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Letter, October 26, 1918

[Letter on color stationery of the Y.M.C.A., Union Franco-Américaine. Received November 26, 1918.]

Oct 26 - 18

My dear Cecil-

I have rec your letter of Sept 26 - and will answer now - it is cold and my writing I know will look more like scratches than any thing else. But you will just have to take the time and decipher it.

Was so glad to hear of the surprise party on you. I know you must have had a good time, and so mother was there, well she needs a little lively time I imagine. For I have a hunch she is thinking a little too much of my condition over here for her own good, as for my self I am doing just fine, and I am confident she worries over me when at the time I am as safe and snug as can be. I've been thru some hair raising experiences since writing you of Aug. 18. That time on the front was simply tame, nothing to it compared to the past month or more. I certainly am appreciating our little rest now. I guess we are badly in need of it too. I don't know how soon we will be at it again, but as I am now playing, perhapps I won't see so much of the front line as I did. What was I doing out at 1 oc? Well I was trying to establish communication with a company with lamp signals. went on top of the hill to locate them and as it was so dark went down on wrong side of the hill. I never have carried messages - was always in charge of some station, either lamp or telephone at Battalion headquarters. Only times I went up to front lines was thru curosity. was where the big shells generally landed tho. And the ones dropped from the sky have come too close. yet Ive never been hit.

So you have a type writer now. Well I should say you are well fixed. You certainly are going at it as if you ment business and that is the only way that will ever get you any place. I am studying Emerson's essays now. They sure are fine. The Vol. 1 essay No 2 on Self Reliance has done me more good than any other one. We have to deposity $1 to Y.M.C.A. when we draw out a book to read. I hope I have time to complete the book, if I do, I will start in on it again. Best thing I've found yet to spend my time on.

So Carl thinks he will see me over here. Well I doubt if he will but I'd sure be glad to see him again. If he is still there at Emerys tell him I said the Army will make a real man of him and to go into it as if he ment business. Wont get you anything but trouble to try ang just get by. It either makes you or breaks you.

Little girl you are doing your bit buying war stamps and thrift stamps. Your money is well invested in such. I dont think much of the other funds being taken up. for I have never seen the benifit of any of them yet. But liberty loans & stamps get us the nessessary things we have to have and thats all we get anyway.

I dont think your pictures all look so different. I can tell it is the same old Cecil alright. The one with the cat is the one of you I like best. They are all good. Nothing seems so good as to open up a letter and there be a couple snapshots for you. Brings you all the nearer and letter seems to be so much more from you. Dont know why, but it just does. I only wish I had some to send back, maybe if we ever get away from the front lines long enough and far enough I will be able to have some taken. would have done so in Paris only I was not there long enough. and was so busy seeing things I never even thot much of it. But I don't think mine would do you much good.

Too bad you dont get to see more shows, but I guess you are not loosing any thing by it. Where as you are standing a good chance of gaining something by not doing it.

Night study is not the easiest thing I'll admit, especially after a hard days work. And I did work hard at nites. Of course I dont want you to skimp on any of your lessons, but don't quit writing. Im sure you would give me a little of your time if I were at home and could be with you, well I need it more right here than I would if I were over there. Its the most appreciated entertainment I get. Sometimes when things are trying most beyond endurance, just a letter from home makes a world of difference in you. I dont believe any one can quite understand either, unless they are over here and can experience it. you cant properly describe it.

You dont mean to say you enjoyed the times with me more than what you've been having this summer do you? I can hardly believe that; but I will not doubt your word if you say so. I hardly see tho, how it could be possible. For its a sure thing we were never out together, just practicing some at your home. Well I enjoyed it enough, I'd like to live it over again just the same. And thats more than I've ever said about any other time.

Writing does seem awfully slow compared to the rate one can talk when you are together. I can express the same wish now you did when you wrote your letter, that I could talk with you instead of write as I am now doing. Im afraid we will have much to tell each other if we ever meet again. I guess the war is not over yet, if the present paper accounts have anything to do with it. We get daily paper here. Published by the overseas section New York Herald.

You say it made the cold chills run over you when you read about those shells. imagine me, I reckon I had a few running over me too at that time, and since then - a few more. And you think I'd mistake you - for a soldier? don't think that, even if you were to put on my complete uniform. I'll bet tho you look a bloody sight prettier than any soldier. You will have to send me a picture in your new coat. So I need not worry about you getting married before I get home. You must be quite different from some girls, for they seem to be all getting married as fast as possible and some dont seem to care who to. I will close for now with love to my little pal -

Paul B Hendrickson

Hdq. Co. 129 Inf. A.E.F.

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October 1918