Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, October 6, 1915
Château de Genay
Oct. 6. ‘15Wednesday.
I was so glad to get your letter. It is an abominable thing that Dummer should have been killed just now, for he was having an experience new to him in every way. As you know, he always hated work as such, so much that he never succeeded in doing enough labour in any field to make the flowers grow. But with this job of soldiering, his inherited sense of duty (where skulls were being cracked—there was the place for a Howard) made him toil at it through all the weary months of training to such purpose that he made a first rate soldier, and was to have been promoted to captain on the first vacancy. His own captain was killed by the same shell, but not outright as, thank God, Dummer was. He lived a few hours, and the first words he uttered on coming to were to ask whether Dummer was all right. No one ever could know that boy without loving him, it was the purest joy to be with him because his heart was the soundest and truest I have ever met.
His poor fatherRobert Mowbray Howard (1854–1928). is undone with grief, he cared much more for Dummer than for his brilliant brotherMajor Henry Ralph Mowbray Howard (1883–1950). who is now (aged 32!) commanding a battallion of the Rifle Brigade.
Elisina will have told you her news by now—exciting news.Possibly Elisina Tyler’s assumption of the title of vice president of the American Hostels for Refugees (Accueil franco-américain aux réfugiés belges et français) and the Children of Flanders Rescue Committee (Oeuvre des enfants des Flandres). See letter of September 30, 1915. For Elisina Tyler's role in these charities, see letters of April 19, 1915; April 27, 1915; May 17, 1915; June 6, 1915; July 4, 1915; August 21, 1915; August 10, 1916; and September 12, 1916. You did not guess right.
Yours always sincerely