1918 May 21 & 24
Written on two days - Note that Paul & GerGer are Paul Henderson. Mabel was Paul’s wife.
His military orders:
May 15th he was to report to Tours
May 17th Paul and John to Adv Ord Deport 4 and return
I am a goof! I walked way up here on this hill and left my pen at the chateau.
Many things have happened since last I wrote & best of all, Paul and I are together again. I was ordered away from my other post & after an all night ride saw old GerGer waiting for me at the station. Needless to say I was glad to see him and he me.
spent this day seeing sights & I bought some little things for Baby dear birthday & mailed them to her on May 16th – A dress, an apron & the juiciest little bonnet – she will look mighty sweet in it. That day we were ordered away & just as we were about to leave we were told to wait – so we went to hotel & slept – next day we were ordered to another station & here we are about fifty miles north of where I was before. A wonderfully beautiful place & much work to be done. We found a bum lot of officers here, disagreeable as the duce – but that will be fixed up in a few days.
We live in a new house – only forty years old, two stories high in front & five stories in rear. We are half way up on a wonderful hill on a road the corresponds to the Lincoln Hgw. Only it is lovely – great trees planted years ago on either side just as far as you can see. This A.M. I hiked up on top of the hill – from where I now sit – can see five towns in the distance.
This letter is being delayed by a large snail that I picked up & who is grazing around near me. He is four inches long. I have named him Lucian – after a French Gunner friend of mine.
At the chateau we have a baby fox – which one of our men caught – she is quite tame & we all play with her.
Must tell you about the house Paul lived in – it was the most wonderful place I ever saw anywhere & more beautifully furnished – you would be wild over it. There was a garden that was a dream & among other things in it were a large friendly monkey & a large unfriendly wolf which roamed around and growled – much to my trepidation. The whole place was surrounded by a large stone wall with broken bottles set in the top. To get in you rang a bell at the iron gate & the servant came out. I haven’t time to describe the furnishing but will tell you about em later.
After your letters I + II had arrived I go your cable. It came from London by mail, left there May 10th. Have heard nothing since but Paul had a letter from you last night so there must be some mail for me somewhere. Hope it comes soon. Hd some nice letters from Ray & Dad. Isn’t it too bad about Poor old Aunt Mary? I’m certainly sorry for her. I’ll bet it was Clara who drove her crazy.
Dad raved about this baby & said that he had a bully time at Aurora.
Paul received the second letter on the 19th it was mailed in Chicago on the 4th. That is Peace time speed. Five weeks is the best I have done.
I hear that you got five of my letters in one mail. Ask Mabel where I am. We cabled you via Mabel the other day – she was to relay this cable to you – did you get it.
My snail is speeding – he has traveled six feet since I sat down.
Every night Paul & I take a walk & every night we wish that you and Mable were with us to enjoy the lovely air & scenery. There are pines all over here and the odor is great.
There were too many ants mixed up with the scenery on the hill so I came down to the Chateu with Lucian gamboling at my heels(?)
As usual was interrupted & loaded up with work – which is now well under way – so I will finish up.
Oh joy! – your letters No 3 & 4 have come & I am very happy. The pictures are great – bless her dear heart! Doesn’t she look “cuttiest,” in here “Rabbit?” & doesn’t Daddy look well.
You must have someone snap you – send me lots of pictures of you & baby. They mean an awful lot to me.
Am mighty sorry that Dad & Gama have been under the weather – hope that they are all OK by now.
Tell Lord that I haven’t seen Hurd & don’t know what branch he is in – Foggy & Ervin are en route & I saw Ducky last week – he handles all of my mail at the mail P.O.
Edith would make a dandy YMCA worker - why don’t’ she “go to It” there is a big field over here.
When I get home * expect to be the champion walker of Aurora or any other burg. – my new job keeps me hiking all day long – I have requested a horse & will probably get one - ? – like it is – just now I am “fire chief” & have to organize everything. War is ____.
The food here isn’t up to the standard I have been used to – but we expect to organize a “mess” at once & improve things.
My room is five stories up from the ground & has a stone floor – the window overlooks dense forest of pine & fir – the smell is great. The YMCA have a writing room in the basement & someone plays “On the Mississippi” all day long on the phonograph.
My room-mate is Cris Hutle – a dandy chap – he was in my B? - & is the chap that helped eat the big dinner at the N.Y. Hotel last March when I went in for a feed.
Must go to work now dearest – I am so relieved to get the letters & know that you are all OK – I love you so much & miss you and baby all the time.
I do, Jack
Paul sends love to all.