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Date: March 24th 1900
Noble James


Dear Brother

I received you letters and the rest one from Eaton Bro's employes with $7.00 a note from J. Emslie but writing material and postage are so difficult to get I can hardly answer any of them but would be very much obliged if you would thank the employes of Eaton Bros for me and I shall not forget them if every I return to my native soil which I think I have a great chance and then I will thank everybody myself. I am well and feeling fine now we are getting our regular rest and full rations we had a pretty hard time of it for a short time which we were on the move after pardeburg fight but the Canadians fared as good if not better than the rest we took our share of hardships but no more. I am very sorry to see some scandelous letters in the toronto papers about Col. Otter the man that wrote them not a gentleman nor a good soldier if he was he would wait until he had a grievance before he squealed and as far as the Colonel keeping money entrusted to his care I think he has acted very wisely if you had of seen the blow out he gave us when we arrived in bloomfontein you would not of thought we were so ill used Col. Otter is a gentleman and a brave soldier if you had of been in the firing line at pardeburgh on that sunday you would [?] he was in the front not in the reserve but right up in the firing line and you bet there was far more pleasanter places if the people of Canada has any more money for the Contingent dont be afraid of trusting Col Otter for it will be handled right and about that Christmas dinner he done the best he could and a man cannot do more everything will be explained when we get back but dont believe any dirt like that you read in the papers because I am here and used the same as the rest get no more favors do my share of duty and I have no reason to grumble we are not feather bed soldiers any more we are on active service and must expect hardships a man like that expected he was going out to a sunday school picnic got badly left we have had some hard fighting & marching but it had to be done it has been before by Just as good men I wont say better for that would never do sometimes it rains pretty hard and makes things a little sloppy you know how it is under canvass when it rains but the beauty of it is we have no tents up at the front only such as you can build with your blankets and rubber sheats rifles & waist belts & bayonets for stakes it answers the purpose very well you can keep any with a little trouble General Buller is more than whacking the Boers he is said to be in Johanesburgh with twenty five thousand men it that is so good bye mr Paul. Your goose is cooked and wont be long before being served up with some sauce for lunch we cannot say how long we will have to stay in this country but this I do know we will be here as long as there is any kneed of us out regt has done some good no doubt and I think we will get all the honor we deserve I think every man done his duty as far as required we have a laugh among the boys when they mention the pom. pom or as nicknamed by the naval brigade [?] Dick it is a maxim Norden felt 1 pound shell gun fires 20 at the rate of 12 a minute and when you hear them sing around you head you think of getting in a hole they turned it on us tuesday after the sunday scrap and a few shells got mixed up with the cook pots and knocked some of them out of business and spilled some soup you should of seen the greasy cooks parade and how quick they fell into line on the double without ever a command from the Sergt cook it is a grand assistant to a lazy man but when it starts it is no fun I cannot send you very much news for we have no way of getting any only Just concerning ourselves and there has been no change in affairs but we are have a fat old time and nothing much to do at present of course we cannot say what may happen in twenty four hours but our fighting is over I think and I hope it is for I have a belly ful of fighting and all the rest combined it is not what it is cracked up to be it is all right to read about but all song when you have to face the music but the way the british forces are advancing the war cannot last for long I think I will be home in time to weed the turnips be sure and sow them broadcast and thin them with a hoe when did old billy get home glad to hear Will & Grace are happy at last has he got his house up yet get your barn ready to raise early and I will be there for the raising I hope you build one I will have a few yarns for you but not many. I intend to take about a weeks rest after I get home and be sure and have lots of milk and bread & butter mixed with a little turkey for I will eat very little on my way home so I can fill up when I get there for you know a soldier can eat forty times a day and look for more I expect we will not be very hungry when we leave England once we arrive I cape town we may say good bye to all hardships and troubles and they are not many at present it is raining today and things are a little muddy Joe dont let Rutherford or any of the printers get my litters with anything personal in for that is against the law and it might make a fuss for I would say things to you I would not like printed if Rutherford sent me the times as he says I would of got one before this I have never seen a times paper since I came to S.A. so if he sent them every week I would have one or so before this No More this time hoping you are all well & Happy I close with to all red cross flag a white rag with a red cross [small drawing of the flag he described]