July 23 to Mother.

No news other than that he is busy. “…only had ‘pep’ enough to stroll over after dinner to the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne, which is near our apartment, and sit there smoking and enjoying the cool of the evening. This Avenue is parked on both sides and there are plenty of chairs and benches along the parkway so everybody in this quarter of Paris wanders over there in the evenings and either strolls or sits and watches everybody else strolling. That’s where our crowd goes these fine evenings, none of us hardly ever going back down on the Boulevards.”

Everybody here has been wearing a smile this past week over the success of the Counter-offensive and the French can’t say too many good things about the part our troops have been taking in it. This afternoon I had the occasion to call on the president of a big warehouse company and he was so pleased at finding an American who spoke some French at a time when he wanted to talk about the Americans that I had a hard time getting away from his office. These [???] Frenchmen are wonderfully good fellows and this is a most favorable time to get to know them. Last Sunday I had lunch with a big Manufacturer at the Country Club and found him most charming. Am to go to dinner in his home one night this week and meet his family—an invitation a Frenchman doesn’t give you unless he likes you.

“Suppose it’s pretty hot at home now—it’s been warm enough here lately but not uncomfortably so.” He’s wondering if summer dress would be better though “the great majority of the time winter uniforms have been quite comfortable….”

He harks back to his trip over. “Saw where the Bosche got the old “Carpathia” last week[1] and felt as if I’d lost a friend as I spent 22 days on her and knew her from top to bottom. We seem to be keeping the “subs” [down] pretty well however and I think the German people must be waking up to the fact that the submarine campaign isn’t what they thought it would be.”

[1] July 17, 1918. (Claimed by U-55, off the east coast of Ireland.) Five crewmembers were killed in the initial explosion. The remaining 218 aboard were able to get off the ship before sinking.

 

Transcribed letter:

Hq. U.S. Troops,

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

July 23, 1918.

Dear Mother –

The last week has been one very quiet as to events but most awfully busy for me. Was out only one evening and then to see some American friends the other evenings only had ‘pep’ enough to stroll over after dinner to the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne, which is near our apartment, and sit there smoking and enjoying the cool of the evening. This Avenue is parked on both sides and there are plenty of chairs and benches along the parkway so everybody in this quarter of Paris wanders over there in the evenings and either strolls or sits and watches everybody else strolling. That’s where our crowd goes these fine evenings, none of us hardly ever going back down on the Boulevards.

Everybody here has been wearing a smile this past week over the success of the Counter-offensive and the French can’t say too many good things about the part our troops have been taking in it. This afternoon I had the occasion to call on the president of a big warehouse company and he was so pleased at finding an American who spoke some French at a time when he wanted to talk about the Americans that I had a hard time getting away from his office. These [last type?] Frenchmen are wonderfully good fellows and this is a most favorable time to get to know them. Last Sunday I had lunch with a big Manufacturer at the Country Club and found him most charming. Am to go to dinner in his home one night this week and meet his family—an invitation a Frenchman doesn’t give you unless he likes you.

I am also to lunch tomorrow with several French officers of a department with which I often come in contact. I am still awfully lazy about any real study of the French language but continue to “soak it in through the skin” as it were because of speaking and hearing it spoken and also having to read French letters every day. If I am still here when the cool weather comes again expect to spend some of my evenings in the serious study of the language and of French law but this warm weather it’s too fine to sit by electric light when you can be outside. Suppose it’s pretty hot at home now—it’s been warm enough here lately but not uncomfortably so. A few days have been warm enough to wish my khaki might have reached me but the great majority of the time winter uniforms have been quite comfortable though of course with B.V.D’s. underneath.

Saw where the Bosche got the old “Carpathia” last week and felt as if I’d lost a friend as I spent 22 days on her and knew her from top to bottom. We seem to be keeping the “subs” [down?] pretty well however and I think the German people must be waking up to the fact that the submarine campaign isn’t what they thought it would be.

Hope you are all continuing well at home.

With love, Carl

Thomas C. Montgomery

2nd Lt. Inf. R.C.

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