a pie-crust expert, Eva? Father's pet dig at Mother in the early years of their married life was pie-crusts, which she has long since come to make quite beautifully, however.
It has begun to rain quite hard late this evening, and I am getting the full benefit of the drowsily musical patter of the rain drops on the roof. I did always love to hear rain on the roof, but there was a time, wasn't there, when I made terrible scowls at mist thru the window.
I can't pin down very closely any really interesting thing I've dome to-day, though I've kept myself right hard at it. Being Adjutant of the Train as well as commander of Co. C (the 77 men whom I gave religion) I have somewhat to do at headquarters as well as with my own company. An adjutant of a regiment or of an organization like our Supply Train is sort of mouthpiece of the Commanding officer, even a sort of secretary to him, a right-hand man, to borrow a very unmilitary term. I see that the clerks in the office get out necessary orders and memorandums from time to time, I conduct a meeting of the 1st sergeants of each company every day to take up necessary matters, I take care of most of the correspondence, and every day at 1:30 I go to Division Headquarters where the adjutants of each regiment and separate organization in the camp meet in the office of the Division Adjutant, who gives them any necessary orders & information to carry back to their organizations. And then Capt. June turns over to me many other little things, and I get a chance to plan lots of things for the Train generally which are issued in his name; which I like, for their scope is larger than those for the company. Not that one company doesn't need plenty of conscientious work & planning, for it surely does.
I have a new man in my company who came way on from Missoula, Montana, to enlist. He is over draft age, a graduate of Harvard 1909, and seemingly with experience which will make him a valuable man in my outfit. I called him in to-night to talk to him, and he is surely the most un-Harvard Harvard man I ever ran across - a gentle spoken, modest, unaffected sort of chap.
Greene and Travers got 1st lieutenancy's in the Quartermaster Corps tonight. That doesn't change their job any, but makes the unfortunate change in collar ornaments. It looks as though we were all coming to it. If only people didn't think it was such an inactive job. When we shall have our fill of action, it wouldn't be so bad to have commissions in the Q.M. Corps. As I believe I've soliloquized before - what's in a name, for we'll be with this organization whether they call us Q.M. Corps or Infantry. But you can bet we all wish it were Infantry.
It is getting late and I will say good-night, hoping my sweetheart is thinking of me even more than "sometimes." I think of you, - oh, lots.
Lovingly, your Sylvester.
I am disappointed, too, that you didn't get my second letter a day after the first, but you surely know by now it wasn't because I didn't write you every day. Perhaps you'll remember the first was mailed in New York and the second in Camp Devens which will make the difference. I hope my girlie didn't think I'd gone back on my promise, and will blame the mails and not me.
We certainly overlooked Miss Higbee in our calculations. However, she's not a newspaper correspondent, is she, and no special friend of Mr. Macmillan's. However I'm sure the fraternity pin is no more evidence than a male visitor who is not seen out of a young lady's sight for three days. And so long as nobody knows just what's what, they can do no more than conjecture. How do you like belonging to ZY [Zeta Psi] anyway? Just what is it you mean by asking what it is, as there might be a next time? All I can think of is you must have forgotten the pronunciation . Zeta Psi [then he spells it phonetically with long and short marks over the vowels] Is that what you mean wanted, or were you only fooling. Don't forget to wear it for me always.
I got my letter from Mother to-day. She is very happy over us, wishes us all sorts of nice things, and wants me to send love to you. And I think she will be writing you a note in a few days. I will be so glad when you know each other.
Today has been sort of like last Friday by spells, also quite chilly and raw. We were going to have evening parade to-night, but discontinued the idea because it was so disagreeable. Perhaps we'll have it tomorrow. We have never had a real one and want to get the men used to it, for the Colonel might come down some night and say, "Well, let's see you parade your Train." And there are a number of little formalities to be learned.
The Colonel has directed that Efficiency Records be kept of all the men by their company commanders. So I've started mine this evening. It's quite like teaching school again and making out report cards, for its a monthly estimate of each man's worth along all the different lines in which they are drilled &/or receive instruction, also on discipline, conduct, bearing and appearance, leadership. A is Excellent, B very good, C good, D fair, and E poor. Isn't that quite pedagogical.
I am Officer of the Day to-night. Each company commander has to take his turn at being Officer of the Day when it is his company's turn to furnish the guard for the day (4:30 one day to 4:30 the next). I have, just as part of the duties of the O.D., received the reports of the non-commissioned officer in charge of quarters from each company. That all are present or accounted for in their bunks. This report has to be made at Taps. The pleasantest duty which the Manual of Interior Guard Duty prescribes for the Officer of the Day is to inspect each post of the guard between midnight and daybreak; you question the sentries to see if they know their orders. I just interviewed one of them after receiving the Taps reports and found he is decidedly deficient. Capt. June just a half hour before stopped another who had the gall to stand up and say he had none. He is my pet Private Schoo, of the Netherlands, whom I haven't given a pass since Jan. 1st because he keeps on breaking a rule here & a rule there and failing to take interest in anything. Now I guess he'll have to go without one for another month.
I got some arbutus from Aunt Lucy to-day, the same who sent them to me down in Pleasantville last year, you know. She teaches in East Northfield, Mass., over in the western part of the state, and surely they do have beautiful arbutus there. I am sending you half of them. Perhaps it's like sending coals to Newcastle, but then I'm sending them with my best love, and I thought you would like them anyway.
I'm not going to be quite easy all day to-morrow, for I have a threatened scolding perhaps coming if my second letter didn't get you. The scolding I can live thru, perhaps, but I would hate to have you really think I had gone back on my promise. Now you really think so, did you, Eva dear?
Eva_______________________________ tit-tat-too! Did I get you that time? In the pause you were supposed to lift up your head and see what I wanted. A week ago to-night I was on my way to you, Sweetheart, and would that I were again now !
