January 19, 1919 to Mabel.
Monty is still receiving belated Christmas presents and cards. “Have received one Xmas box from Wanamaker’s London store but don’t know whether is was the one from Bell or from Kate.”
Mabel is making plans to visit though Monty does not “think there will be any chance before summer for any officer’s families to come over except as workers of some kind and if you decide to come over in the latter capacity shall be mighty glad to see you.” He explains there is no guarantee she would work in Paris and he points out that prices are high. “I recently took a girl to dinner in one of the nice restaurants, not one of the several extremely high priced ones, and the dinner check was 60 francs.” He works through the exchange rate at 5.45 francs to the dollar and realizes it was about $11.00.
The 77th Division put on a show with the President in the audience. The memorable moment was the “song about going home” which included the line: “’They told us we’d be home by Xmas but they didn’t say what year.’” This is a line that Monty himself will soon be singing.
He lunches with Auguste Pellerin in the company of the “mother of his daughter-in-law who is a Swede and has just come to France from Sweden by way of the North Sea, Scotland and England. She said that travelling with mine sweepers ahead was a little too interesting to be pleasant.”
With the war “over” and his own unit winding down, he thinks about a future in the context of his experience in France, with the French, and especially his “quartermaster” interactions which resemble commercial business activity:
As to my staying over here permanently I’ve thought about it a good deal but haven’t decided on anything as yet. I think there are going to be wonderful opportunities in business for Americans who speak French and know how to get along with French people and my work hasn’t been bad training for this kind of thing. At present I’m simply keeping my eyes open for opportunities and, if anything attractive shows up, I may take it. In any event it appears that I will be with the army for six or eight months more at least.
“Hope to get down on the Riviera for a week during February for a week’s rest.” He is looking forward to “golf in the sunshine” and declares the “winter climate” in Paris “abominable and you don’t see much of the sun from November to April.”
[full letter in progress]