Ostheim, Germany Dec. 17/18
As it is, well seems like a year since I have written you I will try to scratch a few lines this evening to let you know that I am still alive.
I received your letter of Oct. 29th yesterday, and the money order that Garnet sent away early in the fall just got here a couple of days ago, but it was better late than never. I also received the parcel that the League sent/ and everything in it was in tip-top condition. You can thank them and tell them that we enjoyed it very much, for I was sure hungry the night that I got it. Those snaps that you sent were very good. That one of the farmerette took the cake. The surroundings of the place look quite natural, except the garage. The one that dad is in taken at Prescott station is the only one that I have seen of him since I left home, and he was almost/ left out of that.
Well I think that we have come to the end of our journey eastward and hope that they soon start us Westward just as fast as they can take us, for they can't make it any too fast to suit me. This place we are at now is about three miles from Cologne, and is connected up by electric car line with cars every twenty minutes so it is not hard to get down, and it is one of the largest city in Germany and a pretty/ swell place. We crossed the Rhine at Cologne on Dec. 13th and pulled in here about noon the same day. We have pretty fair billets here now that we have them cleaned up a little. This was certainly a pretty dirty place when we came into it first. It looked more as though a bunch of pigs had been living in it, straw scattered all over everywhere.
We had a pretty fair trip coming through on the march but would have enjoyed it much more had it been a/.............
P.S. Some variety of paper in this letter J.H.B.
a couple of months earlier in the season as the days were so short that it hardly got daylight until it started to get dark again, and we usually travelled rather long days, so we had to be up long before daylight and out after dark nearly every night. You can imagaine what it is like pulling into a strange place, after night, with about one man in a bunch who knows where you are to go, and about the same number who can talk the lingo of the country. We have go so that we are not very particular about where we hang up for the night though as mostly any place is better than a hole in the ground so we always managed to get in some place. The people used us fine every place that we stopped, much better than I/ expected we would be, but I guess the people have been warned that if they want to be used descent themselves they have to use us the same way. You can see hatred in some of them that might come out if they got a good opportunity of it
It is easily seen that they were getting pretty hard up for rations here as them have scarcely nothing in any of the shop in the towns.Through the country they appear to have plenty of the rougherfoods, but you never see any sweets or fine pastries. The best I have seen yet is not as good as our issue hard-tack.
Well, I must close for to-night as it is away past my bed time. Don't know when I am going to get home, but am taking the first chance that I get. Hope it is soon.
Love to all