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May 2, 1918
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May 27, 1918
SBButler Letters, May 1918
It has come out beautiful this morning and the birds are singing most blithely. But I wish they heralded your coming again this morning. It is lonesome, oh, so lonesome, without you, the soft touch of your hand, the gentle press of your lips, the healing of your whole presence, the enchantment of your comradeship. But you are coming back - coming back - like the flame. And I will not be downcast at all, because of that, and because, too, it is not the way to get well.
They brought your telegram to me as soon as I woke. I am glad you got back safely, and hope you won't be too tired this morning, or have too much work to do.
I went to sleep quite early last evening. No visitors came in. Mr. Tetlow, the old gentleman in the room here got started on tales of the old English Army, and the virtues of one Lord Charles Beresford. They have such astounding memories, these Englishmen. He asked me if we said grace for our men before mess, and on my negative answer quoted an old Beresford one
all told in Mr. Tetlow's best English brogue.
Some people in the next room evidently began to convalesce yesterday for they talked at the top of their voices all evening. There was some woman with them, whether it was one of the men's wives, or who, I don't know, but she talked most tediously of all the movie actors she thought were wonderful or swell (!!) or what not. The men are also quite disposed to conversation this morning, and I therefore hope they get well & out quickly for they are indeed loud-mouthed and they have nothing worth-while to say.
The doctor hasn't been here yet this morning.
Good-bye for now, my good lady, my beautiful lady.
With all my love,
[This was started before Eva knew about the accident, then finished and sent after she returned to Pleasantville. A corner of the letter has been nibbled away, so I am guessing at a few words within the context of the sentences.]
April 29, 1918
I thot I'd send a little bit of Hemlock Manor up to you because you had been so good on the Manor Party. I hope they reach you in good condition. I thot perhaps they would carry better in a wooden box and at least they wouldn't be crushed and it actually was cheaper to send them that way than in a lighter one. I made Daido dump out her chalk to get it for me. Didn't I have a nerve?
I have written several letters to you at Cromwell but I don't know whether they will get there in time for you to get them or not.
Katie and Frank [Eva's sister and brother] have been down this evening.
I have been rearranging my apple blossoms. I have lots, you know, and I have fixed them on the buffet just out from the blue wall paper. They certainly look nice. They are so frail and delicate and so memoryfull. So memoryfull of that last of so unhappy night when I felt just as if my whole world had gone off and left me alone. I was never so miserable and oh I never want to be so again.
There, I'm getting "Calamity Jane"ish again.
The School is going to publish a Commencement memory of a paper and the Alumni is to write up their histories past, present and future. Everything we did since we left school is to be recorded. Shall I tell what I did on a certain Friday April 12 - , or wasn't it most 13th? Don't you think that would make interesting copy?
We are regular cyclones up at the place now. The men are all working overtime but we girls said "No". We might as well tho as we are doing the same amount of work only in less time.
There has been a gardener up at the place today fixing up the flower beds and it really was quite interesting to watch him. He wouldn't say what he was planting and I suppose it will be a grand surprise.
(This was the letter I started to write the night before Ralph came. I thot you might like it so you could have one for every day.)
Just a little note before going to Sleepyland.
I went to the post office with Daido tonight and she left me there. I met Dorcas then and went for a walk with her. We went out to her own mother's home and as her mother had gone to ladies aid and left the dishes standing we did them to s'prise her and heroically (? About the spelling) I washed.
I didn't get any letter today but please don't worry about writing as your mother and Ralph said they would. Course I'd like yours but I want you to get well.
Mother is away to the city for a few days and do you mind if I go and tell Dad? I can manage Dad alone perfectly. It mightn't be proper but as it is you can't at present tell and there are a good many people who think they know and I would rather Dad would hear of it first hand. I'm not really frightened as I know Dad wants me to be happy. Katie asked me if your brother had been down as Wilbur Adams' (he works in the Post Office) mother (who lives next to Lewis Adams' mother) had told Lewis' mother Wilbur had seen him. She didn't say anything more.
Suppose I talk to you awhile up at Hemlock Manor tonight. The dishes are done, I washed them all because of the apple blossom surprise and now we are down by the fireplace. You are in the only chair and I am on the rag rug, that never was finished. I can have my hair curled if you wish and I'll wear one of your apple blossoms. I'll be awful nice because I want to make you happy. I think I'll have on my green dress, the one you know I had some snap dragons on one night and you told me it was wonderful. I have that snap dragon yet - see I loved you long long ago for I think it was at one of the first parties we had at school --- Don't you think it's time to put more wood on the fire? Now, we're settled again and I'm about side faced to the fire and you and I'm thinking about ---- Don't you hear a whip-poor-will or an owl or something, I'm terribly frightened. Won't you just hold me tight against everything, away from everything. Oh I do love you so and I want so to make you happy. It will make me happy if I can. Oh it's getting late. It's late up at the Manor too. Shall we start? Five minutes more, five minutes isn't long. I hear the frogs, aren't they happy tonight? Shall I kiss you once before we start? There - the fire is most out we've forgotten ----------
P.S. I love you.
I have just finished the third meal which I have fed myself, so you see I am progressing some. Yesterday Dr. Ellis gave permission to have the head of the bed raised a while, and it is raised every meal time; then the table & tray is brought alongside, and I have to negotiate it sidewards. I passed a kind of restless night, but made up for it with a restful morning. I got four letters this morning, one from Mother, one from Aunt Sarah, and two from your dear self. They made it seem just as though you were here again at my side, sweetheart. I am so glad that you found everything and everybody so well-disposed as to your having been away; and do so hope they will be equally so as to your coming back. Get them ready for being away 6 or 7 days, can you?
Dr. Ellis has been fairly encouraging the last two mornings, and I think I have gotten along faster than he expected. He said I had broken a blood vessel in my head Sunday night, but the clot from that had all been taken up. For the rest, I had probably broken down some nerve cell connections; to reestablish them & get my general equilibrium back by quiet and time seems to be the present necessity.
Mr. Tatlow tells me that Sunday night the constant burden of my remarks was "21 buckets of water! 21 buckets of water!" which I humbly claim to have at least the distinction of being novel. If it had been 21 bottles of chianti, such as I tried to tease Mother about the other day, then some might have wondered, also assigned a cause for the collision, yes?
Uncle Ed Wright came in last night to see me, and chatted for about an hour. You will like him, for he is full of good fun. He brought along a box of chocolates! which I hardly feel equal to yet. In the afternoon Mrs. Grumman, mother of my classmate Ellsworth Grumman, whom I went to see in New Haven Sunday, dropped in to call on me yesterday afternoon, and I expect Ellsworth will be at his home in Bridgeport over Sunday and he will be up himself to see me then. To-day I guess I'm likely to go without a visitor. But poor Johnson, I'm afraid he doesn't have any now. I shall indeed be glad when I can get up so as to see him.
I should think Miss Tolbert would have been tired to death answering questions about me; and probably you've been pestered to death with the same questions yesterday and To0day.
I'll be indeed glad when I get some definite promises on which I can write you as to your coming back. And speaking of promises, bless your angel heart for the assurances as to that other one the party of the first part doesn't mind your breaking.
My people will be happy I know for you to be at my home, for it didn't take them long to know they liked my lady. For I may say, too, how could they help it?
I will be yours forever & ever, sweetheart. I love you.
[all the letters to SBB thru May 9th were sent to Bridgeport Hospital]
I got your letter today and sure do appreciate your writing. Please don't write if it will hurt you in any way.
Daido has been walking every night with some one else my new affinity I think, but tonight she asked me to go. We walked down the meadow road and got some new ground ivy and some little flowers called horse tails.
I went down to Mrs. Horton's tonight and had a very pleasant visit. Her flowers are just coming out and I've been promised a bunch of lilies of the valley. I hope I have them to bring up with me.
When I arrived home tonight Ella Field, her sister, and Katie and Zillah were here and they stayed until now it is almost twelve.
Charles Penhollow has run away again. He was over in Atlantic Station Tuesday and looked straight ahead and would not recognize me and the next time I looked he had a "Saturday Evening Post" up in front of his face. I guess his father is very mean to him. He can't even be civil to his customers.
Daido has made a date to go out with Ella Field sometime - anytime - before 11:30 tomorrow. They are going after columbine. At last I will get a chance to finish up some things I wanted to do undisturbed.
Work went pretty well today and I was so glad to get your letter.
Please hold up your bruised hand as I want to give it a little medicine kiss, and your poor bruised head - oh goodness when I think of what might have happened. But dearest it didn't we're lucky aren't we?
Well, good-night sweetheart and here's a nice big tiny kiss just for you.
I am sitting up a notch or two higher to-day, but not straight yet. The doctor was in this morning but found me asleep and wouldn't wake me. I guess I'm coming along all right, anyway. I stayed bolstered up for a long time yesterday and didn't tire or get dizzy at all. I even had a chance to read some - going thru a whole article in the Saturday Evening Post which Uncle Ed brought me - a most interesting article entitled "Okeh, W. W.", which was an intimate personal account of President Wilson at his work; he works so unostentatiously that few really know much about him, and such a human glimpse as "Okeh, W. W." gave was thus all the more entertaining. The title is the essence of the article; it's the way he writes his O. K.; it's on ever so many documents and memorandums, for, as the article tells us, if anyone wants to submit any proposal to him he requires it in writing, so that he can have it when he wants to consider it at its proper time alone, or can consider it with other information bearing on the subject. If approved, the "Okeh" goes on it. And why do you suppose the "Okeh"? I never knew before that our "O.K." comes from a Choctaw Indian word, this same "Okeh", which means something like "it is so".
Uncle Ed came in again last evening for about a half hour, so I haven't gone any day without a visitor yet.
Old Mr. Tatlow was feeling a lot better yesterday of his rheumatism, and even got out & into bed himself; executed a brief near-shuffle on the floor so that he could tell everybody he'd been dancing around during the afternoon. But the poor old gentleman doesn't feel as well to-day, and gets cruel pains at times. He has a wide fund of anecdote and discussion. Yesterday he got going on Bridgeport politics and to-day noon he regaled me with tales of cases which came before a coroner's jury he was once on for six months in England - at the end of which he received a shilling for his services. Also he told at great length of one Justice 'Awkins who used to announce in his court "The court cannot proceed further with this case without conferring with one of the brethren and stands adjourned till ten to-morrow morning", then in two minutes have off his robes & be on his way to the races.
Nurse Shay told me last night of your request for daily bulletins on my health. I guess she wrote you last night, but thinks she can't tell you much more than I can, and having posted a couple of letters for me knows about how often you hear from me. I told her perhaps you wanted information from someone beside me, but she didn't seem to think so, at any rate she hasn't run off with your envelopes, but left them on my stand.
I hope by now you have gotten at least my first letter, for I have written you each day since you left. I got another letter from you this morning - or I should say two, shouldn't I, for you put in the other you started to write. I love you more for each one, if that could be. How blessed am I to have such a good and beautiful lady to love me so and want so to make me a happy and beautiful home.
I wonder if you have seen your father yet. Of course I am glad to have you do so. I wish he knew me better and hope he won't think ill of me because I haven't seen him since our Great Together Night. I think I'll have to stop now. You'll know I think of you. That you love me makes me happy, just your presence makes me happy; you need not fear, you can't but make me so.
I love you, Sweetheart, comrade.
This afternoon Daido and I went over to Atlantic. There was a big Liberty Loan boom on. There was a parade and a fireman's ladder. The ladder was the all important feature. Girls were going about in the crowd and selling liberty Bonds and every time a bond was sold a sailor went up one round of the ladder he went "over the top" and down on the other side then a girl did the same thing. She wore a uniform and went up assisted by a fireman.
