March 16, 1919. To Mabel. “The old caretaker [Reims Cathedral] told us that never a shell exploded inside, all having exploded on contact or having been ‘duds.'”

March 16, 1919.

“Have just had a long walk this P.M. down along the Seine and back up the Champs Elysee at my office…. There is quite a crowd on the Champs Elysee this afternoon as it is a beautiful Sunday but it’s not often that I see it these days as am usually at St. Cloud getting better exercise at golf. However, today it’s rather cold and cloudy so didn’t go out; therefore this walk in the course of which I saw the President for the first time since his return. The Place des Etats-Units [sic], where his new abode is situated, is just a two or three minute walk from our apartment and I often hit through there going towards the river. Was just turning into it when his car came rolling by with a big army Cadillac just behind and its usual load of secret service men. Mrs. Wilson was with him as usual when he goes out.

“Speaking of walking, now that the weather is getting decent again, I usually leave the office in time before lunch to take a turn down through the Avenue du Bois de Boulougne on the way to the apartment and have a look at the noontime parade as well as getting a breath of air. It’s quite the thing among fashionable people to stroll there from about 11:30 to 12:30 every fine day and it’s quite amusing to see the varied costumes, dogs, etc., for you know they don’t believe in going out without their dogs.”

He turns then to a trip he believes Mabel will appreciate perhaps more than his Mother, one which gives a rather clear picture of the war and it’s effects:

Had a trip on Friday which I know you would have enjoyed, going to Chateau-Thierry, La Fere-en-Tardenois, Fismes, Rheims, Epernay, and back through Chateau-Thierry and Meaux to Paris, a total run of about 190 miles, all in one day. Had some claims to investigate at Chateau-Thierry and a lease to see about at La Fere so ran on to Rheims while that close to have a good look at the cathedral. It is still capable of restoration in spite of the number of shells which hit it but it will be a long job. The old caretaker told us that never a shell exploded inside, all having exploded on contact or having been “duds.”  Several of the duds have been picked out of the walls or floor and are now on exhibition. The city of Rheims is very badly damaged by shell fire, there being very few houses I saw which had not been hit at least once, and it’s not such a small town either, having a population of 100,000 before the war. It is most interesting to see all of this country, the shell holes and trenches, empty shell cases and other salvage being still on the ground. Our own troops fought through a lot of this country and in passing you see the graveyards fairly often where the Graves Registration Service has assembled our dead.

This was my second time up in that country, having been through part of it in mid-September but didn’t get as far north the other time, turning back south of Epernay instead of going on towards Rheims. The villages that were badly shot up are still pretty well deserted but guess the people will be getting back to their homes now that the milder weather is coming on.

“Went down to the Gymnase last night to see ‘Le Secret’ by [Henri] Bernstein…  have never yet been over to the Odeon—which is a very famous old theater in the Latin Quarter—but hope to drift over there some night soon.”

Transcribed Letter

[American Expeditionary Forces letterhead]

 

Hq.Dist.of Paris, A.P.O.702

March 16th, 1919.

 

Dear Mabel: –

Your letter of Feb. 24th reached me yesterday and am mighty glad to hear that Mother is still improving. Hope you are staying at St. Augustine until she is in thoroughly good shape again. Was interested in your saying that Genevieve Wilcox is coming over and hope to see her when she is in Paris.

Have just had a long walk this P.M. down along the Seine and back up the Champs Elysee to my office, our office building being, as believe I’ve written before, directly on the Place de l’Etoile and the Arch de Triomphe. There is quite a crowd on the Champs Elysee this afternoon as it is a beautiful Sunday but it’s not often that I see it these days as am usually at St. Cloud getting better exercise at golf. However, today it’s rather cold and cloudy so didn’t go out; therefore this walk in the course of which I saw the President for the first time since his return. The Place des Etats-Units [sic], where his new abode is situated, is just a two or three minute walk from our apartment and I often hit through there going towards the river. Was just turning into it when his car came rolling by with a big army Cadillac just behind and its usual load of secret service men. Mrs. Wilson was with him as usual when he goes out.

Speaking of walking, now that the weather is getting decent again, I usually leave the office in time before lunch to take a turn down through the Avenue du Bois de Boulougne on the way to the apartment and have a look at the noontime parade as well as getting a breath of air. It’s quite the thing among fashionable people to stroll there from about 11:30 to 12:30 every fine day and it’s quite amusing to see the varied costumes, dogs, etc., for you know they don’t believe in going out without their dogs.