Good night. With love and a kiss for my sweetheart.
I do hope my Atlantic City letter reached you before my Pleasantville one yesterday - if Pleasantville is as slow as usual the chances are that it did - as I didn't want you to read that horrid old Pleasantville letter.
I got a lovely letter from your mother this morning. You know I sent her some of the manor flowers in the box and she wanted to know if the daffodil was sent especially for her because she is so fond of yellow. It was our daffodil that we got last Sunday.
Yesterday Katie stopped me and wanted to know if I were married. She said Laura Doherty told her I was. I wonder who told her? Miss Dorshimer asked Manny the same thing this morning. Now isn't that silly?
Daido and I went over to the Library last night and got some more books.
The Latin club meets at our house this week so that means hurry home and work.
I hardly know what to write to your mother. I wish you were here to help me out.
I got your letter, your rainy night letter this noon.
I see what would happen to me if you ever saw one of my pies. I'll be wise tho and take no chances. I see you are in a fair way to live on baker's bread and milk as I do think I could cut the bread and pour the milk so as to pass inspection. But, of course, you wouldn't tease about underdones, overdones, things mixed wrong, or pie crust made of gutta-percha. I'm confident you wouldn't but still I don't believe I'll take any chances.
Apple blossoms will soon be out. I saw a plum out yesterday and a peach today. Apple blossom time - that's our happy time isn't it? I can't even think of apple blossoms without being happy. Shall I send you some when they come out or I have it I'll come up with an apple tree in one hand, our fireplace in the other and the garden gate our hemlock tree and stone garden. Wouldn't that be a s'prise.
It just came to me how that story might have originated. Dohertys do our washing and you were there Sunday when it was brought home. I just bet that's it.
Well I must close now.
Oh, but you are such a good girl, for those two letters, all in one day, and their messages. After wondering all morning just what kind of a scolding I would get if Uncle Sam didn't attend to his post-office business promptly, it was a big relief, at noon, to find I had none.
You do get asked lots of questions for sure, but seem to have survived all successfully thus far. What's your "think stop" for blushing? I always maintain that I never do, although perhaps I couldn't look myself in the face and say it. I am sure, though, that I parried Mr. Macmillan's thrusts without a quiver.
What do you want to be with all the insignia at once, the hero of a thousand wars? The silver bar in which your hair caught I think might be a personal adornment but the others would appear at their best judicially placed on a pincushion, or as a mural decoration on a piece of lavender felt - no? Perhaps we'll go camping together in khaki some day in the Uintah Mountains, where the Piute Indians still take an occasional scalp, or somewhere, and then make use of them.
I mailed the arbutus I spoke of to you to-night, taking a trip down to Ayer, in an endeavor to get it to you quicker than it would from the camp post-office. I am a little afraid they will be faded by the time you get them, but hope that perhaps they may not be.
All morning from half past seven to after twelve I spent with my company in the butts at the rifle range. I'm thankful a turn at this doesn't come but once in two weeks. It's a tedious task, nothing much more than standing around, and seeing that targets are operated right and promptly. I think I wrote you a while ago what the butts were like, and how the targets were pulled up & down and marked. I think the left side of my collar is hoodooed, for when I was swinging my arms across my chest to get warm my left crossed rifles slipt off & fell thru a crack in the board floor. So again the left side of my neck became most sensitive.
Pop told me to-day the Colonel had tried to secure him a promotion to a Major's commission, but word had come back that Washington wouldn't do it, as there was a surplus of Majors in the country and extra ones could be sent here to fill vacancies. So we may get another mew Major one of these days, which isn't pleasing at all. The Colonel says he'll try to side track him even then, and I certainly hope he can for Pop ought to be the Major of this Train; he organized it & has been its leader since August, except the couple of months Major Schoonmaker was here. He knows the men, he knows the job, and it would seem a shame not to have him permanent commanding officer.
My First Lieutenant's commission came in the regular printed form to-day, with the President's seal at the top and signed personally by Assistant Secretary of War Crowell, & Adjutant General McCain. They start always: "Know ye, that reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity, & ability of ____________ I do appoint him First Lieutenant in the National Army" etc. We who graduated from the first Officers' Training Camps never did get them, covering our original commissions, all I ever had to show I was a 2nd lieutenant was a copy of the telegram which made us all. Perhaps that's why Mr. Mac called me newly fledged.
Moody has been playing the victrola to-night out in the dining room the first time it's been played much of any in a couple of weeks. I have been sort of afraid to go near it, lest it make me unbearably lonesome.
I hope you can get some of those pictures taken at Miss Quimby's party, also that one at least is of just yourself that I may have.
I thought I was going to French class to-night, but Pop says he doesn't want me to go; I'm glad not to have to spend the time at it, but still it was pretty valuable learning. Class or no class, I can say
Je t'aime, cherie -this by way of an answer to your Latin version of the same thing.
Just a week ago to-night, but it seems as though we had belonged to each other much longer than that. The answer to that is "we have" isn't it, dear? I love you more than all the world, sweetheart, and live for the day when "Together" will be a reality. Goodnight night
P.s. I accused myself of silliness to-day at my way of playing tit-tat-too, which wasn't pretty & ingenious like yours, but you see I was up against it when everything was filled & two threes in a row all taken.
Your two letters came at the same time this morning, though the latter tied with the former in the race, it failed to prevent my opening the former, for what do you suppose I did. I looked to see which was mailed first, and thought I'd open that, and save the other till noon, so as to spread out the pleasure. I couldn't finally wait till noon for the second, but you see it was too late by that time even. But I hope you won't mind, and goodness! I'm glad to have you tell me anything, want you to tell me everything. I hope your cold is getting lots better by now.