We me - did some shopping and maybe you'll see what I shopped for some day.
We took lunch at Kellers then went up the boardwalk for a while.
Dr. Griggs lectured on "The Feminist Movement in Relation to Democracy." It was not only in regard to suffrage but in regard to home life, to education, to business and many phases. I think it was one of the finest lectures I have ever heard him give.
I'm so glad you are beginning to feel better.
I got a card from Ralph and he said he arrived back in time to go out with the boys and he said he had driven the truck almost all the way to Springfield himself.
Dearest, I'll stop now and write more tomorrow.
I love you bushels.
I waited all morning for an old thump in my head to stop, & for Dr. Ellis to come, before writing you, but neither event took place before company came this afternoon. I'm afraid I can't talk to you very long to-night, dearest, but the day won't go without some word anyway.
Mother & Father came down in the machine & were here from about two to five. My foolish nerves went ker-flop when they came, and I wasn't myself for most an hour; just the breaking of the monotonous strain, I guess. They brought me some beautiful flowers, some pink and white snap-dragons in one bouquet, then a bunch of wild flowers of many kinds a Mrs. & Miss Hubbard, close family friends at home, had picked and sent down to me by them, and third a bunch of "infant's breath" or Blue-bells from Cousin Will Marshall's mother. [genealogy note - Will Marshall was married to Anna Coe, who was one of Sylvester's mother, Carrie's bridesmaids and Carrie's sister Elizabeth's daughter] So the room is quite blooming again.
Ellsworth Grumman and his fiancee came in this afternoon for awhile, too, and also Grace Lewis and her Father. Grace says she is going to write you. And of all the nice things I hear said about My lady! -- from Grace, and father and Ralph and Mother - whoever's seen you dearest.
My bump has been unruly to-day, but I guess I'm mending along all right. Probably I'll have to do some work by telegraph when it comes to that time I am looking forward to so your coming back. I haven't any inkling of when that will be yet.
You will find in here one little snap-dragon blossom, to add to your collection of long ago, and one little Dutchman's breeches (idyllic name, what?) such as you picked for me once before. [These flowers are still in the letter] All with all my love. I do love you so, Sweetheart.
I am sitting up quite straight in bed this afternoon, and experiencing no trouble. I thumped awhile this morning and didn't manage to rest well last night. The improvement must be due to the medicine kiss in the mail this morning.
Dr. Ellis was in this morning; breezed in and breezed out too quickly for me to get all I wanted to out of him. "The end of this week or the first of the next" was the indefinite burden of what he left me as to chances of getting out. He started one thing to-day which I think is materially helping me - having my shoulder massaged; the unruly joint has needed something more than its been getting, as I told Herr Doktor, this morning. The masseuse is a blind lady, think of it; when I see totally blind people making themselves so useful, and so cheerful as this lady, I feel my troubles to be very picayune. However, I have no less a desire to be rid of them.
I have just finished shaving myself for the first time, and feel quite proud of the accomplishment; also look quite human again, I trust.
Capt. June & Lieut. Taylor paid me a surprise visit this morning; having driven all the way down from camp. They got the trucks up there successfully. You didn't meet Lou Taylor; he acted and is still acting in my place in my absence. He is a splendid chap and I think a great deal of him.
My fountain pen gave out here, and I had to wait a half hour before a nurse came around who could refill it for me.
Uncle Ernest, Father's brother sent me up a couple of good time passers - one is another book by "Brainless Bates" the reported author of "How To Be A Soldier", which I sent you some time back. The new outburst is "The Life & Death of the Kaiser" and as far as I've gone is the equal of its predecessor; I'll read it to you when you come. It's not on the line with one of these atrocious pieces of doggerel about the Kaiser beating him whom our good people call Satan at his own tricks, or Satan resigning his throne to the Kaiser, or any of that bunk which is so perfectly nauseating; but this is really funny. Anything on the George Ade style suits me to a T. The other book is just a series of humorous anecdotes complied in a book called "Trench Gas", but they are some very good. The hospital one I shall repeat for your benefit:
" 'Nurse', moaned the convalescent Tommy, 'can't I have something to eat? I'm starving.'
'Yes, the doctor said you could start solids today, but you must begin slowly' she said. Then she held out a teaspoonful of tapioca. 'We must only advance by degrees,' she added.
He sucked the spoon dry and felt more tantalizingly hungry than ever. He begged for a second spoonful but she shook her head, saying that until he was stronger, everything must be given in small quantities.
Presently he summoned her again to his bedside. 'Nurse," he said, 'bring me a postage stamp; I want to read.' "
I guess I'll have to rest a little while now. These are indeed beautiful Spring days. I hope they will be as beautiful the few days at home I have with you, between here and duty again.
I love you, dear.
Your next letter just came as I was finishing.
The Alumni has just left and they certainly have been having one fine time. Instead of preparing for the banquet most of the time was spent in preparing refreshments for tonight. All the boys had to have aprons of course and they had to boss the work. While the girls were preparing the finishing touches the boys set the table with matches, shoe blacking, and sundry other good refreshments. They even blacked some crackers on one side and politely said ladies first. Weren't they gentlemanly?
I got about sixteen letters today. One from Lucinthia, one from Miss Shea, one from your mother, one from Ralph, one from Frances and two from you, dearest.
Lucinthia wrote me a lovely letter, saying your mother had told her the good news and she was glad and hoped to see me soon.
Miss Shea said you were getting along fine and I'm so glad.
Your mother told me she and your father were coming up to see you and bring you some of your wild flowers.
Ralph said he arrived back in camp safely tho rather tired and that Winnie was coming to see him.
Frances said she was going to Boston in a few days and would write me more from there. She is in New York now.
I think you know what is in yours dearest so I won't attempt to reproduce them.
The flowers are so pretty. The snap dragon has not faded at all.
Good night sweetheart, and I hope your headache is better, I'll kiss it.
A week ago you came, and your sunshine! To-day I rest in impatience for the time to come when I can say the word and have you again. The Sphinx-like Dr. Ellis hasn't been around to-day to give me a chance to pry him with innocent and not-too-anxious questions, so I am no further than yesterday. I had been entertaining fond hopes that he would tell me I could sit up in a chair to-day, for I sat up in bed all yesterday afternoon, and have done so all day without ill effects. It seems to me that I would sleep much better nights if I could only get out of this bed days. For I haven't had a decent night for three nights back.
After a while after I wrote you yesterday I read The Life and Death of the Kaiser to Mr. Tatlow. It was good tonic for both of us. He is a cheerful old gentleman for all his suffering; and very original & individual. Also has a keen sense for the ridiculous, which, as you know, touches the spot with me. This morning he didn't like the bacon they gave him for breakfast, so he told the nurse beneficently that she might donate it to the Christian Union. Later he was walking across the hall at about a quarter of a snail's gait & suddenly turned around to a passing nurse and said, "Do you want to dance?" If I didn't have someone like him around, things would be doubly tedious, I know.
I have just had to stop awhile to get my daily shoulder massage. It is giving me much less trouble now with this treatment.
This morning I started to read Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad which Ellsworth Grumman brought me from his library Sunday afternoon. Thus far I have taken in the biographical introduction by Prof. Branderheathens & the preface. I don't suppose I shall ever be able to finish but seems so I could enjoy what I get a chance to read. Of course I don't dare to read very long stretches at a time yet.
There has been a woman in the next room to-day just coming out of ether taken during an appendicitis operation. It is indeed melodious groaning.
I have thought, and hope I am not mistaken, for I am going to act on it this afternoon, that it might make Miss Tolbert feel better as to you coming again if I wrote a little note saying I had asked you, how it gave me a chance both to see you & my people, how it let me be where I could rest more, which I shall need, being still convalescent, and I trust I may be pardoned for taking you away again a few days, or something to that effect. I am doing so because I feel so uncertain as to how she will take things, after our earlier experience; I dislike pandering to unreasonable whims, but I dislike infinitely more the thought of any lessening in your and her friendship, particularly thru any act of mine.
8 qts. = 1 peck
4 pecks = 1 bushel
8 x 4 = 32
I love you 32 quarts (AND THEN A HEAP)
Dearest Just a little note to let you know Dr. Ellis was in at 6 o'clock and has let me sit up in a chair for an hour this evening and if there are no bad effects from it I can walk around a little to-morrow. I am in the chair at the present time. We're getting started! It's like the promise of freedom to a Siberian exile! Aren't you glad?
He who loves you.
I am writing you a little extra letter as I want to tell you something happy that happened to me. [she says an "extra" letter which must mean that we are missing one from earlier in the day and "something happy" which may mean that the earlier one was not]
I had your flower letter in my pocket book and having a few minutes to spare was going to read it and when I opened it a tiny little real gold moth fluttered out on my hand. It isn't a yellow moth but a real gold one. It was a little bit hurt but I have placed it carefully on my window sill.
These pretty little white flowers that I am sending you I don't know the names of but I think they are "Spring Beauties". They are very fragrant when fresh picked. I found a whole field of them in the cemetery.
Let's go a Maying? Don't make me wait too long for your answer. Shall we go after dogwood, columbine. Anemonie, violets or all? Don't you think we better pick everything but not all of everything. Of course we wouldn't be that selfish.
I wrote Lucinthia last night and to your mother this morning. I am afraid they were rather stupid letters as I did not feel much in the mood for writing.
I hope, dearest, you are feeling better today and will soon be entirely well. We're going to have a few happy days you know when you are.
Our moth is moving. It's ours because it was your letter and my discovery, that is if you are willing to go in a joint partnership in owning a moth. It's a real gold one. It's "the Gold Bug".
I think I'll stop now
I love you
I am sitting up all day, and have walked around just a little bit without getting dizzy. Dr. Ellis was in again this morning and his tone was very hopeful as to an early egress. I have my uniform on except my shoes, leggings, & coat; and even the psychological benefit of that is helpful I think. My head doesn't bother me to speak of, though my shoulder is not extremely well-behaved; if it hangs down it is painful & feels as though it were going to slip out; I think I shall have to wear some kind of a strap on it for awhile after I get out. My chief worry is that I can't play the piano for sometime, with both hands, at least.
Mr. Tatlow is sitting up this afternoon and going over some address book of his, and for every name he comes to he gives me a new story - "This man owes me $25," or something of that sort; he still has a great deal of pain, particularly at night; his doctor is the funniest person, for he just comes in & kids him along, tells him he's lazy and needs some Royal Wiff-Waff or some other ridiculous thing & then breezes out again. They mixed up his and my medicines yesterday afternoon, and we have been laughing considerably over it, telling the nurses all they do is flip a coin to see whether you get a green one or a brown one, and so on.
I read a few chapters of "Innocents Abroad" this morning and find it quite delightful.
I expect to get down to see Corp. Johnson this afternoon. Poor chap, he's got a time ahead of him yet to get his leg mended.
I am just a bit worried because I haven't had a letter from you since day before yesterday afternoon, and none came this morning's mail. I hope it's nothing more than slowness on the part of the mails.
Pretty soon, dearest.
I love you.
It looked like rain a good part of the day but we did not get it.
I got a very interesting - naturally when you see the two adjectives that are to follow, flattering and affectionate letter from Grace in the 7 o'clock mail.
She told me when she was at the hospital you looked fine and she said you said you felt so.
