The Fatal Letter

Sun. 1 April 1945 – Easter

England – 9:00 a.m.


Good Mornin’ Everybody,

It’s me again. Well its Easter but I’ll have to confess I’ve seen better days. Right now it’s cloudy and windy with a sprinkle in the air occasionally, but by noon the sun might be out bright. I got to sleep pretty early last night – earliest in a long time. I fell asleep about 9:00 and woke up to go to bed at 10:00. They woke us at 7:00 this morning so I got washed and shaved and then went to breakfast – oatmeal, milk, eggs, bread, butter and an orange. The food is good so far. After eating I helped clean up around here for awhile. Everybody has a job – mine was on the latrine this morning. Now here I am. I think I’m getting a pass for this afternoon and evening. I hope so but then I’m not sure. I guess I’m so used to taking off on pass that it will be hard to get used to not doing it so often. I’m hoping to get out of here by Tues. or Wed. at the latest but you never know. In case this letter gets there ahead of others I’ll back up to say I’m in the hospital since yesterday. The X-ray showed the break isn’t knitting so here I am. I don’t know just what they are going to do. Maybe I’ll find out tomorrow. So that’s all there is to say for things now around here. Now I’ll try to answer some more of these letters for as long as my limited ambition lasts. Last night I got through everything up to Mar. 9 so now comes Sat.-Sun. Mar. 10 & 11 – Well Jack Stevens has a nice deal for himself. Ah, I just signed the pass list so I’m “in.” I remember when somebody else tapped on that window too. I imagine Dad was really tired all right after the trip. That was pretty steady driving for him. Which part of Ohio was that? I got the idea it was toward Chicago but that’s Indiana so I guess I’m way off the beam. The sun is trying to get out now. Was he on dirt roads? Well he was in quite a fix with the lights for awhile. Matches are a good thing to carry I find. I usually have a box in my jacket just in case. Oh, so he drove alone. I’ve seen the name Healey over here spelled with the extra “e” but as I said before Healy is definitely Irish. I checked up on that for you. You see I know a little Irish girl in town whom I asked to make sure about it. I don’t expect you’ll think much of the idea and maybe I’m crazy but she is a pretty nice kid, the only really decent one I’ve seen around here and she should know as she’s from Dublin – a real Rebel. And now that I’ve mentioned it I might as well tell the whole story as I’m no good at deception and there’s no reason for it anyway. I have a good idea of what you will probably think & say but here goes. Think it over before you condemn me. I’ve known her about 6 weeks (ah, here’s that thermometer in my mouth again), since Feb. 20. It was a rather accidental meeting. You know what my attitude has always been with regard to girls; “not interested.” Well it still went. It seems one of the boys had been going with a nurse from town for a couple months. I knew the girl as he had introduced me and I’d talked to her a few times. Well it seems she had a friend, a nurse also, who wouldn’t go with G.I.’s because she had never met one who was a gentleman. I knew nothing about her but one night I walked into the “Y” and there were the 3 of them sitting talking. I spoke to the 2 I knew and kept on my way. Pretty soon he came over and asked me if I wanted a date with the other girl. I said “no.” He wanted to know why and I told him I didn’t drink or anything like that and would be very dull company. Then he tells me he told her that and that she said “good.” So I thought it over and decided “What can I lose,” and went over. He introduced us and we sat there talking awhile. I think she was more nervous than I. I never could carry a decent conversation with a girl, maybe lack of experience. Finally the 4 of us took off and we 2 waited for the other 2 to eat something. They decided to head for a “pub” someplace so I asked her if she’d care to go to a picture and that was that. When we got away from the others she began to talk more. She let me know just what she thought of Americans in about 5 minutes. She said she’d never met one yet who didn’t turn out to be a heel. Well that was a sort of challenge to my Irish spirit or something and I let her know right off the bat she had met one who was different. So that’s how it happened. I liked her and she seemed to like me so as a result we have become pretty good friends. She is a nurse at the city Isolation Hospital. I can’t give you the city naturally. She has been in England since July 1939. She lived in one town here 4 years before moving to her present job