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David J. Castleman letter to Mary Pride Jones, 23 February 1918

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Last night on our way in, we took an English Red Cross nurse, who had lost her French maid, under our care. She is stopping in this place for a day or two. She is the wife of a Frenchman & has lived over here for a good many years. It seems rather queer for a war nurse to have a maid, doesn't it? She is well educated & knows French, so I made her give me some pointers in exchange for my services as maid. I hope the maid is well endowed with brute strength for she certainly has need of it. I imagine my lady travels often & far. Talking about maids reminds me of one down in the City of Limoges where i stopped overnight some time ago. When I crawled into bed I was startled somewhat on finding that there was something hard under me. It turned out to be a hot water bottle. The maid had gone in while I was at supper, turned down the bed & slipped in the bottle. I understand that this is the custom with some hotels, but I'd never run into it before. France goes to bed soon after supper, as there is practically nothing going on after dark. All the shops close at 6 & the cafes at 9:30. The streets are dark