Well at last my mail is coming O.K. During the last three days, I have had 14 and a couple of cards. Mother’s letter of Feb 15th with money order is here but not the one of Mar. 1st yet. I sure needed it, as I have only a couple of shillings left. A great deal of it goes in eats of course.
To-day has been very funny, a little rain, snow and heaps of wind, but cleared up fine about 5 P.M. I go down town nearly every day for an hour or two as I really need the air.
Money was over last eve, to-night Lester F and Nixon. I am always glad to see them, and feed them as much as I can. Jackson got me a dandy haversack with sling, belt, water bottle sling etc. He is in right and perhaps the most efficient soldier, the 168th turned out, altho you would hardly think it possible. I would not be surprised to see him go over as a Lieut, he has qualified and if he had a little pull could make it. I went over Monday 7 A.M, to see Wilfred, Ault, that fellow Pearce, and a couple of the others off on a draft. If they crossed on Monday, they had the roughest water I have seen since coming here. I sat in a shelter on the beach watching the water for nearly an hour.
From the letters I have, you appear to be a good deal better and I surely hope so. I also hope Mother is no worse than you say. If you tell me just exactly how things are I will not worry, but don’t just tell me half.
This letter is rather interrupted, but my patient Hornblower is very, very low and likely to die any moment. There was a consultation to-day, but they can do nothing. A few minutes after the night staff came on duty to-night a meningitis case on the top floor died and it will be pretty tough if we lose two in one night. I don’t know when we lost a case here before.
Now Mother spoke about a clock charged (150) to Dr. McG. Unless I am very much mistaken, Miss [?] phoned for this and when I took it up, called Dr. McG. to look at it and told me to charge it to him. It was a nickle alarm, and I hope I scratched the date on it, because then you can convince him, that it is the one charged.
Don’t be at all startled when you get a cable from me, because I am likely to send one when ever the notion strikes me.
I am sorry things are slipping behind and hope it will pick up. Imagine tho, that it is pretty general, as Kim does not mention how things are going. If it was very brisk, think he would say so. They close quite a few businesses up here and put the men in the army or at some other work. Hardly seems fair tho.
I think the next ten days will see a terrible smash up in Europe, and it would not surprise me if we have the most terrific losses in History. I am afraid the Germans have set a trap and expect they will blow up half the country over which they have been forced (?) to retreat.
Coal here is terribly scarce, but I think because deliveries cannot be had. Some places girls are delivering it.
Terribly shocked about Bessie Wilson’s death, the boys think Pete is all in to, but don’t think any have seen him lately at all.
Hated to wear my watch longer without glass, so sent it up to London, for glass and to have case pierced over second but as sketch [drawing added of lower-face of watch] this leaves the minute circle standing and will not injure the watch, while it will make it much easier to take pulse. I am also having a new bracelet fitted, as the old one is worn out. I have only seen an illustration of it, but it is like those sleave holders of spiral wire, is flat and about ½” wide, silver plated (on steel I suppose), cost 2/9 postpaid. It allows watch to be pushed up or down arm easily and will not wear out like leather. It sounds good, but I will let you know how it works out.
Hope you had good stock of Waterman nibs. He said you know, that their chemical stock would run them two to three years, and I guess it did.
Sending Collins, Seaford K.C. as can get none of this hospital address is I think [?].
Funny you have rats and hope they are not as large as the ones that shared my tent at Moore B. You couldn’t use a pillow, they would pull it out from under our heads and use it themselves. I sat up half a night more than once, trying to get one but they had me beat.
Glad you are rid of the kitchen and wood shed and sure hope you can get potato seed. We are fortunate in still having a few, but the country is right up against a potato famine. I think it is up to Nert, to help with them, Merle says the girls in her form, are going on the farm. Over here, all the available ground is being ploughed or dug for potatoes etc and everybody has their little plot. I know a little girl over here, about 21 who is doing 8 hours mail route that a man used to deliver, and is working her little potatoe plot as well, in spare time. I think the corporation allots these plots of spare ground to the people.
Decent of Chisholm to send that pen, but they get a good deal of business.
I sold an auto strop the other day. The barber shops here, are like a store with shop behind. They handle pomades etc and razors. I went in with Rodney to get his razor honed, and the lady was selling a soldier an unit. Gilette, blades and a sharpener, with a strop that would never fit it. No one knew how to use the sharpener, so he was taking the razor 5/9 with blades. I saw a chance for an AutoStrop and as they had signs all over, I asked her to show him one. She said it was more money etc. I had to ask her five times to produce it before she did, and then she opened a wall case and from behind some boxes brot. out one in a sealed box just as it had arrived. I had explained to him, that altho it would cost a guinea it was well worth it and just what he wanted. He handed her the money for the sealed package, so before he went, I opened it and showed him how to use it, and impressed on him that he must read the booklet. It was as easy as rolling off a log, and I was glad to get back into harness again for a few minutes.
I think too that Gunther should have that clock business and hope you don’t have to keep them waiting too long.
Don’t say anything to Mae, but I don’t think Wilfred was any too anxious to get across and he sure is a little “queer.” None of the fellows had any use for him. When he was having such a fine time sending out those recruiting letters last year, he never thought he would see the front line, believe me. They are taking cooks etc and every fit man out for the infantry, I would not be surprised to see them start on the A.M.C. next and believe me, they (I hear Alex Mc Intyre and “Crip” Merril are drilling too) will need them all, Fritz is not only going to make a big last stand, but another drive for Paris, and when you get a man cornered as Fritz is now, he can fight like the Devil. That first Paris Drive, was a “pink tea” compared with what is coming. The next three months will likely see the fit men of C. Co. reduced to one hundred men at the very most, so prepare for the worst. Hindenburg is the only General of this entire conflict. The British ask from one to two million hospital beds in England for this drive and about one man goes under the sod, to every two or three who come to Blighty.
We hear that Fritz is using his dead bodies to produce glycerine, which is ordinarily produced in the rendering for soft soap. We can get no real glycerine now, they use it all for explosives.
Sorry Grandpa is not well again. It must be a kind of a stroke. His vitality is truly wonderful.
Mrs. Brooks is sure going strong.
I am enclosing snaps, the Litho. Co. surely unfortunate.
Been writing two hours and they are bringing dinner up, as I cant leave patient.
6.30 A.M. 22/3/17
Patient still alive, but very weak.