last October 1. She’ll be here until October and then she’s going into the English women’s nurse corps for 5 yrs. service in India, she says. She’s 23, 5ft. 3 ½, about 125 lbs, dark brown hair, blue eyes, a few freckles, and an occasional dimple. She’s not like the average English girl with 17 layers of makeup that you could chip off with a knife. She uses very little makeup, practically none. She’s no glamour girl by any means but quite attractive. One can have a whole lot of fun with her and the kind I enjoy. She was working nights when I met her and had Sunday afternoon and 2 days a week off. So on those days we went to movies together. That’s all there is to do around that town. So Sun. afternoons & Wed. & Thurs. evenings she and I took in movies. You know all the pictures we saw. The Sun. I got back from London she changed from night to day duty and started having Mon. afternoon, all day Wed., Fri. evening & every other Sun. evening off so since then I’ve seen her a little oftener. We’ve still stuck to the movie schedule except for a couple times we just took off and walked around town. Most girls wouldn’t think much of just walking around but she’s just a bit different. She had 2 full days off so that motivated my 48 hour pass this last week. I went to that play with her and she showed me around the town as it’s where she studied to be a nurse. She had the tickets for that play about 2 weeks ago but I didn’t even know it. So that is about it. I have a date for this evening if I make it. Now you’ll probably say no wonder he’s been taking off on pass all the time and not writing letters very long but that has made no difference. Except for this past week or so I’d never seen her oftener than 2 nights & Sun. It’s bothered me a lot because I know you wouldn’t exactly approve however I would probably have done the same thing back there. I am human and there’s not much I could do about that. At least I’ve proved to myself there is one decent girl over here and she knows now that there are a few decent G.I.’s. I’ve been debating for a long time how I should mention this or whether I should at all but I see no reason for keeping quiet. Someday you would know about it so the sooner the easier. After all there’s nothing to it anyway. It’s a perfectly normal thing I guess. I think you’d like her if you’d let yourself, but she’s Irish & has a pretty good temper. You know I’ve kicked myself plenty of times for ever dating her but then something else comes up and says “why” so there I am. You know you always say things are meant as they happen. If we hadn’t been stuck here I wouldn’t have run into her. Also if I’d gone to London that time or if Buck hadn’t been sent to school I wouldn’t have met her either because I’d have been someplace else with him. So if as you say all those things were meant to happen, then maybe this is also. I don’t know. I feel pretty guilty because I know you pretty well and it bothers me but still I’ve done nothing wrong so there it is. Now see what that Jim Healy in Clyde, Ohio started. I expect a few repercussions from this letter but I guess I’ve asked for it. After all you ought to be able to trust me and my own judgment a little by now. I won’t mention this in any other letter until I receive a letter in answer to this so I’ll be waiting to see where you got April 1 letter. If you think I’m crazy you’re probably right but I don’t know. The bad part is the length of time it takes for an answer to filter back & forth. Anyway we won’t be here long so that will end it anyway. Now to finish answering this letter – Parker’s ink will gum up a pen for some reason. We’ve had rain off and on since last Wed. here now. I guess I gummed up Dad’s wrist watch when I had it with me. You do much better at answering letters than I do I know. I have enough handkerchiefs & stuff now or at least all I want to carry. Well you know me, I’d tell you not to worry about anything. Keenan Wynn was in “Lost Angel” I believe. That’s Ed Wynn’s son isn’t it? Buck is back in the outfit now again. I have taken only 3 pictures so far. Maybe I can finish off the roll pretty soon & get it developed. Well that’s that letter. I’ve probably said too darned much already but at least my conscience is clear. I wonder what the censor will think of this. I know just about what you will think and I don’t exactly blame you but then maybe you’ll surprise me. After all I guess it’s not very unusual or criminal to have a feminine friend any more than going around with Buck or Ferd or Julius & the rest.

Well I’ll be waiting for an answer to this as you know.

So long for now,



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