Had a trip on Friday which I know you would have enjoyed, going to Chateau-Thierry, La Fere-en-Tardenois, Fismes, Rheims, Epernay, and back through Chateau-Thierry and Meaux to Paris, a total run of about 190 miles, all in one day. Had some claims to investigate at Chateau-Thierry and a lease to see about at La Fere so ran on to Rheims while that close to have a good look at the cathedral. It is still capable of restoration in spite of the number of shells which hit it but it will be a long job. The old caretaker told us that never a shell exploded inside, all having exploded on contact or having been “duds.”  Several of the duds have been picked out of the walls or floor and are now on exhibition. The city of Rheims is very badly damaged by shell fire, there being very few houses I saw which had not been hit at least once, and it’s not such a small town either, having a population of 100,000 before the war. It is most interesting to see all of this country, the shell holes and trenches, empty shell cases and other salvage being still on the ground. Our own troops fought through a lot of this country and in passing you see the graveyards fairly often where the Graves Registration Service has assembled our dead.

This was my second time up in that country, having been through part of it in mid-September but didn’t get as far north the other time, turning back south of Epernay instead of going on towards Rheims. The villages that were badly shot up are still pretty well deserted but guess the people will be getting back to their homes now that the milder weather is coming on.

Not much other news with me this week. Went down to the Gymnase last night to see “Le Secret” by [Henri] Bernstein and enjoyed it thoroughly as it was awfully well acted, as, for that matter, are all of the French plays one sees.  Have never yet been over to the Odeon—which is a very famous old theater in the Latin Quarter—but hope to drift over there some night soon.”

Hoping this will find you and Mother both at home and well rested,

Love to all,

Carl [signed]

 

Thomas C. Montgomery [signed]

Captain, A.S.C.

 

February 15, 1919. “Guess I won’t see any of this spring in S.C. but hope to be there for the next one.”

February 15, 1919 to Mother

“Received your letter from St Augustine…glad to know you finally got down there. Know you will enjoy it and hope it will improve your rheumatism a lot.”

“Am finally getting away myself tomorrow,” though his plan has changed a bit. He will be “going partly on business partially on leave.  “We had requisitioned a number of large hotels down there for hospitals and are now giving them up and settling the damages.”  He’ll do that for a week and then “loaf for a week in addition.”  He will spend his loafing week “at Cannes and play golf as understand about the best golf there is.”

His mother has enclosed clippings on the inauguration of South Carolina’s new governor Robert Cooper but Monty is impressed with the new governor’s marriage to Dorcas Calmes. “Didn’t know of it before and was glad to know of her rise in the world though it did seem a bit funny to think of her as ‘the first lady of South Carolina.’”

He writes:  “Mr. Sharpe’s resignation came out here this morning. Had known of it since December as his daughter told me about it then and will be sorry to see them go as have come to know this eldest daughter and son fairly well and have had some very pleasant times at the Embassy.

“Speaking of Ambassadors, had quite a talk with Lord Derby’s daughter yesterday afternoon at a tea. She is typically English, not good looking but very pleasant.”

He now begins the long countdown:  “Guess I won’t see any of this spring in S.C. but hope to be there for the next one.”

February 3, 1919. “I’ve been thinking of how pleasant is a South Carolina winter compared to this damp cold.”

February 3, 1919 to Mother.

“I’ve been thinking of how pleasant is a South Carolina winter compared to this damp cold.” This presages his expectation for a leave, which has now expanded from one week to two weeks and he’s looking forward to traveling to the south of France. “I’m planning to play golf most of the time as am badly in need of outdoor exercise. …expect to spend most of my time very quietly at Cannes which is said not to be so full of Americans as the other places.” He’s anticipating the arrival for duty of Lieutenant Bert France “to get him broken in before I leave.” He explains the complexity of what he is doing and why there is so much specialization. Aside from the continual coming and going of personnel, he feels he is now short handed, “having just released one to the peace conference”:

Have another who spends most of his time on the road in the districts north of Paris settling up claims where our divisions were last summer. And then have another Captain and 2 Lieuts. who do nothing but automobile accident investigation and settlement of these claims.

