December 7th 1917
I have just received your letter of the 2nd of November from which I am very happy to learn that everything is going well and in particular with our Alfred.
His is already married for more than a month.
I'll have to present him my best wishes.
And Leon is working at Eaton's, that is not so bad in the winter months and getting $2.50 per day.
Conditions here are quite bad, it has been freezing for four days already, but happily I
sleep quite warm. I sleep on a French farm.
I sleep on a mattress filled with chaff of oats and I have three blankets.
So, I feel nicely warm. All the others sleep in the barn.
So you see, a man speaking the language has always some advantages over the others.
It's a pity, we will not be in this place for many more days.
This time we have had a good rest.
We deserved it after such a heavy battle in Belgium.
I feel rested again and I feel ready to give the enemy another final blow.
I like fighting, I have much courage and the enemy will not fare too good when I can get them.
Again on the 26th of October I had to use all the German language I know with the
prisoners we had captured. I asked them when the war would end, and they told me that it was impossible for them to obtain peace. My opinion, Mother, is that the war will not end that way; fighting will not bring it to an end.
I go on bringing up the courage I need, you shouldn't lose heart either.
Two years of courage more and all will be over.
The only thing I ask from the Lord is that he saves me and keeps me.
I have also received a letter from Alfred.
He tells me that he will send me a parcel with chocolates and with raisin cake.
I didn't receive it yet, but tomorrow there will be another delivery of letters and parcels from Canada.
I will then write to Alfred to tell him if I received the parcel or not.
It's difficult for me to wear these high boots with two pairs of socks on.
If they had been one size larger then I could have worn them with two pairs of socks.
But, in any way, they gave me good service in Belgium.
You shouldn't send me money, but a parcel is always welcome without having to ask for it.
Last night, I fried three fresh herrings (leevaard) and ate them. I can tell you, the taste was delicious. Eggs cost fifty centimes each.
No news yet from Richard Van Neste.
So, Mother, I will close for now.
Till a few days from now, with a kiss from a distance.
from your son Jules De Cruyenaere