This is just a little extra note at noon, as I thought mayhaps Sunday intervening would delay letters getting to you.
I feel quite proud of having taken the Ford up to Division Headquarters to Adjutants' meeting this morning, in and around all the cars up there, for I never did use the reverse on it before and I'm not very skilled at pinch driving. But you see I am back safe and sound. Last night I drove an Auburn around for a little while, and in trying to stop in front of Headquarters I put my foot on the accelerator instead of the brake & went a flying off and all over; so that I went around a square again to try it over. It was just a little bit galling for the sergeant whose car it was to say condescendingly " We've all got to learn sometime". I suppose lots of these chaps here think its funny their officers don't know more about motor vehicle mechanism and operation.
Hist! We have a little trip coming. Though its not a profound secret, don't say anything about it. It's only as far as Bridgeport, Conn., to get 150 Locomobile trucks. 6 officers and 300 men are going. We don't know just when, but I am to be one of the officers and Capt. June's going to have me in charge of feeding the outfit along the way. So next week you are likely to get letters from places other than Camp Devens - Springfield, Hartford, or Bridgeport. I wish it might be possible to let you know of addresses to write me at; perhaps it will. The trip will be good experience, and I'm rather glad it's not going to be longer away from camp. I am going to make plans this afternoon for my end of it.
Good-bye for now.
I love you, sweetheart.
The Latin Club met around at our house last night and we certainly had a fine time. It ended eith an impromptu debate on "Women Suffrage" and, of course, the women won, and not because they out numbered the boys either. Penhollow (against) & Keutcher (for) debated and Keutcher was great, The debate was held to settle the terrible feud between the freshman and the juniors.
Mr. Keutcher kept us laughing from the minute he stepped on the floor. Mr. Penhollow asked for silence when he stood up as he was a little horse. Mr. Keutcher said such arguments as were advanced were just about what a horse would advance.
Mr. Penhollow said some feeble minded men might want to give women the vote but they wouldn't all get it. Mr. Keutcher said Ladies and gentlemen in spite of what Mr. Penhollow has said I am not as feeble minded as he --------------------would have you believe.
Mr. Penhollow said woman's place was in the home. Mr. Keutcher wanted to know if she could go out in the back yard once in a while. Permission was granted on condition she be hanging out the family wash when so doing.
The debate sure was lots of fun.
Daido is going to Philadelphia to-day to see about a position. She got a telephone call yesterday. Honor bright this time.
My cold still sticks.
I haven't very much to say but if I get it off in the noon will write more later
Trying to make the mulish Ford mind a new master this afternoon and evening has left the would-be master in some what of a fatigued state. And he wishes to say he feels a devout thankfulness that reveille is an hour later Sunday morning. I can't really say I've accomplished very much since I wrote you a few hours ago. That deserter of mine is still using up my time. He's to be discharged now, but there are limitless complications involving at least the price of a diamond ring, before I can get him finished with. I prepared sample papers this afternoon to submit to the paymaster for advice, but as he wasn't in, the whole thing must wait over till Monday, and Monday we might have to start out on that trip. I took the Ford on a business & joy ride in the later afternoon, first to the paymaster, then to the post-office with a letter for you, then to the hospital, where one of my men is sick at the present time. The men of the company had it that he was on his last legs, but I found him feeling quite chipper, and I guess he was glad to have me come and see him. Before I went there I stopped at the 302nd Infantry to see Tom Beers, but he wasn't in, and all I got for my trouble was to bend the tail light of the Ford all out of shape against a post I didn't see in backing up. I took the car then around some bumpety roads in the country & finally landed back in camp. I told Pop about the tail light as soon as I came back, but all he could say was why couldn't I knock the post over. After supper I took Greene out to his house in the bus, and Pop went along too, to share the dangers to which anyone riding in our Ford to-day was subjecting himself to. The Greene's have a nice little home out in Harvard (next town to the south); it is two thirds furnished, having a fire place and a piano.
We have laid a few plans for the trip; we'll collect mess supplies from the different companies & buy other things necessary. Three of the Liberty trucks we have now are going down by the road to Bridgeport with cots, two field ranges, & all necessary equipment. Jim Greene and I are going with them, while the bulk of the party is going down by train. Jim & I plan to make Hartford on the first night, so that we can run down to my home over night. I wish we knew when we were to start but I suppose we won't until it's almost time to go.
I don't know whether that Sylvester story refers to me or not. That's a long way back to remember, and you wouldn't hardly hold me responsible for my acts then, would you?
A week ago to-night we were just about getting home from Hemlock Manor now, with your dear hand tucked under my arm.
I must say good-night, with love and a kiss for you, sweetheart.
I have written a little note to your mother to thank her for the good wishes for our happiness.
We are going to be happy, aren't we? I'm an awful baby tho, Daido says so.
Daido and I went to the lecture last night. It was good. We bought some daisies, too. Weren't we 'stravagant? But they were so fresh so Springlike I just had to have them.
It has been raining very hard all day today but again we have a wonder spring night.
I think I'll send you a daisy. They are smiling at me so happily now.
Didn't you say you had sent me the insignia? It hasn't arrived as yet nor have my arbutus.
I had the first reward of my labors in the garden today. Four small onions to garnish a salad. They certainly did look fresh and green and pretty.
Mr. Hammell left for Virginia yesterday. A week of Mr. Long undiluted. If he stays upstairs I can stand it. I wouldn't dare take a week off as I am not entirely caught up with my work as yet and as Memorial Day comes nearer, work is harder. (Calamity Jane)
I haven't been out today except a few minutes to pull the few aforementioned fruits from the horn of plenty. Daido went out for a few minutes this evening and she says it is just lovely out.
