Oct 22nd 1918
My Dear Sister:
I have been so busy lately and with such few good opportunities for writing that I have not answered your letter of Sept 22nd received a week or so ago. I received over ten letters in two days so I have been busy ever since attending to them and possibly you will have seen letters I have been writing home. You might also send this one on there after reading it. We have had some exciting times the last month and it has been a case of steadily moving ahead. In the last few days particularly even miles at a time. The enemy has had a busy time going back and while he has taken every thing he could we have kept close on his heels. He has done his best to stop us by blowing up all the main roads, bridges etc and what he could not take that would be of value to us he has destroyed. Stacks of hay were still smoldering and all the mines of which there are many were damaged as much as possible. The villages have seen practically no shellfire so they are in good shape. The majority of the houses are occupied by civilians whom the Germans left behind and they are certainly glad to be in France with their own people again. The majority of the men who could work have been taken into Germany. We were billeted in houses for a day or so and the people could not do enough for us. Every time you go in they are bound to have you drink coffee, their favorite drink at all hours of the day, or cocoa and they won't accept payment. French flags are flying from every window. It is hard to realize that we are getting all this territory without damage being done and it is in big contrast to the shell-torn ground we have been fighting over. It is also plain that the enemy has been forced to go back by our gains all along the line and the news on all sides has been very encouraging lately.
Leave is about here now. Three of us are going together if possible and there is only one ahead of us now so it will only be a few days. Hope to see Elizabeth for a couple of days and am now awaiting a letter from her advising where I am liable to find her and her latest address. I have had one letter from her since her arrival on this side.
You had quite a time on your trip and it was too bad it rained so much. I had a night on the road recently. We spent hours pulling our guns over some wet soft ground but made it at last. Was out all night and it was raining most of the time.
I do not know the Trimble you mention. The one who was in the 64th has a good job at Ottawa. It may be his brother. Mrs Gray certainly paid a good price for the Piano but doubtless it is worth it and will be a treat with good record. So Will Shortreed is going to Siberia. He will have quite a trip. It will be quite an experience but I hardly think I would like to go, although I hardly think I could anyway. We have had a lot of rainy weather lately and it has been muddy. Still it is not very cold yet which makes it easier to take. I had a long letter from Maggie Wilkie which I will soon have to answer. Do not expect to have much time for writing while on leave but will try and send you a card anyway.
This is all at present time. Write when you can. With love to yourself and all at home.