Dear Aunty Clara:
All is confusion and turmoil in the office. Do this, do that, get this list out and get a duplicate list out with these additions and then forget the whole thing. It has gotten so bad that the work I was going to do this morning still remains to be done. O well, it will wait.
But more about this double shift that the regiment is working on. It seems they are out in the mountains building a fortification line of pill boxes and just having a lot of men out there hasn't seemed to work so they have fewer men there but bring them out twice a day. That way some of the fellows have all the morning off and the other fellows come back and have the entire noon off. This has upset the scheduled hours for Reveille as I mentioned in this morning's letter and it has also disarranged our mealtimes. Lunch is served at 11:15 yet the clerks are not permitted to leave until twelve noon. As a result, we get left overs and things like that. That is one of the inconvenient things about it. They have a second lunch at 2:30 but it is impossible to attend that either. The same situation has occurred in the evening. Formerly the supper meal was served at 5:45 or 6:00; now they are serving it at 6:30 and 7:30.
The last few mornings I have not eaten a full breakfast but have just made sure that I get my bowl of Rice Flakes or Corn Flakes. It is just like being back at home again having such a light breakfast. Somehow I have gotten a bit tired of eating and eating and eating in the morning. Although it is true that a person hasn't had food in him for a long time when 7:00 rolls around; but it seems unnatural to eat so much then. I'll bet that was one of the chief reasons for my increase in weight.
Remember those G.I. glasses I was fitted for? I just can't remember the last time I wore them. It's a shame to see the money wasted on them even if it is the government's money. However, in a way it is lucky that I waited until coming into the army before getting them. Otherwise, I would have been stuck for the cost of them out of my own pocket.
I never did tell you about the hotel room Edie and I stayed in the first night in town, did I? Well, at first we went to one of the more ritzy places but the cost was too high since they did not have room for just two people and we would have been required to pay for a room for four. Just around the corner we found another hotel and this one was on the second floor above some stores. From the outside it reminded us of the 10¢ a night places on Madison Street and the other slum sections of Chicago. It may have looked like a place like that but their prices did not bear that point out. $3.00 or $1.50 for each of us! The room had three chairs, a dresser, 1 double bed and 1 ¾-bed. There were two windows with shades completely drawn and a door with a transom that wasn't there.
The washroom was down the hall and around the corner. We knew so little about the hotel service that they might offer that we safeguarded our interests by buying a bar of Palmolive soap in the drugstore on the corner before coming back. They had soap anyway we discovered.
The room was similar to a dungeon. It was not my idea anyway to sleep in town; but it was Edie's brainchild. The mattress was so very soft that it was difficult sleeping in it. After all even though these army mattresses are not the softest things in the world they are not much harder than the ones I slept on at home, right? Then to sleep on a mattress which was every bit of six or eight inches thick was just too much.
In the morning we were handed the laugh of our life. We had locked the door even though the transom was out. We figured a thief would have some time climbing thru without waking us up. It so happened that from my bed I could get a glimpse out the window thru the crack between the wall and the shade. It seemed to be a cloudy and rainy day. I mentioned that to Edie who had just come back to the room after washing up. He said that someone must be wrong since a man had just told him it was a swell day outside. To prove it (that it was cloudy) I walked over to the window and pulled aside the shade. That is when we were handed the surprise of our life. The window was all the way up and it did not view the outside world but rather onto another hallway in the same hotel!! We lock the door and the window facing a hotel corridor is wide open.
The staying in the hotel at night instead of going back to camp almost proved costly. I had placed my wallet underneath the pillow and then left it there in the morning when we left. After eating breakfast I remembered it and went right back. There was the room --- just as we had left it but there was no wallet to be found. Here was on of the occasions were I didn't care for the money inside the wallet but was more concerned about the wallet itself. After all, Mrs. Boyer and Bob gave it to me. It so happens that people do forget things in small hotels just as they do at big ones like the Harden House (in the This Week Magazine in case you have forgotten) and they too check over the room very carefully after the guests have left. The wallet with the dough was handed over to me after my complete and adequate description of it. Lucky me!
Well ---- to the mail with this note.