Dec 15, 1896
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell, New Providence, NJ
My Dear Ruth:
I guess it is I from whom an apology is due for having so unceremoniously thrust
upon you so much O C S B C literature. I was very badly off for something to do yesterday
and, as a result, you are the one imposed upon. However, Ruth, because I sent it, it does
not follow that you should feel obliged to read it. The office is full of that kind of stuff and
they are very glad to have anybody take it away.
Yes, Ruth, those old New England towns must possess much that is of interest, and
the time when we shall visit them together is one of the many beautiful visions of the future.
What has been the chief object of my concern since Sunday, was your being unwell
on that day. I am very much relieved to know that you are better, and sincerely hope you
are “all well even now, before tomorrow comes.” What adds to my discomfort when you are
not well is my utter inability to do anything to make you well. Well wishes are very easily
bestowed and they are just as unsatisfactory to me as they are ineffective in curing any ill.
Try to take good care of your self. Be a little selfish, or at least try to develop a little
of that common vice, which in you would be a virtue. Because Christmas is coming let it be
a season of work rather than the more aggressive pursuit of it.
This is a whole lot of advice and I shall leave it to your judgment as to whether it is
good or not. I am not quite sure of its absolute correctness, myself.
If all goes well, I shall see you, dear, tomorrow night. Tomorrow and not Thursday,
because I know I can get away on the 5:40 train, while Thursday may be a very busy day.
The wind is blowing furiously just now, and the indications do seem to point toward
snow for tomorrow, but I guess I can manage all that is likely to fall before that time, so
Ruth as I want to retire early tonight I shall say goodnight, hoping that tomorrow will find
you as well as can be and thanking you for your letter and for your love, I am