July 24, 1917

Dear Betty:-

Since when has my name been changed to Hobs? Oh, I don't mind, but I just wondered. I wrote to Mother such a short time ago that nothing has happened since, but I wanted to let you know that I had received the following: marshmallows, malted milk, trousers and the things enclosed with them; also three bundles of papers. Many thanks for all of them. Thank Ces for doing up the bundles and newspapers. I recognized her handwriting on some of them.

Dad's letter also came today. Please thank him for that and the enclosure. I hope he isn't having too much on his hands with the new firm and all the excitement. He seemed to think that I hadn't been feeling well, but I really have been much better than many, and in fact most of the others, thanks to rowing before I came over. Most all of us have attacks of dysentery - stomach trouble - now and again, and of course you have my letters by now telling how almost all the section was laid up along about the 10th of June. However, we don't think anything of such small matters now. And as to being cheerful, that is one thing that this service could be noted for. We laugh at everything - from accidents to the care to bad food and its results. Oh, it's the same in all the sections. A short time ago, I was at the cantonment of S. S. U. 29. The boys there were just getting broken in by their first attack of indigestion - getting acclimated.

This afternoon I went swimming in the Leuse about five or six miles above a place where they say 40,000 dead Bosche were dumped in after the Verdun attack. The river is mighty nice, though, and especially when one doesn't sometimes get a bath for two weeks. Then we may get one a day for three or four days, and then have to wait from one to three weeks. I could tell you another story of when I went in swimming in another river and was nearer considerably than five miles to where some men had fallen in or been thrown in, for seeing is believing.

I noticed in the Sun that article about Osborn. He was not wounded and removed to Paris, but was killed and buried at the front. Six ambulance men have been killed in the last month. Another thing amused me in one of the pictures, a picture of a plane that had fallen in Paris, and underneath it said: "a German plane brought down by anti-aircraft guns" and yet on the wings were the red, white and blue circles of the Allies, and also, some of the boys saw that very accident, for it was a French plane that had had some trouble with the controls and fallen on one of the Paris streets. That is the way the U. S. papers deceive the public, and I think since I have been here that the war news is about as true as that picture.

What would you think if I did not come home in October, but went with an ambulance section to Salonika for the winter? I don't know what I'll do, but I don't think I will drop the service in October, unless there is some better offer, because, altho' I am too young for the U. S. Army, I am lots better able to do the work than some who are of age. However we'll see what happens in the future.

Now I must write to Aunt Nina who sent me some things which arrived yesterday.


Those fireworks you found were left over from the summer we were at Tokoneke.

The boys howled with joy when they saw some Maillard's marshmallows appear on the table tonight.