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Letter, October 4, 1918

[Letter on plain stationery. Received November 5, 1918.]

Oct 4 - 1918

My dear Cecil

I rec. a letter from you just a few days ago of Aug 26. Sure did me good as word from home seems to be as scarce as hens teeth just now. You sure have been the mighty good little friend to me, for I've heard as often from you it seems as from mother, and that is saying some for you don't you think? Well I hope you keep it up. I am very sorry to hear you have not heard oftener from me than you have, for every time I write to Mother I write to you. So you should have heard more than you say you have. Well I was mighty glad to see a Danville paper again and am answering on paper you sent, as it is much better than any I can get hold of. I only hope I can fill all the blanks you send over for you certainly deserve it if any one does.

Well stick with me little girl for your letters are appreciated more than you have the least idea of. You are more or less lucky getting to hear from me just now. And I sure consider myself lucky this evening for being in a healthy condition and able to write. for the past few days has been hard on lives. My vocabulary is much to limited to describe it, even tho I would be allowed. If you read Saturday Evenings Post and a few of those magazines, you can get very real descriptions of things over here - much better than I can write and more than I would be allowed to send. Ive seen articles in the Post telling of different places I've been and at times Ive been there, so I think if you would read it, you could find some very interesting articles, and Ive seen the whole of the western front except the northern part on the sea. And as unreasonable as an article might sound - you will have to credit it with a great percent of truth for I dont believe it possible to exagerate much and still use the English language. I wrote you a letter of the nite I went into the trenches. She sure was a darb, and then I added more when I got to school & some more in paris when I mailed it. I was gone fourteen days in all. nearly two were spent in Paris. The trip was a revelation to me - for it took me for the first time into parts of the country where you have to wonder if there is a war. Jove some places are beautiful beyond description, and some of course are not so nice. The place I was at school certainly was a peacefull little place of a few thousand people. I saw one of the most beautiful young ladies there I ever saw in my life. I cant imagine why a woman of her beauty is contented in such a small place. But there are many things about the people over here I cant understand, their language principally. I still have to use my hands to a great extent to talk to them. Probly always will. I sure did have a great time tho in paris what few hours I was there. All it takes is the will and some money and you are fixed. I had both, and saw a great deal more than I expected I would in the time I had at my disposal. I never saw the interior of any of the beautiful places except the soldiers and sailors club, the YMCA, which is a very beautiful place, and two hotels, and a couple Depots. But saw most of the large places of interest from the outside, such as the effel tower, arch of triumph, Notre Dame, Le Trocadero, Le place de la Concorde - and many others.

You may think it funny seeing a soldier in hob nail shoes running around over a city like that, but you get so you dont care at all about your self or what anyone may think of you. All you want is to get to the largest place possible, for the larger the city the better the time you have - is what I think -

You will find in paris that most all the buildings, tho some are large & some petit they will be all of nearly the same height, and the uniformity of the city is one of its beauties. And it is with out doubt the most beautiful city Ive ever been in. or ever expect to see. well on the evening of the day I returned, hell broke loose right, and has been rageing every since. And when the rats in the fields cant live, yea gods how can you expect men to. Well we are still going and have no idea when we will quit. Every body is on the go now.

As soon as we come out of the lines I guess I will be playing a Holton trumpet, like the one I have at home - providing I come out all together. Have been transfered to band is the latest thing I've heard. I wont be at all sorry either. Ive even seen all the bloody murder I care about. I sure am not anxious to see more. but probly will beyond all doubt. You tell me to think of you often, well I think of you more than that, for we generaly have plenty of time for thought.

Was interested in your telling me of the big Auto ride one evening. things like that I have not enjoyed since leaving the states.

So you are rather particular as to fellows. Well you had better be. You certainly cant be too particular, no matter what they may tell you. I dont know much tho about the lads left in the states now. you are probly a better judge than I would be. But I guess it dont hurt to be more or less particular even with the best of them. I know you had a good time at Alvin with the bunch - for I cant imagine how you could help your self, if you are so full of meanness as you say you are. I judge it is rather lonesome for you when your girl friends have dates & you don't. I guess the only way to keep even is to have a date too. It isnt treating you fair, so I suppose you will have to have some company or be left out and I would not be left out if there were any good lads to go with. Work them for a good time, that is what the girls all seem to do - any place in the world you want to go. They do it over here I know.

I am very glad to know you are going to have electric lights, as they are so much more convenient & better light. Candles are used more over here than electricity.

Rose Levin need not be so surprised that I remember her for she is the first catholic girl I've ever been with, been with a few since tho. Jolly kid she was, dont know what she is like tho, now.

I dont know how you will make out reading after this pencil, but ink is darned scarce and what little I have in my pen I must keep for addressing letters.

Hoping you keep on writing as you have in the past and I do hope you get more of my letters. for Ive sent plenty. will close with love & best wishes for my little pal and her father, mother & sisters.

Paul B Hendrickson

Hdq co. 129 Inf. A.E.F. Via New York

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October 1918