You are probably surprised to get a letter from me this time and not from Dorothy. She has not been well the last few months. You know what happened in Halifax because she wrote to you before she got sick, but you have not had a letter since we arrived in Tidnish and that's because she has not been able to write. She said it was just a cold at first, but by the next day she couldn't even get out of bed. Harold Murphy took her into the doctor and her breathing was so bad the doctor had her taken right away to the hospital. She was there right through Christmas and she almost died but pulled through not long after the new year. Pneumonia, probably from running around in her nightgown the morning of the explosion, and maybe with all that dirty air too.
She came home, but she was funny, like I only got part of her back. She only ate when Ena threatened to hold her down and ram the food into her throat. Some days she didn't wash or get out of bed. This went on right through until this month. Then one day Ena got on her nerves so bad she came out of it like a dragon and they had a big row. She's still a little queer sometimes and it still feels like I don't have all of her back yet, but at least she is eating and washing now.
Harold says it is all in her head and I think he is right. I don't know if she told you, but she was in love with a man named Rob Monroe, and when he didn't come back after the explosion her heart broke. He wanted to marry her and she was happy about that, but the next day everything bad happened. I think that was what the fight with Ena was about. It is almost funny to think about, especially afterward when Harold told Ena to keep her mouth shut for once.
We are both trying to be nice to Ena, since she brought us here and this is a good place. I like Harold and so does Dorothy. He doesn't really seem to like Ena much even if she is his sister, but he puts up with her the same as we do. Ena is going to go back to Halifax and have a new house built. Funny, since the house she lost wasn't hers at all. It was ours if you think about it. I said as much to Dorothy, but she told me to let it go, that we wouldn't be going back to Halifax and Ena might as well get what she could out of it.
I'm glad we are not going back to Halifax. I miss my friends, but there are a lot of them gone. John McInnes came in January. He did not get on well with his uncle and he was going to run away, but Dorothy told him to just stay here if he wanted to. His uncle beat him terribly and Dorothy didn't want to send him back, and so he stayed here for a little while and when we went down to Port Croft for the day he got himself a job in a grocery store. He works there now and lives in town with a woman who lets out rooms. I like that he is close by. I have made friends here, but John and I are like brothers now since we lost so many of our people.
I go to school and I help out on the farm at night. I didn't like it at first but I've gotten used to it, and Harold is a nice man. Dorothy has been wanting to find work when she is well enough, but there is not much here. She doesn't want to keep house for anyone any longer and hasn't got the stomach to work in the fish plant. She keeps busy on the farm while I am at school, but she wants to get out and find a job. I'm only in school until the end of the year and after that I think we will go somewhere else so we can both find work.
I'm not going back to school. I know you and Dorothy wanted me to, but I need to take care of her now. She needs it.
We were some glad to get your letter the other day. The telegram you sent at Christmas nearly gave me a heart attack, but I know you were worried about where we ended up. I would have written you then, but I didn't know if Dorothy was going to be all right and I didn't know what to tell you.
Dorothy promises she will write soon. She gets tired easily and I don't think she knows what to say. I'll keep writing you and let you know how we are doing. I hope everything will be back to normal soon, but I don't know what normal is any more I suppose.
From your brother,
YOU ARE READING
Shadows May FallHistorical Fiction
Winter, 1917. Dorothy never really thought that war would take her older brother, but like so many others before him, Ian enlisted and departed Canada in khaki, leaving Dorothy to care for the youngest Gaston, Charlie. The return of her employer's s...