Sept 17, 1896
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell, New Providence, NJ
My Dear Ruthy:
It is now some time past nine o’clock. I have just finished my evening meal and
while giving it a few minutes to settle before retiring, take the opportunity the interval
affords to indulge in the sweetest of past times, — that of writing to you.
Yesterday was for me, a long one. I took the 6.20 A M train (or it took me), missed
the 6.30 from N Y in the evening, by about 30 seconds, killed time in Hoboken until 7.45,
and after walking from Summit, finally reached home at 9.15. Was I tired? No, not very and
even the feeling of that little, was dispelled when I found your letter awaiting me at home.
Ruth, if you had been present to witness the cheering effect of your letter upon me,
even though your interest in me was nothing more than the desire of a philanthropic soul
like yours, after the welfare of common humanity, you would have gone away with the
assurance that you were the cause of making at least one heart supremely happy.
I am feeling very well, the work seems to agree with me very well and when I
become a little more used to it, everything will go on smoothly. I don’t mind the long hours
except for one reason, and that is I get no opportunity to see you.
I have work to control my self in this direction sometimes. I suppose that is because
my mind becomes too much taken up with the present.
Your description of the efforts of the crafty trappers to catch the more crafty mink
mused me very much.
I am sorry the mink is so persistently adverse to being caught, because of the
destruction she works among the chickens, and then, when I think of Joe and Clarence
and Gerus and coul hods and traps, I cannot but feel for the poor mink.
Ruth, I haven’t any interesting thoughts that I can put into words. My whole soul is
burning with one thought, and that is of you.
I write you this letter, not to speak of anything else but in appreciation of your
kindness in writing me such a lovely, cheering letter. I hope someday, Ruth, to deserve
your affection, and will work from now on, and forever, to secure that one, and if it is ever
I cannot say good night without appropriating part of your letter for use right here.
“Don’t work too hard, eat all you can, sleep all you can, and be a good Girl” and if
all goes well I will see you in less than 48 hours after you receive this, which meeting will
be all the sweeter because of the enforced separation during the week.”
So wishing you the best of health and every desirable blessing, I am, Dear Ruth,
Ruth, pardon the disconnected strain of this poor letter — I guess I’m a little sleepy
myself, with a mind that has already dozed off. Funny thought, isn’t it.