Somewhere in France
Dec. 24 1916.
I'll be jiggered if this isn't the 3rd time I've started this journal and I hope I'm left in peace now until it is brought to a successful conclusion. In the first place I got yours of Nov. 29 last evening and sat down to answer it immediately after church parade this morning. Had just finished explaining how it was you hadn't heard from this part of the country for 3 wks, when someone yelled "dinner up" so I had to beat it. In the excitement of getting the best of a dixie of potatoes & mutton I lost track of the document I was writing so after dinner I had to begin all over again. My 2nd attempt however was also a failure for I had only scratched off a few lines when the corpl. came along & said "Scherer I want you & these three men to report to the S.M. right away." So off I had to go and help peel a bushel of apples for dinner tomorrow. You see tomorrow is Xmas (spose you didn't know) & we are expecting to have a high old time. Each co'y is to have a whole roast pig & apple sauce. Can you beat it? Last time I wrote you I expected to be spending Dec. 25 up alongside Fritz in the front line but fate has so decreed it that we are to be out of the trenches for Xmas & probably for New Years as well. I'm beginning to think my usual luck has changed. Well so much for the porker. - I was going to explain how it was those 3 wks slipped by without bringing you a letter. I think you understand how it was already for I have written you 2 or 3 times since and explained that it was impossible to write letters in the front line and during the 1st trip in I couldn't get any cards. I can't make my explanation any clearer than that for to do so would call for a whole string of literature that would likely be jumped on by the censor with both feet. I got a fine calling down from Ine in a letter that arrived this A.M. on a/c those same 3 wks so you see I am getting it from all sides - oh yes. Ruby had to call my attention to the matter & also Whit. I try to write you & the folks at home once a week - a card when in the trenches & a letter when out - but if I miss a week now & then you will know that I can't get hold of a card, and not come to the conclusion that I have looked over the top once too often.
You say weather conditions back home haven't been just what we would expect at this time of the year eh? I thought "Shady Nook" would have been surrounded by a mantle of nice white snow by this time. Oh, well you may have a chance to use your skates yet.
Was certainly surprised to read what you say regarded the Rev. M.J. I always did think him rather peculiar in some ways but I never thought he was that bad. Wonder how he's getting along in his new home.
Maud seems to be having a great time with that dialogue Ethel is getting up. That is about all she speaks about in her letters nowadays - you would certainly laugh to read some of them. She always winds up by asking me how many Germans I have killed & if I've seen Kaiser Bill yet.
You mention those socks you knit for me - yes I kept my promise all right - had them on when I fired my 1st shot.
Well Cath before I close I want to thank you for the box of fudge - I got it up the line about a week ago. I also rec'd a parcel last night which I believe you had a hand in sending - I refer to the one sent by the Patriotic Women. We are certainly being well looked after and I only wish we had some better way of thanking all our friends in town for their kindness. The box containing your mother's card came day before yesterday and I wrote her a line announcing its safe arrival. Hope the letter reaches its destination.
Well this is I think the longest epistle I have written since landing in France but as far as news is concerned I guess it's no better than the rest. However I can't think of anything more so I suppose I've come to that "conclusion" mentioned on page 1. Best wishes to all (Babs included) for a Happy New Year.
P.S. Tell Margaret I intended sending her a card some time ago but lost her address. I got her ad. From Inez but when I wanted to write I couldn't find Ine's letter.
2P.S. I just found the 1st installment of this letter - had it packed away in the inside of my tunic. G.L.S.