Jan. 9, 1917 [actually 1918]

[Stationary preprinted with name and address of hotel:] Hôtel de France et Choiseul, Paris

Dear Family,

You probably wonder why it took me
so long to get out of Paris, but it took
ten days to get my papers from the
Ministère de la Guerre & I was about to
start off To-day when Mrs. Daly came to
town & ordered me to stay. I had a
nice talk with her this morning & am
thrilled over my new job; I really think
that it is going to be a chance to show
what I am good for. I am to be her
understudy in the administrative End
of the work. I am to be responsible
for all the supplies. I will take care of

the accounts & try to work up system
in the allotment of work for the nurses.
It will be my business to look after
Everything that Mrs. Daly has not
time to do herself, and she is most
anxious to have me so that she
will be able to give up more time to
training in her nurses & getting them
to take better care of the men. If all
the odds & Ends don't fill my time I
am to help in the sterilization room
& assist in organizing a diet kitchen
so that the wounded will Each
get their proper diets. The position
is one which I must create for myself.
I might be absolutely useless & yet I
might be indispensable; here's hoping
for the latter!

Don't be worried if you don't get
cables regularly because I may have
to write them to Hottinguer & let him
send them for me. Don't look upon
me as headstrong & seeking excitement.
I'm not, but I have been hunting
for a job which is real work & which
is a direct help, even if it is the
tiniest drop in the bucket, to the
ultimate close of the war. I have the
necessary physical attributes, young &
strong & unattached, & in war time
we must not be timorous or worry,
we must all go ahead & take a
chance. I know you will be proud of
me if I make good, & I could never
be proud of myself for work up to date,
in fact I'm not worth a star on the
service flag yet, & I should hate to
come home with an uneasy & unreconciled

conscience. All this sounds like the
greatest amount of slush but I have
to Explain my feelings carefully because
I have been receiving such jolts Every
time letters come from U.S. praising us
for our devotion & Suffering over here. All
that praise is five times unmerited &
you are the people who are working
without rewards because you are doing
all the dry stuff behind the lines; we
over here simply cannot sit back
& not be worthy of the sacrifices that
everyone is making in U.S. I hope
you get me. I never will write any
more such sentimentality. Also in the
future my letters may be censored because
we will be in the war zone; therefore if
they sound vague it will be because I
am not allowed to tell of our exact movements.

I can't tell you how nice it has
been having the Shepleys here. We sit
around together in the Evenings & my
salon has proved of some use because
Julia sleeps there on a divan which
is so soft that she disappears out of
sight. We have tea there & Philip has
made wonderful inroads into Dorothy's
"Blighty box"; no matter how much
we Eat here we are always hungry; it
must be the air. On Sunday we went
to Versailles & watched the skating; it was
a cold, clear & sunny day, quite an
exception for here. I don't complain about

the weather any more though after
reading about the blizzards & tie-ups in
New York. French people know how
to Enjoy themselves & although from our
point of view the ice was rotten, they
slid & fell around in most blissful
unconcern. The costumes were decidedly
varied--the latest dodge is red breeches &
blue coats for officers; every sort & kind
was represented--high class & ragamuffins &
they all were having an equally good
time. Supposedly skating is against the
law in war time because it is too
frivolous, for instance the French never
dance, but Every one was doing it just
the same.

Louisa Heydock & Penelope Parkman dined
here last night: they are moving to
another canteen further north because
they have had Extra help at St. Nazaire
& consider their job there too Easy.

I have seen Johnnie Boit who is
at this hotel. It is wonderful how
many people you do see here. I never
used to go down to breakfast alone but
now Julia & I always take our morning
repast with some unexpected gentleman,
either J. Boit, Mr. Bob Bellows, Plaisance
Pennington or other transients. Mr. Bellows
thinks my hospital a gem. he showed
me pictures & a plan of it but I don't
dare send them by the mail for fear
they might get lost.

Both Frances Webster & Mrs Clark have
left. I did not see half enough of
them because they lived miles away.
Unfortunately they will not be together,
which is too bad because being with a
friend makes no End of difference; you
needn't tell the Websters that however.
I feel that after this Experience over here
I will be capable of anything. War is very
good for one in that respect. no matter

how many times your plans change T
what you are told to do, you just go
go ahead & do it & pretend that it is
the most natural thing in the world &
that you have done that special thing all
your life. Julia & I have been thinking
what a wonderful stunt it would be to
make a list of all the unexpected things
we have done since we started; we think
it will be great after the war to have
a foreign service club & Each Take the same
day in our diaries & see what various
activities we have all been up to; it
certainly would be amusing.

Excuse dullness of this note -- there does
not seem to be any real news & I am
afraid I have repeated myself many times.

Why don't Pa, Richard, Lev & Lev Jr. have
a photo taken together, if Pa got left out
of the 4 generation group? Two Richards &
two Levs would be fine.

Much love,
Nora

21.1 cm x 13.3 cm

From the Eleanor Saltonstall papers