(LaRochelle, France)


Dear Father:

Will try and write you a few lines if this pen will act right. It's been through the mill and is about all in. This is Sunday and services are due to start pretty quick now. I am feeling fine now and eating everything in sight. They feed us over here. We have pancakes for breakfast every 3 or 4 days, rice, prunes and oats by the bushel. Also, what also is known in the states as corned beef but here it's "corned willie" or "old charley"; also salmon is "deep sea turkey." It's a small article of food here that doesn't get a syllable or two tacked to its name, ha!

We have movie shows and boxing every night or two. I haven't tried boxing much here. I tanned three or four of the boys on the ship, and they matched me up with a big 7 footer up at (can't say town) France one night that must have had the gloves on a time or two before. He sure had a punch like a piledriver. He didn't whip me but I guess he would have if I'd stayed there, eh! Well, I didn't stay. I pulled the gloves off at the end of the sixteenth round and throwed them down and says "somebody take him, he's too big for me." I could hit him oftener than he could hit me, but, boy! When he did land one, there was something doing. He was so much bigger than I was I would have had to had a maul to knocked him down.

Well, I must get ready for dinner. I want to get out this PM and look at the sights. Some sights in France. I was walking down the street not long ago and heard some racket start. I didn't know if the Germans were making an air raid or what till I saw a woman coming down the street wearing a pair of woodies and pushing a wheelbarrow, just going on the run over those cobhlestone streets. Oh! Its wonderful, ha! I'll bet there are ten wheelbarrows to every person in France.

One thing sure I'm going to have me one of these French buggies when I get home. They are nice little two-wheeled fellows, wheels about as high as your head with 2 ½ inch tires and 3 ½ inch skeins. The shafts are just an extension of the sills to the bed and a little red picket fence around the seat. There's a little jack mule about two sizes larger than a house cat and to get in the seat, you got to climb a wheel or use a ladder; for if you go in front way, you'll smash your mule and if you go in the back way, you'll tip him up, but I see some of them have got wise and put on a stand behind like a motorcycle stand which they let down on the ground till they get in. Now, don't you know the girls would go simply wild over me with a rig like that! Say, I'd have to hire a private secretary to answer all the proposals I'd receive. And wouldn't I go down them hills some. I'd go till one wheel hit a rock, then the buzzards would get the mule, and they wouldn't have to come down after him. They'd have plenty of time to get him while "the mule was up", if some bat didn't come along and mistake him for a gnat, ha!

Well, there is some comical sights here. I don't want you to judge France by what I write here for, you know, France has some of the best horses in the world. I've seen some real beauties.

Well, I want to close for now and get going. I may add more before the mail. But keep writing to me. As ever your son,

Lawrence Mc