I certainly had a good laugh [this] afternoon. A little baby and her daddy came in to see Mr. Hammell he was very busy so they sat down to wait. Pretty soon she took out her handkerchief and put it on her daddy's head then jumped down from the sofa to survey her handiwork and just screamed with delight. "Oh oo look awful booful daddy."
She was quiet for some time after the laughter had subsided when suddenly her shrill little voice broke forth with, "Daddy, is this where grandma's planted?"
He took her outside after that and we heard her ask if the office were the station, would it ever been the station, did trains ever run into it and a million things.
Dearest, you can't imagine how glad I am that you are able to sit up.
I think I stop now.
I have just sent you a telegram by a messenger boy whom I got up here from the Western Union. I hope to goodness he gets it off all right. Your reply will be here before this letter gets to you, but I'll give you the details again here of the train it seems best to me you should take. It is the Colonial Express leaving North Philadelphia station at 11:38 Sunday Morning; you can buy a ticket through to New Haven, Conn., and do not have to change at all, even at New York; this makes it a highly desirable train. I'll have to ask you to find the connections you can make with it from Pleasantville, as I couldn't get a time table covering them. I wish I could come & get you but I am not able to make such a prolonged trip yet. Be sure & allow plenty of time to get to that train at North Philadelphia. Being a thru train without change I feel sure you will get to New Haven safely; in fact if there had been no other way but to change in New York I would have made some provision to have you met in New York. Howsomever, if you will pardon my being grandmotherly for a minute, take no advice and ask no information of any strangers, men or women, but in a station use porters or the information window or desk, and in the train use conductors or trainmen; it is the only safe rule to follow.
I do hope you can come on Sunday and stay for the week, but if for any reason you have to put off for a day or two you can make the same train arrangements any week-day. If by any possible mischance you missed that train telegraph to my home, take next train to New York, & wait in Penn Station for me or Father. But you won't miss it.
Well, now a little as to how it's come about. Dr. Ellis said this morning I could go Saturday, just what time I don't know, but I expect I can spend Saturday night at home. Then Sunday afternoon if everything goes as per plans we'll drive down to New Haven to meet you: your train arrives there at 2 minutes past four o'clock. And then for a lovely week together!
I've been up all day, had on my shoes and woolen puttees, and went out for a walk for about forty minutes. I think I am progressing all the time but I have to be content to regain my whole grip slowly. I must have looked like an old veteran hobbling along to-day.
I had two nice letters from you this morning, and thank you ever so much for the flowers. Your story about Miss Peggy Hendrickson is amusing in that I never heard of the young lady, absolutely. I am naturally very sorry to hear of the sad news of her sister. I did not know any of them at all.
When you have to go back I hope I shall be able to go with you. We'll see that somebody pilots you a safe distance anyhow. And I ought ti have my sea-legs by that time. I do hope everybody concerned is agreeable to your coming. I have almost been tempted to write Mr. Hammell myself, but have not yielded to the temptation. Tell him I'm not able to come to you yet, and it's going to be an opportunity we're anxious to have to see each other before I get my sailing orders. You'd just soon take this week instead of an equal part of your summer vacation, too, wouldn't you?
You now probably have a letter from another of my relatives, Aunt Lucy Savage, who teaches in East Northfield, Mass. I think a great deal of her.
Now, Eva, sweetheart, I want you to consider your trip "on me", as they say. It is only right and proper that it should be at my expense; if I were going down to get you it would be that way, and why shouldn't it if you're so good as to come alone? All of which is the reason for the enclosed brown envelope. I am risking sending it without registration or money order.
I do so look forward to being with you. And I will be ever so glad to have you feel that you really know my people as you surely will after your visit.
I surely hope I have covered all arrangements necessary. If I have forgotten anything forgive me and blame the bump on my head.
I am anxious to have you able to spend the whole week in Cromwell.
One day & two nights more of Bridgeport! Didn't it give me a pleasant impression of itself the only time I was ever in it.
To-morrow I shall be anxiously waiting for a telegram.
I love you, dear girl.
[separate envelope - postmarked same day and time]
One more thing. Be sure and get a parlor car seat if possible.
[sent to Cromwell instead of Bridgeport Hospital.]
A year ago today was my miserablest night [note - that was when Sylvester left for Plattsburg] and a month ago day after tomorrow was my happiest.
I made your flower I intended sending you a bouquet before I arrived at the post office the other day. I just picked all the wild flowers I could find and thot perhaps they wouldn't be so terribly crushed if I didn't fold your letter across the bottom but I am awful afraid you won't get to see any of their beauty if they don't hurry up and get to you.
I sent - myrtle (periwinkle)
sink foil (buttercups, we call them)
and my new little plant.
There was a heavy fog all over everything this morning but it has cleared off beautifully now.
I got your letter this noon explaining everything and just now your telegram came. That's one for the mail service.
I can hardly wait for Sunday to come and it's our one month anniversary, too, isn't it?
Will write tonight
I love you
I rather guess there is time for another letter to get to you before you start, if you are coming according to arrangements. Your telegram isn't here yet but I hope is on its way.
I was a bit lazy this morning and didn't get up till nine o'clock. I then had my daily shoulder massage, following that with a self-operated shave, which with an arm and a half only, isn't as swift as it used to be. Ralph called me up on the phone this morning from home and I was surprised enough to find that he was there; a little extra week-end he has. He is trying to get into the Fourth Officers' Training Camp which starts May 15th, and naturally I hope intensely that he succeeds. He is coming down by machine to-morrow to get me. Dr. Ellis came in this morning and was perfectly agreeable when I said I had made all arrangements to be taken home to-morrow. He is coming again this afternoon to strap up my shoulder. How much this is going to restrict it I don't know. Apparently some of the tissue holding the bones together has been misplaced, for one bone is rather prominent on top; but it is a certainty there is no break or misplacement of bone. I can't raise the arm over my head at all yet; about up to horizontal is all I can do just now. Yesterday afternoon when I went out for a walk I had my arm in a sling and my overcoat on so that there was one sleeve of it not occupied. As I went by a house I heard some woman call to another "Oh see the soldier with only one arm! Isn't it awful?" Wasn't I a fraud, though? That's what Mr. Tatlow says, or he says it, rather, "You're a camouflage." He just learned the word a couple of weeks ago, and enjoys using it. I shall always remember that old gentleman with the greatest gratitude, for he has overcome many a tedious hour with his originality & unconscious humor. Poor chap, his rheumatism is worse to-day, because it's kind of damp. He finally got the doctor to talk awhile to-day, something beside his need for wiff-waff, or that he was going to send in a Christian Science reader with a first edition Pilgrim's Progress, or other matter of equal seriousness as has been his custom other days. Once or twice he would go out and Mr. Tatlow would say, "And he gets $2.00 for telling me that."
I have been down to see Corp. Johnson several times now. His face healed up splendidly, and it's now just a matter of his leg mending; but that unfortunately is a matter of considerable time. I talked to his doctor yesterday of the possibility of his being moved nearer home but he said it would be absolutely unwise at the present time. But the corporal seems content to stay here as he realizes that it is an advantage to have the same doctors work on him from start to finish. It does seem hard though to have him way down here all by his lonesome. I'm glad at least the hospital is in a reasonably cheerful locality.
Miss Shea starts on night duty to-day and is pretty upset about it. She is surely very kind and attentive.
Your telegram has just come, and that's fine, everything fixed, and we'll be at the New Haven station ready to greet you. I was going to say with open arms, only mine aren't very plural.
I think I'll wander out awhile again this afternoon.
Till Sunday at 4:02.
The letters stop for 11 days while Eva was up in Cromwell. She obviously made it safely and apparently didn't talk to strangers who would have given her bad advice.
During this time a picture of the two of them with the cat was taken. Also the picture of Eva that was in the little packet Sylvester carried to France.
When the letters start again they are addressed to Captain S.B. Butler, so this is also when he got his promotion.
I love you.
I caught a car back almost immediately and was at work before ten o'clock besting Mr. Hammell by three minutes.
I have been stopped on the street fully sixty times and "best wished" and even "congratulated" until I'm quite fussed.
I saw Miss Davis this noon and told her you were sorry not to have gotten the chance to see her. She said she was sorry, too.
I have called up and arranged to have the Alumni at our house next Thursday and some few people are going to get a horrible raking over the coals.
I have to close rather hurriedly but I love you and will write more tonight.
Just a little message while I am waiting in the Grand Central for my Connecticut train. I waited over one train so as to get some dinner here in the Grand Central restaurant, and I will be home just as soon as though I had not waited for dinner.
I teased my curiosity about to Camden and opened to the Sketches from Life; then to above Burlington and opened to the doings of Polly and her pals; and just above Elizabeth [NJ] read your verse thoughts and pictures. Thank you a thousand times for them. Where is the little lake? And I wonder which was the letter that made the poem in the Penna. Hills?
Eva, my own sunshine lady, I hope you will never find life but a desert again. I wish there were no deserts for anyone, unless they made them for themselves. You'll think that last a funny thing to say - I mean if people make others suffer, they ought to suffer & be miserable themselves. It's the circumstance deserts I wish no one had.
It began to rain before I got half-way here, but I have kept in out of it. Came across from the Pennsy station to the Grand Central by Subway. I have regaled myself with a shine; too bad I couldn't have had the spots knocked out of my uniform at the same time. I had a dinner of chicken croquettes, baked potato, and cocoa. Did you ever hear of John R. Mott, the celebrated Y.M.C.A. man - one of T.R. Roosevelt's 7 greatest men in the world? Well, he sat just 2 tables from me. I wonder if he'll tell anybody he sat 2 tables from Capt. Butler, of the Army?
Did you know that train didn't start off for most 2 minutes after you left? I was inclined to think harshly of it for fooling us; "inclined to" is ultra-mild.
It is getting most train time, and I must get my ticket, also a stamp, and mail this to my sweetheart. Do you know her?
I love you. Now do you know her?
A kiss for each verse you gave me.
[Separate Sheet - same envelope]
I just got the letter sealed in time to catch my train, and couldn't get a stamp and all for that this will be a lot later in getting to you. I'm sorry, for I didn't want you to go long without a message from me. I took a train that took me to Berlin without change, and am just now in the electrics which go to Middletown waiting to start. I dozed most of the way up to New Haven, and then went into a forward car and sat down with a second lieutenant of the Ordnance Corps, our uniforms of course being a sufficient introduction. He was quite an entertaining chap, and it seemed good to have some one to talk to. But I guess you know whom I was wishing I had. Some times when I was dozing between New York & New Haven I would just for a moment when I would wake up think you were there - I have come so used to having you. These cars rock so I can't do much writing. I'll mail this in Middletown if I can find a stamp.
Bushels of love for my sunshine lady.
Home again! But it doesn't seem right without you. It seems as though I must find you around a corner as I go into a room, or helping Aunt Sarah or Mother in the kitchen. It seems as though you must be around somewhere.
The US Gardens are all green and nice. The rain today must have helped them some, but still they didn't have as much rain here as I saw thru the car window up thru New Jersey to-day. There is an addition to the 1st Us Garden. Can you guess what it is? A little sweet alyssum between Our forget-me-not and one heliotrope, just in front of the tea rose, so you can picture it just as it is, can't you, dear? There is not a plant that is dying in either Us garden. I don't believe they could die, do you? Uncle Bill's tomatoes are coming along very rapidly and he has 9 young green ones on them now. The fleur-de-lis by the fence is blossoming very fast. Uncle Bill wanted to know if Miss Tolbert sent any message back to him, but I had to tell him I didn't know whether his was delivered. I chatted quite a while with Uncle Bill down outside his room after supper. He told me of lots of people who had said very complimentary things about you. And he and Mother and Aunt Sarah have been anxious to know about your knee; I didn't realize until Mother told me to-night haw badly you had bumped and scraped. Goodness! You must have thought me thoughtless not to have asked you a lot more about it than I did. Is it giving you any trouble now?
