Was pleased to receive this morning your letters Nos 19-20-21, & was sorry to hear of Matties' continued illness, I hope the last operation will be successful & that long ere[?] this reaches you that she is fully recovered. Also had a letter from [?] at the same time poor girl she is having a hard time of it - but "the best is yet to be" this thought is one of the great consolation of life. You will have had my letter on this re assigned pay - they had made the cheque & had not notified me. Now dear Betty again I want to remind you - don't worry about me, I might be a whole lot worse off & for the last two months I have been fairly comfortable for Active Service conditions, & just now I am enjoying more comfort than any time since I joined the Army I have a small room to myself furnished with a home made bed - for mattress I have two long automobile cushions which I salvaged I even have sheets nice blankets, pillow etc. two folding chairs, & packing cases fixed up for table - cupboards & wash, stand, & our food is very good considering, so you see I am in luck - of course we change quite often, about once a month to some different part of the line, or to further back behind the line, & we are never sure of what conditions & circumstance will be like - We have had on the whole a beautiful winter, & the weather is still fine!
Mr Fritz has not yet made or begun his much talked of offensive - but if he does come we are certainly ready for him things are fairly quiet on this part of the line, I am now at a place arround which the hardest fighting of the whole war has been done, & soon I hope to make enough time to write a descriptive letter of the valley in which I am at present stationed.
I am now in charge of quite a large Y.M.C.A. (Capt Hurd is my senior officer & I often see him) am aquiring a splendid business experience, & have full charge of a canteen business which is taking in on an average 5,000 Frances per day (a Franc is 20 cents) & have already been complimented on the good job which I am putting across (to use an army expression)
So you will see dear Betty that I am being kept pretty busy. but I like the work. I believe I have sent the letter I received from Mrs Pryor hope it has not been lost. Bella sent the parcel you sent in her care, but I have not received the others yet, but they will come, thank Miss Hargreaves for me for her kind thoughtfulness & tell Mrs Grant that I did not receive her parcel, but the boys would no doubt enjoy it, remember me kindly to them
Have not heard any more of my application, but it is too soon to expect anything yet - did I tell you that this time I am applying for 3 month's leave in order to visit Canada & see to things at home, & while I am not building any hopes on getting it, yet I believe my chances are fairly good anywhey, if I am to get it I shall know before this letter reaches you, & you will have received a cable if I am coming, so if you have had no word by the time you get this, then you will know that I cannot come. If I once get over to Canada on leave, I hardly think that I should come back to England or France again - but we shall see what the future brings & Providence surely send.
Remember me very kindly to Mr & Mrs Mathews - Kennedy's etc etc I hope to thank them all some day in person. Now Betty dear you must really not bother with any more parcels as I can manage alright,& what with the sox I already have & the ones that are on the way from you, I shall have enough to last me a long time - You are wise in getting in the Flour & Sugar, & I certainly would take advantage of the offer on Wood.
Am enclosing a Menu Card & Programe which will speak for itself - the occasion was the offering of the Y.M.C.A. plant which I recently left I had charge of all the arrangements & was lightly complimented by lft.[?] Murel[?] & others on my work.
Now my dear I must dry up once more, some of your snapshots & the post-card picture of my little family are pinned up, over my desk at which I am penning this epistle[?] & my thoughts are with you, & I am thinking of "The Day" when we shall be reunited once again - may God in His goodness hasten its dawn, & in the mean time my hearts best love am so pleased to hear of Shirley & Billy being such a help to you we will have some good times together one of these days in the golden future - May God richly belss you & heap you with hugs & kisses Good Night my dear ones