Original Letter

            France. 8th Jany 1918.

My Dearest:–

I didn’t get a letter last night and I know that I should have knocked wood when I crowed over getting the New Years letter so speedily, but I was so elated that I forgot to be superstitious. And speaking of superstition I carry a huge rabbit’s foot – not the kind that you get in a shop, all fussed up with a silver band on the end and pencil case and ring attached but a genuine real honest-to-God rabbit’s foot. I got it the day the old Madame there told my fortune on the cards. I told her that if, on the top of the good luck she promised me, she gave me a rabbit’s foot, well, I would have nothing to fear. She poor benighted soul did not know they were lucky and was impressed. Away she went and fetched me the odd pate or is it patte of a rabbit they had for dinner. I’ve lugged it ever since. I don’t expect it matters very much..

Last night I felt something stroll across my face when I was sleeping. I wakened up in a bit of a panic, for I never can get used to rats, and lit the candle. It was a beautiful little grey kitten and its mother was standing beside the bunk watching me. Well, that kitten just looked great to me and I started to pet it. Away went the mother and brought two more! Now where the blazes has she been living up here The kittens are great and their headquarters is in our room. I suppose the old cat mooched around looking for a good billet and then fetched the family. It’s great and Turk and I are delighted. Turk says that we will have to mount guard over them to save them from the rats which infest the place. They travel in waves the rats and make a racket like drum fire. Nothing scares them and when one lights a match, why Mr Rat just carries on and it takes no stretch of the imagination to fancy him saying “who the hell’s afraid of you”? So long as they do not take a notion to take short cut across my face, I can stick it but I am scared cold of one touching me. Once chap declares he was wakened by one chewing at his toe the other night but I don’t know.

Its snowing this morning and is wet and sloppy. Turk took advantage of the rotten weather to go back to the Transport Lines for a bath and a change of underwear. It means a hike of almost fourteen miles and he’ll be 50% dirtier when he gets back. I had clean under wear sent up and took some kind of a sponge bath last night. At the same time a good bath would do wonders with me – but I hate to disturb the creosol.

Do you love me to-day, Mary? If I don’t get a letter to-night saying that you do I am going to send a telegram, so there.

To-morrow we move again probably to our good cellar again just a short little jaunt. Did I tell you that my harness scarcely goes on me any more – not because I am getting fat but because I have so many clothes. The only time I dream of wearing them all is when I move. In addition to the ordinary tunic, shirt and undershirt I have a good heavy sweater coat a huge British warm and a leather coat lined with wool! I lost my cap in the last shift. I was wearing my tin hat and in the confusion my other one which I had slung on the muzzle of my trusty fowling piece did go astray. The junk we wear! Lord it’s a maze.

The day has rambled along and it is quite time that my letter was in the mail sack. Turk is back wet dirty and disgusted – never did have a bath – the baths were out of commission and he is quite highly indignant with himself and the army. In the meantime I am sending him off to bed until midnight or so.

Dearest its in my mind to tell you what a wonderful Sweetheart you are but perhaps it would bore you. But I must tell you even at the risk of boring you that I love you to-day and that I am waiting very impatiently for the day when I will be able to take you in my arms again and really tell you of my love.

            Your Ross