Part 2 (1/2)

Dere Mable Edward Streeter 48450K 4 month ago

Yours faithlessly, _Bill_.

_Mon Cherry Mable:_

Thats the way the French begin there love letters. Its perfectly proper.

I would have rote you sooner but me an my fountin pens been froze for a week. Was.h.i.+ngton will never know how lucky he was that he got a.s.signed to valley Forge instead of here. It got us out of drill for a couple of days. Thats somethin. I guess Id rather freeze than drill. Its awful when they make you do both though.

Two of my men has gone home on furlos. Me bein corperal I took all there blankets. The men didnt like it but I got a squad of men to look out for an my first duty is to keep fit. Duty first. Thats me all over. I got so many blankets now that I got to put a book mark in the place I get in at night or Id never find it again.

We spent most of our time tryin to find somethin to burn up in the Sibly stoves. A sibly stove, Mable, is a piece of stove pipe built like the leg of a sailurs trowsers. Old man Sibly must have had a fine mind to think it out all by hisself. They say he got a patent on it. I guess that must have been a slack winter in Was.h.i.+ngton. The government gives us our wood but I guess that the man who decided how much it was goin to give us had an office in the Sandwitch Islands. I says the other day that if theyd dip our allowance in fusfrus wed at least have matches, eh Mable? Im the same old Bill, Mable. Crackin jokes an keepin everybody laffin when things is blackest.

[Ill.u.s.tration: ”BUILT LIKE THE LEG OF A SAILURS TROWSERS”]

I was scoutin round for wood today an burned up those military hair brushes your mother gave me when we came away. I told her theyd come in mighty handy some day.

They say a fello tried to take a shouer the other day. Before he could get out it froze round him. Like that fello in the bible who turned into a pillo of salt. They had to break the whole thing offen the pipe with him inside it an stand it in front of the stove. When it melted he finished his shouer an said he felt fine. Thats how hard were gettin, Mable.

I bought a book on Minor Tackticks the other day. Thats not about underaged tacks that live on ticks as you might suppose, Mable. Its the cience of movin bodies of men from one place to another. I thought it might tell of some way of gettin the squad out of bed in the morning but it doesnt. All the important stuff like that is camooflaged sos the Germans wont get onto it.

Camooflage is not a new kind of cheese Mable. Its a military term.

Camooflage is French for cauliflower which is a disguised cabbage. It is the same thing as puttin powder on your face instead of was.h.i.+n it. You deceive Germans with it. For instance you paint a horse black and white stripes an a German comes along. He thinks its a picket fence an goes right by. Or you paint yourself like a tree an the Germans come an drink beer round you an tell military sekruts.

Well I guess its time to say Mery Xmas now Mable. I guess it wont be a very Mery Xmas withut me there, eh? Cheer up cause Im goin to think of you whenever I get time all day long. Im pretty busy nowdays. I got to watch the men work. It keeps a fello on the jump all the time. I like it though, Mable. Thats me all over. Isnt it?

Dont send me nothin for Christmas, Mable. I bought somethin for you but Im not going to tell you cause its a surprize. All that I can say is that it cost me four eighty seven ($4.87) which is more than I could afford. An its worth a lot more. But you know how I am with money. A spend drift. So dont send me anything please although I need an electric flash light, some cigarets, candy an one of them sox that you wear on your head. Ill spend my last sent on anyone I like but I dont want to be under no obligations. Independent. Thats me all over.

[Ill.u.s.tration: ”YOU PAINT A HORSE BLACK AND WHITE STRIPES”]

You might read this part to your mother. I dont want nothin from her ether.

Rite soon an plain Mable, cause I dont get much chance to study.

yours till the south is warm, _Bill._

Your mothers present cost me three seventy seven ($3.77).

_Joli Dame:_

Dont get that confused with Tinkers Dam, Mable. Tinkers Dam is tecknickle an aint even French. I wish you knew more about these forin languiges. I always herd a fello could express himself better in French than anything else. Thats because n.o.body can understand him an he can say anything he wants.

The Christmas holidays is over. I spent mine doin Kitchen police. The only thing what pealed for me Christmas morning was potatoes an the only thing what rung out was dish cloths. But I guess you aint familiar enough with the poets to get that, Mable. It shows that I can be funny an bright though even under adversary conditions. Kitchen police dont explain what I do very well. I dont walk a beet or carry a club or arrest n.o.body or nothin. I just--well I wish that hired girl of yours could come down an do Kitchen police for a couple of days. She wouldnt be quitten as regular as she does.

[Ill.u.s.tration: ”I SPENT MINE DOIN KITCHEN POLICE”]

[Ill.u.s.tration: ”I WISH THAT HIRED GIRL COULD COME DOWN”]

We celebrated Christmas by sleepin till a quarter to seven instead of hap past six. Only they forgot to tell the fello what blows the horn an he blew it at hap past six anyway. Imagine if anybody home had told me I could sleep till a quarter of seven Christmas morning. I guess you know what Id a told him, eh, Mable?

Theres a fello in town what says he'll send flowers anywhere you want by telegraph. I was goin to send you some for Christmas morning. Then I figgered it was a silly idea. In the first place theyd get all smashed on the way. An then you cant get enough flowers in one of them little envelopes to make one good smell. Nothin if not right. Thats me all over, Mable.