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Mr. & Mrs. Braithwaite Backus
Bald Buzzard Ridge RFD #2
Mountainville, MS

Dear Ma & Pa:

Am well. Hope ya'll are too.

Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Army beats working for
Old Man Minch a mile. Tell them to join up quick before maybe all
the places are filled.
I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly
5 AM. (but am getting so I like to sleep late.)
Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot
and shine some things -- but no hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothin'.
You got to shave, but it is not bad at all in warm water.
Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, beef, ham steak, fried egg- plant, okra, pie and regular food. But tell 'em you can always sit 'tween two city boys that live on coffee. Their food plus yours holds you prettyfair 'til noon, when you really get fed.

It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much. We go on "route
marches," which, the Sergeant says are long walks to harden us up. If he thinks so, it is not my place to tell him different. A "route march" is 'bout as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys all get sore feet and we ride back in trucks. The country is nice, but awful flat. The Sergeant is sorta like a school teacher. He nags some. Captain is like the school board. Colonels and Generals just mostly ride around and frown, but they don't bother you none.

This will kill Walt and Elmer with laughter. I keep getting medals for shooting. Don't know why. The bull's-eye is near big as a chipmonk and don't move none atall. And it ain't even shooting back at you, like the Higsett comfortable and hit it. You don't even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes. Now be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join
before other fellows get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving son,

Zeb

P.S. Speaking of shooting, enclosed is $200 for a new barn roof and Ma's teeth. These city boys shoot craps, but not very good.
 

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A quick google search revealed the missing part:

"And it ain't shooting at you, like the Higsett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it..."
 
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