"c/o Mrs. Stonham
Montreal, Thurs. July 19/40
I was lucky in getting a ride right through to Montreal from Ottawa last evening. I left Ottawa 5:30, took a 5 cent bus to end of city suburban limits and just started to walk. I had not been walking ten minutes before I heard a horn honk and a car and trailer pulled up alongside the curb and asked if I wished a ride. [Can you believe it? Just like that. Nowadays, we would be worried about mugging, or robbery or who knows what.] Two Frenchmen on their way home to Montreal they were, and very jolly fellows. Gee, did I appreciate the break!! They stopped at several places en route to whet their whistle and even wished to treat me to anything I wished even a soft drink. But I considered myself so fortunate to get the ride that I readily declined further hospitality. These French are like that I have found on other occasions.
Well Dearie, I was sorry to have to leave Ottawa and come on to Montreal. I wanted to see you and have a chat with you. It's no fun taking the bull by the horns and making plans alone. However I think you understand my peculiar case and we have often said if I could only get to England things might be different. Gen. Turner gave me a very fine letter of introduction to Brigadier, the Honourable P.J. Montayne, C.M.C., D.S.O., A.A. 7 I.M.G., Canadian Headquarters, London, England. He said he hated to encourage people to go over to England in this way as he disapproved of the practice in the general sense. But his words: "Damn it all Jones, it's a shame to see a man like you treated in this way. Good luck to you my man." He was certainly a real friend. By the way he told me that Gen. Perry is in Montreal holding some military job here, and he suggested that I see him.
I arrived in Montreal at 12 p.m. and took the first 50 cent room I came to. [Remember he's still on his original $9.00 that he left home with.] It was on St. Dennis St., just off St. Catherines. I had a good sleep, a bath this morning and a change of underwear & lined (?) (the second or third so far.) I have been able to wash out my underwear wherever I have stayed and my stock of shirts is still holding good. I have clean collars galore. In fact, my kit is most complete and by wearing the clean and pressed things whenever I call on people and the less clean and less pressed when I travel, I managed to keep looking pretty spruce.
This morning I invested in some note paper as I ran out of what I had brought from home. This is the second sheet used by more pedantic people, please excuse the appearance. I am now at the Windsor Hotel on my way down to the Canadian Government marine office to see what is doing in the way of ships going to England. I shall then look Perry up and if I can get anywhere with the shipping Co., I shall then look up the Stonhams. I don't wish to see friends until my plans are definitely made.
I was mighty glad to get a letter from you yesterday. You wrote or mailed it midnight, July 17th. I called at 132 Slater the last thing I did before leaving Ottawa hoping to get another. However, I shall write Mrs. Prefontaine and ask her to forward any mail to Mrs. Stonham.
The weather is a bit overcast this morning but perhaps the rain will keep off. It has been a very satisfactory week as far as weather is concerned.
While in Ottawa, I made arrangements to have my pension cheque made payable to you commencing this month. The authorities cooperate very well and assured me that you will receive the cheques regularly at the Royal Bank, College & Spadina. I wish I had enough in hand to pay off what I owe the bank as you could have the entire amount of the cheque this month. I have written to Doug [his brother] and he will be in touch with you just as quick as the mail can travel. I feel very badly that you are so low on cash and hope and pray that you will pull through the next month until I can come to the rescue in a more desirable manner.
Well Sweetheart, I know you wish me luck and a silent prayer by mental telepathy from you will secure a passage for me aboard ship.
I am surprised that any sane person could submit to such regulations as Ethel is experiencing. I agree with your personal moral questions concerning only the injured, the injured and the Almighty. It was too funny for words to hear the opinions of those Frenchmen last night concerning the priests. Every church and convent we passed last night they would remark about them. On the whole they respect the priests but don't let their influence penetrate too deeply. But the French are so superstitious. I'm concluded to believe they are more fearful of the priests than they make out they are.
Golly I wish I had some strawberry jam. It was mighty grand of Mother Scott to do them--but I know you helped her and did a mighty big share of the work.
Well, Honey, I must make my way to the shipping offices right away. Will write you later in the day.
Heaps of love and a big hug and kiss.
Well, can't wait to see what happens next!