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Date: January 31st 1917
Mother and Dad

Jan 31/17
Dear Mother and Dad;-
Do you know, I am writing this on a table, sitting on a chair and the light is from a coal oil lamp. There is a nice warm fire in the stove and I have just finished a cup of coffee.

We moved yesterday from the billets we were in. We were all afraid that worse billets would be out lot but for once they were good to us and we were put into private houses.

There are four of us in this house; Mason and I and two other old 94th boys.

The French people around here can't do enough for us. Every little while they are giving us coffee, and we have the use of this table for writing and eating

Our room is off to the right of the living room. There is a stove in it and the old lady puts a fire in it about four every afternoon. That makes it warm and comfortable for us when we go to bed.

When we first hit this place yesterday we were put in a billet about one hundred yards from here. It was better than we expected to get so when we were told to move we thought there might not be so good a billet waiting for us but this one is far ahead of the first one we hit.
The mistress of the house brought mattresses for us and they felt almost like a bed. Really, I couldn't sleep very well last night because it was so soft.

This being billeted in private houses reminds me of stories about pervious wars. When the "fall in" goes you can see soldiers coming out of every house.

Our kitchen was about ¾ of a mile from here, and that was about the only draw back. To-night however they moved it up nearer to the company and by luck we happen now to be only about 10 yards from it.

Our parade ground is nearly a mile away. It is alright marching there in the morning, because these mornings are cold and that march warms us up. Coming back at noon though it is different because we are tired and there is a hill to climb.

In the afternoon the companies play football but I am with the scouts and we have lectures and go out and do practical work. Wes didn't get very good billets. They were not in houses last night but may be now. I hope they all get into houses. It is alright when you are under the blankets but when you are sitting around or if you wash, it is very cold. I don't know what kind of billets Len has, because I haven't been talking to him, just saw him on parade this morning.

Your parcel and letter of January 9th both came to-day. I think this parcel has been enjoyed as much as any you have sent. I passed it around the household. There is a little girl about 10 lives here, then here two little boy cousins were in also. They are very nice little kids not bold or rough and very mannerly. Mason and I have great times talking French to them.

Mason has just made our bed. He and I double up. He has also reported that our fire is out, so I guess we won't be able to wash in hot water like we did last night.I also got six letters Aunts Carrie, Hannie and Annie, yourself, Blodwen and Mr. Madill.

Yes I got Cliffs magazines and read them. I just finished Pigs is Pigs. It certainly is some story. They were about as much bother to Flannery as the rats are to us, which is saying a whole lot in a little while.

Well I think seven pages is my limit to night.

Remember me to all. As the French would say "Bon Soir" and love to all at 130 [?].

Original Scans

Original Scans