Private TW Sweetheart - page 4

1The long goodbye
It was awarm and sunny summer’sSeptember evening in London’sHyde
Park in1916. ElizabethSweetheart andTommyAtkinswere standing on the
front porch saying their goodbyes.
Elizabeth plantedTommywith a great big kiss and said: “They said it would
all beover byChristmas, but that was over two years ago; please be careful
Tommy, we have already lost somany bravemen.”
Elizabeth rustled around in her pocket for aminute or so, thumbing through
handkerchiefs, pennies, shillings and half-crowns and then slowly, gliding out
of her pocket, this little tinywooden charmwithglass blue eyes and soldier’s
capappeared and sat snugly in themiddle of her hand. She pulledTommy’s
hand close to hers and sunk the tiny little charm into his palm.
“This isPrivateTouchWudSweetheart,” said amelancholyElizabeth, “andhe
will keep you fromharm andbring you home tome safely. Remember these
words:
If ever you are in trouble and don’t knowwhat to do,
TouchWudwill be there to help guide and assist you,
Touch hiswoodenhead for luck and his cupid legswill fly,
His hat will change into tin andproblemswill be nigh.”
“HelloPrivateTWSweetheart,” saidTommy in an officer’s tone. “I will keep
you inmy pocket close tomy heart and there youwill assist me onmy
journey to thewestern front. Fall in solider.”
Tommy’s toppocket was already unbuttoned and he slipped him inside to see
his livingquarters for the first time; theywere not quite thewarm soft comforts
of ElizabethSweetheart’s pocket.
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