GAS ATTACK 5 A Soldier’s Letter to His Sweetheart Dere M a b le: I am bustin into societie up here a t the range. This needent m ake no difference be tw een you and me though. T h e re aint nothing stuck up about me but my hair. T h a ts all right so long as its good and wet. L a s t Sunday w h ile I was takin a bath in a little tow n near here the m inister ast me to dinner. Not while I w as in the tub, of course, Mable. Ju s t after. H e ast Joe Loomis too. He had to really cause he was with me. Hes not a regular m inister. Hes got a lot of money and pointed shoes an is down in th e m o u n tains for cronik axm u th. Awful highbrow, Mable. Dont know who Ring L a rdner is and changes the needle af te r every record. The m inister has two daughters, both girls and a wife. One of the girls is good looking and the other is more like youd expect. I guess shes a pillow of the church. Joe was a s t for her while I am u sed the good looker. Any one but Joe could have seen that. Not him. He kept buttin in an m akin an ass of hisself. W e was ast for dinner at hapast one. Joe thought it would be politer not to run in an eat an run out like it was a canteen so we w ent a little early. About noon. They played highbrow pieces on the foneygraph. The kind th a t has only one tune on them an cost so much th a t everybody has to lissen. Joe dont know nothing about music of course. Right while K. Russo was havin an awful tim e he says if theyll speed it up a little he like to have a dance. 'Two daughters—both girls The m init we sat down to dinner Joe started tellin one of his stories about how he alm o st got killed one tim e. T h e y was all w a itin for him to shut up sos the m inister could say grace before the soup got all cold. Joe thought they w ere listenen to him. T h a ts som e thing th a t aint ever happened to him before. He kept draggin it out and draggin it out. The only thing th a t finally stopped him was he forgot the point. Then the m inister put his nose in his soup and began sayin grace. Joe thought he was talkin to him and kept askin \Hows th a t and w h a t say” all the tim e he was prayin. ■ I aint never go in out w ith th a t fello no more. I guess thats safe cause he wont never be ast. All the tim e durin dinner he kept sayin, \My gawd I hate to m ake such a hog of m y sself.” Then the m inister would look like hed lost some money and my girl would giggle. The m inisters wife passed him some stuff she said was real old spider corn cake. Joe said he didnt care how old it was. Since hed been in the arm y hed got sos he could eat anything. Then he thought a while an says he guessed it m u st have been a relief to the spiders to get rid of them . Nobody said nothin. Ju s t to show his poyse Joe took his fork out of his mouth and speered four pieces of bread across the table. He was all for keepin the sam e plate through dinner and gettin up an helpin. Said he knew w h a t it was like to be in the kitch en on Sunday. They forgot the coffee till dinner was over. They didnt like to w a ste it I guess bein w ar tim e s so the m inisters wife ast us if wed like to go into the draw in room an have it. Joe said he w a snt much at draw in but My gawd if he sat round m akin a hog of hisself any longer theyd have to give it to him in a bed room. They gave us coffee in egg cups. Seein I w a snt payin for it I didnt guess it was my place to say nothin. M anners. T h a ts me all over, Mable. We got talkin about one thing and another. I was tellin them about the w a r and when it was goin to end. Joe was sittin on the sofa w ith the other daughter pickin the sole of his shoe. I felt sorry for him cause I knew hed be lookin at foty- graphs pretty soon if he didn’t buck up. The m inisters wife asked me w h a t I thought of wimmins suffrage. I said I thought it was a good thing but you couldn’t tell. T h a ts the beauty of always keeping read up on these things. If you happen to get outside the arm y for a little while and m eet some intelligent people you can talk on pretty near anything. Then she turned to Joe and ast how he felt. Joe jum p ed like somebody sprung out at him an says \A little sick to my stum m iek thanks but thatll be all right as soon as things set a bit.” The good lookin one said she thought our officers was awful cute. I guess she never seen our lieutenant. She said she just could ‘They forgot the coffee till dinner was over.” not resist them. I says, quick w ithout think- in it up \of course, its against the law to re sist an officer.” T h a t got them all. laffin an they forgot Joe for a little while. Both the daughters sang a duet. Joe says that was the best thing about it. They got through twice as quick. W e got laffin so hard th a t I says I guess wed have to go sos to be in tim e for mess. Then Joe got awful polite and backed over a rubber plant an says \My gawd excuse me.” He wont never be ast again. Ive been w o n d erin for a long time, Mable, why the audience officers all w ear spurs. They don’t ever ride a horse of course. I ast Angus McDonald, the skotch fello, the other day and he says its to keep there feet from slidin off the desk. Aint th a t a funny custom ? I guess were goin to begin shootin again pretty soon. The L ieutenant says the ar- tilery is goin to have a Brigade problem and the infantry is comin up from camp for it. I guess weel all take a lot more interest in the shootin if theres som ething w o rth while to fire at. yours in spite of b e tter things, Bill. P. S. Joe Loomis just got a letter th a t sm elt and w h a t do you suppose Mable? It was from the goodlookin daughter askin him to come over to dinner next Sunday all alone. I guess there not as high brow as I thought. Bill. P e r E. S.