Letter, September 18, 1918
[Letter on plain stationery. Received October 22, 1918]
Sept 18 - 1918
My dear little Friend
Well I am still alive and quite comfortable considering. I
would not tell you where in France I now am even if I could. For I
am quite sure you would worry the least bit even tho there is no
need of such even from me. It has not been long since I was out in
nomansland, picked up a piece of skull & a jaw bone with some
teeth in it. Saw numerous other articles of interest. I am many
many miles from where I was when writing the last letter, and as
you dont know where I was then of course you can learn nothing
from that statement. Just mentioned it so I could tell you that
since writing you Ive seen some more beautiful parts of France.
One place I was for several days was the most beautiful scenery,
on one hill you could see 4 villages, one was a regular city and
the valley just run all around this one hill, any direction you
looked you first saw the valley - then the hills and & more hills
on beyond. In these valleys and close to the river the little
village would be almost hidden from sight by the green trees. Ive
set for hours on this point, in the warm sun and observed the
country far and near thru my glasses. The white roads winding up
the green hills and following the river looked like white ribbons
The climb up to this point was long and very steep in a few
places for it was a few hundred feet up. Jove I wished more than
once you could have been with me up there for I know you would
have enjoyed the scene as much if not more than I. I saw too an
old castle, one prisoner carved his name & date in one of the old
cells, date was 1139, sure looked the part too, the place must be
years older than that tho. Solid stone walls, turrits on top of
it, and a dungeon that made the cold chills run up your back when
you looked down in it. I met some nice French girls there. I am
with a fellow quite a bit that is pretty fluent with the language,
and was able to get along real nice - tho Ill admit I did not talk
as I would if I had the chance to spend the same length of time
Well Cecil I am sure making use of your paper as I am right
now where I cannot get any myself - And no telling when I will be
either. I see tho you expect more in return than you give. for you
write me 4 pages and send me 6 to fill for you in return, now that
is not at all fair. So if you do such a thing again remember it
must be an even trade. Of course a picture will account for an
extra sheet. Ill write you 3 sheets full for 2 sheets & a picture
from you. It doesnt make any diff if the pictures are not the best
of you. A picture is a picture to a man in the trenches. Tonite I
am by my little stove, with a small table & candle down where
shells mever come - quite cozy. If you should take a look in you
might say it a miserable looking hole, but not so. its quite
comfortable. I would like to send you some souveneir but no chance
now. probly can some time tho.
My work never takes me up in the front line trenches. Only
time I get to see up there is when I go as I did a while back, go
up and take a look to see what it is like. This was quite a noted
place so I took a look for curosity. And was not at all
dissapointed, was even surprised. Certainly would like to tell you
The lad witting here writing with me starts scratching, stops
writing, takes of shirt & under shirt & goes searching for
cooties. These lice, mice & rats give you plenty employment, to
say nothing of the Bosche. I have some bread hanging on a wire
above my head; that's one thing a mouse or rat cant do - walk a
wire out as far from the wall as I have the bread hanging.
Did I understand you right, about being back at Emery's?
Realy I hope you are.
I have some clothes to mend yet this evening and will quit
writing a while.
I must write to mother soon. I have no idea when this letter
will reach you, so dont be surprised if it is some long time over
due. Oh - did not tell you I saw some of Paris did I. Did not get
to stay long enough tho. Well little Pal write as often as you
feel like. I sure appreciate all I get from you. you best pal,
Paul B Hendrickson Hdq co. 129 Inf.
A.E.F. via New York
P.S. Thanks for the clipping and the papers I have not rec.
as yet. Thanks for them even if I never get them.
Sept. 21. Well little girl - I am way south in France now.
Traveled 3 days & nites, so you know I went quite a ways. Is a
beautiful place I am at.
On the way we went thru a large city and had to change trains
there. Was there 4 hrs. I saw an Old Cathedreal there Built in the
11th Century. A catholic took me thru and showed me the seat the
Arc Bishop used and all thru it.
The city is a very historical one. Also was lucky enough to
visit a masonic hall there. This has been a wonderful week for me
tho. Not under shell fire, and a regular mess hall & barracks to
sleep in. a real rest. Fine people here - as there are not so many
solders here - just students. you sure can have a fine time.
But am leaving today - Ive met fellows here from many
Divisions - sure has been fine in just that way.
Am hoping to see Paris again on the way back.
[Sept] 22 my hope has come true. Im here and enjoying the
wonderful sights of the most wonderful city in the world. Sure is
different than anything Ive seen yet.
Ive seen some very interesting things and hope to see more
This is sure a treat to me. Sunday in Paris. makes me almost
forget there is a war, but in a few days it will be grim reality
for me again. But sure am thankful for this little chance of
seeing some of the wonderful sights of this Old World. Well I will
close and get a bite to eat and continue my sight seeing.