January 7, 1918
Registered letter from you arrived today. Thanks very much for your trouble but for goodness sake don’t get any more of those letters of recommendation: I’m sure, if I turned in what you have already sent, that I would be appointed a general or something like that right away.
You proably (sic) know, by this time, that I have changed my plans. Hope to get in on the Vancouver deal yet. I understand there is a very good chance to save money up there. At any rate if there is any chance I’m going to take a try at it and if I think then that I could do better with a commission I’ll make a try for that as soon as I have saved enough money to carry me thru. If I go I’ll most likely leave tomorrow and I’ll drop you a card just as soon as I’m out of the state of Texas.
I might just as well get down to hard tack and pins. I wrote to Father that I didn’t have enough money to accept a commission even if I should receive one. This is the reason. Pay is uncertain, one must have enough money to take care of himself while attending school. Pay is supposed to come at the end of 30 days after entering school. Most of the boys entering school are from moderately wealthy families and dress better than the gov’t issues. Then when a commission is received, one must buy a complete outfit (about 175.00 or 200.00) and then support himself for the next thirty days or so before he receives pay. But why talk of things so far out of sight at present? What I want now is enough money to get a haircut-cough syrup-soap and other good things to eat. If this gov’t had any system about it I’d have been alright but the whole thing looks like a money making scheme to me, and not for the soldier. Right away please send a letter with a little money in bills, say a 5 spot to my address here: mark your return address plainly on it and insure it or something. Well, have to hurry and get back to retreat at 4:30. Just as soon as I know for certain I’ll let you know about Vancouver.
The sweater was alright in its way but if I were not in it, it is so light it would fly. I’d like one knitted so close and thick that it would stand alone (olive drab if possible, little larger size, in the chest especially.)
Tell Father that my puttees are beginning to go to pieces now. That is the reason I need another pair, pair for dress you understand. Love, Dan
My great-grandmother, as was often her habit, wrote on the back of this letter to her daughter (my grandmother) who was at Bates College. She would instruct my grandmother to pass the letter along to other relatives, some in Maine, some not. This note had no salutation.
The letter before this was pretty blue, reporting cold nights, insufficient blankets, cough, boils, burns, fester, inflamed eyes, sand storms raging. But then that had humor in it. We sent money by return mail, box of drugs, salves, disinfectants etc, before day was over and blankets next morning. Have a heavy sweater nearly ready to send. The “Vancouver deal” is a spruce getting expedition to B.C. I hope he has started and was out of the track of this last blizzard and freezing weather which struck San Antonio. Send to Uncle Bunn, he to Aunt Mary.