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Date: April 20th 1918

From: France
20 Apr. 1918

Dearest Mother -

The evenings are getting considerably longer now which makes it rather pleasant. It is now over an hour since I had my supper and the sun has not yet set. I am at the waggon lines yet. Two of us have quite a comfortable little "bivy" here with a sort of open fire place where we can have a good cosy fire on chilly nights. and, there have been a few occasions lately where such a fire was extremely welcome. We have some rain and a few snow flurries as well but I rather think now that we may expect some real sunny weather right away and that our winter is over. Still, we have had much better weather than you at home apparently have had.

I told you last week, did I not that I had received that February bundle of S.S. Times alright? Just at present, I have a chance to read a bit, tho there are times when such is not the case. I have read a couple of interesting books recently - one I found and the other I borrowed (most of the YMCA's have small lending libraries in connection with them). One was entitled "Adventure" written by Jack London whom you are likely familiar with, and the other was "Conspirators", one of E. Phillips Oppenheim's.

A couple of days ago, we had a Canadian mail and I received one letter - yours of March 24, which was the next one due. In it was Arthur's little epistle and I must say I was greatly surprised. I always think of him as hardly being able to write legibly, let alone make up such nice, proper and newsy letters as he does. I sometimes forget, you know, that things at home are not as they always were and that Harold, Cecil and Arthur are coming right along in their studies while for more than two years, I have been marking time as it were - not going ahead and I hope not going back. Here we are so many units in a vast organization and, as far as the private soldier is concerned, merely do and obey where others plan and think.

I am so glad that Grandma continues to improve and I hope that she will eventually be as well as ever again. How nice it was that Gladys got the opportunity she was looking for. That was by far the best part of her work was it not - teaching junior classes? She has quite an accomplishment there, has she not? I take it that it requires a peculiar tact and understanding to be able to teach the very beginnings of things to small minds that cannot yet think for themselves. That is the way that it appears to me at any rate. Now, if I were to consider teaching, I would want to deal with advanced studies - the more advanced the better - where the student can work out much for himself and where it is necessary merely to suggest and explain.

She calls going to Gananoque - going back to civilization and I suppose she did find Poole's Resort rather dull and lonely. She seems to like to be around with other people, making friends and so on and is it not just as well? I would like myself, so much to feel at ease among people. No, I did not know that Charlie's birthday was on the same day as mine nor did I have any idea that he was in India.

Do you know that, the other day, I met someone whom I have not thought of since I left Kingston? Starling Morris, you may have heard me speak of him - Gladys will know him. I knew him well at High School - he lives near Athens, and then I used to see quite a bit of him at Queen's. He asked me right at once how everything around Caintown was, and it seemed like meeting someone from home. He then happened to mention Clifford Morris, his brother, I think he said, and he had heard that Clifford was engaged to Beatrice Dickey. He knows Beatrice, of course, and thinks his brother is rather rushing things, but has nothing against the girl. He has kept track of most of our high school and college friends and was able to give me much interesting news. He has only been out here for about four months, having been in England for a considerable time. He is not in the artillery. He spoke, among others, of two fellows who were taking the Math course with me and who had gone into the flying corps. One had been very successful and having been in it for some little time is a Captain and a Flight Commander. The other was brought down in his first trip at the front, in our own lines and was rather badly hurt, Morris said, having an ankle broken, the other leg crushed and a wound near the eye. He has had a long spell of it in hospitals in England - is still there I guess.

Well, it is getting dark now, so I think I shall draw to a close. Rather unusual for me to write as much on nothing but I have been alone and in the mood. Love and best wishes.
Yours sincerely,

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