I wrote a letter to Aunt Amelia today. One whole week in answering her letter. Of course, I didn't tell her so, but the reason, I fear, was that I had so many letters to write. Wouldn't you rather get one nice letter once in a while than a dozen with so little to say. Not much happens to me except dishes.
Daido wants to go away away somewhere this summer and wants me to go too. Of course, if you are way away it won't matter much where I go but if you're not---
I'm absurdly happy sometimes to think that someone really wants me, that I belong to someone.
Good-night and I love you.
The surroundings are not very favorable to an intelligent epistle this evening as there are no less than 5 guests in my room. For somehow Room 8 has become a congregating place for to-night. And as it is more a gathering accumulating like an avalanche, and with no reference to solicitude for my welfare, I have turned my back on the crowd to write you. This has been another rainy night, almost rainy enough to justify an umbrella over a uniform, even though unaccompanied by a member of the gentler sex.
The trip is the chief topic of conversation behind me. Pop 'lows as how the officers could look real nice in rubber boots and spurs for uniform on the trip. "Rubber boots and spurs" is the standard uniform joke here, for the two of course do not properly go together. Pop and I worked 'most all afternoon on the order for the trip, ready to issue as soon as our order for it comes. This order is in no less than 23 paragraphs, covering. We hope, every necessary point. We talked it over together while I wrote, and Pop would keep thinking of lots of little disconnected things while I was trying to get thru with one subject. So I'd say "Yes, we'll get that in, and keep going." Deck just asked Pop if he could let his folks know he was going on a little trip, and Pop gave him the encouraging answer "Well, you know what the regulations are." As I would understand it, this trip would not be taboo in conversation, but still be sure nothing is said. I would not speak of it if I knew I were violating any regulations.
I did appreciate that extra hour of sleep last night, but wished there were about 2 or 3 more when morning came. So after breakfast I did "bunk fatigue" till nearly ten o'clock. Did you ever hear of "bunk fatigue" ? "Fatigue" in the army is work; includes most everything outside of drill. And so rest in the army has come to be known universally as "bunk fatigue".
I was glad to know you had heard from Mother.
You do have to bear the brunt of lots of stories, don't you?
'Deed I would like to have you send me apple blossoms when they come out, dear. You must have felt a sudden burst of muscular energy when you suggested the numerous impedimenta to accompany you up. Wouldn't it be nice if we could take some of those things to our home, lady? The garden gate, anyway.
I must write to Mother now.
Love without end,
I got two letters this morning because I waited over Sunday without any.
Work has been swimming along with no fear of interruption to bother me.
Today certainly is a cheerful day. So warm and bright and happy.
I have been crocheting all evening on that luncheon set we started last summer. I had the lace made for it once but it wouldn't sew on nicely so I am making the lace right on the goods now.
Miss Davis was up for a while this evening. She wants to go to the Philippines to teach and wants Daido and me to go, too. She says I could teach - all that is necessary is that one should have graduated from High School.
I do hope you do get a chance to spend a day at home when you go to Bridgeport. Maybe then your mother will forgive me for keeping you away.
Did you ever feel awful old and awful responsible? Seems to me I just feel that way now. Don't you think it's an awful responsibility to have someone's happiness in your hands. I just get afraid sometimes. I get so afraid sometimes when I think, what if I should fail? You won't let me fail tho, will you?
Wouldn't you like me to write you something I wrote. I'll take a chance anyway.
Daido didn't go to see about the position after all last Saturday and today the man came down to see her. The school is only three miles from the University of Penn. and, of course, that is an advantage but Daido wants to go farther away.
You know, I forgot to wear our frat pin this morning and never discovered it until I got on the car and I hadn't time to go back and get it. Please forgive me ' cause I 'fessed, won't you?
My arbutus hasn't arrived as yet (nor the insignia) and I suppose it will be all dead when it does. It always takes a long while for packages to arrive from your way, don't you remember it was 'most two weeks before I got your pictures Christmas?
It's just 10:45 - that sounds better than quarter of 11 so I must say good-night. Now if you bend your head down real low I whisper something nice.
The night is beautiful. The sky is wavy, full of white caps, and the moon is sailing thru, before a favoring wind. How I wish we were enjoying it together.
I have let myself kind of brim over with nerves to-day, and just now am feeling a bit of a light-headed reaction. But that worthless, good-for-nothing hound who deserted on me, and is now getting only a discharge is certainly causing me lots of trouble and perturbation of mind. It is three weeks since I was directed to discharge him but I don't yet feel safe to do so. He has charged against him on last month's payroll $89.80 for transportation of himself and guard from St. Louis here, and of guard from here back to St. Louis. On the advice of Col. Massee, Division Judge Advocate, I telegraphed Washington for authority to revoke these charges, because the charge of desertion had been removed. I got no reply and in ten days telegraphed again, and all I got was "Read Army Regulations Par.131" which state that when charge of desertion is removed by competent authority all stoppages & forfeitures of pay arising there from are automatically dropped. It is a nice legal question in the mind of Col. Massee whether these charges really arose from the charge of desertion. Well, you're not interested in any intricate legal discussion, but the meat of the matter is, if I make a mistake and revoke these charges when they really shouldn't be I am out $89.80 all for nothing. And I don't propose to throw that perfectly decent sum away all for nothing on such a worthless cuss as this Sweaton at least. And there are a number of other little complications to it; every step in his case presents some new complication. I'll certainly be thankful when I'm rid of him. What makes me so exercised about it is that all the time & trouble I've spent on him are on a man who has never done anything but give me trouble, who has never done one useful thing for me, and isn't of the slightest use to the Army - certainly not when he's going to get out. I have solemnly vowed to my company clerk to swear at him for a full half hour just before letting him go. Can you think of a better way to get back at him? At any rate that expresses my state of mind in the matter. There's enough red tape in any case to discharge a man. His case has brought it to a head and to-night I looked over all our orders, bulletins, & memorandums & compiled on one page in my notebook the 11 different things that must be done in discharging a man - mostly forms to make out & various officials which have to be notified with various sorts of information.
