Monty balanced his good fortune, excitement and celebration with news of something less agreeable. “The only trouble about my new work is that it keeps me entirely too busy to get out for any sightseeing, even on Sundays.” At this point, he seems to have forgotten all about the censor and his concern about telling too much. He writes, “last Sunday, I got out and had a look at the Tomb of Napoleon and the Cathedral of Notre Dame.” One senses that French word order has affected his English. After saying he can never know how long his assignment will last, he writes: “I like it all very well but it takes every last cent of my salary to live here—as in our big cities.”

The list of negatives lengthens. “Another trouble about being here is that I guess my mail will chase me to my last station and then back here before receiving it. However, you soon get used to all these things in the army and I am really enjoying my new quarters.” He sends “Xmas wishes to all the family and kinfolks.”

Transcription:

Dec. 4th, 1917

Dear Mother –

Since my last letter have had quite a change in my line of work and station. Instead of infantry, I am now doing office work, being attached to the staff at headquarters, Lines of Communications. Also, instead of being in a rather cold and disagreeable place, I am now in a most interesting place where I have steam heat and hot and cold water in my bedroom and live much as I did at home. Was assigned to this work just before Thanksgiving which I spent here very pleasantly, having a real “homey” sort of dinner at the Officer’s Club, served by American ladies who live here, and which I finished with two pieces of wonderful mince pie. The only trouble about my new work is that it keeps me entirely too busy to get out for any sightseeing, even on Sundays, although last Sunday I got out in the afternoon and had a look at the Tomb of Napoleon and the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Have no idea how long I’ll be here nor whether I’ll be continued in my present line of work for any length of time – one never knows in the Army. I like it all very well except that it takes every last cent of my salary to live here – as in our own big cities.

Another trouble about being here is that I guess my mail will chase me to my last station and then back here before receiving it. However you soon get used to all these things in the army and I am really enjoying my new quarters.

Don’t know whether this will reach you by Xmas or not but again all Xmas wishes to all the family and kinfolks.

With love,

Carl

O.K.

Thomas C. Montgomery, 2nd Lt. Inf. U.S.R. P.S., Leave of [sic] the BCM in my address now – make it, Thomas C. Montgomery 2nd Lt. Inf. U.S.R., AEF Paris France.

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