"2254 Dorchester St. W.
Sunday, July 21st/40
After writing you yesterday I wrote a note to Mother and then proceeded to make a few purchases with my two dollars. I bought--fountain pen .25 cents, toothbrush .10 cents, snap .15 cents, soap .11 cents, towel .15 cents, cup towel .05 cents, paper & envelops .15 cents, ink .05 cents, spoon & fork .10 cents and have .72 cents left. I did try so hard to have a dollar for you but there I am.
After shopping, I tried again to get the Stonhams, but no luck. Finally I decided to walk out to the above address to see if by any chance the postman had left any mail with next door. Low and behold Mr. Stonham had just arrived back from two weeks holiday. Mrs. Stonham is in Vancouver on an extended visit. I was delighted to see Mr. Stonham but gosh there was no mail from you. [I wonder how Helen really felt being left for an indeterminate time with no secure source of income.] It will not be in now until tomorrow and I have to leave here in a few minutes. I shall walk to the boat a half hour's walk.
Mr. Stonham has made me to feel right at home. He has fed me up well and I slept like a top.
I am more than grateful to Providence and to you Sweetheart for being able to get along as I have. I do hope someday to be able to show my appreciation in a very real way.
I have just about time now to reach the boat in good time.
Heaps of love Sweetheart and a heartfull of love with kisses and hugs until we reach our next port. Mr. Stoneham wishes to be remembered to you although he has never seen you.
Of interesting note, this letter was chewed by mice so there are a few blank spots that you can fill in as you wish. And Bill is still waiting to leave--and still saying goodbye.
"Mrs. F. Stonham
c/o 2254 Dorchester St.
Sunday, July 21st/40
Gee what a break! Our ship doesn't leave until 9 a.m. Tues., July 23rd, or at least that is the reported hour of our departure. Delays in this kind of life are always common and the to-be-expected experience especially when it comes to sailing time. I should have warned you about this as you might have taken the chance and wrote another letter. However I am certain to receive a letter or two from you tomorrow. I shall call here after 5 p.m. in the certainty of getting at least one letter.
Mr. Stonham is mighty good. He insists on me making this my home until I sail. I stayed aboard all day reading and getting acquainted with the boys. I came ashore about 6:30 this evening, attended service at Calvary United Church at Dorchester & Green Streets, hoping to hear Mr. Forsyth (Frank's friend) but instead a returned missionary from India conducted service. I enjoyed his............... Work in India but ............... didn't see Forsyth. After church................. I dropped in here. Mr. Stonham has just retired. It is 9:30 and I am alone with you on the chesterfield. Move over a bit and make room. I shall remain here all night and go down to the ship in time to begin work at 7 a.m. Very likely we shall work all day although we may get part of the afternoon off.
I enjoy the boys of the crew very much. They are a little above average crew. The English sailor is generally better educated than the Canadian is. The Newfoundlanders are generally very fine boys and though not very well educated are real strong characters.
I read a book I found aboard boat on the Scandinavian countries. It was edited in 1895 but was very interesting. I will look out for some of the historic relics that were mentioned in it. Some pieces of old pottery, horn, etc. It would be nice to have a touch of Iceland at 45 L.S.D. [He's given her a clue as his next port of call.]Gee Honey I am planning all kinds of things and I'm going to pick up all the things I think you will like. Not to bring them you may be sure. I can ............. Find things of interest......................... my eye open. I shall especially detail my left eye to look after that job. What would you like to have from the Nordic countries?
I have been making plans all day as to what I shall do on arriving in England.
What do you think of it? There are two ways that I can approach Gen. Montague. One, I could contact him at once in whatever clothes I have left with still, no doubt, the earmarks of a sloppy sailor about me. The other way would be to do it a bit more circumspectly. I shall forget that I worked my passage and appear fairly well dressed and with the air of a prominent businessman seeking to serve his country. I don't want to miss the opportunity to get the best I can out of this enterprise. Don't you think that is the best way? These proper sort think that something is wrong if one has to work in this life and generally they don't make a fuss over you. I want to approach him on a basis that he can't ignore me. If he can't take me into the Canadian forces he can at least recommend me to an English commander. I have decided not to let anyone know how I real England ............... can refer to that matter after we ................. safely entrenches in whatever we are going to do. It might be best to say little or nothing about our plans to New Toronto people until we succeed in doing what we have in mind.
Mr. Stonham has just suggested that I go along the street in a few minutes and see Pearl & Tommy Kirk. He thinks that they will be back from their weekend trip in a half hour or so.
I have not written a line to Miss Hart, [In England.] Dearie. I feel I would rather wait until I see what comes of this trip before I do so. One thing sure I don't want Ottawa to know where I am or who I am likely to approach in England.
By the way, Sweetheart, the Air Force in Ottawa may write in a few days or in a week or so requesting me to report for an administrative post. If I am established in England I may use it as a lever to boost me on in England by pretending that they want me in Ottawa and that will make them want me more in England. Tricks in all trades, and I'm going to use them all, or I may use it the other way. We might .................. in Ottawa that I am in England ................... them want me more. In any case it is up to us to make this thing put us on the way. The least they know of how we got to England or what we are doing there the better. Just say I am serving in England. I am glad I am a sailor on a boat for that reason, because we can truthfully saw we are serving in England as we are under government charter.
How is the painting coming along Honey? I bet the 'eyes' look great in the garage. And is the garden doing well? Atlee Clark has a garden about the size of ours but his vegetables are much further on. He has some nice looking Swiss chard, beets, carrots, turnips, lettuce etc.
Well Dearie I shall drop you another line tomorrow. I shall run over and see Pearl & Tommy now.
Heaps of love and kisses, and another big hug.
Note: all of the above material is Copyrighted Karen Rempel Arthur