C Sqdn, 9th Battn R.T.R.
Jessie Mine: That was a lovely ‘moan’ you sent me today… about visitors: I’m glad you got it off your chest. I only wish I could give you some helpful advice… but… it’s difficult. You see… the trouble is… you-! The fact that some of your visitors persist in calling upon you so regularly is evidence of their desire to see you: they may call for advice, for help, or for companionship… but the fact remains that you, personally, are the principal attraction. It would therefore appear that it is up to you to cease to be attractive to them. And you cannot very well do this without suddenly becoming offensive… something alien to your nature. Furthermore, there is quite enough unkindness in this world without adding an artificial quota… Also, I wouldn’t like to think of you deliberately rebuffing people, even if you were capable – So… where are we?
Frankly, Jess, all I can tell you to do is put up with it for a little longer… Just be yourself darling… be as tolerant as you can… and try not to lose patience with Mrs Roberts: I know how damnably provoking her presence has become… but – I have a faint suspicion that she is not getting her fair share of human sympathy from her own people… whether she deserves it is another matter!.. and her association with you seems to be quite a bright spot in her life. Somehow, I don’t think she will continue to intrude when I am at home.
I know Mrs Roberts is not your only regular visitor… but I think the others will likewise be less persistent when I am home… with the possible exception of John and Stan. I can look after them, however… and do other things as well to help you.
As to your being ‘mentally dead’… well, we can agree to differ, I think: I have a different opinion of your mind, my dear. All the same, I do agree that people like your mother are terribly tiresome – forever harping upon the same subjects. But, even though you can learn absolutely nothing from such conversation… well, there is something rather nice about being a sympathetic listener… apart fron the opportunity it affords one of exercising tolerance.
Please don’t think I am lecturing you, Jess. You see… I can appreciate the other person’s point of view where you are concerned – and I know that if I were not so remarkably fortunate in being your husband… then I too would have been attracted by you… and perhaps classed as one of the tiresome visitors. And I know how it would hurt to be rebuffed by someone for whom I had so much admiration… and respect. I know it will not be easy for you to view the matter in this light… but I would like you to try and do so, darling.
You mention your hatred of having to handle the parcel of clothes I sent home soon after joining up: there was a duality about that hatred, my love… there may even have been a few tears included with it. But that is all part of the gloomy past. I will be sending another parcel of clothes in a day or two… but a vastly different parcel. It will embody sunshine rather than tears. And it will foreshadow much happiness in our lives. I will be with you… for good… not long after you receive it. Incidentally, I am sending home some of your recent letters to me – and I want these letters to be put away carefully: I don’t want to lose a single one of them.
Once again I have to tell you that I have little news about myself. This has been a quiet Sunday… and nothing out of the ordinary has happened. I have spent some time in my ‘office’ at the schloss, but the details of army transport administration are not a subject for letters: they are altogether boring.
We had our usual Sunday visitors at tea-time – the S.S.M’s ‘frat’ – and another girl. Neither of them speak more than a few words of English, and so I cannot talk to them. I find their presence embarrassing more than anything else.
‘Tis bedtime now, dear –
Not many more army bedtimes to endure now: lovely thought –