Letter to Cathie from Ford Killen



Letter to Cathie from Ford Killen


Writes about breaking up with girlfriend. Goes on about book he is writing based on Wuthering Heights and asks her to supply information on everything about the real Wuthering Heights to help him. Mentions recent letter he sent and that he will send her some pictures soon. Continues with his latest news and activities.




Four-page handwritten letter


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[United States Army Air Forces crest]

San Antonio,

Thursday, Sept. 27

My darling Cathie:

A few more lines this lonely night just to say hello, & hope that you’re okay. Me? I feel like a heel. Today I received a reply to the farewell note I sent Dolly, telling her it was no use. She was very humble, and didn’t ask for anything except my friendship. She hoped I would remain her friend forever, and that she knew when I returned & saw her that I had changed, & when I promised to call on her the next day - & didn’t (I didn’t return in all those fifty days I had at home) she knew it was all over as far as I was concerned. I didn’t want to hurt her, & tried to ease the whole situation by putting the blame on me; & the war; & the fact that I had been gone so long –

Oh, well, such is life – it’s better to tell her now just how things really are – if that feeling isn’t there, I can’t help it; I don’t think I should make any obligations when I haven’t the heart to fulfil them. It’s best for both of us to keep things on a frank, level basis – no pretentions for honor’s [sic] sake & pride. She’s young (she claims she still loves me & won’t get over it in a day) & if she did care for me she’ll get over it – She hasn’t (or hadn’t) seen


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seen me for almost 3 years, & she got along somehow, for all that time.

Cathie: I have a little plan. We – you & I – never got to Yorkshire to see “Wuthering Heights” – but in my book – just for character I am going to pretend we did go. The drawback is, I have no data; no information. Is there a real W. H.? Is there a house; you spoke of the inn – I want to know everything, EVERYTHING you know about the real W. H. – scenery, when the heather blooms, when the rains frequent it (if not always) all about the [indecipherable word] – everything that will give me enough info to write a 5,000 – 8,000 word chapter. I don’t mean for you to send such a literary composition; all I desire will be the raw facts, upon which I’ll proceed to elaborate. Is it a deal? I promise very favorable [sic] mention of you – in fact you are going to be the heroine of my classic – part will be truth, other parts fiction, or should I say a slight exaggeration of the facts. That sounds better, doesn’t it?

I wrote you a regular letter a couple of days ago – you’ll probably receive this ire the other – because I hadn’t been paid then, & had to squeeze my finances, sending it regular mail. This one I shall post air mail …..

I’ll have some pix for you shortly, now that I HAVE been paid & can afford a few luxuries until it is gone. I don’t engage in the simple game of poker since I’ve re-

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turned; I don’t know why, for I have all the time in the world, but nobody here wants to play. I played quite a lot while I was on leave, and lost pretty heavily, so I’ve sworn off – for the time being at least.

There’s nothing new here. Still no processing – I’m no nearer to getting out of the Army than I was this time two weeks ago; though I am eligible for discharge. But as long as I get 3 meals a day – (I never get up before 10 A.M.) so I can only count 2 meals, don’t have any laborous [sic] tasks to perform, & get paid every & anon, why am I griping? At least I’m in the U.S., and have been home, & know that eventually I’ll be able to go home permanently!

This is the latest thing in envelopes – just pull a string & presto! It opens right up. I saw them in the P.X. & they were a novelty so I just had to [indecipherable word] some. Don’t know if they’ll be practical or not --

Oh yes about the masterpiece – and the use of your name – will you permit it – if you won’t I’ll just have to spell it differently & make it semi-fictitious. No, I think you won’t complain as long as I make you (OVER)

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a lily-white character, pure as the snows….

I haven’t had a thing to drink all day – in fact I have had very little alcholics [sic] since I’ve been on this base – three weeks tomorrow – it isn’t here to obtain. Unless one goes into San Antonio, & the trip is too far, & the temperature much too hot to take that trip.

Honey-chile, I have to run along – I want to get a bite to eat before I go to bed tonight – too late I’ve just discovered – it closes at 10 P.M. & it’s that time now.

Let me hear from you pronto, eh? & keep sending the vital communicees [sic] to my Mother’s address. I’m not Mister, yet, so it would be wise to use the old Army handle.

All my love – as ever




F Killen, “Letter to Cathie from Ford Killen,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 20, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/39877.

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