Letter from James Allan to Vivien Beer, August 27th 1916

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8.10pm.
Sunday-evening,
August 27th., 1916.

My own darling Vivien:
Received a letter from the dearest little girlie in all the world yesterday
afternoon, from your own dear self and I was overjoyed. Dearie mine I
forgive you everything, 'cause I can well understand how that after you had
had a day's outing, not being used to rushing around, you would be tired
and I also know that when one is in company it is pretty hard to steal away
for a sufficient length of time to write a letter,
[2]
But sweetheart mine try and write to me nice and regular will you please,
'cause when a Canadian mail comes in and no letter in it from you for me; O
darling mine how keen is my disappointment and my heart gets sad. But
listen lovie mine the first thought in my mind on receiving your letter was
not that you didn't care much for me during the time you were having your
good time. Decidedly not, 'cause I know you too well  for that. I just dare
to say that whenever anything pleased you, you would just say to yourself
"I wish Jim was here." Now wasn't
[3]
that just dear of you. Confess girlie mine.
My own sweetheart when you are so frank you make me so happy that it's
pretty hard to hold me down to "terra firma," for my heart and fancy would
soar to the highest heights of bliss and when you confess that you love me
more than anyone else in all the world my happiness is complete and my joy
knowns no bounds.
For my part my own treasure I confess I love you, and you only, with all my
heart and love.
[4]
And I am remaining true to you darling and were you to visit at all the
places where I have been you would receive the same report as you got on
your visit to London. So you have 'found me out' darling mine. Am glad you
have because now you know absolutely and positively what I am, and
sweetheart (through God's mercy) I have not changed except for the letter.
But Vivien don't say please that people envy me because they can't be as
good as I am. No. no. no! dearie I am not good, only struggling to live a
christian[sic]
[5]
life. Anyone could do the same and achieve as good, and perhaps better,
results if they believed in and depended on God as much as I do and
struggled as hard. Your Grandfather has a good opinion of me as I hope my
actions will always justify his good opinion.
But so much of self. Let me speak of others and of you my own darling 
Vivien and write the message of love and affection my heart dictates and my
fingers willingly write.
Am glad you had such a good visit and  were able to meet
[6]
the majority of my family & uncles and aunts, also that you had such a
jolly time. I knew you would enjoy yourself with 'Wyn' and 'King Richard'
(Fred). Is he as crazy as ever. I laughed when you spoke of his antics.
'Clumsy Claude' Dad used to call him. Bill is my favorite and he is as
bright as a dollar and as good natured a kid as you would find anywhere.
So you too were mischievous that first Sunday we met. You darling for
telling me and so frankly too. You rightly say "won't we be an awful pair
for love when I get home."
[7]
Darling mine when I get off the train I shall just lose myself in one great
big, bigger, biggest embrace. Yes I will just be so happy. O lovie mine may
the time come soon. Now why do you call me a bad soldier for looking at you
that first Sunday. Really my dear I couldn't help it and wouldn't have if I
could, and I 'peeked' at you quite a number of times 'cause I couldn't help
it, you looked so pretty with that cute little hat and those dear curls and
bright eyes. Now listen sweetheart it is you who 'are' naughty cause if I
won your
[8]
heart that first day you hid it and what a 'dreffuly'[sic] long time I was
kept in suspense. And you are glad now I did. You darling. I hardly know
how to tell you of the fulness[sic] of my heart, and sweetheart know just
how much love there is in your heart for me 'cause my old hearts' the
same.
Now girlie mine doesn't this frankness increase our happiness and even
though we are separated I am happy in the knowledge of the love of such a
dear noble, true and unselfish sweetheart as you are darling mine.
[9]
The old gentleman at my billet here told me to pick some pansies to send to
my fiancé, which I have done, and I am sending them to you with my
thoughts. He has also brought in some mint and funny looking leaves. He is
very good natured and kind and it tickled him greatly to hear you were my
fiancé and your picture decorates the mantle in the sitting room. Am very
glad you told your mother. You're like me in that respect dear, you
couldn't keep it quiet or you'd explode. Honest.
[10]
Received your answer to my letter of July 10th and you will know ere now
how happy it made me. Just to think you are my very ownest[sic], darling
sweetheart. It makes me so happy.
Also received the copy of the "Lay of the last Minstrel" by Scott yesterday
afternoon and the Lay of the last hen at breakfast yesterday morning.
Am sorry to hear you didn't make the grade in physics dearie mine, but
suggest you have another try. What do you think yourself. You did well
darling mine and if I had
[11]
been near you when the results were made known I would have just put my arm
around your neck and kissed you darling mine.
My own true love don't call yourself my 'ittle curly head 'cause you isn't
you is my own darling curly head,
My love and kisses to you I send
Wrapped up in Nature's pansies petals blend
And tell you that my thoughts are all of you.
So you my own dear sweetheart won't be blue.
Sparkling eyes,
When he tries
Makes a rhyme
every time.
"Shakespeare"
Your own darling,
Jim.
Vivien
I x'd the pansies. Both sides. Honest. Jim.