France August 1.
My Dear Mother:-
I was going to write July but remembered it was August and made the correction. The time is slipping around. Soon it will be Fall and we will all be thinking of the coming cold season. I intended to write to you earlier in the week but haven't had much time or opportunity during the last few days. It has been terribly hot, the kind of days that make one lazy and particularly desirous of finding a nice shady tree and reposing in blissful peace. Haven't had much mail lately. A day or two ago I got a couple of bundles of papers sent by Nellie. The S. E. Post hasn't come for nearly two months. When you have a chance send me a few 'McLeans', 'Life', 'Popular' or some such good story type. Now that your mail is coming I miss a lot from Regina and the West. There are several good parcels from Lipton that have never arrived and I've been broke for a week. I'm usually a hungry man at various times. The Army ration includes much meat and, as in the summer time meat is not my favorite dish, I quite often can't get my fill at meal times.
The Belmont papers contained quite a nice bit of news. I see that Verne MacCallum and Claude Sinclair are married- that Gordon Brodie of Mapleton is a Dr. now. You remember that he and I went to C. I. at Woodstock together. A Brigade Sports day was planned for this Saturday but I believe it will be called off. I was wishing for my running outfit. I think I [ought] to get out and get more exercise. Lying around so much doesn't tend to keep a person in particular[ly] good health. All the fellows are well. I had a bath with Storrey last night and saw Reid two or three times during the day.
A rather curious incident happened yesterday. One of the fellows went into a French house to get something. To make up for his French vocabulary which was limited, he waved his hands around and gesticulated quite freely until finally the lady said "Sir, what is it you want?" His look of astonishment spoke for itself and then to cap the affair the old man came along and says "Hello, Boys. How would you like a little game?" in real good English and added as one of the fellows had an apple in his hand that this was a poor country for fruit.
"Nothing like the Yosemite Valley" said the old fellow - (You know the Yosemite Valley in B.C.) [?!] and this remark was the second distinct surprise to our man.
"What?" said Ebbit, "What do you know about the Yosemite Valley?" which, by the way, was Ebbit's home.
"Well, I guess I ought to know it for I lived there for nineteen years" retorts the farmer.
Then the mystery unfolded. The supposed Frenchman and his wife were both Irish, had lived for quite a number of years in Canada, the man finally making a small fortune in the gold fields of the Klondike. Then he and his wife came to tour Europe [and] put their money in a Belgian bank. The war broke out, their earnings were confiscated by the Huns and they are living here and carrying on in a small way and hoping to return to Canada after the war.
I suppose you are all busy with the harvest and working day in and day out. Charlie will soon be quite a farmer.
Well, this is all for now. Best love and remembrances to all.