The Ambassador in Germany (Gerard) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: They say that the Apache Indians have the biggest backbones but they have nothing on the President and you.

You know the story of the coon and Colonel Scott, who aimed at a racoon in a tree; the coon said, “Air you in airnest, Colonel Scott?” “I air,” said the Colonel. “Then I’ll come down,” said the wise racoon.

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I delivered the last American Note to von Jagow to-day25 He said they probably would not answer, and then engaged me in gossipy conversation.

These people want peace and will gladly accept the President as mediator.

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If they get good and sick of war here, perhaps they may not feel like revenge after all,—but there is an ever present danger we must prepare for.

The fact that you gave detailed instructions as to leaving etc.— which they undoubtedly learned, with their wonderful spy system— helped a settlement.

The Chancellor and I became great friends as a result of my stay at the Hauptquartier. . . . The Government published a certificate in the Official Gazette to the effect that I was their fairhaired boy, etc.—very nice of them. I really think they recognize that the propaganda was an awful failure and want to inaugurate the era of good feeling.

I did not go to the front at the Hauptquartier as reported. I had enough to do in Charleville, but did witness the splendid relief work being done by the Americans who are feeding 2,200,000 of the population of Northern France. The Americans told me that 50,000 of the inhabitants of Lille, Roubaix, Tourcoing are being sent under circumstances of great barbarity to work in the fields in small villages. I spoke to the Chancellor and he promised to remedy this.

Germans say they will take Verdun. A military treaty with Sweden is reported; a large Swedish Military Commission is now here, receiving much attention.

While at Charleville, in connection with American work, I asked, at one village, to see the German Army stores so as to convince [Page 685] myself that the German Army was not using the stores from America. I saw that one-half the stores came from Holland.

Please show this to Colonel House.

Yours ever,

James W. Gerard