May 10th 1918
My Dear Mother:-
I haven't very much to write but I'll scribble off a few lines as with a new writing pad and a little time on my hands I might write home at least. I have just written to Jack Farquhar from whom I received a very nice letter today. Things are going nicely. We are still in rest billets - having an easy time - and enjoying beautiful weather. Most of the fellows went down to the nearest town about three kilometres away but I didn't feel like walking that far. It is a good-sized place altho' practically deserted except for quite a number of troops. Those civilians [left] behind run estaminets, eating places, novelty shops etc. At the estaminets they sell a variety of French wine but outside of the Champagne, it's rather flat-tasting liquid. Most of the towns here and this close to the line are frequently shelled and very few houses have all their windows intact. The people are great salesmen. They are mostly ladies and they have a good command of English. If you want to purchase, it's much safer to ask for it in English than trust to one's French. The children are rather disreputable-looking waifs and I guess they have a hard enough time. Practically every little fellow you see above the age of five is smoking a cigarette and they'll run up to you and ask you to purchase them a box of smokes. It seems too bad. Tonight another fellow and I bought five eggs from a little girl who was going around with several dozen in a basket. They cost us two francs - about seven cents each but they tasted good fried and supplemented our regular evening meal.
Now that my mail is coming through more regularly I wish you would pin [a] one dollar or two dollar [note] to your letters once in a while as the forty-five francs a month we get over here doesn't go far. Never mind a money order. Quite a few fellows have money sent that way. We can easily get it changed here at the canteens. For one dollar we get five and a half francs.
Well, I think this will be all tonight, Hope you are all well. With love from
F C C