10 September 1915

Mont Des Cats

Just a line or two to say that the General has appointed someone to help me in my job & I have at last left the trenches.  Pen & ink for the first time since I came to France, today!  These do not mean a rise in pay or that a fortune has been suddenly left me; merely that I have come to the Mont des Cats Hospital as intended & that these small luxuries are here provided. Dental operations started this afternoon but were somewhat rudely interrupted.  House-breaking efforts were progressing quite well with the aid of a boring machine when quite suddenly I fainted !  Think of it –fainted !!!  A large dinner, followed immediately by the somewhat curious position of the dentist’s chair where one gapes at the ceiling must have caused some kind of acute indigestion.  At all events the show had to be postponed.  Tomorrow I am to be gassed – a pleasing prospect – two extractions, followed, I believe, by a little more housebreaking.  There are altogether seven officers up here, all sick.  Mould is one of them, suffering from what he is pleased to describe in a letter as a high temperature.  With the exception of one man who has sprained his ankle they are all suffering from some complaint that requires rest & quiet, they discuss their stomachs etc. & look scandalised at my somewhat rude health & boisterous methods.  One great piece of news — The Colonel has come back.  On leaving the trenches I went to the transport lines & found that he had just arrived.  He spent last night there in a tent, I too in the same tent – he goes to the trenches today.  This means that Toller will at last be able to get leave.  After 6 months during 3 of which he has been in command of the battalion.  I think he just about deserves a holiday.  In my last letter I spoke of an embarrass de richesse in jobs.  I accepted the Adjutant of course & Toller went to the General about it. To no avail.  “Oh dear no” said the General, “he is doing much too well at intelligence.”  So at this Brigade business I must stay.  If only the Brigadier does not get removed or anything, & so long as the Bosch goes on doing things for me to observe all will be well.  But if there is nought to see & nothing to report then my job becomes rather a failure & things may be in a parlous condition however hope for the best, obviously luck is on my side.  A 5” shell missed my Knut by 15 yards the other day & I was quite untouched – only however to faint at the sight of the dentist!!!!

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