No. 7925934. Sgt. Greenwood, R.T.
9th Battn. R.T.R.
Jess Darling: I can see from your letter today that I owe you an apology, and an explanation. I ought to have been more explicit in my comments about the gas-stove: I seem to have misled you, and therefore caused you a lot of unnecessary worry. I am sorry, dear: I only hope you have not altered your plans because of my letter. You see Jess, I have a bee in my bonnet… and I have overlooked the fact that you would not be aware of this. This particular ‘bee’ has its roots in your rather frequent colds.
For some time now, I have had a suspicion that the scullery atmosphere… a mixture of air, gas-fumes and steam… may have some bearing upon your colds, because it is an unhealthy combination, especially for respiratory organs, and one in which you are forced to spend so much of your time. So – I have come to the conclusion that our scullery will have to be ventilated, and it has been my intention (when I get home) to arrange this… taking particular care to design an ‘exhaust’ for the gas fumes and the steam: it can be done. Gas fumes are poisonous Jess… and they have become impressed upon my mind as a sort of domestic fifth column.
Now when you wrote and told me of your intention to buy a gas-stove, I immediately thought of… fumes… And instead of suggesting that you ought to take precautions against them, I seem to have been dogmatic about a flue and thereby given you the impression that a gas cooker could not be used without one. That is where I have misled you… and perhaps caused needless complications.
In actual fact, Jess, you are quite correct: it is not usual to see a flue of any sort with a gas cooker… and I suppose it can be said that they are not necessary… And that is where my ‘bee’ starts buzzing: I have convinced myself that gas fumes are not good for you… and so I have declared war on them. And now dear, I want to ask you not to buy an electric stove if you are convinced that gas will be a better proposition. After all, you have to do the cooking, and the final choice must therefore be yours. I’m pretty certain that you want a gas cooker… and I assume that you have already decided where you are going to install it. If it is in the scullery, I may be able to do something about the ventilation… in fact, I’m sure I can, so it will not be such an evil after all. It is a pity that we cannot have the existing oven removed: it would leave an ideal space for a gas cooker complete with flue. But this is a structural job, and would be expensive, even if labour was available to do it. We will have to forget about it.
You ask whether I approve of your P.O.S.B. withdrawal. You know my answer darling: I’m only sorry I cannot send you the money: I would so like to buy you a useful present.
I have little personal news for you, Jess. My day has been a fairly leisurely one, since returning from the hospital this morning. Tomorrow, we are having a ‘holiday’… the anniversary of ‘D’ day, June 6th. I think I will go for a walk and see a little of the neighbouring country… and don’t let that remark worry you… I will be careful: I will not be shot by some fanatic… I am coming home to you, my darling.
Jess… I love you so much