7 March, 1945.
My darling -
Did ja think I *forgot* ya, shnooks? Oh no no no no! Gee it feels *good* to talk to you again, darling! I'm just back from my leave, and I'm a mass of aches, pains, and bubbling good health! Let me explain, 'hon - 'cuz there are about a thousand and one things I want to tell you - and another thousand to answer in your delicious letters that have snuck in. The enclosed picture, pooch, is a portrait of the place where I have just spent my leave! How about that - eh, kid?
I'll start at the beginning. My leave came suddenly - in *such* a hurry, hon, that I didn't even have an opportunity to whip you or the folks a note explaining why you wouldn't hear from me for a while.
Art English was slated to go and at the last moment had to prepare some reports. Rather than lose his leave he asked me to switch with him - which I did. I had inquired at the local Red Cross earlier in the week as to the whereabouts of some quiet, quaint, town where I could "loafe [sic] about in khakis and get away from uniforms." They assured me that Shaftesbury was just the spot. So Saturday morning I hopped over the side lugging two duffel bags, a drawing board one of the men made me, and my navy jacket. Once again I could be T.A. Sug - *civilian* - and besides the sun was shining! I felt very good.
Tommy promised to drop you a note explaining my sudden break in correspondence - so feeling full of spring and peace of mind, I was off.
I caught a bus in town and