I haven’t been much on the writing lately but this school life if nothing else occupies one’s time and in strenuousness is up to anything I have ever encountered. From physical drill in the dawning till the end of studies at night we are pretty well on the qui vive with very little time to do much of anything else.
Lately too we have been doing a great deal of firing which necessitates wandering all over the landscape for observation. However there isn’t a great deal more of it and after, only the Good Lord and the high command of the armies know what will become of us and unfortunately both of them are particularly chary with their information.
I am sending you in this a picture which I had taken for my identification cards. It isn’t good but may serve to give you some idea how the trials and tribulations of the great war have somehow not managed to change me a great deal.
I never got my picture as a “diable bleu” (blue devil, member of the French army’s Chasseurs Alpins division--Ed.) but some time in the shadowy future if I ever manage to get to Paris again which I doubt, will certainly have one snapped as I still have my regimentals.
I have finally decided that the army is exactly like the mills of the gods. “Slow but exceeding fine” You remember that I wrote you I had lost a uniform overcoat and all my Xmas boxes had never arrived. Well, the overcoat arrived the other day and I have located the boxes . It will take at least a month to get them but they will be nice for Easter. The uniform is still among the missing but I haven’t the slightest idea but that some day it will turn up perhaps before the war is over.
Today too I got a letter from you dated Dec. 10, and a lot of clippings from Papa. It was great of him to send me them and take all the trouble for they were very interesting to me.
Auburn’s crop of war babies and brides certainly beats anything I ever heard of. I only regret that I am not home. I might perhaps be made a godfather or something to some of my friends’ offspring and have the privilege of donating silver spoons and porringers for the rest of my natural life. Were I home tho I am afraid that perhaps the present demand might triumph over the Hills boys hard luck and I should be snapped up. Carroll had better watch his step very carefully.
I had a letter from Will Shoen today. (Shoen and Paul were close friends and on the hockey team at Princeton -- Ed.) He is in France and I hope some day to be able to see him. It really gives you quite a lot of pleasure to know that your friends are beginning to arrive. I have met several Princeton and St. Paul’s people but none of my real friends and it certainly will be great to see some of them again. There isn’t a great deal more now so good bye, with love, Paul