(1940-03-01) Letters - March
Details for Letters - March
Summary: Katie and Gavin's correspondence throughout March.
Date: March 1940
Location: Gavin's barracks, Katie's home

On March 1, after blackout, there's just enough moonlight peeking through the clouds that a slight form can be seen standing on a bench outside of the Knightsbridge station. Katie can't pick Gavin out of the group of marching men, but her oval face can just be seen in the dim night.

March 2nd, 1940

To my Disobedient Duck!

You sly little devil. I told you it was too dangerous to be out. I am desperately trying to stay cross with you my little fowl imp. Alas I can not. Seeing you was amazing and I am now completely spoiled. If it wasn't for the brothers doing a grape-vine message I would have missed seeing you. But the news upon seeing you swept through the patrol like a tidal wave and struck me just as solidly. You are such a vision, even in the dark.

It was of course the source of endless ribbing for the rest of the night. But I think they liked the sight of you too. They've also been talking about Fish and Chips. So do warn your parents that they might be seeing my brothers over the next few weeks as we take our leave.

As for when I would like to see you, I don't think I can arrange anything til a little later than mid month. But I'll try to get as close to the 15th as I can. Does it need to be a weekend? Getting leave on the weekend is a popular order, so doing so on the week might prove easier to get permission for.

There is something else, I know we are keeping things light and loose until this war is over, but I think my mother just might burst if she doesn't get to meet you. Would that be alright? It doesn't have to mean anything. More than a woman interested in meeting a fine young woman and the family that she's heard so much about. I've kept the identity of the Chippy to myself, so she doesn't just show up and bombard you with her questions and comments. She's a scottish mother and a ladies maid, gossip is her stock and trade. If you would instead care to wait, I'll be able to hold her off a while longer. On a serious note about all of this. I would ask and hope that if anything were to happen to me that the two of you could find some comfort. So I've decided to leave a letter to you both including contact information with the office to be delivered if such a thing does happen.

But I promise you, if I can help it, those letters will never be delivered. Tell me what time and day is best and I'll put in for the leave and hope to get it.

I miss you like mad, even the very glimpse of you makes my lips taste like yours. But only a little bit, not nearly enough to sate myself.

Your insatiable monkey,

5 March 1940

My most forgiving and darling Monkey,

I knew you would be cross and concerned, but I couldn't help myself once the idea was in my head. I couldn't pick you out of the lads, but I knew you were there and that's what mattered most to me. Just knowing you were that close. Give them all my thanks for making sure you knew, I didn't want to wave or anything and get you in trouble. Although, if I had maybe your punishment would have been helping in the chippy again. Drat, I should have waved. In any case, I will make sure to give Mum and Da proper warning. I know they would hate to miss a visit from one of the lads.

My cousin stopped round the day before yesterday. She wanted to ask about helping out at the shop. Mum seems quite keen on the idea, and Da's giving it serious thought. It would be good to have the extra hands around. I admit to thinking, as well, that it would be another step toward making it easier if I were to choose to go away. She's very clever and good with money. Of course, that would also mean that it would be much easier for me to slip away on a weekday without worrying. I know that allowances would be made by the family so that I could get to see you whenever you can. There are just so many reasons why she'd be good to help out.

Speaking of seeing you, I've talked to Mum and she says that yes, they would make allowances so I could spend time on any day of the week with you. We had a long talk, actually, and she knows that we get to see each other so little. So, there's no worry on my side, especially not if my cousin starts with us right away. Whenever you can get your leave, I will be waiting for you to hold me in your arms again.

I would love to meet your mother, and of course it means something. We both worry after you and have you in our prayers every night, I'm sure we'll get on like a house on fire, having you in common. From what you've told me, I adore her already, and I only hope she'll like me half so much.

Every night I save you a kiss goodnight, and I'll be giving them to you when I see you next. Perhaps they'll be enough to satisfy you for a while.

I miss your face, I miss your lips, I miss your arms around me.

Ever your duck,

March 8th, 1940

Done for Duck,

It's done, my mother has all the information on how to contact you. Facing a front line of krauts doesn't frighten me half so much as the idea of the two of you on the loose together. Fire and a house, yes, exactly my fear.

