12 Charleville Circus
13 May 1914
My dear Mother
My great epistolary exertions in the NZ letter seem to have exhausted me, for I don’t remember having written home since then. Time seems to be so fully occupied. Did I tell you that I am acting with Lintott as trainer to the Regimental team in the Territorial Marathon race? The race is for teams of sixteen men, in light marching order with rifles, over a course of 12 miles. Of course, arduous training is necessary, and it occupies me two evenings a week and rather more than every other weekend until 13th June, the day of the race. We have great hopes of winning and I am very keen on doing so. My other evenings are mostly concerned with that ever-to-be regretted “French Penny”. You may remember that I promised to send it to Mrs Williams. When I read it through I decided that I really could not send it as it stood: it was too utterly bald and too full of vapid passages. Consequently I sat down to the manuscript and proceeded to correct it. The net result was that about half had to be rewritten entirely and by the time I had finished, “illegible” would have been a complimentary term for the MS. Therefore entire recopying was entailed. Oh, what a weary job! I can’t say how heartily I hate the French copper coinage. After I finish this letter there are four more weary pages waiting for me. The thing is so banefully long; a fact I had quite forgotten. A sad life! However, it is most cheering to hear that I have been taken for a Lifeguardsman. Shade of Ouida! It must have been those spats. I must wear them in Town and note the effect.
How sad and bad of you to catch a cold and how good to throw it off quickly. You will have to behave very nicely and keep well during August so as to be able to come to Newport. I have not had a holiday by the sea for “yahs and yahs” (I speak as a curate) and I think it ought to be very jolly down there. I shall, for once, be greedy and exercise my right, as “senior Junior”, to take first pick of the “leave” period.
I went to No 9 on Sunday and saw ower Arthur and Mrs ower Arthur for the first time since their return. Ower Arthur shapes like a satisfactory and obedient husband, and both of them seemed exceedingly well and happy and busy, three good things which might, I think, form a very sound choice if any of the good fairies of Grimm still walked the earth offering three gifts for the asking.
Please tell Father I will take an opportunity in the next few days of calling at the Ferndale Company’s offices and asking about fencing.
Love to all from
Your affectionate son