15th January 1919

Dearest Emmie

Yours to hand of 8th inst. We have no school on this morning so I am spending my time in a much better way by writing to you. I think it was almost impossible for me to have made a mistake in guessing the “surprise” you see it would not have been so pleasant had I made a mistake. You can tell Dad that I have guessed correctly and perhaps he will let you tell me what it is like and all particulars. Is it as good as Mr Day’s? Please let me know your own opinion exactly no matter what it is. I don’t think mine will differ from yours to any great extent so I will know what to look forward to. It has got to be very good to be like Mr Day’s. I don’t think that my Pa will think that you have told me anything if you tell him so. I have had a rather bad cold this last few days but I am glad to say that it is a bit better this morning. We have lost about five drummers so far. There are three more who have signed on for another three or four years will be going soon and then I will be getting ready myself. I think that we have to promise to return if we go on leave so I don’t know which will come first. There are hundreds pass through Tournai every day and I think that once they leave there they are well away. When I read your letter at first I thought of perhaps a “baby sister” but on second thoughts I thought it hardly probable. I know that Mrs D. is very funny but if her dear H was there that accounts for not seeing anybody else. How is Elsie going on? I should think that she is quite a big girl by now; has she still got that squeeky little voice. I don’t know what you will think but I got the booby-prize again last night at the whist drive. A man that got first prize last week stopped all one half (4 times) on one table and of course he had lowest marks. I was playing lady again I suppose that’s why I lost. I’ll have to try gent next time.

Leave is still going but very slowly. I might be home by the end of February I should not think it would be long now. The worst of it is the train service out here is so bad and to get along at 10 miles per hour would be very good. I think I have said before that when on a train journey the boys get on top of the trucks and walk beside the train etc. I don’t think Mrs Sh. is far wrong in her summises for I think that if the Labour Govt had won the day in the election it would have been a good opportunity for Bolshevism to start. Has W. Sharp got his ticket yet I suppose he will have it soon: the long service men have a good chance of getting their check quickly. I am wanting mine badly and yet I have only 10 months out here but n’importe.  Well I must close now as I must write a letter home.

With Love

From Your Will

P.S. How do you like violet ink?