Dump has suggested, only if you are keen to it, that I could send along the key to you, so if you like you could get to the place early, get to know your way around it and in not so subtle suggestions, "Get the place more befitting." In other words Dump would be very appreciative if you would tidy up. He also wondered if he could pick Jack up to take him to meet his father so the could finally try and get the old stubborn codger to learn a bit of sign.

Should probably just start to get them to communicate more directly with you. But I like being the go between. Gives me something else to write about besides how much I miss you. I'm glad that your cousin might be providing some help. Is she pretty? Might want to warn her that a bunch of scallywags in Brown like to come in. They are rather like asses braying when it comes to pretty girls.

I've put in for Thursday night the 19th and all that night and then all Friday. I don't mean to be presumptuous or forward in getting the night too. If you want, we can just keep it to day visits and that will mean that I can get three days and just have to spend the night here at the barracks. But no pressure for the overnight. It just sounded like the talk you had with Mary was something in the way of giving the go ahead. If it wasn't, you could maybe sneak out and come back to Dump's dump too.

Trying to be a gentleman, and failing,

11 March 1940

My mad Monkey,

I'm very excited to meet your mum. I do hope she'll like me. Don't you worry your head about us, I promise we'll behave. Mostly.

Do send a key along. I would be happy to do a bit of a tidy up for Dump, it's a small thing to repay how kind he is to us and our Jack. And Jack is very keen to help Dump's father, I've told him to send off a letter to Dump and they can work it out. There isn't anything I can imagine that Jack wouldn't do for you and the lads. He looks up to you all so much. He's always been a good brother, but such a quiet one. The time he's spent with you all has brought him out so, he's much better around strangers. I don't know how I can possibly thank you all enough, nor can he.

Our Jen's a lovely girl, and well able to handle herself, having four brothers. She'll not put up with them acting the fool, nor will Da if they don't mind their manners. But one of them would be well lucky to catch her eye. She's clever (but not quite as clever as I am!) and has a heart of gold.

I hesitating in writing this next, because I'm afraid that you'll think I've led you on purposely and will be well shut of me. That's never what I intended and it would fair break my heart if you thought that. I can't spend a night, though, dear Gavin. You make me feel things I haven't before, and it's so very hard to keep my head sometimes, you make it swim like too much wine, and the world shines when I'm with you. But… I've never. Please don't think I'm just a silly little girl. It's just… I want it to be right. I can't just plan that, we aren't even serious and I understand why you don't want to be.

I'm sorry, I feel that's ending on such a low note. Gavin, it's not that I don't want to. It's not that I don't think about it. I do.

Still yours,

March 13th, 1940

Sweetest Katie,

You have never lead me on. I was honestly just hopeful thinking. But you're absolutely right. You deserve the best. I know I'm actually quite undeserving of even having the sort of time with you that I have now. You are the sweetest girl that I have ever met Katie Hind. I would wither away if I ever did anything to change you. It's not like there's not other ways of letting off some steam. We will never until it is right. I say that fully aware that it also may never be right with me.

Glad to hear that Jen will be able to hold her own. Giving you some free time so that you and Maggie can look into pursuing your desire to be a Land Girl. Hutch nearly stabbed himself in the foot. I was cleaning my riffle and bayonet and the stupid lug came down with his barefoot and stepped on my bed instead of using the rails. Serves him right almost. I've told him to not do that a hundred times over.

Patrol is quiet. It's strange how things get laxer for a little while and then something will happen overseas, this time what's happened in Sweden and Poland lately, and it's back to serious business. Everyone gets back to worrying about if tonight's the night they'll try to bomb London. Inevitably I'm sure the vigil will wear off and wane and it'll soon enough be back to smoking and joking and cards during watch. I'm certain the krauts will pick that time to actually do the bombing. We shall see, but now we have my prediction in writing so I can lawfully say, "I told you so."

Hoping you don't think me some cave man for my last letter. Please know that I've never respected a woman (besides my mother of course) so much.


16 March 1940

Cave Monkey,

If you ever call yourself undeserving in reference to me again I vow that I shall box your ears soundly. No more on that.

