Croce Rossa Britannica
Intendenza Tera Armata
Zona di Guerra,
Italia. Oct. 23. 18.
After waiting three weeks a couple of letters arrived from you dated Sept. 13 and 23 respectively. I am so glad that you have been getting my letters even if they have been a little late.
What a shame about the Missanabie being sunk. I wanted to go home on her but evidently my chances aren’t very good now. The weather the past few days has been magnificent, beautiful clear sunny days and chilly moonlit nights. I went for a long walk by myself the other night after dinner and took in the natural beauties. I think I told you I was stationed in the plain now. First I was all alone with the section, then Watson, one of our members and an English landscape painter has come to live with me and share my room. His a most peculiar man and has been in Italy for two and a half years and just has started to study the language. So far he has always put it off thinking “What is the use” and now when the war is really near it’s end he is getting busy. A funny thing about him is that he never paints here even as a hobby. We have one or two other artists who turn out Italian scenes etc. but he never touches a brush. He is a confirmed pessimist and I was most surprised the other day to hear him announce that the war would be over before Xmas. (we hope so).
When I came here the furnishings of our room consisted of four bare walls some petrol tins and a bed. Now we have a beautiful inlaid table, one or two shelves and a mirror, and wonder of wonders and only to be spoken of in a whisper, I have been able to wrangle a pair of sheets from the section. It is really remarkable how much better I sleep than I used to between the blankets.
There was an air raid over Treviso last night and the planes when coming back dropped a bomb about 200 yards from our house. It landed in the soft black earth and other than creating a small lake did no damage at all. In a half wake state I heard the explosion but didn’t think anything of it at the time.
There are at least four Italian officers here who want to learn English. One of them has a “How to learn English in 22 days”. I tell him that isn’t of much use no because the war will be over before the 22 days are up.
The leaves are turning brown on the plane trees just outside my window and the mountains in the distance are white with snow. This we know that fall is surely upon is and we are busy getting ready for winter. There is one place near here where a little bit of Ivy hangs over a brick wall beside a canal. It is absolutely crimson now and I always admire it when I pass.
I think when your parcel that you mention comes I will be pretty well fixed up for the winter. I have my last winter’s underwear to be wearing in the meantime and the pajama trousers will finally at last complete my incomplete suits. I have two seaters now and I believe the unit is supplying us with some warm things. However the more the merrier, and warmer and perhaps I’ll need them.
I have a little bit of a cold contracted two or three days ago in the wet weather. It is nothing to worry about though and I expect to be thoroughly better soon.
Treviso is wonderfully full and lively. Months ago it was fairly deserted but lately the people have been coming back, opening the shops and evidently carrying on a big business. We bought little devil-fishes the other day in the market and had them for Sunday dinner. They were very good indeed despite the fact that the little curly stiff arms were very evident. Which is not too back is it? And I always enjoy the thank you letters in the Gazette from the overseas boys. The next parcel I get from the Q.C.H.C. I am going to write and thank them in Italian so you look out for Miss Smith reading some day a broken dago letter.
Well I think it will be wise to draw this letter to a close. I suppose Conn will have laid Henry up for the Winter, it is too big a job for her to try and drive it then. Remember me to Dr.Speers when you see him and thank him for the letter that he wrote me. I hope Dad will take things easy this winter and not go too often to the “Temple”. Love to all and the Toronto folks when you see them.