July 5, 1917

Dear Ma: -

Your note came a couple of days ago, but I have not had time to write before. I was sorry that you did not got a letter for three weeks and I really would like to know why, for I thought I wrote more often than that. I wonder if the censor confiscated any. Besides, you know there is no boat every five weeks for there are 4 boats and they take 5 weeks for a round trip. Aunt Nina's package of chocolate came yesterday and today your sugar and pads. I am writing to Aunt Nina tonight. I am sorry if you had another long stretch before this without a letter, but I wrote a note on the 1st that one of the boys in another section was going to bring over mail in the states but I discovered today that none of those notes would go through.

I was glad to get the Crimson you sent and I think it's fine if 1920 does take some of the L. L. bonds. By the way, why did you only take out $100 for me? I don't know anything about the state of my savings bank account or the investment, but I think I might stand more than that.

Now, I suppose you want to know what I have been doing. From the 28th to the 2d, I was at a poste in front of Verdun where there are the most interesting things I have seen. About a mile and a quarter from the post is a small hill where the Bosche were finally stopped in their attack on Verdun. Once there was a forest there. Now it is bare sand and the forest gets to look first like undergrowth, then undergrowth and fallen trees and branches. Then a few battered stumps stick up above the general line and when you got back as far as the post, you can see that it once was a forest, but every tree is shorn of branches and the trunks are full of eclat.

I am enclosing the menu for the 4th of July dinner which was all that we had in the way of a celebration. I could also send the cork of the first bottle of champagne that I had the honor to open. We had quite a feast, what with our own efforts and a contribution of some twenty-five bottles of champagne from the general of the division.

After supper - or dinner - I went on post at the hospital. Today I had a schedule mapped out that would have taken about eight hours at each driving. However, on the second trip a camion driver forgot to use his magnifying glass and so when he came around a turn as per diagram, he knocked me in the ditch, mashed one of my tool boxes and blew out two of my tires. Nobody was hurt and my car is all right.

I had an officer with me who was very nice and put the blame on the camion driver in the story he told afterwards to two of the other fellows. However, nothing very serious happened, so why worry?

That is my history up to date and though it may not seem very eventful, I never seem to get many minutes of leisure during the day. First, we mend mud holes in the place we park the cars. Then, it's a call to this or that hospital to move some men and one or two of us go out and eat some more dust driving behind camion. However, this certainly is the life, outside of being a service to France.

I wish, if you got a chance, you would find out about what Harvard in going to do this fall. Will courses and all go on regularly? Will the college itself open or are there too few men to justify it? What will be done in the case of men who come in late or stay out a year on account of military services, etc., etc.?

Now, I must write to Aunt Nina, altho' it does seem foolish to rewrite all my adventures when I suppose you surely read all these letters to her.

Tell Grandpa for me that I think his support of the L.L. bonds is great. It would be fine if everyone would do that.

Now, I really must stop, but I will try to write a little oftener.