Late March, 1918
Eight o'clock and we have just come back from our first trip. It was quite light tonight. On the way back we had to leave some rations for the boys running the YMCA. I didn't even know there was a YMCA so far advanced as this. It was right in the remains of a village where we have our advanced post in the cellars of what was once an estamanet. You can never imagine such a cosy little place in all your travels. It's a revelation. As we drove into the village, not a soul was to be seen - you'd have thought the place was totally deserted. But down in this "Y" there must have been a hundred fellows, perhaps more. There are three separate cellars - quite large ones - and in one is a piano. Someone was playing some of the latest songs, and a crowd was standing around singing. in the next room a gramophone was playing, and there were several games going on - cards, chess, draughts, etc. And the last cellar is used as a reading/writing room. Free writing material, daily papers and magazines. In conjunction with this is a canteen that sells almost everything in the "eat" line, and nearly all Canadian goods - candy, canned fruit, cigs, and tobacco of all descriptions, breakfast goods, milk and on and on. And who do you think I saw behind the counter, and presumably in charge of the "Y"? Silas Pickle! He was just tickled to death to see me again. He is a Sargeant now. I hadn't seen him since last summer. He says he is working very hard as the place is open day and night. I was teling him, when he made inquiries about you, that you were staying the the Fairweathers so he wishes me to remember him to Eugene. I think the memory of that place will stick with me for a long time. After viewing things with such a dreary outlook, to find a place like that where everybody seemed so happy! Why, a few minutes in there and you could almost forget there was a war on at all. You could certainly never think you were so close to the firiing line.
Budsie, I suppose now that you will be in Vawn for three months, that it's no use raking up that old cry for a . . . page missing, but Bob assumed Dad was again asking Mom to go and get her picture taken!
. . . and lots of it, nobody can deny that. Well! I'm getting sentimental again, so I had better quit. When are you going to sit down and write me a12 page letter? You complain about me not writing often enough, but you can never say that my letters aren't lengthy enough can you! Quite a bombardment going on now. Wonder if there's anything going on, or coming off? However, I'll take a chance and go to bed.
Au revoir my little sweetheart. No matter what you think of me, or how much faith you may have lost in me, I shall always love you and think of you as the pretty little "Fongie" that I left behind. All my love to you girlie Dear. Tells Bubs I will write him a little letter next time.