February 24, 1919
My dear, dear Mother,
Your long letter came yesterday and you can never know how I appreciated the things you said. Not many mothers have the same faith in their sons you seem to have in me. I have re-read it at least twice already. The verses were splendid and I liked the ones about Dad best of them all.
Why will Father send more money than I asked for? It makes me feel bad enough to have to wire for ten, let alone get twice the amount I had to ask for. I don't know where my money goes. I drew twenty about the fifth, but I owed seven or eight, and bought some socks on the outside for a couple of dollars more. Then this pay they didn't pay me for some reason, but I ought to get about twenty-five, less $6.75 for a pair of shoes I must draw this week, so I'll have plenty again. I don't go on liberty but a very few times a week although I can go out every night.
I had not had any too much money for a while, so I went out and bought myself a feed. Then yesterday John and I went out on the trolley to try and get out in the country. Up here they don't run inter-urbans -- just plain trolleys that don't cost much to go on. We went to Chester, Delaware City, Darby, and John's hometown, Newcastle, for about fifty cents. Got out in the country (if you can call it that, with houses all around), and walked for a couple of hours.
If I can ever get a cent-a-mile slip, I am going to Washington, but it costs three times as much when you don't have the cent-a-mile rate. Am going to talk to the skipper about it in a day or two. Got the dollar bill and it made me feel bad to think I had telegraphed for money after you had put that in. I didn't go down to Sara's this weekend, but I have a date with her for the big Harlan dance given every year in Wilmington, so will go down Wednesday afternoon if I can get out of the Yard.
This morning is just like a warm spring day. Duncan came back from Bonham, Texas, and he says it's colder there than here. He got several dollars, and they gave him cent-a-mile slips for doing it, so he came out ahead.
The Northland, a big British transport, came in Friday and Whiteside went out on the City Police tug, and semaphored greetings to returning officers from their mothers.
I thought you knew Sara's last name. It's Whiteside -- you hear me talk about John Whiteside all the time.
Am putting in a couple of very poor pictures we took on a dull day. I had a small picture taken of me when I was downtown the other night, so will send you a couple. I didn't like those doggone ones I had taken in New York.
A two-striper [Ed. note: A lieutenant, grade O-3] just came down and I talked to him about getting out, and he said turn it in, so I will get a typewriter and make out a formal request, and turn it in with the affidavit.
Hope I get another letter from you this morning. I can't tell you how much I thank you and Father for helping me out when I am broke. Boone hasn't sent any money yet, but he may do so.
Love to all of you,
Your most loving son,
(Postmarked Philadelphia, Penn., February 25, 1919)