I hate this war. I hate how it's changed lives and taken them. I hate how it puts you and the lads in line for danger. Surely if they haven't already they won't suddenly decide to bomb London, don't you think? They would have done right off. Da listens to the news reports almost constantly, he's even taken to having a radio in the kitchen in the daytime now. Mum was furious with him at first, it came dear, but in the bigger scope of things, if it brings him peace of mind to know what's going on, it must be worth it. I hope this ends soon.

Two days. We are still on for Thursday? Not that you'll have time to write back. But I shall be waiting to hear from you, counting the minutes. I don't think less of you for being human. I think all the more of you for your understanding and kind words. You are the best man (besides my father of course) that I have ever known. Every time we speak, every letter you send, I think it even more than I had before.

Still counting the minutes,

March 18th 1940


I'm writing this the morning before I'm going to hopefully see you. Up on the roof of a building where I swear I can see the Chippy way off in the distance. This is my favorite roof. I can't give you specifics of course. When all of this is over I want to bring you up here and show you.

I won't ever bring up being completely undeserving of you again. Just know that a prince would have to really be a god among men to be deserving of a girl like you. It is very hard for me to remember my own rules about not getting swept up into anything that makes promises this war can't keep. I care about you a great deal. Too much to put you through what I've seen my brother's dolls going through. But you make it very hard to do so.

This letter is a bit of an experiment I suppose. Like time traveling almost. What if we hate each other by the end of this Leave? I do something that messes everything up and then comes this letter probably the day after you've smartly run me off. It'll certainly be interesting. So even if you hate me when you read this, please write back.

Time Traveling Monkey,

22 March 1940

My Gavs,

And truly mine now? I can hardly believe it still. Even being my time traveling monkey, I don't guess that you could have been more wrong about how our visits would go. Cross off a career as a psychic after the service, love, you'll never do. I've never not hated you more.

Thank you again for so much wonderful time with you. I can't think of anything quite so nice as having the time to do nothing or anything at all as we please. I can well say that I've never liked rubbing Da's feet nearly as much. Just knowing that I could do something to ease you in your time off means the world to me. I'm sure the lads will be so jealous if you mention that to them.

Our Jack is still just over the moon at having gotten to spend some time with you and the lads. It makes me glad that I decided to not hog you every moment you had free, he does look up to you all so. Mind that you all don't spoil him, though! But I can't even tell you how happy it makes me to see him so excited, and to talk about 'his mates' as he does. It's a wonder his hands don't cramp how he goes on!

I'm already counting the days until your next leave.

Your very own,

March 25th, 1940

My Ducky,

You are right, I don't think I'm very good at telling the future. Course how could I possibly realize that something that amazing would have happened. I got ribbing like you wouldn't believe when all I did was have some drinks and a few cigarettes with the girls that were trying to catch our eye. Parlour Monkey is what Earnest calls me now, because that's where I stayed. Stayed in the parlour and didn't go upstairs. Got to say I didn't realize how much telling a girl no, gets them all geared up to try harder. Maybe that's where I've gone wrong with you? Teasing Duck! Don't rip up this letter.

There now, if you haven't ripped this up by now I suppose that I didn't mess up too bad, there's no eyes for you to gouge out. Just maybe could use a spare hanky to wipe off all the lipstick on my cheeks for the girls thinking me so sweet cause I had a girl worth saying no for.

I missed you the minute I was out of Dumps apartment building. When I found out about the things that happened while we were in our little world with the radio flipped away from the news, I was so grateful that we did that. Things seem to be gearing up now, I don't know why I'm surprised that Italy joined Hitler. Naive hope I suppose that they were a rarity. Hope that this would have been a war where it was the world against Hitler, not the world ripping itself apart again.

It feels strange, that we're together now. You letters hold no words that are any different than they were before last week. But they feel different. Have you told the family that we're steady now? I hope your father will be alright with the news. I kept it from Jack, mostly, I think he has an inkling that something has changed because I told him he was on sentry duty for me to keep Butchers and other men at bay.

The boys enjoyed the joint left overs. It was the perfect thing to keep them from only having stomach filled with beer and spirits. My brothers are keen enough to not even joke about trying to steal you away from me. But I could see the thought in their eyes when they tasted your fine cooking.

