Dear Mother:– I received you letter today with one from Teddy enclosed. I enjoyed them both greatly, it is the day we all look eagerly forward to when will the canadain mail come in. Poor Bob Mc did not get a letter all last week and this week he has ten waiting for him when he gets home off the coarse he is on at Bramshot. I get and keep his mail for him,
Some weeks the mail don’t get thru and the next week we get a dubble dose all around. I suppose it is the same with you and our mail over there, Young McDowell and I come down to Godalming after dinner and hired two bicycles and went out to the Compton Art Gallery again we spent about about an hour there and then came back. we had a good supper and now have settled down to write while it settles for an hour or so. There is a piano going about 30 feet away and about 8 wemen waiting on hundreds of soldiers while they come in and out.
It was rather hard work work to push a bicycle up hill for me because I havent been on a wheel for so long but it great riding on the level or down hill on these metal roads. it cost 12¢ an hour for each wheel I paid for the wheels for 2 hours and Bill bot the supper he is a nice canadian boy 24 years old. I know he is well liked at home for he and his brother get lots of letters right along.
I feel that it an’t quite fair for uncle Joe to come down home now while I am over here. I have always wanted to see him so bad it was not so bad about Aunt Hannah because I saw here a few years ago while I was younger, but still I wanted to see her again I hope Joe don’t settle down to far away from our place because I want to look him up after I get back.
It surely must be great for to have Auntie there again I just hope she can make a good long visit.
Well, the chance of me being a m. gun instructor is off now, I had it but it would not have kept me here in England it would have only made me first man on the gun which have no desire to be. I wish I could remember what I told you about it but, anyway they first about 6 weeks ago posted me up to go to Aldershot on Feb 27th to take a m.g. coarse well I thot about a long time the boys all seemed to want me to go they talked a lot about me going to get some stripes. but before the 27th came they moved the coarse school down to Witley so they canceled that order, but about a week before they canceled that order they asked for transport volunteers we did not know where they wanted them to go but I volunteered, and was turned down because I was a specialist, but I waited untill they canceled the coarse and then I told the officer that I wanted to quit the M.Gun. work and get on the transport he said you will have a chance now to get on instructing, but I said no there is just as good men as me in the detachment and I don’t want any thing to do with it, so I had him see the transport officer that had passed me on once, and he said he would except me my major said I could go but the cornel has to say so before they will let me change jobs they are both special coarse jobs, the transport you ride the left hand horse which I would sure like to be doing these nice days or any other day for that matter.
Mother I feel plum confident that God can look after me just as safe in France as he can here. I would not hesitate one second on going tomorrow it is God that has brot me here and that will take me on. No man has power to place me any where for a minuit if it would not be Gods will. I know that there is hardship over there and real to, but I can take it in if God is willing it will all be for my own use in years to come or else my place is over there to full fill my duty for a short period what ever God see fit. I have no more dread of going to France than you have of feeding your little chicks, and I am drilling side by side with five m gunners that have been shot up in France and are ready to go out again when we go, they say they have very little idea what is going on out there in general even they did fight on the front line for four months.
You can’t tell what has been hardest on these men you see the disapation or trench life. we have a seventeen year old boy that sleepes next to me who was sent back after five months out there who is as good as if he never crossed the channel, but he is an awfull tough, I have made his bed when he was so drunk he would walk backwards ¼ of the time when trying to go any where.
Mother Mother don’t mention me not being there to enjoy that car with you folks for I am enjoying way down at the bottom of my heart every day I live and there is is nothing that I could have got that I would sooner have you have in these years when you have worked so hard for so long never think of me just thank God he has called me into this army to be used as he sees fit and remember that is will be the greatest blessing to my future life that I could get under any conditions under the sun. My whole life each day is just bent on doing Gods will and receiving more of his will and I am asking for more knowledge from the study of his word to help me to give a beneficial witness for him to others.
I now can well see where I did not do right by not helping you and Horace and Clive all along, and if I had the opportunity of doing so from now I would not buy for my own convence a car till Horace was clear with the world, but it it is all right for Teddy to get you all the car as he did if he and Horace don’t spend any time with Rolin this summer and just do all they are able to grow wheat with what implements they have they will be greatly surprised how quick they will be on there feet. but. if I could run things they would call Rolin from this date a $300.00 gelding raise wheat every minute and they will have $10 to every 1 they would have in the next ten years out of him, Just call the debt to date a farm deft and raise wheat to pay it and every one will come out on top but that other job of traveling Rolin is no job for any of use. I wish I had power to run that end of it I would run it to a stand still at once I know how hard it is to see that much money standing idol but when you have paid for your experience once the only thing do is say I have learned now I made a mistake but never again in that line. now I should be putting this in Horaces letter but you all read them so it won’t make any mistake to end this subject once and for all time I will say that any one of you will say the way things have turned out that it was a mistake to buy Rolin under the circumstances and I will say that it is a mistake to think of traveling him for man labor is to scarce and there is only one man in a thousand that is horseman enough to make money out of a horse like that.
Well Mother I don’t know what it is that makes one desire to study these great paintings but the more you study them the more you long to stand and gave and study the thot that you get from the catalogue you have discribing each one. there is some thing great in a lot of them, the thots the we long to grasp but I havent time here soldiering to study them as I would like to. I wish with all my heart I had only studied and read like you would have like to see me. I remember how you often droped a hint that I should read lots of good things but I dident do it why I can’t tell now for I have such a hungering to read now when I havent the time I have all the good reading I half read and then some I take the papers out on meal parade I get a few minuits to read these a cupple of times a day and lots of other opportunities but they an’t as long as I would like or would when the war is over if it is Gods will to bring me thru.
There is a lot to what you say about the churches in this country but Mother there is 100 converts in the Salvation army huts and S.C.A huts to every half one there is in the churches because I beleave that it takes an up to dat minister in a city four sermons to bring out one thot that would ever touch a mans heart, you should here the good true word of God our S.C.A ministers give use in condems the sinner and then it converts him, nothing but the plain old story ever converted a man yet. Some thing that will make men repent and beleave the Gospel is what we have got to have and that we can have in any building or in the open.
I would be glad to be able to work my way back even to get across that old ocean these day but I am getting more money ahead all the time so I will be able to come home any way they will let me I guess.
Now Mother dear I should quite for tonight and go out with Bill for an hour or so and then walk back home. I hardly like to spend time walking around the streets much for the foolish girls and boys that have vacancies in the upper’s make a man want to get away from it all where he can get in to fellowship with God.
Think what a blessing it is to know that God is right with you in every rough crowd and is your hut under all conditions and to think you are a son Of the only Almighty God that there is on the earth what could man want more than that to know that under no circumstances can any thing happen but what God permits to happen, if thot like these an’t enough to encourage any Christian they don’t want much. I can’t see one smallest partical of a plea to put up in favour of a worldly life I would not take time to walk across the road to take in a 1000 miles of nikle show film if I could get it all at a glance.
Well give my love to Aunt Hannah and Joe when he comes and all the loved ones at home Kiss Francis for me as ever you loving son