There is not much doing at the moment, but word has it we are set for battle soon. I can't wait. We are trained and ready, yet still they just leave us sitting here. I hope you are well. We had a quiet sort of Christmas, although the food was better. I had plum pudding among other things. There were chocolates and sweets, too,that reminded me of you, as I remember how you like sweet things. Can't understand why you're such a slim little thing the way you eat.
We are burned nearly black from the sun. One poor devil in my platoon has coloring like yours, only his hair is real carroty, and he got badly burned.
Did I tell you we climbed the pyramids, oh, and I saw the Sphinx. Take care, Laurie, and keep writing. The feeling is we will be leaving shortly. I miss you, and think of you all the time. I do love you, and wish, well, you know, I better not say in case your father reads this letter, but I'll never forget. Love, Danny.
She folded the letter up, and got the others out of her jewel case. Sitting on the bed, she re-read each of them and her eyes misted over. Danny, who had always hated school, penned rather a good letter. She had done as he asked and written two letters to Blair Sinclair. If he answered she would continue writing, if he did not, well no-one could say she didn’t try.
0130 hours, 25 April 1915.
The air felt chilly as Danny waited on the deck of the troopship. It was so dark he couldn’t see land, even though someone said it was less than three miles away. When his turn came, he climbed down the rope ladder and found himself in a small open boat. Excitement surged through him. He had traveled halfway around the world for this moment and was keen to give a good account of himself. His equipment and ammunition weighed more than eighty pounds, but he wouldn’t have cared if it had been a hundred and eighty.
He found himself next to Ernie, his friend since their training days at Broadmeadows, in what seemed like another lifetime. So much had happened since then. All the biblical places he had visited, the exotic foreigners he had mingled with, Laurie would be enthralled when he told her. It warmed his heart just thinking about the love they shared and she wouldn't cheat on him like some girls did, and he hadn’t cheated on her, either.
I should have finished that letter, he thought, and posted it in
When four boats were full, the pinnaces towed them towards land.
“I'm f…f…frightened,” Ernie stammered.
“Nothing to be frightened of, mate.” Danny gave a soft chuckle. “Just pretend you're back working as a grip man on the trams. The noise of the pinnaces sounds rather like a tram, don't you think?” Hope those Turks don't hear us, though.”
He gripped his rifle between his knees as they had been instructed to do, and he was surprised when his hands became sweaty. Ernie's arm shook as it pressed up hard against his own.
“Stick with me—we're mates, I'll look after you,” he comforted his friend, wondering whether the slight clicking noise close to his ear might be Ernie's teeth chattering.
It seemed spooky quiet, as they only spoke in whispers, and the slight splashing of the waves against the side of the boat was barely audible. About fifty yards from shore, the pinnaces cast off the boats and the sailors started to row them to the beach.
Shattered Dreams is just one of Margaret's books available now from The Wild Rose Press!
Remember Friends - my holiday-themed romances will continue on Tuesday. Hope to see you then!