Well, now, I didn't intend to explode for two pages on my near-mental-derangement over my friend Sweaton. Because there really have been times thru the day when I've been quite amiable.
I went over the finally final proof of our ex Major's book last night, and I expect it will be on the market soon. My name is not to appear and on the whole I'm just as glad of it, because it doesn't look to me as though he had been careful to look out for copyrights in cases where material was taken from other books. It isn't because I haven't prodded him about it, for I have spoken to him a couple of times in a diplomatic way - wondering if he had taken care to get permission for all material based on other books. But I have a feeling that some copyright troubles are coming up when it gets on the market. I've had the pleasure & good experience of working on it, and will have whatever satisfaction there is in knowing that I wrote this section or chapter, or had a good deal to do with that, & so on.
I was thinking the first of the evening that this was the anniversary of the day you waited for me as "rear guard", but I am more inclined to think now that last Monday was, for an entry in my cash account says "supper" on Apr.15, and I am quite sure I ate supper at Smith's after coming back with you. Come to think of it, isn't today the day we walked from Absecon station to the Manor, and planted some of the garden? There were lots of Together trips during April; I remember them all, but don't remember just when they were. They were happy as happy could be, that's the main thing.
It's time to say good-night.
I love you, sweetheart.
I'm writing by the light of our fireplace fire, so this ought to be a specially nice letter.
Last night I saw a high silk hat, a swallow-tail and a cane walking up the street with Dr. W.W.W. and it arrived in school today as Mr. Tolton's successor. Hat, cane, coat and wax moustache combined came to class. I guess the whole school has done nothing but giggle all day. Wonder if it's the only outfit he has.
I picked my first real wild violets tonight. I was going up to see my Aunt, Mrs. Horton, as I haven't been up for exactly two months tonight but Daido said she felt sick and coaxed me not to go so I came back with her.
We read by the fire-place awhile and now Daido has gone to bed.
All day I've been wanting to write a Hemlock Manor poem and I'm going to now.
Why, wouldn't you really most believe I was a man sitting in front of Hemlock Manor dreaming dreams of yesterday and smoking. Of course, I'd be smoking. Wouldn't be proper without a pipe, a wonderful, comfy cozy chair, a fireplace with a bright cheery fire, the first apple blossoms of Spring and the lastest best seller.
Daido lost my daisy pin (that she gave me last year) and I wanted to keep it forever and ever. I certainly did like it.
I'm ensconced on 'steen pillows but I put a daisy on top so I'm not one bit afraid about this letter.
I just got most half-scared to death I heard some men talking and I thought they came up on the porch but I think they went across the street but it certainly did sound close.
(Excuse half-sheet but I am out of paper.)
It is getting most too late for young ladies and old ones too, Sylvester dear, to be out all alone by themselves so I will say good night second chiud
The frogs are most melodious this evening. There are two ponds right near us, Little Robbins Pond and Robbins Pond, where the songs come from, I guess. I always did like them, but they do just now make lonesomeness for you very poignant. How indelibly they have become associated in my mind with the little pond at Hemlock Manor, and one particular night.
I don't know why you haven't got those insignia yet for I sent them quite early last week. I'm not overly crazy to have them floating about the country. I surely hope they get to you. I'm afraid the arbutus will be pretty faded.
I had good practice for our wedding yesterday - taking oath of office as 1st Lieutenant. This oath of office is on a special form which doesn't get to you for sometime after promotions. I swore to it before Capt. Stone, Adjutant to our Colonel, who had me repeat after him the words of the oath, a few at a time, which is where the practice for the wedding comes in. Eva, I've stolen a march on you, you see.
To-day I finished up most of the million odd things to do & letters to write in connection with that deserter, and hope to get finally rid of him tomorrow. I told him for about 15 minutes this morning my opinion of him and his getting nothing but a discharge from the army after committing the worst military offense and causing me hours & days of work on such a worthless hound as himself, when I needed it for constructive work for the Army.
I have just taken a grapefruit for a night-cap. Every few evenings I experience an insatiable desire for one of these small luxuries, and cook usually keeps a box on hand. I'm thinking that a box of them comes just about forth after our three original necessities.
Wouldn't I like rather to get one long letter once in a while than several shorter ones? That isn't exactly what you asked, for you said one nice letter; I can't say that, for there are none that haven't been. You know what you said about scolding. "Nuff sed. I love your letters, every one, I love you, and hope I can always make you just as happy as can be.
Today is another "blue day." A true blue one this time. It certainly is wonderful out.
I'm all caught up with my work and it isn't 8:30 yet.
The insignia came this morning and I have on at the present time a certain lieutenant's shoulder bar. I feel quite like a soldier.
The colored man that hauls the team here is drunk this morning and I wish you could see him. He can't walk straight to save his life. He just started to ride a wheel down to the station. He rode round in circles and fell flat at least three times. The men are laughing so much they are going to be sick. He's laughing, too, now, but about noon, when he starts to come to his senses, he'll be feeling simple and then he'll get surly and won't speak to anyone.
I'll tell you what, we will take a trip up to Hemlock Manor this morning. Remember I do all the talking which is proper. May I put on my old brown shoes? Just a minute now and I'll be ready. (exit me) 5 minutes later. Are you ready? Don't forget to lock the door, shut the windows, put out the cat, wind the clock.
We're on our way now. You're carrying some limes and lavender Jordan almonds - Oh no! let's have it fudge that we've just made.
Let's take a lunch too, lamb chops, and lettuce, rolls, cake and apples. We won't want any jam because there will be lots of rhubarb up there to cook. (we'll forget the sugar and not remember it until we start to cook and then we'll be consternational.)
