July 14, 1945

Darling Vi:

Your letter of yesterday evening came this morning. What a transit for the air mail! I send mine surface and air alternately.

Yes I have a very quiet room now. Dr Stanley Walker, President of King's College, offered me a very large room in his Residence with bath, many cupboards and a reception room. The whole suite was used by the Commanding Officer in the Navy and was known as the Quarter Deck. It is so quiet I can hear the squirrels scamper and the pigeons coo. No snoring, no fire alarms, no leap-frog at midnight. It is ideal now.

Bill Sclater is one of the best friends I have ever made. He was really assigned by Admiral Jones to look after me. The staff car and the Admiral's Barge are at my disposal though I don't intend to outwear my privileges. Bill is Public Relations Officer and has the rank of Commander. His wife, Gladys Jean, formerly of Glasgow is a charming little girl with the most delightful Scotch accent I have ever heard (apart from your own, of course, ha! ha!). They were married last October and were engaged four years ago, but they have seen each other only on the odd week-ends all that time. He has been in Malaya, Hong Kong, the Mediterranean, in fact all over the world, and hopes to write after the war. His wife you would like immensely I am sure. I hope they live in Toronto. He is a cousin of Dr Sclater who married them. He is volunteering for the Pacific – just out of a sense of duty – as he certainly wants to settle down after living in a turmoil for six years. He's bringing out a book on the Haida for Bill Clarke. That is the reason why I have enlarged my subject to the R.C.N. activities generally and will start with the Skeena – just as full of action as the Haida. In that case there will be no conflict between Macmillans & Oxford. It suits my plans just as well and it doesn't cut in on either Bill Sclater or Bill Clarke.

The job will take a long time and it will be difficult. But I have no need to be rushed. And 'They Are Returning' will fill in the gap between the Collected and the RCN. (whenever the latter is published – say two or three years).

Ellen says the paper shortage is terrible and the bindery business still worse. But she will bring out an edition of 2500 with better, more durable paper than 'Dunkirk.'

Poor Carol with that awful expense. The sum is terrific, $330.00! How they soak the poor in heart in this world and I may add the poor in pocket.

I have to give two recitals this next week – the Summer School on Thursday night and Mount St. Vincent (where Sister Mauyra is if that is any enlightenment to you) on Friday. I am being paid $25.00 for the first and I have offered the second gratis for I couldn't gyp that flowery-bowery brood of wimple-covered Sisters of Mercy. They are sweet and their penguin costumes would greatly appeal to Cayke. I do not, however, intend to make any analogy on Friday night with the tumbling denizens of the Arctic as they roll down to the waters.

With everlasting love,
Ned.


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