First of all, please don't be too angry with Ermengarde. I believe I am as acquainted as well as anyone alive as to how you feel about your privacy, but I would far rather know when something is wrong than have a blank space to fill in with my own thoughts. With the sights I am often exposed to in recent days, those thoughts rarely turn toward happier conjectures.
Of course, I am certain that you would have told me of your aliment yourself, but being in quarantine prevented that. You have never shied away from an unpleasant topic in the past. I trust that you are feeling better by the time this arrives and hopes that you will be recovered enough to enjoy your Christmas holiday. What I have sent is not much, but I hope that it is something that you would care to have.
Have they located what caused the disease to break out at your school? I trust they are using all available resources to insure that another outbreak doesn't occur. I will confess to a bad moment when I found out that you were ill. While I do know that you are a strong individual where will is concerned, your build is so slight that I cannot help but think of you as delicate - all other evidence to the contrary.
Without saying too much of where we are or what we are encountering, I think I and my fellows are all of the firm opinion that those who have glamorized depictions of war in the past have either never been involved in a conflict against their fellow man or sustained a blow to the head that altered their memories. It is a messy, noisy and altogether undignified in every aspect imaginable. Not that I don't agree with our purpose for being here. What standing can any country have in the world if it will not honour the treaties it has willingly signed? Still, I cannot help but think that if a few had undertaken an earlier intervention into the problem, so many men would not be in the field now, so far away from their homes and loved ones.
I now have to agree with Lawrence's assessment. Things have brewed so long that it will take beyond the end of this year to relieve the pressures. To be truthful, probably to the end of next year at least. Our current commanding officer has likened it to a boil that must be lanced before it can begin to heal. We have not reached the lancing stage yet.
Time is short to do the things I need to do before we must move again, so I will sign off for now. Never think that drawing comfort from the stars is childish or else consider that I am as childish in that regard as you are. I am looking at them even as I write this. At least the stars are not so changeable as Juliet accused the moon of being when Romeo tried to swear on it.
With all my love,
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