I have been reading over the verses again this evening. Is the lake the Hemlock Manor lake, Eva? And when did you write it? A lot of it would fit last night.
I mailed the letter I wrote you on the train to-day in Middletown - gave it to the rail way mail clerk on the mail car of a train just leaving the Middletown station. I was glad when the trip was over finally for the trains were very hot and stuffy and muggy; there has been an oppressive humid heat in the air all day. I am no friend of heat nor of humidity - guess we ought to live in Alaska or Siberia, or take up polar exploration for a living - at least when the summer heat comes on.
The lady slippers on the dining room table have grown pinker and bigger. Aunt Sarah remarked how they seemed to have grown bigger and Uncle Bill, as per usual, tried to tease her by asking her what way she thought they'd grow. And Dad chimed in that if they were left long enough they'd grow brown. Aunt Sarah was pleased with the radish and Mother with the rare-ripes - Mother is very fond of onions - and Dad hates them and tells Mother she can stay away from him when she eats them. To-night he was wondering if you had a grudge against him for letting her have them.
To-morrow I am going to Middletown to have Dr. Stone fix that other tooth. What will I do without you out in the other room? You would have a long wait if you were out there this time, for Doc said it would be about an hour and a half's job.
I Imagine you have gone to bed sometime before now, and this is only nine o'clock. I am going to pretty soon. I am going to stay in the room you were in; it's more cheerful than up on the third floor. Those sleepy frogs are at it again. They're too melancholy, the sleepy frogs here, when one is lonesome for his sweetheart.
Mother and Father are in playing cards, and I think I'll go in and talk to them just a little while .
I love you, Sunshine Lady, my lady. Good-night.
It is raining but being as I am your "Sunshine Lady" I will shine forth.
I worked over an hour overtime last night but was in bed directly after supper and asleep before eight and therefore feel considerably rested this morning. I hope you got good rest too for, dearest, I am so afraid you were just about tired to death. When I think about all the long walks and trips we took I think it's a wonder that you didn't have to give up.
They had an election for local option here yesterday. The vote was to be "yes" if Local option was wanted and "no" if the saloon was wanted. I guess a good many who voted "yes" thought they were saying, yes they wanted the saloon. At any rate the dries won by a majority of 71 and the saloon goes out of business June 21st.
My roses look very fresh and nice this morning and the garden looks wonderful in the rain. Daido watered the "Butler" garden as she calls it, last night when she watered the pansies and the other garden.
I picked up the paper this morning and noticed an account of how the "Long Long Trail" happened to be written, I thought you might be interested and am sending it to you. It was on the Music Page which comes out once a week in the "Philadelphia Record." [note - article not in envelope. This was the song written by his classmate Alonzo "Zo" Elliot which became a World War I standard]
It has stopped raining outside now and the sun is trying hard to break thru. The rain certainly was needed down here.
I didn't write again last night as I was a little tired and then too, I hadn't anything more to say.
The sun yesterday and the rain this morning just sent the sweet Alyssum up thru the ground everywhere and it is so fragrant. The most flowers are out.
I gave you your good night kiss last night and I kissed you good morning when I got up, but you didn't exactly know it did you, sweetheart?
Last night was the first night we hadn't been together for a long long while wasn't it? It was a grand together time we had and neither of us will ever forget it.
I am going to write to your people today and tell them what a perfectly lovely time I had and tell your Aunt Sarah to be sure and take good care of the garden. I got a good potato plant the grape fruit seeds in and soon will have a fine centerpiece.
I think I will send her a few more sweet Alyssum plants as they are just wonderful and I know she will like them.
I think I will have to stop now, dearest.
I love you still this morning and am sending you a great big sweetheart kiss.
I have just been out for a little night visit to the Us gardens. While there I picked a purple columbine from Aunt Sarah's section and am sending it to you. [note - it is still enclosed in the letter and still purple] This afternoon I sent you two blue daisies, and a bluet plant which I hope you can get safely and in good condition to plant in our little garden at Bricktop. It took me the longest while to find a bluet; it seemed so strange for they're usually so plentiful. While looking for one I got some white daisies and am sending them to you as a little message from Cromwell and me. There's nothing so cheerful is there? They just say "Be happy!" all over. That's what I want them to say to you, for that's what my great life wish is to have you be, my big sunshine lady.
In your package I put your whiskbroom which you loaned me, and I forgot to leave at Bricktop Tuesday morning. I hope you haven't bought another one already. I also found your letter from Manny in the brown sweater, and two pencils, and they're in the package, too.
I didn't get up this morning until quite late - nine o'clock or so. I had to hustle thru my breakfast to catch the ten o'clock car and keep my appointment with Dr. Stow. He put a gold crown on the split tooth and will relieve me of a modest sum when I get back to camp and a checkbook. When I got thru with him I had forty minutes to wait for a car and didn't look forward to that but was lucky and met Dr. Bush on the street who had his car there and was going right back to Cromwell.
This afternoon I talked to Mother quite a while, and got my things ready to take back to Devens. Then I got your daisies and bluet, and that's about the sum total of my afternoon, except a session with Dr. Bush on my shoulder. Mrs. Bush was awfully sorry not to have seen you and me before we went back to Pleasantville. She took especially to you. She wanted to see us because she wanted to give you something for our "hope chest", now isn't that nice? She wanted your address, so perhaps you may be getting something.
This evening I went to see the Binks', that is, Mrs. Binks, Ernest's mother, and Tom, his brother. It was just for a little while, but I'm glad I did finally get down there. I wish you knew Ernest's wife, you know, the former Miss Stieberitz. (Flora is her name, "Tot" for short) She is still teaching in Bridgeton. If she learns about you and me before she leaves there this summer, and just took a notion to come down and see you, you'd like to see her, wouldn't you? I would like to have you be friends. Old Binks is the best of my men friends in the world, and why shouldn't our ladies be likewise? I would especially like to have you be friends with her, and with Eleanor Coe, and of course my sister-kin. Did Eleanor give you her address by the way? It is: Mrs. Raymond Coe
10 Dean St.
When I got back from Binks', Father had gotten home and had with him the pictures. I am sending you a set of them. I think they came out well, don't you? You can always take that one with you and me together by Uncle Bill's door as proof that you are as big as I am, can't you? I have a set of them, too, and I am surely glad to have them, too.
You were going to keep that dollar bill, weren't you, that we found in the woods? And I forgot to give it to you. But I found it today in my pocket, right where I put it that day, and I'll see that it's kept safely.
I had a letter from Corp. Johnson this morning and he says he is improving rapidly. Your first letter came to-night, and I'm hoping your next will come in the morning before I go. I am going up early with Father as I have a little business to do in Hartford, and it will be pleasanter than going by trolley. I have the most profound aversion for trolleys! I leave Hartford at about noon, and will get to camp about four. They will hardly know me there, I guess.
I'll say a good-by to the Us gardens for Us both in the morning.
Good-night, my own lady. I love you.
My peas are all in blossom. Isn't that indeed wonderful? I was so surprised.
Daido and I bought just lots of seeds last night - radishes, cucumbers, nastertian, mignonette, heleitrope, verbena, snap dragon and larkspur. Won't we have a nice garden, Even if we don't stay we might as well have the pleasure of making a garden while we are there.
Daido and I went daisying after supper - and I have my first, this year, daisy for you but it is home. You'll get it tho.
The telegram I sent Daido said "Sylvester is a chaplain now." Who says the army doesn't improve a man's religion?
I am so glad the US gardens are doing fine. They really couldn't do very much else, considering how much skill was used in the planting.
I suppose by now your tooth is all fixed. I do hope he didn't hurt you too much. I know it must have hurt, tho. Wouldn't you like a little medicine kiss? I gave you an extra little kiss yesterday morning as I remembered about the dentist.
I'm trying to please Daido and make her happy as I know she feels awful lonesome and unhappy when she thinks of losing me. We'll have her visit us just lots, won't we?
I made a beef pie last night. My first attempt. The crust was all right but I forgot to put any seasoning in the filling so we had to season it as we ate. Daido said that wasn't such a terrible mistake for a novice.
The Lake was Hemlock Manor Lake but I wrote the verse once when I was there alone and when I was lonesome for my sweetheart, who wasn't my sweetheart then. (Do you know my sweetheart? He's pretty nice, but he sweared once. I heard him) It was just such a night as Monday night so I changed it a bit and wrote it for you. I hadn't had time to think to write anything just then to give you to take back.
I'm afraid you are trying to make me jealous speaking so enthusiastically about your Uncle Will's garden. I refuse to be and when I wrote, this morning, to the folks I told them of what wonderful blossoms I had on my peas.
Please, you mustn't flatter me so. Daido said something last night about someone's head being turned. I fear she meant me, so please do be careful, sweetheart. I'm dreadfully afraid.
Now I'll just about have enough left over to use a new sheet [of writing paper] and make it look like a big letter.
Time for noon mail.
Please tell my sweetheart I love him oh just lots.
I love you, too, as much as I love him.
[Letter head paper of]
I am waiting around Father's office this morning until the noon train comes. I rode up with him rather than come on the trolley, besides it gave me more of a chance to visit with him. I have been looking after a little life insurance of mine, and aside from that have nothing especial to do.
Before I came I said a good-bye to the Us gardens for us and picked a little blossom from your forget-me-not to keep with me always.
You should have heard our thunderstorm last night. Perhaps you had one too. But I never heard such a one in all my life. It was just like a bombardment, as though the whole sky were filled with bombing aeroplanes. Once I thought I smelled something smoldering and wondered if one of the bolts could have hit our house; they sounded near enough for it. There was a house burning over in Portland, across the river, and I guess it must have been hit. I heard it had this morning. I should have thought the shower would have left us nice and cool this morning, but it hasn't; on the contrary, it's more close and muggy than ever.
I hope the pictures I sent you last night get you all right. If for any reason they don't, let me know, and I'll get another set to send you.
The morning paper tells of a great number of men who have been moved to Camp Devens, and of sertain developments there which indicate things are speeding up. When I do go, just keep on writing me at the old address, until I can get word to you where to address it abroad. The mail will be forwarded, I'm positive. Perhaps I'll be able to find out a little more about it. One thing I hope you will be sure and do, and that is, whenever you change your address let my Mother know right away, for any notices from the War Department in regard to me will be sent to my home, and they can let you know. They might want to report, you know, that I had saved a pint of gasoline from a leaky carburetor and been decorated for gallantry in action. I hope you and Mother, sister, Aunt Sarah, and Eleanor, anyway, will be writing to each other once in a while. It is so good to feel that you know them. I hated the thought before of going away without being able to have accomplished that. Fortune, in the shape of a motor truck coming the wrong way, decreed otherwise, didn't she?
I wonder how my room will look when I get back to-day. Two inches thick with dust, I'll warrant. And the little bunk will seem pretty small, I imagine. The overcoat never came down, and I'm surely afraid Capt. June thought I was asking too much of him. I'll be glad to know he didn't think so.
Another train ride ahead of me to-day, but not quite such an awful long one, and fortunately, I go thru as far as Worcester without having to change. It takes about 2 hours to get to Worcester and something over an hour to take the little accommodation from there to Ayer.
Father and I will probably go out and get a little early dinner before I go, and I guess he'll want to start pretty soon.