Hutch wanted to save his piece for later, I am afraid that in a month or so from now, I'll watch him eat jerky and have a fear that it's the same slice!

Reporting for Boyfriend Duty,
Private Gavin Ferguson

27 March 1940

Dearest Boyfriend,

Just so their lipstick is on your cheeks, because your lips are where my lipstick goes, I won't scratch anyone's eyes out. I think you're pretty wonderful as well, being true to your girlfriend. She's certainly a lucky one to have landed you.

I've not said anything in so many words to the family, but then I wasn't seeing anyone other than you anyroad, so not much has changed. I think Jack is the one that suspects, though, you're right. He smirks at me more, like he does when he knows something that I don't. It's a good smirking, he thinks so highly of you, I think he would have been every bit as heartbroken as I would if it'd gone another way with us. I've been as good a big sister as I know how, but you and the lads, you're big brothers. It's entirely different.

I'll make it a point to try and get as much as I can whenever we'll have time together, so you can take a treat back. It makes me happy to know they enjoyed it, there seems to be precious little to enjoy right now. It'll get better, though, I just know it.

Mum just popped by to tell me to add that she'll be shipping a tin off to you this week, with some of her biscuits to share around. She and Da both send their best. Some of the lads were in a few days ago, and Da had a good time talking with them, taking a break from the kitchen for a few minutes. He's been doing so much with volunteer work, watching the skies like you lads, it's been taking a toll on him, as it is on everyone.

I was out with the girls last night, and they wanted to hear all about you. We talked for hours, we don't get to do that very often right now, they're all busy with this and that. And him and the other one. The abundance of soldiers passing through town has pleased a few very much. I'm perfectly happy with just one.

I miss you every minute. We'll see each other again soon, and we have our letters. They do so much to brighten a day, when there's one from you in the post. Saying a prayer for you every night, thinking of you every day.

Your Girlfriend

March 29th, 1940

Devil Duck,

What have you done to me? Twenty-eight years old, a man of Glasgow and a soldier for his Majesty and the brothers say I turn into Ernest when he sees a tin arrive any time mail call is sounded. I've told you how he gets, a little boy at Christmas. I might just have to smack them around some and spend a day in the brig to get my reputation back.

Speaking of Ernest, the platoon is now wanting to get a scale to measure out the things given to us because of the little scamp and his collected crumbs. Our own little bit of rationing right here inside the barracks. Silly, isn't it?

Shhh my Duck, we must be very quiet now as I am writing this part on a roof to the soft glow of my fag. So please pardon the poor penmanship. You're actually rather close tonight, so this letter is an attempt to lessen my urge to just run along the rooftops and sneak into your window. What happens after I sneak into that window in my imagination is doing quite the job in keeping me warm.

I'm happy to hear that you got to spend some time with you friends. I only saw them at a distance when we first met. That little blond one, what was her name? I think she gave me a wink as we passed. Or maybe it was aimed at Hutch? Seems quite like forever ago. This year has been quite drawn out since September don't you think? Most likely because I never cared about leave before I met you. I took it when I wanted and covered more often than not for my Brothers who had birds.

Finding myself in their little club is all together very new. Good, but it takes some getting used to. Instead of the bachelors asking me to wander to the Dog and Bone, I'm now getting invitations to double or triple up. You're apart of that club now too Ducky. From my experience before meeting you, I saw the Birds Club as quite the force to be reckoned with themselves. Thick as thieves they are and it's immediate access too. Once you're a G.I. Bird, you're in! So please don't be surprised if you get a bunch of strange women coming in one day inviting you to do all sorts of things with them. They can get a bit catty with the new Birds. But I know my girl, you'll be fine against them if they pull anything of the sort.

Mother would like to come in, she might already have been in before this letter arrives. I hope she doesn't plow over you or your mother with her boisterous behavior. She's a Scottish Mother Hen and she knows how to peck. She is also aware that we are steady now. So there's going to be testing questions and scrutiny a plenty, amid all of the hugs and kisses and such.

My fags near out, probably should get back to Watch.

Good Luck Duck,

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