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Date: March 18th 1917
Beulah Bahnsen (wife)
Ralph Watson

18 March, ’17.

Things are still going jolly fine. You have read often about the cages we put the German prisoners in. Well, I have been busy this two days helping make one of barbed wire. It’s some way from here and we go over in auto trucks. Today it was fine but beastly cold; I nearly froze. Yesterday, when we were working, who should go by but two of my very old tent mates from No. 3, who had left later than we and gone to another outfit camped near here. We may see something of them, as they are attached to the 2nd Div. too. . . .

We passed two observation balloons yesterday. You have seen pictures of them; they look big enough to fly away with the engine affair which holds them down by what looked to me a terribly thin cable. Aeroplanes, of course, are over all the time — ours. I haven’t seen any of Fritz’s yet. The guns are going most of the time. At night, you can hear the machine guns, too. Everything is all most casual and “every day alike.” Last night we went for an evening stroll. A Frenchman, passing, said,

“Masshin — Masshin pop-pop-pop—No bon-no bon — No — no bon, M’sieur.” — referring to a machine gun in the distance.

I mention this to give you an idea of a passing salutation of the evening “out here.” You would probably say “it’s a fair night.” Both remarks would have the same enthusiasm or spirit. “It’s an awful war,” to quote a popular phrase.

Harold Chapin in his letters said he had heard more genuine laughter out here than anywhere else in his life—I guess he was right too—human nature is queer.

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