He refers his mother to the January 4, 1919 issue of The Saturday Evening Post where Isaac F. Marcosson has written in detail about the Service of Supply, American Expeditionary Forces operations. Though Monty is not mentioned in the article, “I know personally a great many of the officers of whom he speaks.”

He describes a “quiet week socially compared with the way things have been going lately” which consisted of “one mighty good dance on Monday night at the home of the Baron de Leonino, the wife of said Baron being one of the Rothschilds[1], and their home is some little cottage to call home. Think it is the most beautiful place I have been in Paris, not excluding the villa Murat[2] where the President is staying. As usual at these dances, I found people of any number of nationalities, this time meeting a couple of Rumanian girls who surely could dance.”

[1] Two possibilities—both problematic—David Leonino (d 1911) marries Jeanne Sophie Henriette Rothschild and Emmanuel Leonino marries Bertha Juliette (d. 1906). In each case only one spouse is surviving in 1919. Monty’s identification leaves it unclear as to which Rothschild is intended though circumstantial information suggests it is the latter. Still need to locate the “little cottage” which may have been at 7, Rue Euler, since replaced by a commercial building.

[2] Hôtel du Prince Murat, 28 rue de Monceau, where Woodrow Wilson resided during his stay in Paris, 1918-1919.

 

Transcribed letter

[Letterhead: AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES]

Hq. District of Paris

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

[no date; envelope February 3, 1919]

Dear Mother:-

Your letter of Jan. 5th reached me during the week and was much enjoyed as usual. Hope you and Mabel are both in Florida by this time as you both surely deserve a rest in a warmer climate. It has been very cold here for the past two weeks after a mild winter up to that time and I’ve been thinking of how pleasant is a South Carolina winter compared to this damp cold. Am hoping to get away myself in the next week or two for a leave down on the Riviera. A new travel order is just out giving 14 days instead of the seven as heretofore though the 14 includes time of travel. However, it takes only a day each way to get down to Cannes or Nice so that gives me twelve days there and I’m planning to play golf most of the time as am badly in need of outdoor exercise. Shall probably run over to Monte Carlo and Menton for a day or two but expect to spend most of my time very quietly at Cannes which is said not to be so full of Americans as the other places and also more quiet. When I went down before stayed at Nice and I only passed through Cannes but remember well how beautiful it was. Don’t know exactly what day I’ll get away as I’m waiting on Burton France to report for duty with me and to get him broken in before I leave. Have one Lieut. who is rather familiar with the work, having been with me nearly three months but just released one to the Peace Conference so it leaves me short for the moment. Have another who spends most of his time on the road in the districts north of Paris settling up claims where our divisions were last summer. And then have another Captain and 2 Lieuts. who do nothing but automobile accident investigation and settlement of these claims. By the way there is in the Sat. Evening Post of Jan. 4th a write up of the R.R. & C. in connection with several other services of the “S.O.S.” A.E.F. which you may find interesting[1] if you have not yet read it. As heretofore explained to you, my job is known as Section Officer for the District of Paris which places me on the staff of the Commanding General of this District but my nearest boss in R.R.&C. work is the Director of the Service at Hq. S.O.S. Have been much interested in this series of articles by Marcosson in the Post on the S.O.S. as I know personally a great many of the officers of whom he speaks.

Had a more or less of a quiet week socially compared with the way things have been going lately but went to one mighty good dance on Monday night at the home of the Baron de Leonino, the wife of said Baron being one of the Rothschilds[2], and their home is some little cottage to call home. Think it is the most beautiful place I have been in Paris, not excluding the villa Murat[3] where the President is staying. As usual at these dances, I found people of any number of nationalities, this time meeting a couple of Rumanian girls who surely could dance. Sorry John couldn’t take in some of these dances as he would get a lot of enjoyment out of them.

As to what Mr. Wilcox had to say about studying international law, I don’t know so much about the advisability of that but am keeping my eye open for opportunities though haven’t yet much idea what will develop. Think there is going to be much American business with France and I might find something desirable with an American concern over here or vice versa.

Sorry to hear your rheumatism continues to trouble you. Know the taking out of your tonsils will be very painful but, if it will do away with your rheumatism, think it would be well worth while.

