His letter of June 10 goes to Mabel. He comments on the political season back home and “the number I see have announced for Governor.” He contends there is no news from Paris “for you know as much from the papers about what is going on at the front as I could write you…. Everybody seems much pleased with the way our men have been fighting where they’ve been into it and quite cheerful over the prospects.” U.S. Marines recently resisted a German advance at Belleau Wood to great media fanfare, though the second battle of the Marne is still underway.

“You would be quite amused I suppose to view our housekeeping management though as a matter of fact about all we do is tell the cook how much money we expect to spend for food and give it to her. So far the results of this system have been quite satisfactory, Eugenie being an able manager and I think absolutely honest. Her desserts in particular are excellent and, if there is any left over we match for it to the great delight of all three of our servants. They usually stick their heads in while this ceremony is going on. One of the two maids is an excellent seamstress and keeps our socks darned and buttons sewed on so we are well taken care of in every way….”

Monty found his three employees “through a friend, an American woman who has lived over here a large part of her life.” Apparently this gives him “drag” with the three servants who regard his words as “law and gospel.”

An instance of the “drag” was the other night when a French Major of the Chasseurs Alpin[s] whom I see a good deal of was coming to dinner with me. I told Eugenie about it and that I wanted a “tres bon diner” and she surely came across with one.

But her culinary talent seems otherwise spread rather evenly. “She makes wonderful hot cakes and we make our breakfast off them every Sunday morning.”

He relates the story of a recent acquaintance, “an American who has practiced law over here for nearly thirty years but is now retired.” The American is “President of this St. Cloud Country Club where I spend my Sundays.” They often eat together and he has learned a bit about the clientele of the country club—“there are quire a few celebrities among them”—and Monty has gotten “good advice on French law and leases in particular.”

“There is a prohibition on any packages at all coming this way.” There was some misinterpretation of the policy regarding signatures required. “As to the cigars guess it was a good thing they were turned back as I’ve never received a single one of the box at a time shipments.” We finally have an explanation for the missing cigars.

Had both the Gothas and “Big Bertha” with us during the past week but very little damage and they both increase the fighting spirit of the French rather than having any tendency to get their goat as the Kaiser seems to think. The communiqué yesterday P.M. spoke of a new push by the Hun between Montdidier & Noyan. Today it is raining so guess that will help stop him by impeding the movement of his artillery.

“But it’s time to start my afternoon round in my ‘jitney,’ so more next week.”

 

Transliterated letter:

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

June 10 1918

Dear Mabel –

Your letter of May 15th and mother’s of May 7th reached me in the same mail last week and enjoyed both as usual – also the clippings. The war seems to have increased political activity from the number I see have announced for governor – everybody whoever thought of running seems to have come out this time.

Nothing of great interest to relate here for you know as much from the papers about what is going on at the front as I could write you and I don’t know much more than that myself. Everybody seems much pleased with the way our men have been fighting where they’ve been into it and quite cheerful over the prospects.

Bob Cates, John‘s friend from Spartanburg, was in my office the afternoon. Got these last letters and was much interested in John‘s account of his flying, Bob being an amateur himself. Also enjoyed John’s letter and hope you will send me on a copy of each of them.

You would be quite amused I supposed to view our housekeeping management though as a matter of fact about all we do is tell the cook how much money we expect to spend for food and give it to her. So far the results of this system have been quite satisfactory, Eugenie being an able manager and I think absolutely honest. Her desserts in particular are excellent and, if there is any left over, we match for it to the great delight of all three of our servants. They usually stick their heads in a while this ceremony is going on. One of the two maids is an excellent seamstress and keeps our socks darned and buttons sewn on so we are well taken care of in every way and all of our guests who come in are quite envious. I was the one who engaged them through a friend, an American woman who has lived over here a large part of her life, and consequently they regard my remarks as “law and gospel”. The rest of the crowd accuse me of having a “drag” with them and it is partly true for the above reason so I have to be very careful what I tell ‘em. An instance of the “drag” was the other night when a French major of the Chasseurs Alpin[s] whom I see a good deal of was coming to dinner with me. I told Eugenie about it and that I wanted a “tres bon diner” and she surely came across with one. She makes wonderful hot cakes and we make our breakfast off them every Sunday morning.

One interesting man I’ve come to know in the last couple of months is an American who has practiced law over here for thirty years but is now retired. He is president of this St. Cloud Country Club where I spend my Sundays usually and fairly often I have lunch with him there. Naturally he knows everybody who comes out and there are quite a few celebrities among them whom he has told me about. Being a lawyer, he has also given me some good advice on French law and leases in particular.

Sorry now you got my khaki back from Kinley as there is a prohibition on any packages at all coming this way. The post office people at home were wrong in their interpretation of the order about packages before that. Getting the signature of your commanding officer applied only to soldiers, not to officers. As an instance of the absurdity of the way they applied it, I could have got any one of several Majors, Lt. Colonels or higher officers I know to sign for me and the post office at home wouldn’t have known whether they were my commanding officers or not. As to the cigars, guess it was a good thing they were turned back as I’ve never received a single one of the one box at a time shipments.

Had both the Gothas and “Big Bertha” with us during the past week but very little damage and they both increase the fighting spirit of the French rather than having any tendency to get their goat as the Kaiser seems to think. The communiqué and yesterday P.M. spoke of a new push by the Hun between Montdidier & Noyan. Today it is raining so guess that will help stop him by impeding the movement of his artillery. Anyhow the rain is quite welcome for a change as it has been quite dry for the past month or more. We had one week when it was pretty hot during the day but most of the time it has been just right. Even during this warm spell I slept under blankets every night. Guess it’s pretty warm now in “Caroline du Sud” as the French call South Carolina.

But it’s time to start my afternoon round in my “jitney” so more next week.

Love to all. Carl.

O.K. Thomas C. Montgomery 2nd Lt. Inf. R.C.

 

 

 

 

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