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Letter, June 25, 1917

[Letter on stationery of the Army and Navy Y.M.C.A.]

June 25 1917

My dear Mother -

Will drop you a line as I have a little time. The Y.M.C.A. furnish the stationary for us so I will make use of a little bit of it. How is Ray and Ruth now? I do hope they are getting quite a bit better. Has the weather got up to 90(deg) in the shade down there. Thats what it is doing here. Pretty hot, but nights are so fine out here in the tents, I go to bed at 9 oclock and get up about 4:30 and go down to the spring and wash up in the cold water. Sure do like it. There is eight fellows in our tent now and 4 of them have cameras. will probly have some good pictures before long. Will send some as soon as I get good ones.

I have just written to daddy. My insurance paid me $13.33 for the time I was sick with mumps. Was not so bad was it. Helped me to square up with the schools. I think I am about paid out now. Hope so anyway. The Mach gun co here has five new ford trucks. A gun is mounted in each one. They are painted olive drab.

Well dear mother the talk is that we may get to go home for a week or ten days about the last of July or August. But of course we wont know until we are on the train and on the way home. I do so hope it is so. And am wondering if you will be home by that time. Don't write anything about this to folks at home, for I am keeping it still, only to daddy. I mentioned it to him just the same as to you. My first month seemed like a year but since I am in camp, time just flies right along. I still hear from Maude two and three times a week. I can't do her that well tho.

We have band rehearsals for two hours every morning and go to the woods for individual practice for hour & a half in afternoon. Its beginning to tell on my playing too. Am learning quite a bit.

Outdoor life is about to cure my catarrah. hardly know I have it now. Never felt better since I was a kid.

The other morning they put me up before the headquarters company to instruct them in semiphore signaling. As I happened to be the only one in the bunch that knew the alphibet. I started studying them as soon as I got in Quincy so I have known them pretty good for some time now. I am now studying on the international code. almost the same as the Morse code I used on the telegraph instrument. It is easy for only a few letters are different, and I already know the rest of them.

The corporal in my tent is studying with me. We use our flash lights to send with. get out after dark and begin. short flash a dot and a long steady flash for a dash as in the letter a (.-) b (-...) and so on.

Well I certainly am enjoying camp life here. I kind o hate to leave for the border for I have an idea it will be pretty warm down there this summer.

I do so hope to get to see you before we go, that is if we do go and its pretty likely we will. Please write when you can - I am as ever your loving son -

Paul B.

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June 1917