Your letter of June 18th just came last night (Sunday) and as I was about to reply to it I got a call from B'n H.Q. requiring my presence. I did not get back until somewhere after eleven & as we were putting on a small show during the night I have had no opportunity of writing since.
Today I was pit reconnoitering & sleeping a bit to catch up. This evening as I was writing Steve Old Heimir threw us some gas and we are still sitting tight waiting for it to pass away - just a mixture of phosgene and mustard gasses - not very heavy and as it is raining now it should soon purify the air again.
My palatial residence is dignified by the name of a dug out but it is hardly that - in fact a lean - to would describe it better as it consists of a large elephant iron shelter against the lee side of a hill facing a small valley sloping down and widening out to a small river. Inside there are four chicken netting bed bunks on one side and one on the other with a long narrow table filling the remainder of that side. At the [?] end we have a miniature fire place which as yet has not been put to any use. On account of the hot weather. If it had been winter it would have been lovely to have a nice fire here when [?] came in.
Never mind about parcels of eats mother. All I care for atall is for a few more pairs of those lovely white cashmere or wool socks.
Steve wrote me of how she was one of the registration committee in Lindsay and had the fun of registering her mother. What do they intend doing with you all. I am sorry that you wont go away for a holiday. I am saving every cent I can and will cut out everything but mess fees - those I must pay.
Sometime ago Stell wrote me that Mildred had been blessed with a baby but I have heard nothing more of it. Give her my congratulations when you write.
This old cold of mine is the funniest thing I have ever heard tell of. For apparently no reason at all I will catch cold and cough for a week. Then it will disappear entirely and stay clear for a month at a time or more. Probably I am in much better condition to resist than before. Just at present I am absolutely a + and no complaints.
Not only that but I seem to be getting along with the Col so much better. He is really very much more reasonable and decidedly less irascible. In addition to which he has recommended me for an appointment on the Corps Musketry Staff and informed me so with a very nice manner. He, in addition to sending in the recommendation spoke to the Brigadier & to G.O.C. Division and wrote a letter of strong recommendation following it up. At present I feel that any fault he had to find before he has found to be so small that he put me in charge of D Coy while Rimmell was away and in command of B Coy when Mjr McEwen went out in preference to Stewart Hawkins or George Holman who are now both my seniors in the matter of time. As a matter of fact he must have known that he was being very much criticized by the other officers here for the rotten deal they said he was giving me. It was often spoken of to me but I was always careful to avoid any discussion of the matter and sometimes stopped it by correcting some assertions which were made & I am perfectly sure that someone was reporting my attitude to him. In other words I am at last beginning to learn tact - the quality which everyone criticized me for lacking so much.
Well Well here it is midnight and not asleep yet. We seem to be putting on a raid somewhere to night.
Do tell me all the news and how you are keeping. Give my love to Dad Ethel & Stell
Tell Dad I got his letter of June 23rd & Ethel that I have hers of June 23. I'll try & write them both soon.