We'll go out Washington Ave. today and we'll look at the cemetery and say I don't know you today.
Just look at the violets all out along the gravel pit here. Oh ! I bet there'll be millions up along the railroad but we won't stop until we come back. "Of course we will see them on our way back. We're coming back early - and anyway its moonlight and we could see even if we didn't but we are.
Didn't we reach the school house quickly, and the roads aren't a bit muddy - nor dusty either.
'Member it was just about here, the last day, you know, before you went away the first time, that we saw those beautiful swallows battling so against the wind.
You haven't forgotten !
Goodness, It certainly was a good thing you were only teasing. You just better take the right road or I'll go back. I just knew you'd come after such a threat. (The beauty of this is I can make you do just as I please. I'm going to make you say my hill is three miles high after a while).
Yes these hills are high. Well no, I wouldn't say they were quite three miles but if you insist I s'pose they are. By the way, you know that walk back from Bargaintown. You really didn't walk? Well, you know, I was sure you didn't. It's only a short walk anyway - Nothing over two miles.
I see our avenue trees. Oh you're looking in the wrong direction. You are perverse, aren't you?
I just love to walk thru this avenue. It's so soft and grassy and different. I love things that are different. You're different.
Oh, let's not stop at the old tree first. Let's go see the garden gate.
Look at those maples aren't they wonderful against the blue of that sky and that saucy little white cloud.
That's the first bee I've seen this year. There must be lots of flowers out.
"Whose goin' over my bridge?"
I'm not I'm over, Mr. Ogre, but Sylvester isn't.
Don't you feel thirsty. It's pretty warm.
Oh I'm not tired or thirsty I just wanted to come over here and hear the fall.
I guess we better go up now.
(The house isn't torn down - remember.)
Do you think anyone has had the nerve to go in our home? Oh I can reach the key I'm tall.
Isn't it dusty but then we've been away for a long while.
Don't you think you better go get wood and water while I start lunch.
Of course you're hungry.
Don't worry I'll save the dishes for you.
(Very quick exit, you, at mention of dishes).
(Entrance with water. Exit without speaking. Re-entrance with wood. You start the fire. Can't build it. I have to build it.)
Dinner is now served on a beautiful oak dry goods box table covered with a red cloth. A tiny red candle sits in the center.
Suddenly you rush from the room in a hurry and come back.
You have an apple blossom bouquet for the table. The first of the season.
Dinner is served on the table and you are sitting in the comfy sawhorse chair in front of it but where am I? There's only one chair in the house.
Now isn't that a nice trip?
First of all I want to say how much I like that little thing you wrote in the letter I got to-day. I do think it is beautiful and so much You; and you are so beautiful, my Eva.
To-day has been lovely, except that the wind has been blowing the sand around with a vengeance. It was especially beautiful and fresh this morning. I got out real early, 7 o'clock, for it was my turn to-day to go out to Still River with 5 of our trucks, which take some men of the 33rd Engineers to that place for construction work. The idea is to have the different officers take turns at this in order to get experience in conducting a train of trucks. But I found plenty of time to enjoy the fresh morning ride. When we came back and after I had done a little work at headquarters, I went out on the truck assigned to my company just for the sake of a little experience at driving the machine myself. This was as a matter of fact the first time I had ever driven one. The chief trouble I have is shifting gears, and I succeeded in stalling the machine about 3 times on hills for not being able to shift quick enough. In a few days I expect to be a regular rough rider, though.
We had a good one on Andy to-night. One of the men brought over to Capt. June a squib from a newspaper which read like this: "Hartford, Conn. April 19, - A handsome military man with the shoulder straps of a captain made application with his fiancee at the bureau of vital statistics for a marriage license. His name is Arthur H. Anderson, 35 years of age and the bride-to-be is Mabel P. Hayes, 30, both of Springfield, Mass." Well, the old rat was away on the 18th and we didn't know what to make of it, for the description in the second paragraph is Andy exactly though the captain business is wrong, and Andy's claims to the designation of "handsome" are not overly well founded, he being round headed and red-faced. I got 12 copies of the newspaper squib typewritten, and placed one under each plate at the supper table, and we all arranged to go in together. When we did go in to supper some one struck up the Lohengrin Wedding March; that completed, we sat down, and when we began turning up our plates, the fun began. Deck Spaulding read the squib, which was cheered after each 3 or 4 words, till Andy didn't know just where he was at. But he allows as how he knows who perpetrated it, and as for its being true he makes a very good face at a denial. In fact I think it's all a joke, but it's been productive of more merriment than anything that has ever happened here.
Goodness, Eva! The Philippines! Isn't Miss Davis getting a rather widely stretched imagination?
Didn't you fear all sorts of dire things for not wearing the fraternity pin? Supposing you were a brother and not a sister in the inner circle? Well, since you 'fessed up, lady, I'll look down from my lofty 5 ft 81/2 with graciousness on your plea.
I'm so sorry those packages don't get to you.
I'm going to ask you to answer this to Cromwell, Conn. I'm likely to be going there about the time your letter will come. Your letters now on the way, I may have to miss till I come back. They are so much a part of my daily life that there would be a big void in the day with out them. Your love-messages are so beautiful. Of course I shall write you from wherever I am, and each time I'll give you and adress for the answer which I think will get me the quickest.
Mother wrote me to-day of receiving your note and was much pleased with it.
Good-night, dearest, with all my love.
I just thought I'd start my nightly letter now, you know, tonight is Alumni night and besides Daido's Aunt Cuzzie is coming down to spend the week end so that means hurry after work.
I just dropped a pin so I would have something to tell you about and that really is about all I do have to tell.
