Sunday, June 30, 1918
Ft. Riley, Kansas
My Dearest Lucille,
It sure can rain in Kansas when it once takes a notion. A bunch of us fellows got a pass yesterday evening and I got out of Camp for my first time and went to Manhatten, a pretty nice town (larger than Cleveland) and about 18 miles north of Ft. Riley. Say, it was worse over there than it is right here in Camp, for every officer I think goes to town on Saturday evening and I almost saluted my arm off. ha ha
It started raining while we were in a picture show, so when we came out we had to catch the 11 o'clock streetcar as it was the last one to run on a bad stormy night like last night. We got about halfway home and the lights went bad and the car refused to go. You see, I don't know a great deal about streetcars any way. I suggested that probably the sparkplugs were dirty, but the conductor almost got angry with me, so we kidded him for an hour or so while the rain and storm raged on.
A Lieutenant's wife who had hard luck finding a seat and was standing in the isle (or I mean should have been but was entirely on my feet). And don't you know that when I kindly informed her of that fact by yelling "Say kid, if you had just as soon stand on the other foot awhile, it hasn't any corns on it," she got real hard boiled and wanted her husband to put me off in the rain. Somehow I escaped unharmed and dry as a cracker until I left the car at Riley. I was making fine headway for my barracks at double time just ahead of the rain, when one of those darned guard mount boys yelled "halt." I cussed a little, said "yes sir" to him, produced my pass, which he took his own pleasure in reading, as he had a slicker. Then he says, "You may pass on," so I just slopped on home madder than an old wet hen (or rooster as it were).
That all comes in Army life and this morning seems real funny. It is real cool today and looks a bit like rain yet. Would be a lovely day to drill, but we have the largest part of that over with, I think. We are in line with some good, long, fast hikes now not far in the future. About all we do now is to fix things up around our barracks and swat the flies a whole lot, so you can see I am not worked very hard, but pretty long hours.
We had a ball game yesterday with Field Hospital No. 4 and won 5 to 3. I think they have a practice game for this afternoon but I can't see it that way.
Honey, I would sure like to be there this day. I have just seen two or three boys go by with their sweethearts and that sure does make my heart ache for my own sweet chicken. I think I will see that no woman can come into the Camp at all, for it isn't fair for some of the fellows who live close to have company almost all the time.
A boy just got back this morning who had been home for about six weeks on an agricultural furlough. Too long for one man. He should have split up with me. Honey, don't you really need me there on our little farm to help you take care of those large crops of wildflowers that belonged to us alone? I can't help thinking yet of you sitting on the rocks around by the Roxana wells or on the boards down by the old gate. Seems like you should be the same place now as then. Those were the happy days, weren't they dear? We are going to have 100 years of just such sweet happy days as those after we get this measly little argument stopped.
We were mustered this morning and will get payed tomorrow, so you will at last have a rich man. $30. Gee. I don't think I will break the contractor up at such wages as these.
Well sweetheart, I have rattled a little about every thing I know of, so now I will have to ring off and wait for some news from you. Things happen quite often here, but I think I must tell you the same thing time and again. Tell everybody I know hello, and give the folks my best wishes but you keep all the love I send for your very own and there is a whole barrel of it if you could only read my heart.
Your very own,
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1998-2002, Tom Johnston