Bandar Abbas, Persia, March 17, 1918 Dear Friend, This reminds me of the first time I learned that March 17th is St.Patrick's Day - one wet morning at school when everybody was wearing a bit of shamrock. We had a teacher who was of Irish descent who, perhaps more than others, impressed this on our young minds. How different this day is from that. Then I had dreams of being grown-up someday, but had no idea of what I would be doing in the then-distant future. The next fifteen years or so will have just as great changes I suppose. The magazines arrived this week on one of our few rainy days. I had a look through "Life" and have later read a number of articles in "Maclean's". Thanks ever so much for both the candies and the papers. They both gave me a sweet time and brought back pleasant memories. This afternoon I have been reading that article entitled 'My Boy Friends'. It's just one of the things that I have learned lately to save myself trouble by reporting mistakes before it is too late. It is really a good thing to read, once in a while, articles that are really intended for those much younger than ourselves. Perhaps I need it now more than at any time, for my work, run all by myself, as has been the case, makes me age rather unnaturally fast - temporarily though, I hope. My D.C. turned up a week ago, and then after five days, went on the road again, so I am carrying on alone as usual. By the time he returns, some officers will be going on leave, so no doubt one of us will have to do some relieving. To tell the truth it is nicer in most ways to be alone in any office. The time that two officers spend talking over affairs is sufficient for one to do all the extra work. Personally, I dislike these long discussions and prefer to work along a definite policy and risk doing things out of my own initiative. When I was alone, about five minutes' talk with the Colonel every day was sufficient to keep things going. My experience with this semi-political military work is that 'initiative is necessary, but not too much initiative'; in other words, every circumstance must be dealt with at once, and above all, in accordance with the policy of the powers that be. People who come to this country with too many ideas and too little knowledge are more of a nuisance than they are worth. At present the future does not promise to be very eventful, and I have come to one of those periods when I must be content with each day's work as it comes. Last year I looked forward to some real experience up country, whereas now I am not getting any military experience at all. Perhaps it is just as well, until I get back my old, pre- malaria energy again. In the "Varsity", I saw that Gordon Shrum had been wounded. No particulars were given. Of course you will tell me about it in your next letter - which I hope will arrive soon. Please do not imagine that I am worrying away these sunny days. On the contrary I am well, if not quite as strong as before, and like my work - which makes the time pass quickly and pleasantly. Yours sincerely, Austin.