May to David Beckenham 17.4.18
My dear David,
Talk about weather! When it isn’t raining it is sleeting. It was like this last Monday and it hasn’t ceased yet. I guess you have it cold and miserable too. Thank goodness you have your books and warm waistcoat. Just imagine I am with you too, and then you will be complete.
There is no news. Everything going on here as usual, and plenty of fighting on the continent. Both sides still winning. Really, men do strike me as being funny things. One side is “winning” by losing a colossal number of men, world’s records I should think; while the other side is “winning” by losing ground. I am wondering if, when the men are tired of this upheaval, the men of all nations will say to the women of all nations “Ladies, we humbly crave your pardon for making such a hash of the world after trying in vain to run it for thousands of years. While you have been constructive we have been destructive. Millions of lives that you have been at pains to rear we have ruthlessly thrown away, and taxed our brains to the utmost in order to destroy them wholesale. Please forgive us, put the world right, and never give us a chance of spoiling it again. In future we will be your humble servants, as we feel you could not make a bigger mess of it than we have.”
Somehow I cannot imagine any man talking like this, can you?
In the evening paper last night there were two paragraphs that were rather interesting. One was at a police court. A black man had to be sworn. The magistrate said to him “Are you a Christian?” to which the man respectfully replied “No, sar, we be quiet…folk.”
The other piece was about a dirty old woman in a tram car. The girl sitting next her moved away when she could which made the old woman say “You needn’t be so proud. You have only eighteen pence in your pocket”, which turned out true. A gentleman opposite was amazed and asked how much he had with him, not knowing himself. She told him exactly, being something over £17, and how much of it was in notes etc. He then said “Perhaps you can tell when the war will be over, when she said “In April in a snowstorm.” He asked for her address and promised to send on the £17 odd if her prediction came true.
I forgot to mention in my last letter that Mrs Taylor said I was to buy something in gold with the money you sent me, and she is coming with me to help choose. I wanted her to put some of it in your banking account, but she would not hear of it.
Must now get on with my work. We are up to date with it, and not working late now.
PS I dreamt of fire last night. On turning up your dream book I find it means that the dreamer’s lover is well and happy and that happiness will continue. May it be true.