May 4th, 1918. His letter shows frustration with the mails. Though letters are now getting through, “I’ve about lost all hope on the package proposition for have never yet received any cigars beyond those shipped in November and December.” He’s now proposing to “discontinue” the service he has so meticulously detailed in his letters “as so many are lost and there is a fairly regular supply at the commissary these days.” There seems to be a bit of routine settling on his life in Paris.

Apartment life is suiting him after four days—“it’s much better than hotel life.” The first challenge has been to keep the cook “from doing things too well.” His concern is the cost since the apartment is cheaper than the hotel as long as the cook doesn’t feed them too well.

“(Continued May 6th)”

“Yesterday I spent most of the day out at the St. Cloud Country Club,” which he describes as being “close to Mount Valérien, one of the famous Paris forts at the time of the Franco-Prussian war.” He is making plans to see Versailles;he has been “saving it up until spring.”

He reports “a quiet time with regard to air raids and the big gun lately but guess I’d better knock on wood.”

It seems rather strange to associate a beautiful night with the idea of death and destruction but now when it is a clear night, one’s first thought and remark to your friends is “Well I guess the Bosche will be over tonight”. However, they’ve really reached the city only four times since I’ve been here.

That ends the letter.

 

Transcribed Letter:

c/o Q.M.U.S. Troops,

A.P.O.702, American E. F.

May 4, 1918

Dear Mother: –

Had several other home letters this week, some as late as April 6 but none from you home folks. Guess some from Marion will be getting through to me this next week. However, I’ve about lost hope on the package proposition for have never yet received any cigars beyond those shipped in November and December of two boxes and some pipe tobacco each. Guess you might as well discontinue trying to send them as so many are lost and there is a fairly regular supply at the commissary these days. Was talking this week to one of the chief men in the Postal Service over here and he told me that besides the packages stolen and rifled after they reach this side that on one transport recently 40 bags of packages had been opened and rifled.

We moved into our apartment this week and it’s much better than hotel life. There are eleven of us with a cook and two maids to take care of us so we are pretty comfortably fixed – and the cook is some cook. Shouldn’t wonder now that I am nicely located I may get transferred some other place – you can’t tell in the army where you’ll be next. Our only trouble with this cook is to keep her from doing things too well. She wants to feed us so well that to allow her to do so would make it more instead of less expensive than hotel life. However, after several interviews in which much French was passed think we’ve finally got her to understand our point of view on the matter.

(Continued May 6) Had our first thunderstorms Saturday night but it was followed by two wonderful spring days yesterday and today. Yesterday I spent most of the day out at the St. Cloud Country Club which is beautifully situated on the heights just outside the city and close to Mount Valerian, one of the famous forts at the time of the Franco-Prussian war. Now that the weather is good, think I shall spend some Sunday soon out there at Versailles which is, of course, one of the show places around Paris. Have been saving it up until the spring as it is said to be most beautiful at this time of year.

We’ve had a quiet time with regard to air raids and the big gun lately but guess I better knock on wood for you can’t tell when they will commence again. It seems rather strange to associate a beautiful night with the idea of death and distraction but now when it is a clear night one’s first thought and remark to your friend is “Well I guess the Bosche will be over again tonight”. However, they’ve really reached the city only four times since I’ve been here. No other news at this time, Love to all, Carl

Thomas C. Montgomery,

2nd Lt. Inf. R.C.

 

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