Shorncliffe Apr. 22/16
For the first time since we got here I have time for a good long letter. I have written about six but only had about five minutes for each one, so now with a half day ahead I'll undertake to tell you the news from this side of the world.
How is mother and all the folks at home? also black pup and old Ned. I have another old Ned now but of him you'll here later. I have written home twice and to Elmer and Lacey once. let me know if they received them, they say that all letters don't go thru here.
Have you started foot ball yet, we had our first game yesterday. Jack and I played fool back and got beaten four to two, but we have another chance right away. with the old Cold Springs team it would have been a joke, although there are some pretty fair players over here.
We have been through the musketry course and have had two days in the riding school. I think I told you about the musketry course, but for fear I didn't I'll tell you again. We left camp at six a.m. and after a march of five miles we arrived at our shooting ground, it was hot as blazes and we had to wear our great coats and carry our rifles but we arrived without any casualties. There were ten targets so we were told off ten men to a detail and got busy without delay. The first round was five shots, fired to see how close you could bunch them, the five in a four inch circle was considered first class shooting, an eight inch circle was good and a twelve inch was rotten. Pratt did the best of our bunch, he made a four inch. I had three bull's eyes, one just on the line, and one an inch below, but only made the eight inch, and was marked for fifeteen points, this was at one hundred yards. The next was at two hundred and bulls eyes counted, the target was a man's head and shoulders of a light brown color with a background of grey and a fore ground of green, very natural. I hit him the first time just on the edge of the grass, for an inner and then plunked him in the head four times following for an average of 19 out of a possible 20, there were only two rounds fired that day and on the next we fired at 3 and four hundred yards. Corporal Tendall was high man with three bulls and two inners at four hundred. The best fun was the rapid firing, we fired 5 shots in 30 second and you had to load or fill the magazine besides, it was the same target, a head and shoulders, and the same range two hundred yards. Did you ever hear a machine gun, it was about the same, worse if anything, fifty shots in "taking out the time wasted loading." about ten seconds, it would have made any man's blood jump to hear it. I got mine fired and could have loosened up on another five if they had been handy. I made two bulls, four points to a bull, two inners, three points each, and a magpie, two points, but Eustace Bowen won by a mile, he had an inner and four bulls, how's that for five shots in half a minute at two hundred yards.
Mac & I were in the gunners at first but were transferred on Wednesday to the drivers, we are in E. sub & the other three are in F. but we are in the same stable and go riding together, not to mention eating at the same table and sleeping all in a row.
We each have a horse to look after while we go through the course. I have one 32 hands high by 4 wide, named Ned, a very likeable old chap, in fact he likes me so well he tried to shake hands with me to day, his teeth and my arm, I got him a swing on his jaw that nearly broke it, my arm I mean, I don't think I'll ever get over it, besides this he has numerous other methods of showing his affection, another good one being the manner in which he can pick up his feet and set them gently down on a given mark, said mark being my toes, oh he's some war horse alright, come over and see me ride up the main street of Berlin on him next fall.
Let me know if that $15.00 I signed to be sent home is paid, if it isn't there'll be a most of a of a row somewhere we only get half pay here, and they soak us like the devil for anything we by. Macdonald is a shilling for a plug about half the size they are at home, and Jack has only one chew left, he is saving it for Easter Sunday and then he claims he is going to quit. When you write send us some pictures, of the old home town. also the Globe and Cobourg world I haven't saw a paper worth reading since we left home. I'll write some more to morrow to some one around home and now hoping that we see you soon and hear from you sooner, your brother
good by farewell
Driver M.T. Lean No. 314677
3rd Reserve Battery