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Date: February 6th 1917

February 6, 1917

Dear Bro -

I received your welcome letter from home two days after I wrote home telling you that I had gotten the parcel from home alright. I am sorry to say that the Maple Syrup went too quick altogether. There is just the drippings left in the bottom of the jar. It was some idea the way it was packed. I dont think there was a drop leaked out, at least not till I got after it and then it fairly jumped out itself.

The proofs came through in the letter in good condition. They were not faded at all. Don't you think that they were pretty well taken? It will be some photograph if they all took so well, I mean the photo when they are all put together. Has Mr. Scott moved from Exeter yet? There certainly must have been quite a full house the night of the spree. I wouldn't have minded being there just about the time lunch or supper was on. I think likely you would have noticed quite a difference on what was left of some of the bread and butter and cake. I would have been satisfied to eat it in the woodshed if there had not been room in the kitchen for any more. [?] Gladman must have thought he was on the steering wheel of his McLaughlin when he was driving the team that night or had he as usual been just a trifle behind when starting time came? Any way the horses wouldn't freeze after it if they had a blanket on in our stable.

Some of these February mornings remind me of a Canadian bann-barn stable. They say it is unusual weather to stay cold so long in France at a time. I think the air is damper and one feels a few degrees of frost more here. I am warm enough in bed it is just the rolling out in the morning that I feel it the most. I can keep warm enough at work alright, I take off both coats and work with my sweater on. Most of us can keep warm with a pick and shovel. It freezes pretty hard on top especially the dirt that is thrown out.

We witnessed an air-fight just over our quarters last Sunday. In some way one of [?] caught fire. The pilot had nerve enough to bring down his machine, but one man was killed and the other was pretty badly used up. The machine came down just on the other side of our cook house. The weather is just like the West in winter, clear and cold, the sun doesn't seem to thaw the snow even in the shelter of the trenches. It is ideal weather for air men to do their scouting. I am sending home a small piece of the wood-work of the damaged machine.

I had a letter from Janet last week, she seems to think she has managed to have a roommate that is hardly a complete stranger for this term At least she is apparently well pleased about it so far.

So the Govt. has resorted to the Registration plan to help fill up the ranks of the army They seem to be putting the question pretty straight this time. There is a rumour here that United States has declared war. If that is the case I guess Germany will have another wolf at her throat. One thing the fellows will hardly be able to go to the States to get out of enlisting I would far rather volunteer for the Army than be forced into it against my will. Oh well the war must end sometime sooner or later every war has ended up before this one was heard about.

I got a letter from Ethel Case the other day. They seem to be going into land pretty heavy out on the London Road.

Frank Cook kept his word alright, the last time I saw him he just said “I will be over there with you yet”. It seems like as if he meant it too. I suppose he will be old enough for the Army by this time.

There is another change in Exeter High School. You will hardly know what is going on there this year when Maggie is not attending. As to socks I have plenty of them so far and I am wearing two pairs at a time then.

I am toughing it out pretty well but I might say none of us is expanding much in waist measure on our job. You see going every night will tell on a man after a time no matter how strong he may be. One thing we are developing muscle after having so long off, travelling and getting fixed up generally.

Time seems to slip around over here the winter is just about half gone and I can hardly realize it. I hope everybody is well at home and everything is going well. Do not worry about me. I think I am pretty lucky so far

From your Bro.
John Strang

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