My Dearest Alice:
Here I sit on this lonely Sunday afternoon, on duty, trying to write letters in between calls. I suppose you are going to be furious with me for not writing, but, as usual, I have an excuse. I suppose you are beginning to get tired of my excuses, but it is true, My Dear, that I have just returned from a very long stay in the hills. I went out to stay three days and on my return I was intercepted and given duties that were to keep me in the hills for another three days. I walked about thirty miles the first day I was out there. I climbed mountains, waded water, and walked over the roughest terrain in general that you could ever imagine.
You remember Bob Koch, don’t you? Well, he and I were together. Twice we came face to face with a bear. I guess I was supposed to be the one to get frightened, but when that bear saw this face of mine, he just turned and fled. I guess it was a shock to him to see such a face; so from then on I felt that my face was my fortune and I was no longer afraid of the animals.
The hike itself was alright, but when they intercepted me to tell me to prolong the trip, the guy that delivered the message told me about your letter being inc amp and so the days, naturally, began to stretch out until I could return. So when I finally got the word to come in, I was so anxious to return that I waded that cold Alaskan water to make a short cut. And if that seems silly to you, you should see some of the other things I do to get your letters. It is the closest thing to seeing you that is possible here and I can not think of anything more pleasing than to see you. When by chance the mail does not contain one of your letters, it seems that the whole United States has let me down.
I thought for awhile that I may get out of here and may even by some weird chance get back to the States before the end of the Duration, but I have about decided that is only a pipe dream and that I will be here when the Armistice is signed. But regardless of whether I see you or not, I will still be continually thinking of you.
I took quite a few pictures while I was out in the hills, but die to the fact that they contain some scenery that can not go through the mail, I will not be able to send them to you. But I will keep them to show you when and if I ever return. However, I do have some here that will get through the mail and I will enclose them. I have not had the enlargement made yet. I am trying to get a shot suitable for that. It is hard to get one that will work. As I have told you before, we only have amateur photographers here and they have to have a certain type to fix up a good enlargement.
Yes, when I first looked at your picture with the soldier’s hat on, I did wonder for just a minute. But I was so sure you would have on explanation on the back that I looked there before I hardly looked the picture over. Some of the fellows tell me that I am foolish to put all my eggs in one basket as I am doing, but I am so sure that you are the one for me that if I knew I was going to get hurt, I would still do it, for even if I should lose you, the time that I can call you mine will ever be a pleasant memory to me. I am not afraid of losing you, however. For I know that if you did not love me, you would not hesitate a minute to tell me so. So I just laugh when I am told that I am building up for a great fall.
Darling, you said if you could put what you want to on paper as I do that you would not mind letter writing as much. But little do you know that I do not put what I want to on paper. It can not be done. Of course what I put on paper, I feel, but I do not put all that I feel on paper. Maybe sooner than any of us expected we will all see each other and then will you know what to think of me. Maybe I have changed, but if I have, I assure you that it is for the better. I have tried to be the things that you said were lacking in me. If we ever have another parting, it will not be my neglect. For I intend to spend the rest of my life just trying to make you happy.
[approximate one inch section physically cut from letter by censor]
I must close for now, I have so many letters to get in the mail. I will write again in a few days. I have three of your letters here that I have not answered. They all got classed among the lot that collected up while I was in preparation for the journey into the hills. I will try to get them all answered in a day or so.
I love you truly,