France, Aug 5, 1917

Dearest Emma;-

I think I made a promise to write you a nice letter when we came out of the line but am afraid I am hardly in form to day. I have your letter of July 28 and am very pleased to know that you are away from the Tb. patients. I had been worried ever since you first told me you were detailed for that duty. Yes, that was a very satisfactory ankle – to me. I only wish we could have been together longer but I was very thankful to be able to obtain so much of your society as I did.

The horrible rain seems to have relented a little and it is fine to day. I walked out to the village where we are billeted early this morning with Lt. Irwin of Calgary. It was a fine moonlight night but rather warm for walking in full kit. A team of six mules on a G.S. wagon caught up to us and we were not too proud to ride behind the lowly but useful mules. We reached our billets about 1:30 A.M. and had a cup of tea and something to eat before going to bed. I drew a very nice billet with the most comfortable bed I have seen in France. My batman had a bath ready for me and it was certainly a luxury to have a wash and get into clean sheets. I hadn’t had my clothes off for 13 days. I trust we have no more rain for a time.

I got the gramophone going right after breakfast (which by the way was not very early) this morning and ran over a lot of our old records. One of our officers now on leave is getting a new instrument. Did I tell you that Col. Bell did not have a chance to hear “Irish Eyes”? The day we had the gramophone brought up from the horse lines the Colonel went off to take temporary command of the brigade and has not been back since.

Your information concerning weddings covered all I had previously known and a little more. I did not know anything about a short service, but if there is one we shall have it, the shorter the better. We shall also indulge in the luxury of a special license. The idea of some low brow curate getting up on three successive Sundays, or whatever the number of times it is, and yapping out our intentions to a crowd of people that never heard of us and don’t give a damn does not appeal to me. Are you in favor of as quiet a wedding as possible? I hope so. Have you told anybody of our engagement yet? I’ll bet you’ve told Reid and several others, in each case as a dead secret. I have not told a soul yet but am anxiously waiting your unqualified permission to give the glad tidings to my immediate relatives.

Yours lovingly

Harold W McGill


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