I saw Pearl and her darling fat baby today and she certainly looks well. They have a house along the Matnua River in Paulsboro and I am going up to spend the week end in a few weeks. Won't that be fine? I didn't tell her my secret yet but I'd like to when I go up. May I? I'm afraid she'll laugh at me as I always said I was going to be an old maid. I might be yet if someone I know insists on having a wedding. The very thot of it scares me to death.
Do you remember my picture dressed as a bride, last year?
I'm just home from Alumni and it is terrible late. We had a rather interesting meeting - not too much so by any means.
Today I had finished sets for two and the centerpiece for my luncheon set but Daido wanted another for her Aunt Cuzzie so I did that tonight; it looks rather nice, I think.
Oh, I had an awful horrid dream last night. I dreamed you were coming down to see me. I went down to the station with a lovely (?) lavender skirt on (it must have been for your special benefit because of the color) and my old red sweater. Well, the train came in and you were with three girlfriends of yours and you didn't see me at all. I don't know why because lavender is your favorite color and I'm sure the old red sweater didn't clash with it, much. I was crying when Daido woke me up. Wasn't I silly? I'm sure it wasn't my clothes that made you love me, or my money. Doesn't it seem queer that you should love me? I just pinched myself again. I'm so happy now. I've never been very happy before. I hope you're happy.
Two weeks ago tonight you were on your way here.
The frogs are singing, the moon is bright. I wonder if there are any apple blossoms? I think I'll take a dream trip up tonight and see.
My own dear Eva,
You see I am still here, and think what I would have missed for several days if I hadn't been, the trip in which I couldn't say a word, but which nevertheless has a most happy conclusion, as well as being happy all the way thru. To-morrow night I shall be writing from some where else, which means I've got to go without a letter till some come to me forwarded. So I'll take along your letters I have already - to read again - and again. The letter you write after receiving this I figure would be Saturday and I believe Cromwell would be the best place to address it. I am likely to be going thru there Monday or Tuesday and can then collect it. I expect to stop over in Cromwell to-morrow night; it will be a complete surprise to the folks if I do.
It has been a very busy evening getting ready for the morn. The morn by the clock is by the way already here, at 12:03, as I fear, dear heart, I'm not very intelligent.
I have taken the trip with you twice now this evening. I thought that would be fair seeing I couldn't say anything. Also wish to give due warning. I shall take many more of the same trip. May I? Perhaps, too, you'll take me on the trip back some time. I don't believe I am likely to leave for some time, but when we do we shall surely go out by the garden gate, and your face will radiate the charm which on that other night held me spell-bound for a moment. Would it be possible I could ever have her? And now the wonderful thing has come to pass, and she is mine, forever and ever and ever.
Then we'll listen to the frogs a little while. What is their song? Is it contentment? Tell me, I'm sure you know. Aristophanes tried to find syllables for their song for their song and got:
Brek-ekek-ax, co-ax, co-ax
O-op, O-op, parabalou.
Those syllables seem hardly synonymous with contentment, do they? But perhaps they don't just fit the music anyway. They make up the Yale yell, you know, only its slided into
Bre---e- e-ex, wrax wrax &c.
We must surely see how the dahlias are growing, and you know you said we would stop at the old tree coming back - always, no matter how late we are.
If I did the dishes, am I carrying them back? Tell me I'm sure to break them, and then no doubt I will carry them.
And the long walk home in the cool of the evening with the communication of kindred souls, must not be forgotten. It will always be precious, for the way is strewn with memories of Her who made it hallowed ground, who has been my companion over it so many times, and who will now be my companion for all time.
Wherever I leave you, may I kiss you good-night?. I love you -
Address next letter to my Camp Devens address as near as I can tell now. S%%
I have been traveling all day long since a quarter to six this morning and perhaps I don't know it by the way I feel. Between the sand and the sun my face burns like a fever. It was very cold when we first started, but by afternoon it got decidedly warm. You should see me all armed to the teeth as I've been, with a pistol & belt, portfolio hanging over my shoulder, canteen and first aid packet; uniform; service hat and short coat as in right one of the three pictures I had taken at Christmas. At Worcester I dropped a letter for you I wrote last night to a civilian to put in the mail box; I saw that he had it safely, so I guess there won't be any danger of your not getting it. We had three trucks and a moto-cycle, ten men & two officers - Greene and myself. Greene and I rode on the first truck, and watched to see that things went right, though such a small detachment didn't need much watching. We didn't have any trouble at all on the way. We did hesitate awhile before going over a certain bridge whose ability to carry 8 tons was some what doubtful in our minds. But after looking it over carefully & consulting Greenie I decided to chance it, though taking off all men except the driver from the seat. We got over safely, but the old bridge did sag a bit.
After we got into Hartford at 5:00 o'clock or there abouts I got into the moto-cycle, and speeded down here to make arrangements for the men for the night. I just dropped in at home for a minute to surprise them and let them know I was around; then proceeded to get arrangements made. I finally succeeded in getting the captain of the Home Guard and he let me take his drill hall to put up the men's cots in. The trucks drove in about a half an hour afterward and are now parked on the village green, the object of curiosity of the whole populace. They are now already to start out at 6 in the morning.
Greene and I are staying at my home. We went out and watched the Home Guard drill in the late evening, and then after a little interval went down to see that our men were all in at the prescribed time. Earlier in the evening I got a chance to play piano - the first in 2 months think; I am so brazen now I don't mind asking anybody if they mind if I play a little while, because I get so few chances to. I played Apple Blossoms, and what little/big girl do you suppose was before me every minute of it?
A rooster is crowing nearby, but he lies about the time. However, it is after midnight and I must get up at five. So good night, dear lady-mine. I love you.
