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[beginning of letter missing] for the troops very well as for socks and other things I am very well off we get issued with all necessaries of a soldier and that is not many how about the payment on my place arrange it with Creasor and when this trip is over I think I will have enough to make a big hole in the payment as I am not spending a great lot of cash as it is not necessary we get plenty to eat all we buy is an occasional loaf of bread and then our rations are all we kneed I Just bought a couple of cans of peas & beans at one & three a can and a couple of packages of Jelly at one shilling a package you bet we pay war prices for luxuries out here you see orange river bridge between here & [?] is
blown up when the Boers retired they say there is fighting going on up the line about 12 miles above Bloemfountein but we cannot say for sure as there is so many reports you cannot believe anything you hear unless it is read out in orders some times we hear we are for garrison duty & other times we are going up the line and others that we are going to the cape town so I believe nothing. I have met a lot of Orange men here belonging to our regiment and they are a lot of nice lads some wounded sick in Hospital I dont think there was many killed as I have not found out so far you bet this has capped my wanderings I will settle down and stay at home if ever I come home out of this affair so have that little ranch of mine filled up a little and I will soon start I expect we will have to go to England to reviewed I wish we could sail for home and I dont think it will be for long as the Canucks have done their share for a volunteer core we are the only colonials that are brigaded and cracked in the firing line we stayed with the best of them but I am going to explain why the other regiments keep up their numbers they have all reserves to draw from when men are wounded sick or killed others come up & take up their places in the ranks and keeps up their fighting strength where with us when a man is knocked out of business we we have no reserves so our numbers decreases we could hardly make enough for a good firing line you would hardly believe how unconcerned a man gets when once in the firing line and gets timid feeling off just as he starts in you feel kind of weak about the knees and a little shaky but that soon wears off well Joe I have done a lot of writing and said nothing but Just as soon as we get orders for a move for up I will drop you a line give Bertha & Miss Ager my best wishes tell Bert I have not my fase in shape yet trying to master education give [?] one to all my best wishes & all the boys no more to say so good bye & love to all