Love to all,

[signed] Carl

[signed] Thomas C. Montgomery

Capt. A.S.C.

 

 

[1] He refers his mother to the January 4, 1919 issue of The Saturday Evening Post where Isaac F. Marcosson has written in detail about the Service of Supply, American Expeditionary Forces operations. Though Monty is not mentioned in the article, “I know personally a great many of the officers of whom he speaks.”

[2] Two possibilities—both problematic—David Leonino (d 1911) marries Jeanne Sophie Henriette Rothschild and Emmanuel Leonino marries Bertha Juliette (d. 1906). In each case only one spouse is surviving in 1919. Monty’s identification leaves it unclear as to which Rothschild is intended though circumstantial information suggests it is the latter. Still need to locate the “little cottage” which may have been at 7, Rue Euler, since replaced by a commercial building.

[3] Hôtel du Prince Murat, 28 rue de Monceau, where Woodrow Wilson resided during his stay in Paris, 1918-1919.

January 26, 1919. “The opera was “Othello” and enjoyed it mildly but can’t say I ever enthuse over Grand Opera.”

January 26, 1919 to Mother.

Cold weather has arrived. “Our ‘chauffage central’ …proved insufficient and we got a bunch of wood from the Quartermaster Friday and have been having a big fire in the living room in the evenings which is quite a big help…. We’re getting mail and magazines a bit faster these days…. This morning we’re having our first snow of the season but not very much of it has stuck as yet.”

The color and glow of Paris are returning. He has an opera box thanks to his friend Mr. Pellerin. “He told me beforehand that it was a box with twelve seats so I invited in some of my officer friends and several American girls I know. However, even then was a bit surprised at the grandeur of the box. It was a regular room and located just in the bend of the “horseshoe” and just above the orchestra seats where you could see and hear everything.”

However, Monty is not otherwise impressed. “The opera was “Othello” and enjoyed it mildly but can’t say I ever enthuse over Grand Opera. Thought of yourself and Kate and how you both would have enjoyed it. There was a lot of khaki in the audience as there is everywhere in Paris these days but there were also quite a few ladies in the boxes in evening dress and more or less bejeweled. Paris is slowly beginning to dress up again.”

On the work front, he seems likely to get his Wofford classmate Bert France employed to help him with his work which seems t be increasing and to expand his staff which seems to be getting picked apart by exigencies elsewhere: “Am losing one of my Lieutenants to he Peace Conference where he is slated to be sent down in the Balkans and am pretty sure to get Bert to replace him.”

[full letter in progress]

January 19, 1919. To Mabel. “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.”

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]

January 17, 1919. Henry Voigt to Montgomery Family. “The band as a whole was mustered in the Medical Corps and served as stretcher bearers.”

Letterhead: [Knights of Columbus: crossed American flags and KoC symbol. on active service with american expeditionary forces a.p.o._____ date:_____”]

Jan 17, 1919

Dear Mrs. Montgomery and all the folks at home.

Mother said she received a letter from you and wish to thank you for same. Have written twice to you but I guess the mail has been lost otherwise I think I would have received word from you. Our division was engaged in one battle and that was on the Meuse sector between Metz and Verdun Nov. 9, 10 & 11 when the Armistice was signed. The boys seemed very happy over the news. For two nights and days we were helping the wounded off the field. The band as a whole was mustered in the Medical Corps and served as stretcher bearers. After we left the field we went on a sixteen day hike with full equipment which was very weary and tiresome. We are now resting in the town called Laignes[1]. Our Billets are very good but nothing compares to the bed we slept in while at your home. Very sorry to say Mr. Kenny the other boy that stayed at your home is in the hospital. He was always worrying about home and he went out of his mind. He always said to me if you write to Mrs Montgomery please give her my regards. Have seen a great many small towns of France but as yet I haven’t seen much of the important cities. The band had their pictures taken on few days again and will enclose one[2] of them in this letter. Voigt Band Photo 021519_Page_1Often I think of Mr. and Mrs. Tilghman also baby. They were so very kind to me that I’ll never forget it as long as I live. Would be more than pleased to have hear from them. I was very sorry that I hadn’t written sooner to you but I guess you know how we boys have to work around. In this town the lights are out most of the time and at present I’m writing this letter by an candle light. Have not been feeling very well for the last week or so having colds and chills.

