Jan 7 1902
I suppose you will have received my card before you read this. You say you only received one letter from me since I left. But if you did that is one more than I got until today and I have been here over three weeks. I got Art's beechnuts but no cake or word of any kind. You may be sure I was greatly disappointed in not receiving a line from some of you either Christmas or New Years. Auntie sent me a large box of cake, Maple Creams and good Home Made Taffy, all of which we all enjoyed for everything of that nature which comes is common property to the troop to which he belongs. We had regular rounds of feasts for more than a week - fowl, candy and cake of all sorts. The boys were all specially pleased with Art's beechnuts. We have 37 of the best men you could find in our troop from Waughby, our comedian down. I have taken snapshots of nearly all of them and will send them home in a day or two. We sail on the 14th, a week from today. It is so long since I wrote you and I write so many letters that I forget what you already know. I suppose you have read my letters to the Times and Sun.
But say we are having the most exciting time these days I have ever had in my life. Talk about a lacrosse or football match, why it is as tame as riding a broomstick - to what we are having now. We go down to the stables about 8:30 AM and saddle our chargers - and they are chargers in tamest, and ready to move out of our stables at 9. We lead the horses out in lines, one line being about 30 yards behind the others. Each line contains a troop and there are generally three squadrons of 4 troops each on parade at one time. allowing 35 for each troop we have about 450 men and horses on the campus at once. You ought to see these lined up in 12 troops. We do not mount until we get in line. After the line has number from right to left (to get odd and even no.s.) we get the order "Prepare to mount". The odd no.s lead their horses a length in advance and all grasp the mane in the left hand, at the same time placing the left foot in the stirrup. On the command "mount" all swing into the saddle and place their right foot in the stirrup. This sounds quite tame and easy to read but you ought to see the rearing, plunging and kicking and hear the shouting and din. There is not a day that someone is not thrown and badly hurt. Two were thought to be fatally injured but they are improving now. There have been 20 or 30 badly hurt in a week.
It is great fun to be on the outer flank when we wheel. Of course the man on the inner flank just wheels his horse around on one point, but those who are on the outer part of the line must gallop like furry. I tell you it is great.
I thought we would all tumble off our horses today we all laughed so heartily at one of our men, Waughby, I mentioned him as our wit. When we moved off he was on the extreme left and I on the right so I missed the first part. When I saw him first he was way behind us about 300 yards. He had the worst looking old nag you ever saw and as slow as Xmas. I don't know why it was bought. Well as I was going to say; Waughby got off and broke two goads from a neighboring tree, with these and his two spurs he was trying to get his nag to go. He persevered till he got about half way up to us who had halted. then he quickly dismounted and as he lead his horse up to our ranks he calmly stooped down and picked up a piece of paper and began to read as he haizzed his horse onward. If you had seen him you would certainly have done what Captain Lunts and every trooper did.
Now I don't want you to think that because I like the soldiering that I never feel as if I would like to see you all again. I should like very much to see you once more before I leave this half of the world, perhaps forever. but I have no fears of the outcome. As you say, I know God can protect me as well in Africa as he has done in America. I hope to able to do something for him in my own week way. I have a fine chum too. He is a Methodist minister and one of the most whole souled men I ever met. I'll tell you more of him again. His father is a Baptist minister. Lou Elliot got discharged the other day for drunkenness and being a general no good. I'm glad he is out as he was a regular nuisance. He was always begging money. I lent him 10 $ and kicked myself for doing it but gave him a piece of my mind when he came for more.
Bliss Williams is here. We have great chats but he is in another squadron.
I have not received a sentence from Flo yet though I wrote her as soon as I landed. You say in your letter that the rest are going to write but a fail to find any but yours. Thinks your letters must be lost before they leave. Why didn't Art and all the rest write? I have been getting two or three letters every day but would like to get a few more from home. You might write more often than I do. Think of how many I have to write to. Then I think you might send me a paper once in a while especially those in which my letters are published then I would not be apt to write the same thing twice. Auntie sent me the Times in which my sendoff was reported and that is the only paper I have received. It seems to me if it were not for her I would fare pretty slim. There if mistake not I asked for Aunt Sadie's address. Take my advice and answer the letter when you read them then you will fill the bill better.
I hope Leonard and Cam are better. I wish I could have kissed the dear boys before I left. Never mind I'll bring them a monkey from Africa if I can find one. The boys brought three home the last time.
How does Ed like his school? Tell him to write. We received the last of our clothes tonight so I'll send mine home soon. I'll write again before I leave whether I get an answer to this or not. I'm going to write to the "Ad" this or next week before I leave also. Excuse haste as it is nearly bed time.
Give my love to all, especially to mother. Give her a kiss for me. Write soon to my address here as letters will be forwarded if I do not get it.
Love your son
285 Trooper T. Bertrand Day,
No 1 troop, E Squadron,
2 C.M.R. (don't leave out)