En Route Port of Spain, August 24, 1947

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Darling “Bett”,

My gosh! It’s hot! It is said that when it’s this hot, the Stinger Rays come up to the surface to wipe the sweat off their brows. One of my “A.B.’s” caught a 45 pound catfish this morning.

Last night, in Paramaribo, before we sailed, I saw a new picture, “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir”.

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There was something about it, fantastic though it was, that held me and drew me out. I should like very much to see it again. If only to observe if I still see the cliff as “Third Cliff”, and myself, as the seaman, haunting you as I did the last time.

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Certainly, there was no tangible connection between us and the story on the screen, and yet, I felt strange and very close to you, as though you were beside me, holding my hand, and watching the picture with me.

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It’s a difficult feeling to describe. It puzzled me at the time. I have had several moments like that since I have been away from your arms. Once, early in the mid-watch when ordering the helmsman to change course, I could hear your tender laugh and feel your cheek posed, waiting for my kiss, when I said, “port, midships!” You see honey, I spoke true words when I said, “I leave within you, my heart!”

I say to myself at moments of such close mental contact with you, “Dave, you miss her, and this is the natural reaction, nothing more, and yet, you are so close and alive and near to me that…..I wonder!

Now we are only carrying bauxite. We go one hundred some odd miles into the jungle, load, proceed to Port of Spain, Trinidad, unload, then return to the jungle and start all over. But, as bauxite is only bulk cargo and doesn’t require much attention, I should have more time to write to you. Just remember though, that my letters will come to you spasmodically because, as yet, strange to say, they have no post office in the jungle. The Head Hunters at Moengo just aren’t interested in modern improvements I guess. They’d rather beat out their troubles on the drums.

So, bear with me, have patience, my love, until I am home once more. Then, mayhap, we shall see what changes my absence hath wrought! I know this, if your innermost feelings bear the faintest resemblance to mine, you, my girl, are a “gone goose”.

Well, for now dear, I must leave you, physically! Keep your head up and to wind’ard and beat a steady course. Eventually you shall round the capes of hesitancy and doubt and let go anchor in the safe, permanent harbor of my heart, and feel the sweet, steady breeze of lasting love. I promise!

Goodnight my life,
Dave

P.S. Your letters are starting to come through now. Keep up the good work young lady, and one day I’ll buy you a hamburger with onions.

G’NITE CYCLONE

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William Sloane House Y.M.C.A. July 15, 1947

july 15

Thursday 3am

Hello Darling,

Things are rather quiet on board tonight, so I shall make use of the opportunity to write to you.

You know Sweet, it’s usually rather late at night and I’m terribly tired when I write to you. Not so tired that I don’t think of you much more than I’d care to have you know at present, but just tired enough so that some of my “billets doux” might sound absurd to you.

Darn it, no letter from you today. By the way, have I thanked you for your kindness you have shown me in writing so often? Thanks!

My ship hasn’t arrived in port as yet and I have heard that the one I’m working on may be sold to Argentina. If so, I’ll probably get paid off and have a chance to see you soon.

You know, this may sound rather strange to you, because you are unable to experience the emotions coursing through me, but I’m very glad that you loaned me that $10.00. I don’t quite know why I’m glad about it, I should only be grateful. But, it makes me feel god inside, as though you were really pulling for me or something. I’d best change the subject!

I saw the Italian movie version of “Rigoletto” this afternoon. Stole some time away from Morpheus to do it and I’m not sorry. It was grand!

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I never saw a city in my life where money meant so little. I was down to my last dollar a few days ago, and managed to talk the hotel manager into giving me a weeks credit on my room, provided I gave him one suitcase as security. Then, I slept all day and everyday to save money on food. I’d have a cup of coffee when I got up, and then off to work, where I’d scare up a meal out of the ice box and in the crew’s galley. There isn’t much food on board though because, at present there isn’t any crew.

Yesterday, I saw the port captain (for the whole company) and he apologized for keeping me waiting for a ship. He said I had a good war record and that a lot of sea experience and he thought I deserved a good ship, so he was waiting to give me the right one. Then he advanced me enough money on my salary for eating expenses and room rent, and to get my suitcase out of storage.

Strangely enough Darling, I looked forward to having to “live on a shoestring” my first week or so in NYC. It’s part of a man’s education. A man really shouldn’t call himself such unless he has gone without for a while at least. Life assumes entirely new proportions, even though, as in my case, it’s only for a few days.

One thing has been increasing tremendously in value with each day that passes, so much so that, EVEN, were it obtainable by money, there wouldn’t be enough to purchase it anywhere. Yes, my love for you.
If only it were in my power to convince you, to make you, to make you fully cognizant of the depth of my emotion for you.

Enough of that! It doesn’t look good on paper at this hour of the morning, and I had made up my mind not to refer to it too often while apart from you.

I can convince you much more lastingly my love when I have you in my arms and am basking in the reflection of the sparkle of your sweet smile.

Goodnight my love,

David