Mar, 9th, 1915.
We are at last on the job. Tonight I am back at the wagon line with Art, and the Major is down at the guns. Ell and Mac are in the trenches observing. I was down there last night and came up this afternoon. We had a route march up from 5- and came to billets. That is all I can tell you. We have been firing every day or so at different things.
The country near the firing line is the most desolate imaginable. I walked down last night and it was just like the land of the dead. The dark silence was terrible. All the houses within two miles of the trenches are uninhabited, and in ruins. No lights glow at the windows and no sound of human habitation. The aspect by daylight is very unsuspicious. You see the two lines of trenches with barbed wire between them zigzaging across country and the men behind our parapets cooking dinner. I saw Trumbull this morning and Fred M- Everyone is in fine health and spirits and we seem to be doing nothing except fire occasionally and look after horses.
I got both your letters tonight about Douglas' birthday. He will be so big that I'll hardly know him if he keeps on growing. I also got the clipping about the big Parade. It must have been a wonderful sight. Babe or Elsie, (I dont know which, because without thinking I lit my pipe with the envelope) sent me Epistaxis. It was great to read the Medical doings again.
Elizabeth sent me cigarettes, socks, candies, soap, raisins and all sorts of things also and sent me your cable about getting things. I will write her when I need anything but dont worry mother dear, your son has his Wolseley valise (my bed) as full as he can without overloading the transport horses.
Back here the country folk still go about their daily work, even within range of the German guns. The other day we had to chase away a farmer from in front of ours. He would persist in ploughing right in front of us when we wanted to fire.
We live very well indeed. I have a bedstead to sleep on and have scrambled eggs and bacon, fine coffee, (for which the peasants are famous hereabouts) and toast and marmalade for breakfast.
Paper is scarce, hence this P.T.O.
Had a letter from Hank, one from Mrs. Wilson and none this week yet from Hope. I guess they will come alright. We sent Mrs. Wilson a little bowl engraved suitably in memory and appreciation of our stay. They were good to us. I gave the puppy "Gunner" they call him, to Betty and sent "Shell" up to Elizabeth. She says she is quite at home now.