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Date: April 13th 1915

April 13th, 1915.

Here it is Tuesday night and I have'nt written yet. We are now in a more comfortable billet but still slumber on the stone floor. We are all quite used to this soft couch now.

You know the cart which I described to you as our battery drag. It went splendidly for a while with its crown of pots and pans periscopes, baseballs, cheese, etc., amongst the Wolseley kits of the battery officers. Then suddenly on the cobbles it dumped. All the horses in rear looked longingly at the ditches, wondering whether to jump or not, and the different articles spread themselves. It was certainly funny. We packed up again and had not gone more than half a mile when one wheel shot a spoke over the ditch, the remained of these rugged sticks followed and the cart turned over sideways into the ditch. The last seen of my nice cream cheese sent by Elizabeth, was when it ran across the road under the grub basket.

"Red" was with the wagon then and he got another one on loan to continue the journey. We have since returned this and intend purchasing one tomorrow as it is a great comfort.

We have been here now for some time and beyond feeding the horses we do nothing but football and play catch We have just had a fine dinner including fresh string beans sent by Elizabeth and are now eating "bulls eyes".

I have been to ordnance several times, both on horse and bike. She still runs but nearly always manages to drop a piece each time we go out. There is only one foot rest left, the catch of the muffler Ell snapped against a curb stone and Kerr C. broke the air throttle lever today. It took two days to put on a new tire, with three at work. The inner tube then blew a patch off and we put another in. This took less time. We also scraped up a brand new front tire and the old bike goes like fury. It certainly is handy and generally goes. The orderly takes our indents down for rations, brings the mail if not too bulky and two of us went over to see a football game on it yesterday. The game was not a game because someone put their foot through the ball beforehand.

As you see we are not in action but at west. We will probably be going up again to work sometime soon but no one knows.

I went for a ride today with the Major. We visited a very interesting old town but I cannot describe it yet. We may have passed over the same roads in the motor when we were over here touring. I have not seen any thing familiar yet, but expect to. I may see Elizabeth's husband too.

The Major just informs us that we only have three minutes more to write. We agreed to start our game at 8 o'clock. You see "Red" Ell and I are teaching Mac and the Major to play poker. Oh you wicked men. We only play for matches and have lots of fun. The Major has become an enthusiast and as he held the wood pile last night he thinks he is going to do the same tonight.

We only have a little pack of thick "cigarette" cards each about ¾" X 1½".

I bough a pack in town today for three francs, 25 ctms., about 65 cents, A regular hold up. Everything else is very cheap. We got some boot polish today at 3 cents a tin. Ell got some champagne the other day for $1.00 a quart bottle and we had it for lunch. We drink very little, in fact only occasionaly one of us will bring in a bottle of white wine at 1 franc a bottle. We have our rum on our rice pudding. It makes it fine. You should try it. Finish later on.

We had a game and put the poor Major down in the hole. I may add that I won enough matches to keep me smoking until the end of the war.

After many bright remarks from Ell we turned in. He had breakfast put on an hour earlier, this morning, as a consequence I was only starting my shave and got finnan haddie instead of eggs. I then rode down to see about a sick horse and have just come in. The paymaster is paying the men now so I have'nt any joh on at present.

The 210 pairs of socks have not arrived yet. I think I told you that I received the two pair and body belt. but none of the other things have come yet. There are some presents they say at the A.S.C. for which I am sending the wagon. I hope some of them will be the boxes.

You asked about Gunner Brown. He is well and is at present on ration duty attached to the A.S.C. He is still in the battery. You see two men are put on this duty for a couple of weeks. They load the wagon at the refilling point and come up to the battery every morning with it. They then go back to the A.S.C. and stay there. When we move the wagons chase us around till they find us and deposit the guns.

I had a letter from Aunt Grace, and she seems so proud of having knitted her first sock and certainly had a good time.

I am going to write to Douglas soon a letter for himself and also to Jim and the Wishart youngsters, and Terrance At our last billet, we had a bit of the sad sad side of this terrible war. There was and old woman with three youngsters, one a baby. She and one little girl about six were both very ill with a sort of quinsy. We fed them egg nog, and got the maire to send them to hospital. The men took up a collection for them and I hope they will be O.K. Their home was down near our old observing station about 12 miles away, and was all blown down by shells. They were living in a rented house and the father was a soldier of France.

I am keeping your lists and will let you know when the things arrive. Elizabeth is fine. My mail is a regular joke now. If I meet the orderly with a big sack of parcels, over a horses back, he smiles and says, "some mail for you today Captain", Then I know there is a cake or box of fish from Moffat