Paramaribo, Surinam August 18, 1947

 

PassCargo

Darling Betty,

It’s been quite awhile since I have had a chance to write, I know. But, once we get started on the shuttle run from Moengo (in the jungle of Dutch Guicana) to Port of Spain, Trinidad I shall have more time.

You see cargo on these ships are divided into two classes, special and general. We have three holds full of spiced cargo, rum, champagne, wine, cigarette can see es, candy, beer, etc.. In other words, cargo liable to pilferage. People pay extra to ship special cargo because a mate has to be responsible for it and check it ashore. Well, with three mates and three holds discharging, you can see that we have been extremely busy. However, tomorrow morning the last of it will be ashore and we go back to the regular routine which should give me some time in which to write.

This outfit is not like the navy. As soon as we are alongside a dock, we start working cargo, and as soon as we are done, we go right to sea and on to the next port, where the same thing happens all over. Between ports, I have to prepare all voyage reports and cargo receipts and send them to New York by mail from the following port. A vicious circle!

The preceding jumble may give you some idea of the amount of work I have to do. I can tell you much better some night in October or November at the Mansion Inn.

reception

Well, do you know what it means to miss the one you love as yet Betty? Or do you just miss the fun we have together? Here it is only the 18th of August and I feel as if I hadn’t seen you for months. At night, when I miss you worst, I like to look forward to a reunion all the more sweet and profound, for having tasted first the bitterness of longing.

It’s 3:00 am here, the stevedores have knocked off for lunch, so I have this hour to spend with you. I’m wearing only a pair of khaki shorts and I don’t think I have more than three inches of skin left that the mosquitoes haven’t sampled.

Just remember this, my love, before I went away, I left you a true heart. All of it. If, at times, you should not hear from me, pause, remember what you are to me. Take care of my heart and be content in the knowledge that a man can love as much as I love you.

Well, goodnight my dear, and till I hold you again,…port! starboard! amidships!

All my love,
David

P.S. I can’t mail letters down here in the jungle, but I get to Port of Spain, Trinidad every nine days. There I can mail my letters to you, and wait for your first one to me. Gosh, I’m tired. Sweet dreams sweet Betty. Goodnight.

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