8 Dec 1915
My dear Betty
First come first served. As you beat everybody except Mother in writing to congratulate me, so you shall first after here have your letter answered. It really was a very delicious one. Apart from the natural predilection for that age of 18 that I now have, I found more satisfaction in the nice things you said than in any of those said by other people of 18+x (x being a positive integer). The higher the value of x the less were the writers able to prevent lightly inscribed interlineations which read, roughly “She is very young, my boy; she is very young.” That, you understand was the theme, treated in various ways, rather in sonata form – some allegro, some rondo, some adagio, some almost andante.
You were, for some days, the only one who understood and who fully believed that I followed the excellent Quinney in the detestation of “roobish”. Later on Arthur’s and Mary and Mela brought me more satisfaction, especially Arthur: you note that all of these have travelled the Delectable Country! That makes a very great difference.
I am so glad I managed to give you a fairly good description of Rosie. I was hardly master of my pen when I wrote, and it surprised me that I proved capable of writing any kind of connected description. Rosie is very keen to know you so why wait to meet her before you write? I should like you to write straight away, and she would like it too, I know. The address is 8 Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, Middlesex.
No, you weren’t a bit in the way that Friday. I had arranged to meet Rosie at 5.30, and it was 5.25 when I told you to “’op it!” Not much interval, you say? Well, no. But if she had chanced to be a bit early I was quite ready to make you acquaint and to let you think what you would. That is the nearest I came to letting anybody into the secret. There’s a glory for you!
Yes, young woman. I expect Mother is feeling quivers of apprehension about you after this awful example. I warn you: don’t let it awake in you any unduly precocious sentiments. Remember we neither of us “went for to do it”. It just happened. So note it be at all times and with all people!
It was perfectly beastly having to come out here again. How I hate it!
Write again soon and tell me the home views.
Your affectionate brother