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Robert B. House WWI Correspondence

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received no discouragement when the soldiers got their pay last week after waiting for it two months. Their lust to spend very easily overcame the fact that there was little here to buy and the sagacity of the shop keepers likewise [remedied?] the fact that there was nothing expensive. Champagne glad to go for five francs in the morning refused to budge for twelve francs by midnight of pay-day. And one soldier who desired mutton chops but couldn't say so compromised with his ignorance

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of French by buying the whole sheep. By the following morning no drop of wine, no tobacco, no chocolate in the town remained unbought or, for the most part, unconsumed. The business sagacity of the villagers has also met this defict with a multitude of shops in [???] sitting - rooms. And still the soldiers buy, drink, and eat. They are not temperate in their enjoyment, neither are they bestial; and they certainly are generous. Many a little

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3 urchin that had forgotten the taste of chocolate has revived it since pay-day. The french soldiers too have fraternized convivially with the boys, sometimes not at all wisely, as was the case with [?Normie's] spy. [?Normie?] Dow found a man asleep on a straw pile and captured him for a spy. The Colonel turned him loose, as [?Normie?] says because he spoke French, [?Normies?] [?Swedish?] [soul?] 290

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was greatly hurt, and I think the Colonel's reputation has fallen with him.

Except that Monsieur [?Humbloe?] has a cold we are all well in the family. Mademoiselle Paula beat me playing checkers last night, and her mother has completed several more yards of embroidery. Also I think, Monsieur Rene has chopped a few more wheel barrows of wood. The sheep are appreciably

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fatter, and the shepherd still able to toot his horn. Wooden shoes are still sixty cents a pair, though wood is going up, a girl asked the other day what they cost in America now. I don't think anyone has bathed yet, and I have found their example convenient.

Good-bye for this morning. With love to you all Robert.

2nd Leiut Robert B. House M.[?S?]Co. 103d Inf. Avenue. E. G. Via New York.

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