Jan 20, 1897
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell, New Providence, NJ
My Dear Ruth:
I found your note awaiting me this P M and vary glad you told me yesterday that you
had started letter, for if you hadn’t mentioned it, I would not have asked you to send it and
you possibly wouldn’t have, thereby depriving me of a very great pleasure.
I am very well tonight, but am of course rather sleepy, as a natural consequence of
last night’s dissipations, and therefore cannot hope to write you a very lengthy letter, but
just a few lines in grateful acknowledgment of yours, and all the sweet sentiments
Sleepy and all as I am I certainly would have seen you for a little while tonight had
the mean old snow storm held off. I had my shoes adjusted to the skates and as a
precaution against further interference with a real fine hour’s skate, I bought another pair
of straps. But as the old chestnut goes, “The best laid plans” etc. You know the rest.
It is not easy for me to collect my thoughts just now. There are besides myself, four
others in this little bed-room, Ed, Dave, Gardie & Bob, all in all making a good deal of
noise as usual. Just now, David asked Bob to go downstairs and bring him a pair of
slippers; Bob objected to do so, and for an excuse said he was too tired. David thanked
him for his courtesy and asked if that was the way to act after he (Dave) had just brought
him (Bob) a pin, which David had promised to get.
Bob, however, didn’t seem to think he was under any obligations and persisted in
his refusal to go for the slippers.
Ed told Bob he wouldn’t give him any of those nice caramels he had in another
room. Bob thought Ed was trying to jolly him and that the caramels were illusory. Bob
wasn’t moved so Ed sent Gardie after the caramels, and no doubt Gardie thought it a fools
errand, but to our mutual surprise, the caramels proved to be a realism. Bob’s independent
attitude quickly melted away and upon being asked if he would try one, he said “no he
wouldn’t try one, but he wouldn’t mind eating one.”
This is a very long story, and I tell it merely to account for the caramel which you will
find enclosed. My share was two; one I have eaten and the other to you. It is a very
respectable candy now, but it may be in a jelly before it reaches you. I do not command
that you shall eat it, but in this you can please yourself.
After all, I don’t know what I am writing all this stuff for. I guess it is because I want
to talk to you, even when there isn’t much to talk about.
I am very glad you are so very well and hope you will always be just so.
I, too, am very glad I went out last night. While I had a very pleasant skate, it was
only secondary and would not have been enjoyed at all, if it were not for your company. If I
do not see you before, I certainly shall on Sunday. So Dearest I shall say good night.
With much love