2. Somewhere in France, Christmas Eve 1917
My Dear Father and Mother,
Just a few lines to let you know I am well and happy and hope this "chitty' will find you the same. Since the time of my last writing, Dec. 11, I have been on detached service in one of the ports of France, in connection with the Christmas Mail from the States. I was assigned to look after the mail from my battalion and have been exceedingly busy since the arrival of the expected~ Christmas ship. Thousands of packages have been sorted and rushed to their destination to cheer the boys that wi11 enjoy no home festivities this year. John was also detached on the same duty in another port and so we will not be together on Yuletide this year. I happened to snatch a package with my own name on it out of the rush and found it was a remembrance from Annabel. There was a fine pr. of felt lined buckskin gloves for each of us from Herschel and Vanna [cousin and his wife] and heavy socks, handkerchiefs mufflers chewing gum and stocking caps for each from the others. I am writing a letter of thanks today.
The war wears on, aur kya jane, it looks as if it would wear on forever. Its a dismal thing, I bet, to spend Christmas in the trenches and it seems sacrilege that the terrible master that has ridden Europe for the past 3 years will soon have another new one to desecrate with his guns, but as an old Englishman told me the other day. "My lad, I've had two boys killed already and the "babe" is up there now! but if you and we don't finish it now it'll be the Sons of our sons that would have the duty thrust on them. So we've got to stick it out and its the ones that stick longest that will win in the end."
. . .Give my best to everybody at the Conference, and remember us to all our native friends.
Our love to you both and to Esther & Lois.
Your loving son, Eugene