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From: Donald D. Smythe, Professor of Geology
Peiyang University
Department of Geology
Tientsin, China

To: Mrs. Erma Smythe
Pagosa Jct.
Colorado, U.S.A.

Dec. 11, 1923

Dear Erma:

This is the third year that I have been away on your birthday. In any case "Many Happy Returns"

States mail came in the 9th at Shanghai and reached here tonight. Two letters from you. Thought you were going to Grass Valley the middle of November (letters of Nov 7 & 15). I ordered the two trunks to be sent you there c/o E. Zimmerman. I enclose the key to steamer trunk (haven't other key) in this letter. I am also enclosing a letter which came some time ago but which I neglected to forward.

We had a pretty good snow last week, and it hasn't all left yet. Unfortunatly I had to go to Tientsin that day so had a nasty ride in the rickshaw. Was much harder on the boy though. It can snow any time it likes for as long as things are damp we don't get the dust storms.

I have been skating once so far. The ice has not been fixed in the campus yet so the place we went was in a little pond back of the buildings. The snow spoiled that though.

Yes, I didn't have to eat Chinese food. There are three of us running a mess. European food in good style. We have Chinese food once a week and operate them with chop sticks. I have gotten so that I can pick up and eat shelled peanuts with them. Ancient eggs and shark's fin ain't bad. Fish tripe isn't so good.

Gave an examination to my freshman class today. Wonder how many of the 50 were cuffing, probably 10%. Contrary to opinion in the States the Chinese are the most unprincipled liars and theives I ever saw. A mexican is the soul of truth and honesty besides them. Tomorrow I give two other exams. These are smaller classes so that I can watch them better.

It is late and I have an eight o'clock tomorrow so must close. Glad you are getting into practice on the booze. will need to if you come out here. I have only been tight once, on the occasion of the celebration of Armistice day, a month ago. It sure did me good. Free champagne at the Tientsin Club. Think I will join!

With love Donald