The Us garden said "Can't we have Eva?" this morning. Wasn't it a shame not to be able to say "Yes"? But I could say "Sometime" and "Perhaps she'll be up to see you." I hope it may come about that way. I love you, my own sunshine lady.
This will arrive perhaps more than a day later than my last letter but is being written on the same day. We are getting back to the slow camp mail again. Still, your letter of yesterday got here shortly after I did.
I had company from Hartford to Worcester in one Capt. Cadella Barrows, of Cromwell (no relation to Harold), who got his commission at the second Plattsburg camp last fall. I hadn't seen him for a matter of years.
In Worcester I found I would have to wait 2 _ hours for a train, so I took a trolley instead to Ayer, arriving at camp about 5:00.
The first thing to strike my eye at the Supply Train was a nice long front porch, covered. It makes our quarters look like a summer bungalow. There have been a number of changes of one kind and another. Reveille is at 5:30 instead of 6:00, and I think I'll get Pop to excuse me from it for a few days. The routine of life is different with the Train of course since they got all those trucks; there is so much more actual truck work to do. Tomorrow as I go over the accumulation of papers in my company, all the orders and memorandums that have come out since I was last here, and so on, many other new things will no doubt be revealed. We have a regular medical officer with us now, too, and I won't have to go far for treatment to my shoulder.
Everyone was very hearty in their greetings, and Pop seemed overjoyed to see me. He wants to have me keep on as Adjutant of the Train, and is going to see that I have a lieutenant attached to my company right away to do most of my company work, and leave me free for my Adjutant's duties, except for general supervision over what goes on in the company. Capt. Moody has been taking care of my company the past week or so, and seems to have gotten along all right with it. Taylor has been acting Adjutant in my absence ever since I left.
The dust was truly very thick in my room. The only real work I have done this evening has been to get rid of some of it and get my room straightened. There has been a lot to talk over with Capt. June, and I have spent quite a little time with him; also of course some with all the other officers. All are agreed I look well, but am thin. They are most of them wonderfully tanned. I don't see why I'm not, too, for we were out-of-doors so much.
I took a ride in the famous motor-cycle to-night. The effects were far less deleterious than a few rides up and down the elevator in the building where Father's office is today.
Now I must get off a little note letting her know I'm here O.K. Ralph called up to-night while I was out, and I was unable to get him later, but shall see him soon. I wonder how reveille will feel at 5:30 instead of when you blinkety well felt like getting up. I was very much interested in that clipping about The Long, Long Trail. The reporter obviously made some embellishments and unnatural conversation but it is based on facts which I know myself to be true.
You know when I saw the posters announcing the local option election in Pleasantville, I saw that the "No" & "Yes" were not on the straight question of "Dry" or "Wet", as of old, and it came to my mind then that a great many of the voters would get confused.
Here's love and a kiss for my Sunshine Lady.
P.S. Don't put the word "Division" on my address, just 301st Supply Train.
I joined Red Cross yesterday. They are starting a tremendous drive down this way.
I got your letter with the pictures in it this morning. I think the cat picture is the best one of all, don't you? O knew I was tall but I didn't quite dare dream I was as tall as you, but seeing is believing and now all the future to the contrary never again will I doubt that fact.
I'm glad your tooth is fixed. I hope it didn't hurt much.
My daisies haven't arrived yet but I think they will soon.
I got another nice letter from grace Lewis this morning. She said she was disappointed but she hadn't expected I really would have the time to see her, when I was up.
I shall write to your Cousin Eleanor and Lucinthia today, if I possibly can. I have been quite busy trying to get things straightened out everywhere and am almost settled again.
We certainly are having nice weather down here now. 'Most too warm for me.
I think Dorcas is coming home from Anniston this week. She sent me a card, but Daido misplaced it, so I guess she got my letter all right.
Daido has taken one room and I another as it is so warm. I am going to fix my room up and make use of a few pictures I have in my most sanctimonious sanctum. I am seriously considering taking the purple felt spoils of war suggestion, too.
I didn't remember to get my daisy for this letter but I have a nice big note pinned to my pocket book, so live in hopes.
For some reason, as yet an unknown quantity, I woke up at just almost exactly twelve o'clock last night. The moon was just wonderful and as Daido was sound asleep in her room and I couldn't talk with her I discussed the wedding situation with you. We didn't arrive at any conclusion. You are perverse, now, aren't you? At last I had to drop the subject in despair and go to sleep.
Seems to me I've said everything except - I almost forgot it - I love you, yet.
P.S. Did you deliver my message to my sweetheart?
You're my sweetheart.
I've been plodding alon to-day, accomplishing a little something here and there, but not making any great exertions. I couldn't, I can tell that by the ready-to-flop feel I have to-night. I haven't been far from headquarters, in fact, have been either here or at my company all day. For the present, I'm not going out on any truck trips at all, and I guess it wouldn't be wise to. Pop says he wouldn't let me, and also says I'm not to go on the moto-cycle anymore. You see, I get bossed wherever I go. He's afraid I'll get shaken up too much on the moto-cycle and I guess he's right.
About 6 are in or near the room talking at a great rate arguing now on a question of somebody's veracity or some rather useless thing. It's just getting too heated and Pop is getting decidedly up in the air; I'm afraid he'll get more so, because I don't think he's in the mood to stand the kidding Greene & Achorn are giving him in return for his serious point of view. The bone of contention, John Fox, has just arrived; perhaps the noise will deaden down. I wish it would, for it's beginning to make my head ache. No, it's getting just as bad again.
You know, it's much colder here than it was home. It seemed so muggy there but here the days are comfortable, very, and the nights are quite chilly. But sleeping is not as comfortable as it was on civilized beds; the bunk is narrow, my mattress is getting thin, and I can't get as comfortable rests for my arm; but it won't take long to get used to it.
No visitors are to be allowed in camp this Sunday. This will start the rumors going. One can never tell.
Adjutants' meeting is now in the evening at 7:30 instead of in the afternoon at 1:30. I resumed attendance to-night.
The Major's book, you remember, the one I worked on last winter, has just come out. Ten copies came to-day. I had begun to think I would never see it in print. I think I told you that my name does not appear, but that doesn't worry me, in fact, it relieves me from some worry, for I am afraid there will be a couple of copyright wrangles over it. Won't you be interested to go over it with me someday, and have me show you the parts I worked on? Am I not the conceited thing again? Being conceited, of course I take especial delight in the last chapter, which is entirely mine.
Your letters come along promptly, and I hope mail delivery is as satisfactory in the other direction. All your letters so far have been written in the daytime. I hope pretty soon I'll have one that's written partly anyway at home in the evening. Eva dear, I would appreciate it if you would write me just a little anyway each evening - even if its just a line, the start of a letter you finish to-morrow, or the end of a letter you have written to-day. It seems to me so appropriate, so fitting, to finish up the day that way; to take time at the end of your day's activities, and talk a little to YOUR lady or YOUR man; The visible evidence that you think of HER or HIM at that time. You would make me happy if you would always do it, and you said you would do anything to make me happy. I do it for you, have every night I have been away from you since April 12, no matter how late, or how tired I've been. I have been just the littlest bit disappointed that you let the first two nights away from me go by without a word, and left the letters till daytime while at work. Of course the first night you were very tired, & perhaps the second. But, I do so hope I don't find to-morrow's letter showing a third night gone the same way.
It is deliciously cool & moonlit out of doors; and there is a contentedness-bearing breeze. I wish we might walk out into it together, sweetheart. Won't we be so happy when we can enjoy all such things together, just for the taking; just for putting on wraps and slipping out the front door. I must not stay up any longer. Be good, as my favorite farewell greeting goes, and don't forget you're my sunshine lady, even when the moon & stars shine.
I love you, 'deed I do.
P.S. We have a lot of those blue lupins on the hill right back of us. The only reminder here of our woodwalks last week.
Yesterday afternoon Daido and I went over to Atlantic.
We went to the Library and got some books and incidentally took back some overdue ones.
After dinner at Kellers we walked up to the boardwalk and as it was just getting dark walked out to the end of the Garden Pier.
We had the whole end of the pier to ourselves and were shut off from the rest of the world by a huge fire truck.
The Steel pier looked just like a fairy palace or some wonderful jewel in the gray and rose of the dying day.
The water was just wonderful and as far as the eye could see there was nothing. one felt actually "monarch" of all he surveyed.
Suddenly a tiny rose finger came thru a cloud in the east and it slowly spread from cloud to cloud and as we watched we realized it was the herald of the moon. It was a wonder moon and I never saw such a moon rise. Slowly, majestically it came up from the mass of clouds a red gold orange. We were simply spellbound. Three gay young lasses and a huge fish jumping up out of the water woke us from our trance so we left.
Later the moon had entirely changed and was more silvery and wrapted in the fluffiest sapphire veil.
When we were coming home, the trolley got stuck on the meadows, because of a broken wire and as it was only a couple of squares from our house, Daido and I walked in. It was a good thing as they were about two hours getting started.
Miss Higbee was on the car, too, and she introduced me to Mr. Scull, her fiancé.
The flowers and whisk broom arrived safely last night. I haven't planted them (the flowers) yet as I think it is better to do so in the cool of the evening. I have kept them in a pan of water and they certainly look fresh.
I got your first letter that you sent from camp and I'm glad things weren't in such terrible shape when you arrived.
I have a nice big bunch of daisies here on my table. I wish you had some, too. The white daisies you sent were rather withered but I still have them.
Here's a kiss for you from
P.S. Did you know I loved you?
This evening I'm writing you out on our new porch. It makes our cantonment home a thousand times pleasanter. It's a nice long porch, a little more than twice as large as ours home. There are two long home-made but comfortable benches, with backs at just the right angle. The funniest old wagon has just gone by, an old closed carriage, which looks as though it were made about 1623, and a gray zebra-like mule. On the back was a label "This is not a jitney." The front lawn has been still further improved by a grass border around the road & walks & two pansy & geranium beds, which Jim Moody got the flowers for this morning.
I saw Ralph for the first time to-day. He came down to see me at noon time, and was on his way to Boston to see Winnie for the weekend. He looks first rate, and I guess is getting along all right at the [Officers'] Training School.
It is very warm to-night, and gathering clouds presage rain for to-night or to-morrow. This is a lonesome week-end; when things are quiet you realize it all the more. A week ago we had just come back from our walk to the cemetery & over to Blarhole, one of my most perfect days.
The doctor who stays with us here, Lieut. Stewart, fixed up my arm for me to-night. He is leaving off the adhesive tape for a couple of days, because the skin is so tender underneath it; also it will see what the arm can do. He thinks its coming along all right, and I could do more with it than the other night in Cromwell when Dr. Bush looked at it.
I have come back inside now as it has gotten dark out on the porch. Right up in front of me over my table I have the picture of us where you are holding the cat. I liked that picture the best, too, and had already picked it out & put it up before you announced your choice. So you see we've been thinking together. Did you know it when we were? Well, it is a good picture and I surely like it. Did you know the cat's name, by the way? I bet you'd never guess.
Cook is taking the most motherly interest in me since I came back. He told me the first day, in his best Armenian brogue, "Well, I start and build you up." And what do you suppose he's doing? Saves out the first glass from each milk bottle, which is of course as good as cream, and gives it to me for my breakfast. Then I use it on my cereal. Such cream I haven't had for two years. He's always been partial to me, but I've never lived so on the best of everything around as now. Now to-night he wants me to come out in the kitchen before I go to bed and he's going to fix me up a milkshake with egg & vanilla. Only once before have I taken an egg in a drink, and then I didn't know it, but I'm going to have this tonight, as I do know beaten raw eggs are good for one, will strengthen and build one up. Cook is surely a faithful person, devoted to duty, and will do anything for anyone who uses him right.