Thanking you again for your kindness shown to this boy.

Remain

Your Friend

[unreadable/rank?] Henry Voigt

322nd Infantry Band

U.S.A.P.O. 791

Amex Ex. Forces

[Envelope with Knights of Columbus return address box, “Soldiers Mail” penciled in upper right corner, “OK Censor” and signature and seal in lower left corner, addressed to Mrs. W.J. Montgomery, Marion, S.C. postmarked Jan 20, 1919, forwarded to St. George Hotel, St. Augustine, Fla. Postmark Feb 20, 1919.]

[1] Village in Burgundy between Paris and Dijon of about 1000 inhabitants in 1919.

[2] enclosed

January 12, 1919. “Would like to get a look at Italy while I am over here if they ever remove the ban on leaves outside of France.”

“Dear Mother:-

“Had my first States mail in two weeks,” he reports on January 15, 1919. It included a December 11 letter from sister Kate and a Christmas card from the Methodist church in Marion. He also got a package from “Wannamaker’s London Store containing, chocolate, bonbons and chewing gum….”

His description of work suggests that the AEF is throttling back. He is “busy” as he has claimed since arriving in Paris, “although am leasing practically nothing new.” His office is apparently occupied with “claims and adjustments.” He’s thinking about what might have been if he’d been an aide to his superior:

General Harts, my “boss”, returned from Italy with the President. Was talking to his aide about the trip and he said the president had a wonderful reception in both England and Italy. That’s one time I would have liked to have been the General’s aide instead of one of his staff as both trips were great under such circumstances. Would like to get a look at Italy while I am over here if they ever remove the ban on leaves outside of France. The railroad fare with the “tariff militaire” is very small and think I’ll run down if ever there’s a chance. Drove right up to the Italian border and looked over into Italy when I was at Nice in November of 1917 but at that time one could not cross.

He notes in closing that he is “glad to find from Kate’s letter that my mention of having seen Rabbit Mullins relieved Mr. Mullins’ mind.”

[full letter in process]

January 5, 1919. Kenly to Mother “Bet that big ‘blimp’ created some excitement along the coast as it is a big seven passenger one and 300 feet long.”

Hotel Letterhead                   Miami Florida Wednesday 191[9]]

[January 5, envelope]

Dear Mother:

Have put off writing each day, thinking that I would know definitely about my leave and only found out yesterday afternoon. Don’t know what day you will get off on, but it will be early next week as have to wait until the boy, who is on leave from our squadron, gets back and I am not sure which day it will be.

I have got to go to Washington as that is the only place I can get any information about what we are to do in the future and also to see about getting away from here and last but not least to see about my junior grade lieutenancy as have finally been recommended for promotion. James Matthews is giving me letters to several of his friends who are in charge of the aviation branch and he advises me strongly to go as Washington is the only place that knows anything. As far as my lung goes had it thumped again last week and it is entirely well and I have a half inch more chest expansion than I have ever had before.

Have been pretty high several times lately and haven’t had the slightest ill effects. That last leave was just what I needed to help my flying, as guess I was getting pretty stale, while now I am better than ever before.

A big navy dirigible and three flying boats are due here today en route from Rockaway, N.Y. to Pensacola. Bet that big “blimp” created some excitement along the coast as it is a big seven passenger one and 300 feet long.

Miami is all up on its ear now as a few of the rich people who live along the shore near the station are trying to have it moved away as they say the noise of the planes disturbs them.

They had a mass meeting of the citizens Monday night and fixed up a petition asking for the retention of the station and told the men who object if the fuss worries them to move away. Morning paper is in favor of the retention while the afternoon paper is for removal so they are slinging mind and a great rate. We are sitting tight in neutral and enjoying the fight.

We are living down on our little house boat now and like it a lot. It’s a good thing we got it as everything, both rooms, food, and clothes are out of sight.

West Summers, Mrs. Tenhet’s nephew, is down here for his health and he has been very ill with pneumonia and asthma. He surely has had a tough time as his kid brother was killed in France last [year] and then Mr. Summers died while I was home. West was a year ahead of me at Wofford.

The weather here continues horrible. Two moving picture concerns have been here since Xmas waiting on some clear weather to take pictures. Today is the first fair day since December and also the first one that I haven’t worn either my overcoat or raincoat. I think South Carolina has it all over Miami for a climate

I am sending some pictures of myself on a boat. Also some to Bell and Kate. Will see you sometime next week.

