21st January 1916

At Queensferry. I dreamt of you last night Miss, and I awoke feeling very disappointed at the way you had treated me. Yes, you absolutely turned your back on me. But I am going to turn this nasty old dream around the other way. It is rather funny, but bang on top of this comes a letter from you, and you start off by getting on to me for not informing you how my old throat was getting on. But I did inform you, by saying that I had been able to tackle the nice things you and your Mother sent me. Surely you ought to have drawn your own conclusions from this, you old dunce. However, in my last letter to you – which I expect is now in your hands – I told you of my complete recovery so now you will be happy.  You forgive me this time, but you say I must not forget to tell you another time – I don’t want any more sore throats or anything else thank you.

You inform me that Vinnie is my “pal” in your locket, and not you – as I guessed – since it would be unlucky. I have heard it said that it is unlucky for sweethearts to have their photograph taken together, but I didn’t know it was unlucky to have their separate photographs in a locket. However your sex knows about these lucky and unlucky superstitions and I would not attempt to pit myself against any of you when it comes to this. But we must not court ill-luck if it be possible to avoid it. I am satisfied with my chum and would only wish for you instead.

I wonder if Vin and I will pass the time making faces at one another like we used to, when the dear little soul was with us. I often think of her and wonder when we shall see her again and what she will be like then. I hope she will grow to be a fine woman, when we shall be proud of her and love to think and speak of those days when she was a dear child. I have wished at times that I could see her grow up and witness the various stages of her career, I think it would prove a most interesting study. I felt a very happy fellow when Vin and Jim took to me, after their former shyness. A fellow feels so much happier when he can gain the confidence of children. I always imagine them to be like certain animals, who will take a liking or disliking to a person right away, and they are pretty good judges of character at most times.

You inform me of the visit of your Aunt Nell, who is coming to spend a short time with you. This is where Charles “goes through it”, but I wish I was handy to be introduced, for I should like to meet your relations, just as you have met some of mine.

None of your leap-year proposals though Miss, neither in 1916 or 1920. I’m the one to do all that kind of business, and at the first opportunity after the present situation is cleared up and we have resumed the days of Peace. At the same time I don’t think you would have pluck – or shall I say common-sense, and propriety would overcome any other desires. I should think a girl was getting anxious as to whether her “boy” was genuine in his intentions, if she started such rot on me.

Received a surprise letter from Miss Hocken today. She wrote on behalf of herself, Mother and sister, thanking me for the card I sent her at Xmas. They have left the shop and are now living at 39, Knighton Rd. Funny they should have finished with their business at about the same time as Mother “packed up”.

Screens were rigged up on the upper deck this evening and the cinema pictures were shown from 5 to 6-30 p.m. to the Seamen and Stokers, and from 8-30 till 10 p.m. to the Officers and Boys. I went to see the later show and saw the first picture “John Bull’s Scrapbook”. Just as the second picture was starting I was called away as a man had met with an accident. The man was a member of the Royal Naval Division lately sent to the ship for training purposes. He had been up on the boat deck – about 10 feet above the upper deck – watering the steam-boat. In the dark he stepped on “thin air” and came down on to the upper deck, fracturing the bone at the hip. He is not in pain, but his condition is a serious one. He was treated and put to bed. Rather a painful coincidence attaches itself to this occurrence, for the father of this young man is at present in hospital with a fractured leg. He says broken legs is a family complaint.

I went to see the pictures again after getting the patient comfortable ensconced in bed. I was just in time to see the second part of “Mabel at the Wheel” in which Charlie Chaplin also appears. I had missed two dramas and the first part of this picture. What I saw of this was pretty fair but C. C. was not up to his usual standard. This picture concluded the programme. It was comical to see the officers in overcoats trying to get a seat somewhere where the rain was not coming in through the overhead screens – it was raining too. The Chaplain got a severe ducking, and made a hasty move to a drier spot, amidst great laughter, in which he joined.

I was not very fortunate this week in seeing the “show”.

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