It's already begun to rain, much sooner than I thought. Being in one story barracks is just as good as being in a garret, for hearing the rain-drops. Why do I so love rain on the roof? Perhaps it's akin to my love for the wind. One is sound, the other touch, but they both breathe contentment into one, buoy one up, make one silently happy. That's what they are to me.
Cook just came in with the egg milkshake and I drank it "bottoms up" without a quiver, and liked it. Look what I've missed all my life. Cook says it will build me up more than a half-pound stake, and he's going to bring one in every night.
I'm not working hard yet; I guess sometimes I look as though I were in a trance, I work with such little speed, when I used to go around like a trip-hammer, sometimes. The Supply Train got 70 new men last night, which practically brings it up to full strength. This morning I saw to assigning these men to definite companies. It will seem good to be up to full strength, instead of always a few more men short. That we are being filled now is just another indication that we're not going to be here forever.
When I got back here the other day I found I had been issued a new steel helmet. It's just for practice use, and I think the practice I'll give it will be to have it hang on the wall, to get accustomed to know what it looks like. They are quite heavy, and my little head feels like dodging.
I happened to be looking over the June Munsey's this evening and found a little poem by Richard Le Gallienne called "An Anniversary", and being as how we are interested in anniversaries I am going to see if you like it:
Eva, what's the "purple felt spoils of war suggestion'? I haven't been able to think for the life of me.
You haven't told me how your knee is getting along, and I was anxious to know. I know I asked about it in an earlier letter. If you had written a little evenings as well as daytimes, and when you had my letters handy to answer, you might not have forgotten it. Goodness! I'm overjoyed to have you spend time writing me anytime, you need have no doubt about that, but I do wish you would do a little in the evenings.
Well, lady mine, I must begin to think of slumber. So it is time to kiss you good-night. Be a good girl, and don't rob any banks, - but flower beds after dusk are your specialty, aren't they? You know, I couldn't remember the name of that flower on that vegetable plant by the road to Hemlock Manor on the deserted farm, to save me, when I wanted to tell Mother. All I could think of was some kind of a potato, and that didn't seem right. What was it?
A great big good-night kiss, and lots of love from your sweetheart (seeing you tell me I am he).
I love you.
I just thot perhaps you would like a little extra note tonight, even if I didn't have anything to say.
Daido and I took a walk tonight down toward Somers Point. We rode back on the car and heard a woman, who had one child on the seat beside her and another little more than a baby herself, holding an infant, on the seat in back of her, say to the conductor, "What did he say when he got off?" The conductor said, "I don't know but I think he said he'd forgotten one of the kids." The girl then turned around to us and laughing said they were down on an excursion from Philadelphia and hearing the car whistle had left their grandmother's in such a hurry they had forgotten her little brother and the father remembering after going several blocks had rushed off to get him. It really was quite humorous and to make it worse Daido said, "Just try and imagine, now, what it will be with your six, Eva." I almost had to leave the car but by some good fortune got myself straightened out.
I wrote to Lucinthia today but didn't get a chance to write to your cousin Elinore as I was quite busy at work, washed when I came home, and then went for the walk.
There's a red golden moon tonight but it's a cloudy moon and I think we will have a storm tomorrow just because I have my washing ready to put out, I suppose.
Well, dearest, sweetheart, I love you, still, yet, and bushels.
P.S. Me is I.
The trolleys are on a strike and I wanted to go to Atlantic this afternoon.
[Note - the daisy she had mentioned in previous letters is enclosed in this letter]
My, but isn't this the lonesome afternoon? I've been fighting it off all day, but now everyone else has either gone to sleep or gone off, and my aloneness seems to impress itself doubly strong. So, having done a little work for an hour and a half or so, which seemed to be about all I could take on for the time being, I'll talk to you, even if I can't have you to talk back to me. Perhaps you think by my saying that, I am going to start in on an argument where I'll have all the say, such as weddings; just like the letter you wrote me some time ago with our imaginary Hemlock Manor trip, where you regaled yourself to the full on hills - which have since become mountains - and may yet be super-mountains. Everything becomes super after awhile - there were dreadnoughts, then super-dreadnoughts; the Hudson Super-six; b and superb. Wouldn't you like to be my super - or superlatively super - sunshine lady?
With the egg shake and a little Christian Science I feel strong as an ox to-day, relatively speaking, from the way I felt before. Perhaps the cooks rolls have helped out. I certainly must try to get Cook's recipe for the delicious rolls he makes, so that you can try them out when we have our home. Rolls and muffins and corn bread & good bread of all kinds are my specialty. But perhaps they make lots of work, and you'll think I am going to ask you to spend most of your time cooking for me. You'd never have time to mow the lawn then, would you, lady? And you said you wanted to mow the lawn, didn't you? Of course you know I have a lame arm, a perpetual alibi. Perhaps some one will give us one of those steam lawn-mowers for our hope chest. If you travel around very much the hope chest with its prospective contents will be some little expense.
This morning I got up about two hours after reveille, unashamed, took breakfast at eight-thirty, and read the Sunday papers, all, of course except the comics, which as you know I piously put behind me at all times. I don't like this Mexican news. I expect the German agents are busy down there stirring up all the trouble they can for us but I surely hope events won't develop again to the point they did two summers ago down there. Naturally undesirable in the highest degree anyway, it would take lots of men away from where we need them in France for the real struggle.
Later in the morning I wrote a letter to Ern Binks, the first in over two months, but I have others 4 and 5 months overdue. I am going to try to write Eph Mitchell and Corp. Johnson this afternoon, and this evening write Mother - and perhaps my Sunshine Lady, if I listen and find out she's thinking about me. Just now I think I'll take a little walk or ride up to the post office, for I haven't been out in the air at all to-day.
I love you, dear.
Daido and I had the jolliest time today. We had supper at Kellers last night so decided not to spend any more money on Sunday dinner and just have a pick up one.
I ironed all morning - after arising at ten - sat down to some real sliced peaches and then wrote your letter.
When I went up to mail it I got hungry for some chocolate ice cream - knowing I had strawberries home I saved a little just for you as in the meantime Daido had gone out and after awhile decided to eat it myself as you didn't appear to want it. It was fixed up so nicely, too. You certainly must have felt perverse.
Daido and I went to the meadows after dining on hash, asparagus, lettuce and lovely ice "Browney" cakes that I made.
We have the most wonderful flowers in our house now. An immense bunch of pink and white clover on the table, a vase of the slenderest fairest blue flags which look just wonderful in their fragile vase over by the window. I just love iris anyway, when you have just a few in a vase. They are so dainty and picturesque and especially the meadow ones. I wish you had been with us. I know you would have enjoyed it and I know I would have enjoyed having you. Sometime we'll take all our walks together won't we? We'll sure be happy then.
One good night kiss I love you.
I'm so sorry I disappointed you by not writing at night but I never like to write when anyone is around and Daido usually stays up, at least, until I go to bed. I'm glad I did write one before I got your letter and start this one.
The daisies and bluets out in the garden look just as if the garden were made for them. The forgetmenots look lovely and so does the columbine but the Margurets do not look as well as they might, I am giving them the best of care and hope they will soon brighten up. I think I carried out about forty buckets of water to the garden yesterday.
I'm making a s'prise for my hope chest and when it's finished I'll tell you all about it.
It certainly doesn't seem as if I just saw you last week.
I got white violets and Pleasantville bluets, which are very, very, different from your bluets, and garlic blossoms, which are really pretty, in addition to my iris.
As many flowers as we have would make anyone happy.
We're going to have a play room all flowers and books and pretty pictures and a piano and when I think you are working too hard I will take you away by main force and I'll let you look at the flowers and books and piano. I might let you play a bit and read to me but I won't promise too much.
I love you my sweetheart, I do.
Dear Sunshine Lady,
The doctor has just finished bandaging up my right arm. I've just been vaccinated, which is the reason. About two months ago I sent up to Plattsburg & got the vaccination records for all the officers here, but as far as smallpox vaccination was concerned the results were given as unknown, so we all have to take it again, inasmuch as we have to show at port of embarkation that we have been successfully vaccinated. About a week ago I ought to be just about as good as armless. Perhaps I'll have to get an amanuensis again. [note - I looked it up, it's a secretary]
Since I wrote you this afternoon I have taken a walk up to the post office & back, written the letters I said I was going to & had a long talk with Sergeant Coughlan on individual men in the company & the manner of their work since I have been away, and on general company matters. A number of men who didn't show up much before have shone since we got the trucks and others whom I had picked as good chauffeurs or even more responsible positions have proven disappointments. There is nothing that hurts me more than to have someone I have trusted go back on me. There are a number of little things which need correction, which I wish I could jump right in & set right at once. And I see a number of things I'd like to jump in & work on in the Supply Train as a whole, in my capacity of Adjutant, but I can't do everything. I've even got a lot of things I ought to do for myself, things to get, arrangements to make, etc., before I'm completely ready for overseas service, and of course we might get our orders any time.
This evening I chatted quite a while with Jim Moody, who has been most affable of late. He has the Crusean superficiality & shallowness, but still has considerable more ability & I guess more character & force.
Poor Andy is having a most miserable time with a vaccination he had a week or so ago. His arm is all swelled up and he feels "grippy" all over. He's usually so hilarious that it seems funny to have him so quiet now.
We have a Sunday mail, but it brought no letters from my lady. I wonder if you had your banquet Friday evening and how it came off. Did the Pleasantville Press come out with any interesting news about Miss Eva Lutz in Ayer, Mass. Or newly fledged officers in Pleasantville?
Cook has just made me my night-cap of milk & egg and I'm going to get to sleep good and early.
This has surely been an awfully quiet day around camp, with not a visitor allowed in it, unless brought in by a Lieutenant Colonel or better.
I am lonesome for you, dear one. I hope you're thinking of me, & happy always that you're my sunshine lady.
A good-night kiss, and all my love.
It is nighttime and Daido is out and I have just returned from Dorcas'.
There is going to be a storm, I think, because Thor is rending the air with his sword. He isn't making any noise about it tho and is trying to camouflage it and make it appear to be heat lightening, but the moon is wise and she has hidden her head and tucked in all her little star chickies so I'm not going to be fooled either.
Daido forgot to put the key out this noon so I knew she couldn't get in if she were home so I had to climb in the window and our lower windows are really almost second story windows and it was some job. I have not robbed a bank, yet, but I think I have gotten lots of valuable experience that will help me out, if I ever do want to.
Dorcas was telling me all about her trip tonight and she certainly must have had an interesting time (but not half as nice as I had).
She took a time exposure of me playing the piano to prove that I actually could. If they are any good I will send you one.
Won't you please tell me the name of your cat? You just might have in that letter that you wrote, as you surely must have known I'd be curious. Is it a bible name?
Everybody seems to think my ring is just wonderful and I guess everyone who sees it must tell everyone else as a million at least have stopped and suddenly picked up my hand saying "Oh let me see your ring."
My knee is well, or at least most so. The reason I didn't mention it was I thought if I didn't you would forget about it sooner. Are you satisfied now, terrible, awful, Scolder?
The name of that little vegetable flower on the way to Hemlock Manor is Italian Pea.
Goodness I never heard such thunder in all my life. It really sounds just like a battle and I'm all alone. I'm skart. Your thunder shower of the other evening must have struck us.
I'd like very very much to go over your book with you. Maybe we will and soon, too.
