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David J. Castleman letter to Mary Pride Jones, 14 October 1918

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of its ending so soon after our offensive was lauched [launched]. The preparation however, is nine-tenths of the struggle; we prepared well and struck hard. Madame Cloché writes that Miss Crowell, head of the Red-Cross Nurses, wants her to remain in Paris for two or three months. This is a great disappointment to me, for I shall miss our lessons very much. Now dont think that I've been making love to the Madame, for I've never dreamed of such a thing; the following expression gave me quite a surprise:"Vous êtes le plus charmant et le plus délicat des amis." [English: You are the most charming and the most delicate of friends.] It impresses one as being rather personal, but perhaps it is simply the French way of exagerating their politeness. I decided that I was not going to let them beat me at this game, and so every night I shook hands with everybody in sight before going to bed & again the next day when we met. When I left the house I'll shake again & the same when returning. It seemed awfully awkward at first. The above expression has about convinced me that I haven't learned the rudiments of politeness.