March 17, 1919
Will write you a line or two this P.M. The company is eating supper but I and the Barber eat at special mess a half hour early so we came here to the barber shop. We have two new 2nd Lts. now from the Tank Corps, 82 Div., where Harley is. They came here to go home with us and I was Orderly the night they came. I was in the orderly room while they were talking to our officers and they said the 82nd Division had gone home, but if they have, they sure done a quick job of it because I got a letter from Harley about a week ago and they were still down at Percy LeGrand. I haven't got to talk to either one of the Lieutenants yet, but I am going to one of these days. I can't believe the 82nd has got out so quick. We haven't got any mail for a few days on account of moving away but it will catch up with us this week some time. I wrote Harley a letter the night I got Mother's in which she spoke about getting the cards and papers, and wrote all the news from home to him. I believe I will get a letter from him when the mail catches up with us.
One of our new Lieutenants name is Whitaker. I don't know if it's Cliff or not. He looks like a Hoosier, ha! Ha! The other one's name is Martin. He is about Wardie's size. They were both out to Retreat tonight and I had to snap it up on that old Bugle and give them the best I had in me. You see, I am not a very old hand at the bugler game yet and that one piece called "To the Colors" is an extra hard piece to play. Especially when you have to get up before the whole company and play it. I have seen good Buglers fall down on it. My lips have both been so sore that I could hardly bear to touch the bugle to them so I have been sort of laying off the highest notes. But tonight my lips were pretty good so I gave it all to them and put in some extras for good count!
We aren't doing much only a little drill and inspection, and clean up the streets. Of course, I don't do anything only blow the calls and hold reveille and retreat, etc. I got a big job getting up the company for drill and retreat and everything. They are scattered out and stuck away in every little crevice in these mountains. I have to blow every call three times, except the ones I play after they are in formation. The other Bugler couldn't hold his job down so they relegated him to the ranks again. He never was much help to me. He couldn't blow any call right and I had to take up the call several times after he had tried to blow it and failed. So I was glad when they took his bugle.
I like this country just fine here. I wish we could have had this kind of a place all the time. Some nice people here. They don't follow a fellow around and beg for candy and pennies like every place else I've been. You see, I have three calls to blow at night, one at 9 PM Call to Quarters, and 9:30 PM Tattoo, and at 10:00 PM Taps. Taps means "lights out" so I was walking back to headquarters after blowing Tattoo and a Frenchman came out in the road ahead of me and says "Come in and have a glass of vin blanc." Well, I says "wee" so down we goes and he had some real old homemade wine, clear as a crystal. So I takes a couple glasses while I was in there. He wouldn't let me pay a cent for it and had his wife get some coffee ready for they got the notion that Americans are great for coffee. Say, they were the nicest old couple I've met on this side, but one thing was funny. He wouldn't allow me to keep my hat off in his house. You know the French are noted for their politeness, even the lowest they have in human flesh over here (which is pretty blamed low) are very polite. I thought it was funny why he didn't approve of me removing my hat in the house. I am going back again some day and get better acquainted with them. Will be home in April. As ever,