August 30, 1918

27th letter

Dear Mother:-

Just a line before I turn in, as tomorrow there is a cambia and I haven't any idea where I will go. I don't think it will be to camp, however, as quite a few of the boys are sick and consequently we who are all right have got to cover the posts. One boy has malaria and another fever. Both have a temperature of 103. Jim Eaton has a bad eye and has just developed a fever. And to cap it all, four of the last five boys who went on permission have not been able to come back, but are laid up in Milan with something or other.

Right here it has been rather quiet the last few days, except for yesterday when the tedesci tried to shell our observation balloon just beyond the town [handwritten: Meolo]. They used shrapnel and most of the shots went a little short and burst over the town, but nobody was hurt. The artillery on both sides has been going a little more than usual lately, but what it portends I cannot guess - most likely nothing. Yesterday, too, one of the little houses in town took it into its head to collapse. It was hardly more than a shed and I suppose the continual shaking from the guns made it fall.

Last night I had to make a trip just as a thunderstorm was breaking. Unlike our cars in France, these ambulances have no curtains in front and the top hardly stops the rain from driving in horizontally. I had my leather coat and a raincoat on, so I managed to keep fairly dry. However, I put in most of this morning improvising curtains as it looks as though the rainy season was approaching and I have no desire to get wet every time I go out.

Some picture sections of the 7th and 14th of July came yesterday and looked as though Ces had sent them. Please thank her and ask her to continue the good work.

This is about all the news since I last wrote, so I'm going to turn in. I hope some more letters will come from you all soon. They seem rather few and far between - three from you and four from Betty since July 26th, over a month.


P.S. I read this over and thought I had better add that "cambia" means a "relief" and "tedesci" means "enemy".