Love to all,

John

P.S. I am using hotel stationery as it is the only thing free in Miami.

January 5, 1919. to Mabel “Had a good New Year’s Eve, going to an all American dance which was set up by some of the Air Service crowd.”

American Expeditionary Forces [Printed letterhead]

Hq. District of Paris A.P.O. 702 Dec 28, 1918

January 5, 1918 [1919 based on envelope and context]

 

Dear Mabel:-

Your Xmas package containing the socks and chiclets reached me alright this week, many thanks for same. Will drop a note to each of the ladies who knitted the socks.

Had a good days hunting last Sunday, being fortunate enough to kill one of the two deer which the party got. It was a welcome change from office work to get out in the open all day. Went down with the same crowd is in October to their club about fifty miles south of Paris. They are all Frenchman who speak no English and I heard not a word of English from morning until night.

Guess your friend Miss Coker is in town but haven’t been able to get in touch with her yet. However, expect to go down to the Hotel Continental this afternoon if I am still unable to reach her by telephone this morning.

Had a good New Year’s Eve, going to an all American dance which was set up by some of the Air Service crowd. The girls were Y.M.C.A., Red Cross, telephone operators and nurses with a few of the newspaper women who are here with the Peace Commission. Really had more fun at this affair than at any other dance I’ve been to for we had also a real American jazz band furnishing the music.

We’re having a bunch of rotten weather now, raining most of the time and the Seine is very high, higher according to the papers than it has been since the flood of 1910 but there is still some distance to go before it reaches the mark it got to that time. No very cold weather here yet however.

Hope you are well and the “flu” epidemic is finished-

Love to all,

Carl

 

Thomas C. Montgomery [signed]

Thomas C. Montgomery

Capt. A.S.C., U.S.A.

 

 

 

January 1, 1919. Kenly to Mother. “If I don’t go to Argentina surely want to get away from here at once, because if I stay in the service I’ll be transferred to the regular navy and then promotion is by seniority….”

This letter may speak to how quickly things returned to normal.

[postmark: Miami, FLA]

 

Transcribed Letter.

January 1st 1919.

Dear Mother:

Have spent all of my spare time, since receiving Sis’s letter, in running around looking for available boarding houses. I’ve been to all the hotels and the only good ones left that have any available space are The Plaza and the Green Tree Inn that Mrs. Swift runs.

The Plaza is pretty nice, I think and feeds and rooms both. Their rates for a double room with bath and three meals a day are $5.00 apiece or $35.00 a week. The Green Tree Inn has no dining room and you would have to eat elsewhere altho there are several eating places in the radius of a block. Their best rooms, double with bath are $6.00 a day, minus 10% for being the family of somebody in service, which would make the room $2.70 a day for each one of you or $5.40 for both. The next to the biggest rooms are $5.00 a day or $4.50 for you all. That also is double room with bath. Mrs. Swift is the lady that runs the Wayside Inn where you dined with Oscar. Then her mother takes roomers and she has one big double room with bath, but cold water, large closet for $14.00 a week. Am going to see Mrs. Lloyd in the morning and see if she can help any. Have been around there several times but she has been out.

We have secured our houseboat and moving aboard tomorrow. It’s pretty nice and is anchored about two blocks below the Ostend. Four of us are going to be on it. Hope none of the others are subject to seasickness.

The weather here still continues in fits and spells. We had a cold spell for the last three or four days when it was cloudy all the time and so cold that slept under three blankets and had to wear an overcoat all day. Yesterday it turned very warm and has continued so today. Tonights paper said another cold wave would hit here tomorrow.

I’m going on my leave about the middle of January. Am going to Washington while on it and see about getting away from here and also about the Argentine proposition. If I don’t go to Argentina surely want to get away from here at once, because if I stay in the service I’ll be transferred to the regular navy and then promotion is by seniority which would mean three years as an ensign before being made a junior lieutenant, while if I can get on a good station right away can probably get a promotion to that grade first and then be transferred to the regular as a junior lieut. Lieut. Valdes, who is in charge of personnel assignments now in Washington, was my old squadron commander at Pensacola and know he will help you any way he can

Love to all,

John