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Interlaken, Indiana,
October Thirty.
Ten A.M.

Dear Friend Esther:

Both your letters have been received and welcomed. And since nature is again replacing me upon a normal basis of health and happiness I shall write a little to you. It is a fact that nearly all human beings find great pleasure in getting letters, anticipating their contents and enjoying the missive itself, but that these same persons do not find the same amount of enjoyment in writing letters. However this last is hardly true of me because of my peculiarities. I take lots of things like that for granted, am surprised at nothing, and able instantly to decide and adjust myself to any situation without the least trouble. Did you ever hear of Richard Newman Glendenning before. That is me. In the Army a man only has one name and it's of not very much importance. The address I gave you will do yet for a while, except that I am in Co. C now instead of F.

I think that I understand you well enough that I won't worry you with any more silly questions. Of course you are not to blame for anything. I venture to say that two or three years from now you will be quite changed. For myself, war is a remaker of men and the veil to the future is opaque. So let it be. Yet at the same time friendship of youth is a necessity and without it life would be more unhappy. A true friendship has something inspiring and worht while beneath the smooth surface of that which is seen by the eyes of the world. It tends to elevate and make easy living for those involved.

I have yet a little space in which to answer most of your questions. I have been for the last three or four days living upstairs in a nice little room with three other men of my squad, but we had to move back down to the Gym. again today. Several hundred all in one room. L. Achleman is in my Co. He was just over here and I get to see him every day. McCollum is in Co. A., in the new barracks and I see him also quite often. Achleman says "it" could bet better. Life here is not so hard yet, but we are not started yet as we soon shall be.

I could not see any of your folks that Tuesday morning except someone waving. Ha, ha! Many thanks for those pictures. They are cute. The one of Ruth surely did make me smile. Ha, ha! I heard once that she said she would be happy if she had freckles. She don't seem to be very unhappy now tho. tell Clark I shall write to him as soon as I can do so. I'm in the Army now. Hoping to hear from you I remain,

Yours Truly, Richard.

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[A rough draft of Esther's reply was enclosed in the envelope.]

Geneva Ind
Nov. 1, 1918.

Dear Friend:

I intended writing to you last night but didn't get to so I am writing this morning. It is a good thing you don't dislike writing letters for I imagine you will have a plenty of it to do. I don't know that I actually dislike it still I would much rather talk. Talking seems to be more my forte. I haven't done enough writing to be good at it yet. Perhaps, if the war lasts several years, I will be able by that time to write a letter that is a real letter.

Luella was over yesterday afternoon and she told me several things that I would otherwise have asked you about. I showed her that picture of you and she said "Well, what is the matter with him?" I don't suppose I will get to see her very much more if her school begins Monday. I guess mine begins then. I do dread starting again. That is why I didn't want it to stop. Hollingers are going to have the class meeting tonight tho the ban is not off. That is one thing at least that the girls will get to go to during their vacation. Clark and I were over there sunday afternoon and stayed for supper and all evening. Just think! I suppose you have heard all about this before. While at your place I saw the annual published the year you graduated. I heard some one say once that that was the best picture they had ever seen of you. It is very good I think. I saw Bland's picture too. He looks so old in it. Who was it wrote those sayings after each picture? Whoever it was musth ave had a pretty high opinion of your wisdom and Bland's character. Speaking or rather writing of Bland reminds me, have you found any one there yet whom you would care to have for a friend? Or have you had time to get acquainted wiht any one yet?

While i have been writing the beet pullers wife brought her little boy here to stay while they work in the beets. He stayed out in the field with them before but it is too cold to-day. He is a cute little boy about two years old but rather shy. He acts like he wants to hide every time mamma looks at him. Warren and Lloyd have brought out every plaything they ever possessed and every one is racking their brains trying to think of some way to intertain him and make him feel at home. His mother had quite a time tryint to slip away without his seeing her and crying. He won't take his coat and cap off. We thought when they first came that it was a little girl. Warren had been playing with him in the beet field yesterday and whenhe came in we asked him if he had had a good time playing wiht that little girl and he said, "She isn't a little girl. She's a little boy and she can't talk plain." Ruth and I had intended working in the beats and were somewhat disappointed when just in time to keep us from doing it.

Do you get the Geneva Herald?

I am glad you understood me for that is more than anyone else has ever been able to do. Even the folks sometimes say I am a hopeless case. You speak about being peculiar but I think that is one thing at least in which I out do you.

E-mail: shelly@cat-sidh.net