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Letter, November 14, 1918

[Letter on color stationery of the American Y.M.C.A.

Nov 14 1918

My dear Cecil-

I just rec. your letter of Oct 13 this evening. only two letters came for the whole band and one was mine and from you too. Was good I'll say. only as you said it was a short letter, but that is now excusable if you are working as you say you are. Yes I am getting your mail, I expect all of it too, only you dont hear very often from me, I know. I got letter from mother yesterday. She wrote it while down at Lee's. I believe she worries quite a bit about her kids. At one time I did not get to write from the 11th of July to the 22nd of Sept. well that a long time I know, but if you had to do all I did during that length of time, I don't believe you would have written very much more than I did. But since then if you get all I write I believe you will say I have made up for lost time. There are times when circumstances are such that to write is as impossible as rolling water up a hill, have you ever tried that? Well try it and you will see. You cant writing riding along in a side door pullman as we get that class of transportation here and you cant write marching, and you cant write at nite when they wont allow you to have a light for fear jerry will drop an egg on you an put out the light for you. What can you do. you are on the go all day, dog tired at nite with no desire more than crawl in between your three army blankets and bloody glad you have a board floor to sleep on as it is much smoother than the ground & rocks and the likes of it. So its not because I was not thinking of you, not at all, but I was bloody glad some times you realy did not know where I was sleeping, for had you known, I doubt if you could have rested very well your self.

Am glad you are having the opportunity of getting the kind of work that most appeals to you. Am sure one has a better chance of making good on a job he cares for than on one that is distasteful. It's that way with me, I know since I am in the band I work harder and am more willing to work than I was before. It has been the greatest help in the world, just the association with the fellows, for they are a mighty intelligent bunch of clean thinking boys. And one especially is such a help to me, he is a lawyer and a bro. Mason and goes to no end of trouble to help me and give me points of advice that will help me in civil life when I have the privelege of being a civilian again, which I sincerely hope is not too far off.

So you have not been to a show for 6 or 7 weeks - well that is more than I can say for we played for a show not many nites ago - but we are moved out in the cold quiet forest now, which has been the fighting ground until they just lately decided to quit shooting at each other.

Jove it seems queer to hear no more big ones whine near you and go off with a shock that under normal conditions would wreck a set of nerves.

We are up on a high, wooded, hill, and you can climb into an observation post in some high tree and see about 800 sq. miles of french & german land - village after village can be seen in the lowlands.

These are "made by germans", dugouts we are now staying in. We had a great day the 11 of this month. I told mother what we did, so you will have to ask her about it if you are interested.

You say the papers and talk look good over there. Well at the time you wrote it looked like hell had broken loose right, over here, but now, well I guess no one can complain, only they can't send me home none too soon.

I dont mind you speaking of us as your beloved boys, but I would rather you said "come riding home on boats & trains," for you see I've had all the marching (and prospects of getting more before we start home) that any ordinary soldier could possibly want. Well dear little pal, will close hoping to hear from you soon, again I am as ever your

Cpl. Paul B Hendrickson

Hdq. co. 129 Inf. AEF via N.Y.

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November 1918