Fletcher July 1 1917.
Dear Mrs Bell + all,-
I was awful sorry to hear of your loss, and it will seem more sad and hard for you so far away from where he is laid and among strangers and all, when Alice wrote me about him enlisting I could hardly believe it I never could picture him only the little Billy boy, but Mother said you wrote her that he had grown so tall he would make such a fine soldier, but it seems to bad to think he won't never be home again, but I suppose when they go away we must prepare ourselves for that but we always have a hope that they will come back, The soldiers always make me sad when I see them marching, but when you think what true noble men they are giving up everything to go and fight for us we should be proud of them, and I know it is proud you were of your soldier boy, and I only wish he had been spared to you, but it must have been Gods will, but he will comfort you isnt it wonderful sometimes when things seem that you can't stand any more how some little ray hope will brighten the way and it helps so much in times of sorrow, we have never forgotten you Mrs Bell how good you were to us in our trouble I only wish we were closer to you as a talk is so different, but we must do the best we can and live in hopes of meeting some day. We are having some awful rains this last week it has rained nearly every day and such rains the people on the sixth & fifth & fourth have all been flooded their crops all under water for two and three days it is to be hoped that it has not hurt the crops any we did not have any stand on the fields but they have not been able to work on the land for more than a week, our crops look fairly good this year we have 10 acres of beets they are coming and just 10 acres of corn and a lot of hay the spring grains are not very good but may be all right yet.
We are all pretty well only Dora and garnet have bad colds, Johnny is getting to be quite a boy he will be four in August how the time does fly.
I hope you won't think I have forgotten what I was writing, but you know what it is with a home and lots of work, I hope all the rest of your family are well, I neglected writing to Alice and always intended to write, but kept putting it of but tell her I would like awfully to hear from hear her, I am awfully sorry for you all you will miss Billie so much but he will have no more cares now poor boy. Remember me to all. From Chrissie Lecocq.