It has started in to rain just torrents. I wonder where Daido is?
I think I had better say good night and kiss you good night and say be good and don't drink too many ice cream sodas (that's for me robbing banks, the idea). Good night - One kiss.
P.S. I love you.
P.S. I wasn't playing "Nearer my God to Thee" with one finger, in that picture I had taken, it was real music.
P.S. I love my sweetheart.
I am starting late tonight, as it's been a pretty full evening. Besides, I ought to stay late in commemoration of a week ago tonight, shouldn't I? About now we must have been about at the rear-guard tree an the way back. I wonder what the time of the year will be when we go up ("it" was written here and crossed out) again. That "it" was inadvertent; I was thinking of the long road, not the tree, as it might seem. Are you an expert tree climber? I used to think I was quite an artist at it when I was youthful. And Lucinthia used to be quite good, too, at it, if I remember rightly. Now I just sit and talk about what I used to could do. I tell you what, though, I lifted my left hand over my head so that I clasped with my right there today.
This morning it started out quite chilly and Pop being a cold-blooded person anyway, and Andy having chills with the effects of his vaccination they had a fire started in the steam heater. Well, if that didn't make these barracks the most uncomfortable place imaginable, I'm not I. I thought I'd be cooked, and my poor permanent alibi of a head doesn't like cooking.
I got up at my own usual reveille hour this morning and proceeded to take up some necessary things with Pop before I ate my breakfast. He didn't know I hadn't had it, and when a blooming sanitary inspector came around & wanted to have someone accompany him thru the buildings of our organization Pop asked me to go around with him. So I ambled around & watched him pick out dust specks on the window sills and listened to his observations therein & on similar delinquencies until ten o'clock. I was thoroughly tired then, and felt quite as though I'd done a day's work. So I finally got my breakfast & practically rested until dinner. In the afternoon I worked a short time, probably till three-thirty, and rested till five-thirty. Blame the heat, you can, for forcing me to rest so much. But that's what the doctor said to do when my head got unruly. Before supper I had quite a long chat with Pop over some shifting around of the officers of the Supply Train. I've had two men's jobs since March 1st, as I've spoken of several times, commander of Co. C, and Adjutant. I've dreaded the time which I knew would come when I'd have to choose between the two, for I've built up my company from the beginning, and at the same time have enjoyed acting as Adjutant; while having a company all my own gave me a broader scope for administrative work & the use & development of initiative than I ever hoped to have in the army, there are certain peculiar conditions here which give me, I think, even a broader one as Adjutant; and as Adjutant I have come into a close association with Capt. June which I am anxious to keep up. He wants me to be permanent Adjutant, and I have decided to do so. And Moody is going to have my company. I hate to turn it over to anyone, but I can't do two men's jobs in my present state, and when we get in the field I couldn't anyway. I hope that Moody will get along all right with them. He hasn't had anything to do for a couple of months, and Pop hasn't wanted to put him in a company over any one else, because of the hard feeling it would cause & he dislikes Moody anyway. But my relinquishing it for the Adjutant's job leaves a vacancy for him and no one's feelings have to be hurt. I think as Adjutant, too, I will not be in such danger of having my head go back on me. I don't imagine I'll be on the road so much where the stress & strain of riding up & down the line keeping the trucks going right, &c., would be perhaps likely to force me to give in; and as commander of a company, that's what I would have to do. One thing I won't have is a private roadster; when I am out I shall ride around in the Commanding Officer's touring car instead - by that I mean the Commanding Officer of the Supply Train, Captain June. We are making several other changes around in the officers, too, and I am going to get out an order to-morrow covering the various changes.
I was glad to get your Friday evening letter. I judge by you and Miss Tolbert taking that walk you spoke of down toward Somers Point that you didn't have that banquet. I believe you were sensible not to, for it seemed an unnecessary expense, particularly at this time.
Just about now we must have been getting to the place where long ago we viewed a beautiful red sunset and funny cloud shapes. So perhaps this is a good place to give you a good-night kiss. But it is sort of a long way to ask you to walk home alone, isn't it, lady?
Midnight - Good-night, and - I love you, comrade, sunshine lady.
P.S. I think 6 is a lot more than I could take care of, but if we had that many, I think we should take them out in relays. S.
This is just a little morning note so you would know I got over being skart and lived thru the shower.
I got a letter from your mother this morning and she said she was rather surprised when you produced the onions as you hated them so. You know, I never thot of that. I really forgot to mention about them too so I guess you were a bit surprised too when you saw them. I'm sorry but I just wanted to "show off" my garden.
We have lots of golden sunshine just out of my window here even when it rains. I picked some of it this morning and will send it to you with my best love. Now, when you see my sunshine you mustn't say, "Why goodness it's a yellow columbine," for I'll surely hear you say it if you do and naturally I'd be just a little bit disappointed if you saw thru my subterfuge. [note - columbine still in envelope]
We certainly are rushed up here now but I am doing bunk fatigue (I mean I'm doing what I think bunk fatigue might include.)
I'm glad the doctor thinks your arm is doing nicely but don't get engaged in any pugilistic encounters too soon, please.
There is an alumni meeting tonight down at Gladys' and I have been promising my Aunt a visit for a long time so I will go down for supper, invade the flower garden and the strawberry patch and then go over to Gladys's. She (Mrs. Horton) has the most wonderful strawberries I ever saw - ten to a box they say. Aren't you hungry - for some chocolate ice cream.
I forgot to mail your letter in the noon mail yesterday and didn't get out of work in time to get it in the five. I'm sorry. I never thought of it until I got down to the post office.
It is most noontime now and I want to get it off today. Good morning my Sylvester.
I love you.
I just came home from Alumni and am so tired but I love you.
Didn't I write you a long letter last night? I just couldn't write any more. I'm tired out mentally, physically and every other way. Oh that Alumni!
My ten to a quart berries didn't materialize this year. They are nearer fifty to a quart.
Daido is going to Cape May with her sister for the summer. A young couple are going to take our house, but I guess we will leave our things in it and I think I shall stay at Maple Inn with Miss Davis. I am going to get an increase in salary next week. Manny told me but she doesn't know how much yet.
It is rumored that Mr. Matlack is to come here as Principal. Six teachers, Miss Ryder, Miss McClelland, Bryant, McAllister, etc. resigned yesterday. Daido didn't know why not having heard about Mr. Matlack until last night when I told her after Alumni and if it is so she is going to resign, too.
If she comes back here next year we have the privilege of having "Bricktop" but if she doesn't, I don't know.
I have known that we probably wouldn't stay at Bricktop this summer for about a week now but I didn't mention it until I made up my mind whether it would be better for me to go to Cape May or not and then at first I didn't know that Miss Davis was going to back down on the housekeeping proposition but Maple Inn made her a good offer for board and as she is not sure of a position, they sent for her to come immediately to the post office in Atlantic and of course she couldn't go, she decided not to run the risk of keeping house. I suppose if I board I'll have much more time to myself but you know I'll rather miss doing as I liked and eating what I like and when I please. I'll have lots more time to fix some things for US and time is very necessary when it comes to me making things. Slow and not always sure.
The purple spoils of war suggestion was the purple banner which was to be decorated with your numerous insignia.
Wouldn't I like to be your super or superlatively super- sunshine lady? Just as if I'm not.
If you intend to have me make nice rolls and bread things you better send me those recires now so I can get over the experimental stage.
Did I sign a contract that I would mow the lawn? I would appreciate this information by return mail as I am becoming very much worried.
There was no item at all in the Pleasantville Press. I have ignored the Review entirely and would not even look at it when I got the chance altho I think, from the way I have avoided the MacWilliams' and the subject, they knew I didn't much like the attitude they were taking and therefore didn't put anything in.
I got some Sweet Williams and a few other plants for Bricktop. They might still be out when we come back in the fall. I'm very fond of Sweet Williams. I think I'm fond of most flowers tho.
Mr. Hammell just asked Marian and I if we could possibly work Memorial day. I won't get to go with you to put flowers on the family graves this Memorial Day because I told him I would. Aren't you disappointed? I'll go tho after work if you wantme to and it will make you happy.
Lets celebrate at night with chocolate ice cream and strawberries and maybe a row on Hemlock Manor Lake. It's wonderful moonlight, tho late.
I have some more letters to typewrite and it's almost noon so I'll stop.
I love you because you're my sweetheart
The reason you didn't get your letter in time for Sunday was that I had to work straight thru until almost two o'clock. I was very disappointed too not to get it off in time but as fast as I would get my letters done someone else would bring some more.
A kiss for the poor arm that's sick and the one that's going to be.
Your Sunshine Lady.
I think this has been my best day since I got back to the cantonment. There have been several things which must have contributed towards it. First, it's been very nice and cool, and there has been none of the oppressive heat which kind of kept my head on edge other days. My head hasn't been wobbly all dy, and it's done quite a little work. And the accomplishment of something has perhaps made me more myself. But I don't believe that's all. I got a letter from my own precious lady this morning which just put a little song in the back of my heart all day - I don't mean a definite song, but just song, music. And then after the one this morning, what should happen but I got two more this afternoon. Three in one day! You dear blessed lady!
And why do you suppose the morning letter made the day so bright and cheery for me? Well, it was just happiness thruout, I think. It was the one you wrote Sunday night & then added to Monday morning, I should judge. You were telling me all about the flowers you had in your house, and your garden, and I think by the way you tell about it you are taking lots of interest in it. Perhaps, can I hope, even more than interest, because I had some little share in it? I am glad the garden is doing so well, and hope the marguerites get along better. You know what I think made me happiest was your little threat about what you called the play-room. It just made me happy to know you were thinking of our Home which is to be; that it's in your thought, as in mine. It will be a Home Beautiful. I hope I can make it what you've always wanted. I'm sure I can. I want to mean always so much to you, I want to bring you happiness without a cloud. I'm so glad you are thinking about it, looking forward to it - I knew you were, but you see today I saw it down on paper. I'm glad you've got the garden & the flowers to interest you. No doubt there are other things, plenty, but I'm speaking of those you have written me of. When we're always together, what worlds won't we explore. One can find worth while things to interest him most anywhere, and I surely hope you always will, until I come.
Eleven o'clock, and Pop has just come in, and I've had to go in and talk to him a little while, in regard to a big parade the whole division is in tomorrow. We had a long session up at Adjutants' Meeting to-night giving details of the formation, and then I had a further conference with the Adjutant of all the Trains. It won't be a very long affair and your soldier is going to risk it. I'll tell you all about it to-morrow.
Goodness! This isn't much return for three nice letters I had to-day, but I guess I'd better get rested up for the parade in the morning.
I'm brimful of curiosity about the surprse for the hope chest. Also as to the picture of my lady at the piano.
Good-night, Sunshine lady, and a kiss. I love you.
We advocated no banquet at the meeting last night so it was decided to have an informal, dance, music, buffet supper.
Dorcas and I went over to Atlantic tonight and got the programs, and saw about favors.
It is not going to be a very elaborate affair and we are going to try and make it come under twenty dollars.
I have been writing up some accounts for the Alumni
[note - the rest of the letter is written in a different color ink]
(Suddenly called to bed)
paper and they are rather funny.
The florist at the cemetery just gave me the most wonderful bunch of red and white peonies and pink and white carnations about five or six dozen in all. She brought them up specially for me this morning. They are so beautiful and so many that I can hardly carry them.
Since writing the last I have been working. I hunted out lots of names for the Grand Army Man (I mean one in charge) and after he went away he came back and brought me a lovely pink peony like they are putting on the soldiers' graves. Wasn't that fine?
