3rd December 1916
A cold frosty day but at least they have had no rain recently and the ground is frozen hard. To ease the boredom Arthur has been borrowing books from Rochford – a fellow officer – revisiting literature he last read at Downside. Arthur spends some time recalling the first time he met Dollie, at the Noel’s house: “ Do you remember it at all – years ago!”
Arthur to Dollie
Sun. aft: 2.30pm
Brrr – its cold to-day – just a typical wintry day – a day with a dull white face and frost in the air… I wonder what you’ve been doing to-day & what the weather is like with you. I do hope you’re having it fine. It’s getting on for 3 o’clock, Sunday afternoon. I am very anxious to hear how you got on yesterday, dear; I feel sure you were a great success…
Rochford has just been in & the Doctor: also Jones. Minshull, I believe, leaves for the Army School tomorrow. Alfred might be back to-night, but I have no further news of him. I’ve been reading several books lately: The Island Pharisees by John Galsworthy, – a miserable, discontented sort of thing, “Captains All”, by Jacobs, “Barlasch of the Guard” a book of Seton Merrimans that I hav’n’t read since Downside, “Mord Emily” a very true & appealing story by Pett Ridge, & once again “The Tragedy of the Korosko” by Conan Doyle. Most of them I borrowed at one time or another from Rochford.
The rain keeps off, dear, DG and though very cold, the weather keeps steady & there is no snow. The frosts however are quite fairly hard.
I am looking forward anxiously to news from you, dear; yesterday’s letter was only Tuesday’s and to-day is Sunday… Isn’t it strange: one of the first things that attracted you to me was a remark you made. I think, the first time I met you at home: the Mater had I think made a remark, “Oh don’t mind her, she’s so small”; & you immediately replied, “Much good can be contained in a small parcel!” Do you remember it at all – years ago!
Well, dear heart, I must go for I really am rather busy & keep on being interrupted by all sorts of folk & queries…