[It would seem that Gram must have sent another letter which is lost, as Gramp alludes to things not mentioned in the letters we have]
I am quartered to-night in a little room off the main hall of the Bridgeport Armory, with the officers who are on this trip with me - six others. The 300 men with us are quartered in the main hall on folding cots which the small detachment of us who stopped in Cromwell last night carried down on the trucks. I have just been getting the 300 quieted down, since Taps has blown; they get an ides that on trips like this ordinary cantonment rules are waived. Its like putting a nursery or an orphanage to bed, I should imagine, and it makes me feel rather foolish, however the task is none the less necessary. It is not as hard, anyway, as cleansing the temple was once for Dr. Whitney.
We got an early start from Cromwell this morning, soon after 6. We made good time all the way, and were in Bridgeport by half-past ten. The road from Cromwell to New Haven has a certain indelible association, to wit, the first time I ever went over it - That was in the fall of 1909, when I entered college; I took a good deal of furniture down from home, so that Father drove me down in a big wagon. It was the first time I had gone away from home, and perhaps I didn't have a sinking of the heart when my Dad left the next morning to go back home. I then began one good homesick week; it is the only real hard case I have ever had, and it was a real one. There are other experiences akin to homesickness - the all-lost, bottoms-out feeling at a long parting from a dear friend - and they are surely not unknown to me; but that was an aching and longing for my home, which I, a mere boy, had just left. I was really a Boy then, yours too, but of course I didn't know it.
I found Capt. June at the factory where we are going to get some trucks, and got from him what arrangements he had made; chiefly that he had gotten the armory for us and that the cooking would be done in a little yard next to it. It took the men quite a long time to unload the trucks of all the cots, rations, kitchen equipment, and tools, but they were assisted by a number of the small boys of the city who had gathered around. Mess Sergeants Brennen Co. C, and Gould, Co. D, who rode down with us on the trucks superintended the setting up of the field ranges in that yard. During the afternoon we went around and bought some wood, ice, and meat. You know, I've just thought, why I'm no better than I was before on buying meat for the household is that in the army we buy whole quarters and rounds. I almost forgot the bread until 5 o'clock, and then went up & bought all the bread a big baking company had left and contracted to buy 200 pound & a half loaves to-morrow. Of course I suppose it's wicked to thus require labor on the Sabbath. But you see, I'm a pagan, not a Buddhist nor any other ist.
That was news indeed about Carey. If the visible evidence is sparkling on Miss J's finger. I'm glad you and I, dear, did it differently for now.
Johnnie Fox is stirring about in bed as though he wished I'd hung up and put the light out, so I suppose I ought to do it. My Friday mail was brought down to me and so I had a letter to-night. Continue to write to me at Camp Devens, as I expect to be back there before long.
I forgot to say the other 300 men came down by train, arriving at six. After we saw they were settled and fed, Greene and I looked rather vainly for a place to eat, finally selecting the Hotel Stratfield, though not dressed for such a select place. We didn't finish dinner until almost ten. To-morrow I think I shall rest a good deal of the time.
Good-night and love - always.
We went up to Hemlock Manor today. Daido, her Aunt Cuzzie and her Uncle. We took a machine up to the woods and had him come get us when we came back.
The violets were wonderful. The whole place was just purple.
We built a fire in the fireplace and had lunch.
Daido's uncle is the nicest old man. He is about eighty years old and game and spry as it is possible to be. He looks just like an old southern Colonel - He certainly did enjoy it.
Our lilies-of-the-valley have started to peep thru but, this is the biggest surprise of all, there was an apple blossom tree out in blossom.
Daido and I have been lying comfy cozy by the fire place tonight and the frogs have been giving us just wonderful selections.
The girls are going to give Miss Hodgson (Mrs.Mac) a variety shower next Thursday but, again, I have promised Manny I would make that long expected visit and I think I will this time.
All the folks just thought my luncheon set was grand and Miss Halbruner (Daido's Aunt Cuzzie) actually took the pattern home, and I 'scovered it myself, to make one like it for the Red Cross Fair. Don't you feel proud of me?
I think the frogs are singing me a good night song. It is very low, and soft and contented. (Haven't you noticed my glaring fault of talking like this?)
I always have to go without a letter Sundays.
Mr. Hunter brought the North American with him today and it has funnies and Katzenjammer ones. Aren't you jealous?
April 28th was the day of Gramp's accident while riding on the motorcycle. The news article and family letters appear with his letters to his mother.
Ralph wrote you yesterday of the little accident I had, which has forced me to be laid up here for a few days. I thought I might be able to write myself but am not allowed to sit up yet, and don't seem to be able to maneuver it successfully from the prone position.
Sergt. Fernald has just dropped over to see me and is playing a amanuensir. He and Sergt. Coughlan who came with him brought me some beautiful roses and sweet peas from the men of the company which makes my room seem very bright and cheerful.
I an resting fairly comfortably and rest seems to be the chief thing I need to take.
I don't remember anything about the accident itself, I had been over to New Haven Sunday afternoon on a combined business and pleasure trip, during which , saw a couple of classmates and visited old scenes, especially the Mystic silences of the Zeta Psi house.
It was on my return that I collided with some forces coming from the other way, I was in the side car of the motor cycle and my driver Corp. Johnson, was hurt some and carried here also, they tell me he is sitting up now and is coming along all right.
My chief bumps are on the left side of my head and left shoulder. They were good bumps but guess they will go down soon, nothing broken as the paper has it.
I am being well taken care of and friends who are here have been thoughtful of me. Father came down from Hartford yesterday afternoon and came over here with Ralph. I was surely glad to see him and have him see for himself that I was not seriously hurt.
I had a letter from Mother this morning and she enclosed your letter which you sent to Cromwell. It does seem good to see your writing and name again. If you found any apple blossoms on that Sunday trip you need not ask how well I would like them here.
I will just finish up myself. I love you, dear.
Forever yours, Sylvester.
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