"76 Marshfield Rd.
67 Chippenham, Wiltshire, Eng.
Wed. Sept. 4/40
Here I am at Gladie's. We have just had dinner and I am alone in the living room with you. Gladie has gone to look after her sister, her brother-in-law, Rev. Glidden, has gone about his duties and the son, Arnold (25 or so) has taken his book to some other part of the house. The sun is pouring in the open door which overlooks the small garden plot at the rear of the house.
Mim met me at the station yesterday with her brother-in-law, Rev. Glidden who drove us to his home, the above address. It is a typical English home, comfortably arranged, not very large but convenient. Two rooms and kitchen downstairs--their bedroom and bath upstairs, M ....indecipherable... and fireplaces downstairs. The furniture is easy and plain as it belongs to the parish as this house does. Rev. Glidden has been the preacher here for five years.
I find Gladie the same as ever. Her sister is an invalid and spends her days in bed. Mim is her only attendant. A maid looks after the housekeeping and prepares the meals. Arnold, the son is also an invalid. He has an infected throat which restricts his voice and which Mim says is incurable. After a bite to eat yesterday we sat around the invalid sister and talked our heads off. Then we went over to the main part of Chippenham, visited an antique shop, saw some wonderful antiques, examined the very ancient buildings, then visited the very old church, read some of the funny memorials on the walls which date back to 1670, then admired the handmade slate roofs and later thatched roves of the quaint shops which line the narrow winding street. To see a Woolworth red front store in such a setting is somewhat heart-breaking, but I suppose even England can be no exception. We returned home in time for tea. Mr. Glidden, Arnold and I talked until suppertime. Two or three other clergymen came in wearing military chaplain's uniforms, and we enjoyed the conversation for an hour or so. Mim then joined us for an hour or so until 9 p.m. when she excused herself and retired. Rev. Glidden and I talked until midnight and I greatly enjoyed our conversation. He was able to give me an excellent insight to the conditions and political issues as they prevail here. I accommodated myself on this chesterfield in the room that I am in at present. It is almost 4 feet long from arm to arm, and I hugged you all night to keep me from rolling off. I slept well and actually was quite comfortable. I arose at 8 a.m., had a shave and breakfast with Rev. Glidden and Arnold. Mim's time is practically wholly taken up by attending to her sister. After breakfast we gathered about Mrs. Glidden's bed and tuned in the radio to a morning service program which they listen to every morning. It was short and very bright and pleasing. After this, Rev. Glidden took Arnold and I out in his Morris coach and showed us the countryside. Sweetheart I feel so selfish seeing all this alone that it makes me very sad and lonesome. Why can't you be here too, and you are the one I want to see it most, gosh it's tough. We visited a very historical spot called Biddington (Please look up Chippenham, Biddington, Talbot (the inventor of photography), Lacock where the famous Lacock Abby once flourished and which now is a memorial to W.H. Fox Talbot the inventor of photographic act. Honey look these places up in the encyclopedia. They are all so full of historic interest and are so beautiful and sacred. The old tall pines, elm and oaks scattered throughout the grounds are huge at the base and are grand to behold. My thoughts went back to old man Wildman, who you recall, was from Wiltshire. He no doubt tried to duplicate a bit of his native land when he...indecipherable... The hardwoods at Wyvale. I am charmed with the beauty of this country. Its quaintness, orderly life, so rich in its reflection of the past, but I suppose also so difficult to change to present day standards. Directly we returned from our dinner, Rev. Glidden, Arnold and I had lunch and after lunch we adjourned severally to our different...indecipherable..... And here we are, just you and I.
I shall remain here tonight and go on to London in the morning. It is not more than a two hour run to London and I shall be there before lunch.
Please don't forget to send me two or three photos of yourself Sweetheart. I don't know how it is that I came away without one. I missed having one right after I left Toronto and intended asking for one long before this.
This would be a marvelous afternoon for a stroll Honey. We would go on the hillside and I'm sure we would not return for a week. Mim thinks it would be possible for you to come over and I am going to do everything possible to try and manage it. Just as soon as I am settled we shall see what can be done about it. By the way, Lacock Abby was founded in 1233 for Augustinian Canonesses.
Well Sweetheart I am truly lonesome and I just burn up for you. It will not be long before I receive more letters from you thank goodness.
A big heart full of love and kisses galore. What did I year you say nurts?
I will leave you to look up those places of interest as Bill instructed Helen to do.