Aug. 9th, 1915.
I never thought I would be spending tonight here in a house in Flanders, alone with a telephone and a cup of lime juice. Even a year ago we did'nt know what it would be like. Still it's not so bad. True enough we're sick of eggs and jam, but when all is said and done we are'nt starved.
It is a breathless hot night with lazy clouds floating high up to hide the stars. The moon has'nt come up yet but it is'nt very dark. Some of the guns are blazing away at something and I guess the Germans will turn us out at about 2 A.M. by shelling our trenches, so that we have to fire back at them. I'm sending you a little verse that Mac picked up somewhere and it is typical of dawn in the trenches. The "section" referred to do boil water for tea this way sometimes.
The Major is still away but there is no news at all. I just could'nt go to bed without having a chat with you.
Regulary every morning,
Just as the stars begin to tire,
Without the slightest hint or warning,
One of our Maxims opens fire,
A German machine gun answers back,
One or two rifles begin to crack
And as dawn comes creeping into the sky
A couple of shells go whistling by.
And all down the line you can hear the rattle
As they start their own little morning battle.
The bullets are flying in every direction
Just as the lark begins to carol.
And all because the machine gun section
Wanted to warm their hands on the barrel.