September 18, 1918

32nd letter

Dear Mother:-

It seems as though I was getting less and less time to write and yet the actual amount of work we are doing is about the same. The reason may be that the fliv hasn't been behaving the way a gentleman's car should and I have had to use up considerable time coaxing it to do its job. It has been doing fairly well for the past two days so I hope it has turned over a new leaf. Besides this, eleven boys left the section on the 13th. One took home a bracelet for me which he is going to mail to Bet. To fill their places, seven men came over from Section Two which was one of the black sheep of the service, as their chef was very slip-shod and the bunch they had was of rather poor quality. Luckily, they have kept ten of us old men in one shift and the others from Sec. 2 in the other shift.

When I got back to camp (where I have just spent four days) I found that these new fellows had appropriated my room, so the chef gave Carr and I a new room which we fixed up very comfortably, but we had to do it in between trips and in other odd moments. Now we have a bureau, a chair and a little table about 2 x 2, one real bed, my cot, a chair and desk that I improvised and an honest-to-goodness wash basin. We knocked a brick out of the wall and put a piece of pipe in, so now we claim that we have the only room with running water, although it only runs in one direction - OUT!

Right now, I am at one of our posts, M - - - P - - -

(I put that in so I can identify it when I get home.) There will be no work here till after lunch as the men have to be brought down from the front on little canal boats.

Last night a letter came from Betty with some photos in it. The kids were awfully cute and I must say the pond looks nice. Please thank Bet for sending them. By the way, did you get the letter I sent with some pictures in it? I hope you did. Another letter from you came last night, too, in which you approved of the French artillery. There is some doubt as to whether with this new draft law, Americans between 18 and 45 will be able to get in it unless they are physically unfit. When I wrote before, I could have gotten in, because I was not in the draft. Now I will have to wait and find out. I also wrote to a boy whom I knew in Paris (Sgt. R.D. Greene, Air Service), asking him to write to me about what was open in the American army and if there were schools in artillery, tanks, or any other service. I am also going to ask Brad and John Walsh for information and then I think I will be able to pick the best.

There is very little to say about the work. It goes on just the same and keeps us running on an average of 200 kilometers a day. Of course, there are days here and at three of the other posts,- where one won't make a hundred in a day and at one post, we sometimes don't get a trip in four days, so that is a pretty good average. We very seldom see a wounded man, but I never had any idea before how many diseases there were in the world.

About eight or nine of the boys have been down with malaria and one is still in the hospital in Yilan, but I have felt fine right along. Betty said you were sending magazines and small packages, but all I have gotten so far is some Sunday picture parts from the "Tribune" and "Times". Write whenever you can.