I cannot realize that I am ten thousand odd miles from Chicago, and something like eleven thousand from where I enlisted in “this man’s army.” It surprises me to see how much at home I have felt right through this experience, in the Presidio, in the hold of the Peru, and now in the Philippines, which always seemed just beyond the jumping-off place. I suppose if I were here alone I should feel truly “insulated,” but there being an odd eighteen thousand Americans to keep one company, homesickness is prevented. At present here at headquarters I am royally fixed—far better than a private should be. There would be a question in my mind about taking this “job” if there were active service to be had, but I am lazy enough to gladly exchange garrison duty for “special duty.” General Hughes is a regular trump, a gentleman of the old school, most considerate to others. The few things he asks of me I only wish were more.
This paper is stained, not with patriotic blood (though I believe that right here in Manila some of our men have bled—true heroes), but with patriotic or tropic perspiration. It is well-nigh impossible to keep it off the paper. In an hour or two it will be cooler. The heat seems to agree with me admirably. The only discomforts I mind, and those are not unendurable, are the heat and flies, and mosquitoes of a night-time. They seem successful in preventing an unbroken sleep, and it is something of a surprise to me to find myself fresh in the morning after my shower-bath.