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September 12, 1899

Up at 4 A.M. Beefsteak, bread and coffee and down the track to meet the patrol north from Apalit. A lovely morning and a beautiful sunrise. Sergt. Carroll, the “torpedo expert,” had the detail. He insisted on talking to me all the way and finding I could meet him on his own grounds grew personal. It seems he has been in the service twenty-five years and has a son twenty years old. He came out here on active service because he lost his wife last February and the associations at the Point were painful. Incidentally, he is hated in the company and is accused of cowardice on two occasions already, though of this I know nothing as I was not present on either occasion. He is an agreeable talker and told me incidents about almost every officer in the Engineer Corps. All this when we were beyond our outpost, which had just been fired on from the direction in which we were marching. Back at 8 A.M. and found a nice breakfast of oatmeal and milk, coffee and bread. The last time I came in from that “hike” I had difficulty in getting a cup of coffee, but there has been a change in the kitchen, the man who laid down on our twenty-mile “hike,” Hawkins, being cook. Corp. Rees is examined for a commission on the 15th. He is a nice fellow and has a brother who is a captain of Engineers. The Corporal has served two years and six months and is older than I am.