December 10, 1918
My dear little woman,
Uncle Sam must have an awful grudge at us poor fellows or he would get us out of Columbus anyway. I dislike the place more and more every day. It's so foggy every day that you can hardly breathe without choking. I think most of the boys will be in the hospital pretty soon, for six of them are out there already. Flu I think is the trouble, or very bad cold. I am afraid that my pal Zeke is going to be taken out there too. I have been doctoring him to beat the band the last two days. I sneaked him in a little too much liquor last night and I wish you could have seen the fun. He got out of bed and made all the boys dance with him (at 1 a.m.). Now they have a dozen guards on the place and search every fellow that comes in. So I will have to find some other way to fight the flu. ha ha
Oh say, I guess you know by my gentle tone of voice that I have gotten some of your letters. Yes, I got that letter that I looked so hard for at Cambridge and two more from Frederick. They were sent to Baltimore, but were a day too late for me and were forwarded here. Gee, but they sure did save my life for I was about dead for a letter, believe me.
I am still sort of counting on being home for Christmas, though I don't know a thing to make me believe it. Just a hunch, you know. Our officers don't know but what we may be kept in the Motor service all winter. I met a fellow the other night down at the Hotel Columbus and I got to talking and asking him questions and it was 3 a.m. before we thought of the time. He had a leg shot off by shell and could sure tell some exciting tales as he had 18 months on the front.
Things were rather exciting down town last night. I saw four good fist fights and a little battle with revolvers but some black eyes and skinned heads were about all the damages done. I have been a little hostile once or twice but haven't gotten scarred up a bit yet.
Well, honey mine, be very careful with that cold you have. I'll continue the story till another day at least, and hope all the folks are feeling o.k. Heaps of love.
Always and ever yours,
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1998-2002, Tom Johnston