Dear Ma-

I know it hasnt bin that long sins I wrote you last, but I thot you wood apreshiate another letir. That, and I think were gettin orders to move soon. I want to make shure you get all three letirs- Id never brake a promis to you, Ma.

As Im sittin here ritin this, Ive got my few pozeshuns sittin next to me or else on me. Ive got my stannard-ishue trenchgun- thats like a shotgun, Ma, but with a shorter barril, and a longer magazin and a bayonet like the Brittish rifles have. Its grewsum in close range combat; I dont think I have the hart to use it on a wild animal. Ive got my grenades- stannard-ishue for all of us soldiers. My extra soks-bless your sole- I change 'em daley, but I dont think they've bin cleened in a yeer. Sope wood do my hole body good. I look like a regiler chimuney-sweep, Im so dark with grime rite now. Ive got a cuple paks of sigarets- won those ofa some o the guys here, playin poker with my card dek. I also won a harmonika off of someone, but I haf to pay him in smoks jes to lern me how to play it good. Im useless without his gidanse, Ma. Without him, I jes make the most God-awful raket. Peeple pik up the rats wanderin round here and throw 'em at me to make me stop. ... Not reelly. But Im sure they wood if they cood.

Were cooped up here with these rats, day in, day out- its discustin. The only way I can think to get rid of em is to gas 'em out. Ma, have you herd of the gas? Its friteful as hell. The Germans drop it out of a plane over the trench whenever they feel like it, and if they aim it right, it falls on top of us like a blanket of hevy air. It burns us from the inside out, all fire-like, and we cant get it out of are lungs case Its hevier than air. So you drown, burnin in it. Or else you go blind, case it burns your eyes out, if your warin your gas mask and it works. We havent bin gased yet, but Im scared Ma. Im waried it wont work. This weerd metal thing... Hows it supost to keep dedly kemikuls from getin into my nose and mowth and throwt and lungs and eyes? I dont beleev it. Be prepared for another cashulty to come back on a bote, Ma- your blind son. ... Im such a coward. You woodnt want a coward of a son to come back, wood you? Id rather die like a hero, fightin for freedom and stuff... Or somethin.