Enemy Positions

Fort Riley, Kans.
Oct. 8, 1942

Darling:

Got your letter today, and I really was awfully glad to hear from you. The past two days have been really swell, as far as weather is concerned, but we’ve sure been busy. Yesterday, we were out firing, and today we spent crawling around in the weeds and grass, attacking enemy positions. It was a grand day, but awfully hot work pounding the brush as we were. My knees and elbows are pretty sore and raw, and I’m tired, physically. The instructor we have for this part of the course is really a one-man show, and no fooling. We crawl and creep and run for a while, and then we gather together, and he goes over what we have done and what is coming up next, and he’s really a scream. His name is Murphy, but he’s not at all like his name. He’s a tall,

7.05
2.50
9.55

buck-toothed, ugly guy, but he sure can put things across. One thing that gets me is the fact that while he’s so darned funny, he doesn’t seem to think he’s funny, just goes on as if it were any other kind of a talk, while we’re convulsed with laughter. He’s from Alabama, with a deep Southern accent, and how he does slaughter the English language. Nuf for that.

Darling, please don’t feel that you’re taking anything from me when I send you money, because it’s money that the Government wouldn’t be paying me if I weren’t married.

Please, darling, try to get all cleaned up before the last of November. Of course, if we can’t do it, we just can’t, and that’s all. But I’m still hoping that we can get all squared around and be together as soon as possible. As I suggested, maybe we can get together and have a few days together, and then you can go home until I get permanently assigned. In any event, let’s pray that we can be together for a few days the first part of December, and back together for good by Christmas time. Maybe we’re doing too much worrying, because it may even happen that I’m assigned right away, and possibly to the west coast. Of course, that’s a lot to ask, but it’s possible.

Was interrupted for a few moments, as the lieutenant came in. (You probably know by the stationery that I’m writing this in study hall.)

Darling, you don’t know what I’d give for a week-end with you again. If we don’t get together as soon as school is out, I’ll be lost, that’s all. And one big trouble is that I won’t know where I’m going until graduation day, which incidentally, was set officially as Nov. 26th. If anything happens between now and then in regard to that, I’ll certainly let you know.

Darling, I’d love to kiss you right now. Whenever I think of holding you and kissing you, my heart seems to sorta come up into my throat, my head spins, and my breathing goes all haywire. Words can never tell you how I feel. Only being with you and telling you with kisses and embraces can I tell you. The thrill of holding you close, hearing your heart, and feelings its beat against me, kissing you, is something I miss so very much. Somehow, when that happens, nothing else seems to matter at all. No sound can penetrate, no disturbance can arouse me. I seem to slip into a sort of stupor, a sweet, magnificent stupor. I was thinking the other night after I went to bed, of the week-end we went to Seaside. Remember the night in Portland when our rooms were adjoining? And the next night in Seaside? During those few days, it seemed that I couldn’t stand to have you away from me for even a moment, and now here we are over a thousand miles apart, and have been apart for 39 days. Truthfully, darling, it doesn’t seem like a moment more or less than 39 years. Please give Margie a big kiss for me, will you? And tell her I’m crazy about her. She’s so sweet, beautiful, so easy to get along with, and so very easy to love. From the very first moment, I’ve been crazy about her. I’ll never forget our first kiss. It was then, or possibly even before then, that I started thinking about asking you to marry me. The thought would enthrall me one moment, and scare me the next, because I was so afraid you’d say “No.” If you had, I don’t know what I’d have done, really. It still rather scares me to even think of your saying “No.” In fact, if you had been anything but cordial the very first night we met, it would have hurt, terribly, because after I once got the chance to dance with you and hold you, it seemed that I never wanted to dance with any other girl in the place, and I was so darned afraid that I wouldn’t get the chance to dance with you again and find out whether or not you would allow me to see you, be with you. Frankly, from the very first time I saw you, I was jealous of every other boy you danced with. You didn’t know it, but my eyes and my heart followed you all night. Then when you said that you were going to the Chemeketan party the next night, I lay awake for a couple of hours planning on those moments with you. That was a swell party, too. And we had a lot of time together, didn’t we?

I must close now, darling. Good night and loads of love and kisses from—

Your loving
Jim

Ed. Note—This letter has a bit of shorthand at the end. If you can read Gregg shorthand and you’d like to take a stab at what it says, please do type it out in the Comments!

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