May 8th, 1917
Dear Brother Earle:
Have nothing to do this afternoon so must send a few lines before supper in answer to your welcome and newsy letter of March 22 which I received all OK a few days ago.
This is an ideal day, as warm and perfect, almost, as it is possible to be; the sun shining warm and clear overhead and a cool gentle breeze blowing; a day one feels like living and enjoying life. And that is just what we are doing for we are on a two week rest and haven't a thing to do but have a good time. We came back the night before last to a little town behind the line where we are billeted. It is a wee little town and the country around is splendid. I am writing on a hill which overlooks the town and country for miles around and it is a grand view. In front of me is the town, lively with the hum of motor vehicles of all kinds, the transport which fuels the fighting forces up the line. Lying snug and comfortable in the valley with the dull red of the house tops tinged and softened by the fresh pure green of the newly bursting buds and stretching on every side, the broad fertile fields, beautiful in their fresh green verdure, one could not imagine a more peaceful scene.
Yet ten miles from here is the front line of battle where the manhood of nations grapple with each other to the death for the possession of a few hundred yards of territory or for a town long since in ruins where not a building remains in fit condition for habitation and where very few are standing at all, where the ground is ploughed so thoroughly by shell fire that no vegetation is possible and where, during the last three years, some of the greatest battles of all time have been fought. As I write, in the distance I can hear, in the words of Ella Wheeler Wilcox, the blasphemy of guns and perhaps at this very moment a great battle is raging.
Everything is as far ahead here as at the middle of June. Most of the trees are in full leaf and the fruit trees are all in bloom. The grass id coming splendidly and the grain fields are getting quite green. It has been clear and warm since the middle of April, some days being as hot as the middle of July.
Well Uncle Sam is in the scrap at last and it is about time. Having stayed out of it so long, I hope they won't send any troops over now for I think there are enough of us now to finish it up this summer and then Uncle Sam would not be able to claim that he had to come over to finish it up. However, this is my own private opinion.
Well Earle it is supper time so I must close for this time. Am sending some souvenir postcards in separate envelope Hope they go OK.
All the boys are well and having a splendid time. Now must say bye-bye
Love to all, Harold