Neufchateau, France 11/26/1917

Same place.


Dear Em, and the rest of you.


I wonder how the old folks are at home? Some of the boys were just harmanizing this melody (for it sure is a melody to me.) You see Im not hearing from you since the 24th of Oct. Im receiving your package all right and Im thanking you for same. Im knowing that there’s more contained in this package than the acual contents but pen us a few lines will you if for nothing else than pass-time, and Im appreciating it more than a Morgan Memorial Christmas Tree to a nine year old Samuel Edward Avery of 70 Shawmut Ave Boston Massachusetts.


Ive been penning pretty steady right along but I thought Id lead this letter to you and see if it can or I can boomarang something back this way. Im getting a battle sight at Lena now. Christmas Rush but Ill bet it’s a Morgie rush right now.


It is getting real chilly here now. Snowed last night and a little today, although (as Pa would say) not enough to fill a teaspoon. Right away Im interogating. Is Mr. Holland well enough to get that furnace going? I guess Catherine is Jerry on the job. Im never over looking Pa rustling the coal hod either if Bert dosent get ahead of him.


Say Em while I think of it. The other day while we were lined up for pay a short stocky fellow came up to me and asked me if I wasnt Sam Avery. Im saying yes but adds that Im never knowing him. He comes back with “Don’t you remember Waters?” Bet your life I know Emma says I. “Well Im Davis her husband” Well it was some surprise attack and quite a loud explosion the echo to which was a thundering hand clasp a lingering shake and (of coarse the smile that never comes off). Now I suppose you want to know the idea of all this chatter that is doing nothing more than taking up the censor’s time, bringing back my foolish days (although don’t tell Emma this part of it) and using up good honest to God American paper (for this is a pad of paper I had at Lynnfield) to say nothing of the panning Ill get when you let them all in on the whole of it. A deep breath please and then Ill go on with what I want you to remember.


This kid Davis said that he’s written and written but hasn’t received a word from Emma yet. Now you know how this fellow must feel (I know how Id feel), so you just tell Emma Waters to get onto herself and send this kid a line. He has invited me down to his joint some night and although I havent as yet fulfilled my promise Im going to, soon, for he seems to be a nice sociable bloke, and like myself got shanghied into this Regiment of hay shakers. So much for dear Emma; of coarse give her my very best regards. Don’t forget to tell the Dudleys I was asking for them, if you and Lillian should be taking a short walk from Bunker Hill St to Winter Hill. Any of the old bunch that you happen to see, my regards to them.


As I said before in this letter pay day came at last. Six hundred francs and fifty centimes. In real money this is one hundred and five dollars and forty three cents. Now I don’t want to send this home unless it will reach its destination. I could make out an allotment but there are no blank forms here yet, so there you are. Im going to use it sensibly though so don’t worry. If we ever get any blanks effa soff.


The nearest I can discribe this bunch of Bohonks the night they were paid is to doubly liken them to the house that was built on sand. And many of them although likened to “Dear Annette” sucumbed to the fangs of the devil. Any body passing the pen that night would be well reminded of the Tower of Babel.


Well Em I guess Ive thrown enough bull tonight now what do you say to starting some. Give us a tee hee a “Get out of here now” or a belt in the nose. Anything. My one hope is that you are all well and that you are all resting well assured that Sam’s biggest job is looking out for Sam. Im doing a darn good job. Feeling great. Plenty of Sam’s on the end of this page.


With love



© Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.