Belmont, Dec. 11, 99.
Dear Sir, - As you will see we are still at Belmont. The scouts report large bodies of Boers in this vicinity. We stand to arms every morning at 3.30 and wait for day-break or till broad daylight. All the kopijas - hills, - are patrolled by our men all night. We experienced the worst thunderstorm I have ever known last night. We are practically alone here; we have only one battery of artillery with us so far, so it would be a hard time for us if the enemy should appear close enough for action. Two hospital trains passed here this morning, which would indicate that a battle has taken place probably within 20 miles. They were on their way for wounded, but did not know just where they were going. The first one had its engine thrown from the track, and a repair gang went out to attend it. I believe we are about 50 miles from Kimberley. I met a color-seargt, of the Shropshire regiment at Orange river, who said he had a brother in Brantford in a dry-goods store, but he could not remember the name of the store, his name is Bennett. We are getting short of paper and envelopes, so friends in Brantford must not expect many letters as everything was left in Capetown. I carried a few sheets of paper and envelopes in a pocket I had sewn in my shirt but I have only two left, and unless I can beg or borrow my correspondence must soon cease. We have had no church service since we landed as we seem too busy moving on Sundays. We have eleven prisoners brought in by our men, and they seem contented enough as long as they get enough to eat and drink. Some of the wells here are poisoned and we have to be careful what we drink. This is my wash day, but I don't know whether my shirt is cleaner or dirtier than before it was washed. And now hoping to hear from Brantford, at some future date and with kind regards to all.
P.S. - Noble is out on outlying picket to-day, with his company.