28th January 1916

At Queensferry. And still they come! Today three more have been put to bed, so now they are nine. Having a nice busy time I can tell you and today two of the Staff having been otherwise engaged – one with the Hospital Boat and one had to take some dental cases to the Queensferry Sick Quarters, so you can guess we are some busy.

I have heard from a trustworthy source – and it has not been published in the papers – that Torpedo Boat No. 13 was cut in two early yesterday morning during a thick fog, by one of the scouts. The fore part sank, but thanks to the calm weather the after part was salved. I don’t think any lives were lost but one man injured is now in the Hospital here. It has been very foggy lately and I don’t wonder at such collisions.

I have thought today of the 28th January last year. Guess that was the day when things began to get a bit bad at heart and when we wished that there was no such thing as having to part again. However we got over the bad times Mabs, and others after it. Wonder when the next spasm will be. I’m thinking we shall not have a chance to go through the ordeal of parting for quite a long time, but we must not be discontented for we have done splendidly in the holiday line. There are times in both our daily life when we want to be together ever so much and we feel just a bit funny at heart, but a reaction takes place and we realise that we must have had the “blues”, and pull ourselves together again and put a bold face on matters. Altho’ these periods of “misery” are so painful, they’re in a way a test, and I think that they do some good by announcing to us that we must suffer, to know that our affection is still strong, and one feels happier of conscience to know that their faithfulness has not diminished through the test of time and separation.

I noted some time ago the fact that the Chaplain borrowed “By the Gods Beloved” from me.  Altho’ I wanted it back very much I had begun to think that I was to undergo disappointment. This evening I was passing his cabin just as he emerged from it. I passed the time of day, as did he, and he asked me if I should like some books. I replied affirmatively. He then handed to me your book and I noticed a queer smile on his face as he did so, and I almost thought he had been reading my thoughts about this book. He further confirmed my thoughts by saying “You see I have not forgotten that it belongs to you”. He gave me some magazines and periodicals for use in the Sick Bay. I am so glad that your book has come back safely and I am going to hang on to it in the future.

A boy came up this evening to have a large back tooth extracted. I didn’t want to take it out at first as it was not very decayed, so I put some chloroform and oxide of zinc in to soothe the pain and told him to come up again later if he didn’t cease aching. He came to the Bay later on and asked to have it extracted, so I decided to have a go, altho’ I could see that I was in for a tough job. Well, it turned out to be the hardest tooth I have ever had to extract and only succeeded in getting it out after three trys. My right arm was absolutely paralysed when I finished and I was sweating streams. The boy was a “brick” and didn’t move or whimper at all. I was so pleased to extract it after punishing him so, but I think I punished myself as much as him. Wouldn’t like so many such stiff ‘uns in a day’s run, it takes it out of you so much when you can’t do it painless, especially as I’ve been through it myself.

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