Do you know I'm awful sorry about this letter but I had been embroidering last night and my headache ached so I actually couldn't write then but I love you just lots and will be able to write you a lovely letter tonight.
What do you suppose is decorating my table tonight? A glass full of whip-poor-will shoes! Winnie was up here to see Ralph to-day, and they went out and found them this afternoon. I don't know just where it was, but I don't believe it was very far from camp. They also found quite a few wild lilies-of-the-valley. Half the whip-poor-will shoes they left with me. Winnie wanted to be remembered to you. I was sorry you didn't get a chance to know her better, but you will sometime. I would be most happy if you had a chance to go up and see her and Lucinthia this summer.
Yesterday I had my picture taken again; I've had to do it to get one sent to the War Department, where they have a Rogue's Gallery, or something like that, of all officers in the service of the United States. I don't believe I shall go to the expense of having any made up for myself, I had those such recent ones last winter. And it won't cost me anything to have the one sent to Washington.
The big Parade came out all right, except that the Artillery was late in getting on the parade ground. It wasn't a very long affair, and not a march at all, as you may think of it. There is a huge open space about in the center of the cantonment, and the entire division was formed around it in this manner:
Shaded portion: troops of the different organizations. Position of Supply Train is shown within imaginary circle at bottom. The little rectangles are the companies of the Train lined up one behind another. "A" up in front is Capt. June; "b", a little behind and to the left of him is your soldier, and humble servant. All organizations got their troops into position at the place previously prescribed for them, as they gave it out at Adjutants' meeting last night; that took over an hour. Then at the first blowing of "Attention" on the bugle the colors of the different regiments were borne toward the center of the field and lined up in front of the General. Then the band played the Star Spangled Banner, at which, as always, the troops were given the command "Present Arms" by their organization commanders and all officers come to the salute. It never fails to have a thrill for me; the thrill never wears out, for I am so everlastingly proud of that song of ours, and this country of ours, and all it stands for now. At the conclusion of the music each organization commander brought his command to the position "Parade Rest" which is with the right foot about six inches back, the left knee slightly bent, and both hands clasping the rifle in front. That position was held while some chaplain offered a prayer, which I don't suppose anybody could hear; but I could tell he was making a noise & that's more than you might expect to do, when you're one of 27,000. After that relic of antiquity was concluded, the troops were brought to "Attention" while the band played "America". Then the organizations were marched back by their individual commanders to their quarters and dismissed.
This afternoon I did a lot of work over in my old company preparatory to turning it over to Moody. He hasn't had much experience in handling a company, and there are lots of things I have to show him. I'll be glad when all formalities are done with, and I can devote my whole time to the Adjutant's Office, for there is much which can be done there.
I hardly believe you'd call our cat's name a Bible one. But, you, being an ardent student of Scriptural genealogy might tell me if there is anyone by the name of "Dippy" mentioned in Holy Writ. You'd better ask Uncle Bill the next time you see him. He named the cat. Our cat here at camp is "Shaggy". Today we were given some gold-fish to keep her company. Both cat and gold-fish were presents of the cook's mother.
What was the matter with the alumni meeting that it made you so tired?
I hope you will stay at Maple Inn with Miss Davis. So Miss Tolbert has given up Columbia for the summer altogether? And may even come back to Pleasantville? She must change her mind with some little frequency. I suppose if she gives up the summer school, you don't feel you can attempt it this year anywhere. But I do hope if I should be a long time coming back, or something should happen to me, and you have a future to think of for yourself, you will take up the kindergarten work. It will be perfectly possible for you to, and I would be happy could I know you were. It's because I would want you to have a chance to make friends, like Miss Tolbert, like Miss Davis, like my friend Binks' wife; it's because I want your life always to be rich & full & happy; to be full of interest for you; your work to be broadening & not narrowing. Probably you don't like me to get on this subject, and I don't think you ever listened to me much when I did; but when I have a heart-full, I must speak it once in a while. A heart-full of love for my Eva; full of fears, sometimes, that she might not look ahead enough, that if she did she couldn't see all that I can see. For I have been an observer of life longer and wider, and I feel that I know something of what I'm talking about, when I say the routine of office work would starve your nature if followed perpetually; you know how you once said you guessed you weren't writing so much because of too much business. A year or two, that's not so bad, but perpetually, I mean. Now you're waiting for me, planning for our home, and so again it's not so bad. But you can't blame me for thinking of the if, and of you. I hope I have made myself understood.
A whip-poor-will just started to sing out here. You know where he brought me to, but he brought me also ahead, to our home, and our spring twilights which are to be. That's what I think of more than the ifs but I would be a disloyal lover if I didn't think of the ifs.
I wonder if you remember where I wrote you last Memorial Day. I remember quite distinctly where I was sitting, on the edge of a woods, and writing you about Memorial Days of earlier years.
Good-night, my Eva, my own sweetheart.
Did I fix the family plot to suit you? There are just two daisies left. I'll wear one. Of Course, a man in uniform can't wear any so I'll find out if my sweetheart loves me Yes! No! Yes. No. yes. No yes - you're terrible you made me pull off about six at once and I don't know certain now whether he does or not. I wonder if he does. Do you know?
Some of the peonies are ZY peonies. (I don't know how to spell the name of your fraternity). They certainly are beautiful.
Mildred Burns was in tonight and I am afraid she left quite disappointed. When she was half way down the step she said, "Oh, Eva, I heard something that shows my prophecy is coming true about the General." I said, "What?" She said she heard you were soon to be lieutenant General. I said that was quite a ways off from captain and in the most disappointed voice she said, "Oh do you know I heard he was a lieutenant." Further development according to Mildred: Ranks. - private, captain, major, lieut., lieut. general, general.
You ask me if I am an expert tree climber. I'm an expert up climber but not a down climber. I'm sorry to say I'm a jump down as I don't like to climb down when I have to feel my way below. I have confessed. Forgive me.
It is cool tonight and half rainy so I have the fire place going. Its quite cosy and rosy by it. Wish you were here. I even believe I'd kiss you if you were, at least I'd let you sit in the arm chair.
I think you were wise to give up your company even tho you will miss them. I think you have been doing too much. You never spare yourself, do you? I really don't think that you should do so much. I'm scolding, really.
Daido has just called me to bed. Oh! Goodness! Just wait until I'm boss.
I s'pose I won't even have time to tell you that I love you bushels and that I'm putting a sunshine kiss down in the right hand corner, but please forgive me for not doing so for I do and I did.
Your Sunshine Lady, Me.
I've worked late to-night, at least to what now seems late, eleven o'clock, so this won't be very long, besides it hasn't been a particularly interesting day. What's kept me working late has been straightening out the accounts of the Officers' Mess for the month, and making out bills for the same; each of which is being presented with a humble appeal for prompt payment, so I can settle my bills for supplies for the mess up right away. I hate keeping accounts of any kind, but those which are continually open particularly.
The whip-poor-will sang again to-night but he was a longer way off than last night. His one far off song was but a faint suggestion of the concert we had.
I have been working at my Adjutant's job all day, although I still have several matters to clean up over in the old company. By Monday night I hope to turn everything over to Moody completely. The Adjutant of this organization has had a new task thrust on him, the supervision of the making out of the payrolls for all men in the Train. These formerly were done in the companies, but a new order of the war department has required that they be handled in headquarters of regiments, or of separate organizations such as ours. As I wasn't here when they had to be started this month, the C.O. had them done in the companies but I have to sign them - with the humble hope that my name isn't signed to too many errors.
When and where are you going to have this dance, etc.? Goodness! What do you want an old dance for? Do you dance much? I don't remember you're ever speaking of going to one before, since you've been writing me, except one in Philadelphia you told me of when I was with you. I hate these dances they have now, except the waltz, they are so unrhythmical, so unmusical, and inartistic, to me anyway.
Eva, I want you to make me a promise. I hope you won't feel hurt because it's a promise you would probably keep without making, for many men wouldn't ask their sweethearts to keep such a one, and I think perhaps many would say they would have no right to ask or expect them to. But I can't agree with them. It is partly this, that if you do go out to anything, such as this dance, that you won't let any other man take you there or bring you home; it may be foolish of me, but I just don't want anybody to even think they have had a chance to give my lady any special attentions. I feel that when two people have become sweethearts, that they each belong absolutely to the other, and that no other person of the opposite sex should be given any special attentions. I love you so, I want you all myself, and I would grow a terrible green if anyone thought because he had had a couple of dances with you, or had been allowed out of courtesy, because living near, or something, to call for you, that he had attracted you in any way. You are all mine every moment, aren't you, sweetheart? Promise me that you will go by just what I have asked. I promise you that I will abide absolutely by it myself. If it were just a question of right or wrong, I wouldn't ask you, dear heart, for goodness! I would trust my lady to be a true sweetheart to the end of the world; but this is a little added thing that plenty of all right people would not restrict themselves to. No true sweetheart would ever think of giving to or allowing on the part of anyone else, what they knew were special attentions. But in many cases a request to take one to any place or affair or home from it might not be any more than a courtesy, and I have known engaged people who didn't mind if each other did it. But I'm not built that way, and I don't believe you are. I would be especially worried if anyone got the idea from taking you to your home once, or something like that, to ask you again or as repeatedly as to be an annoyance. There's a ring that would scare the most away, but there are some who have no respect for anything. I have been around the world enough to know it. One of our number here boasts of his conquests among married women. Isn't that a hideous thing? It's exaggerated and amplified and Crusefied at times but it makes me depressed at times to hear it, to think of so much faithlessness in existence. Well, I never expected to talk all this time.
Your letter which came to-night promises a lovely one to be written in the evening of the day you were writing, Thursday, so I am looking forward to the morning mail.
I love you always.
Your own Sweetheart.
The Memorial Day rush is over and its as quiet as the 5th of July around here. I'm sure glad, too.
I've been sick but I'm well again now and you didn't know it, did you? My cold got steadily worse and worse until I couldn't breathe almost and I was afraid I was going to get Ammonia, but I didn't and I only actually took two doses of medicine and that was when I was most terribly frightened. I don't think anything is really good for a cold except air. I think it has to run its course at least mine do. Its over now and I certainly feel some better but today is an awful gloomy day. It's a good thing my sweetheart calls me Sunshine Lady for then I try and live up to my name. Don't you think that if people have a nice opinion of you, you always want to be their ideal and be just as good and as wonderful as they think you are?
Goodness! My marguerites are getting to be as sprightly as possible and our Bricktop Garden is beginning to assert itself. All of the garden looks nice tho and the sweet Williams I just planted are wonderful. They are dark red.
Laurel and Honeysuckle is out so is magnolia. I might take you on a trip with me down to Bargaintown and we will get just oceans. Herbert Smith has a boat down there and Pearl and I borrowed it one year and rowed way up to the lake and out the stream at the upper end and got the most wonderful flowers. I don't think I'll get to go with her this year. I haven't heard from her for some time.
[note- start of a different color ink, probably written later or next morning. The note "I'm to stay at Bricktop" at the beginning of the letter is also written in this color ink.]
Good news, that I have to tell. I think Miss Davis is coming to Bricktop with me, at any rate I've decided to stay. I'm just so happy. I went out and planted about a million things tonight that I hardly felt interest enough to plant when I thought I wasn't to play. I'm so sorry I sent you that other letter but I actually thot it was settled that I would not stay and I thought you would want to know. I thot there wasn't a chance of my staying but now there is and I am going to. Aren't you happy? I am.
I will write more later my sweetheart, I love you
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