March 18, 1897
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell, % Mr James Myrick, 279 Gates Ave, Brooklyn, New York
My own dear Ruth:
Just a few words in acknowledgment of your anticipated letter received tonight. It is
now nearly 10 P M, and I have just returned from Summit with Father, so the hour will not
permit my writing a very long letter. Nor is there much to write about. Nothing has
happened in my narrow sphere since Sunday that would occupy a line of interesting
reading for you.
Indeed, as you say Ruth, it will be nice to see each other again. I cannot tell you
how very lonesome I feel tonight. Perhaps not because I am not with you at present, but
because it seems you are further away from me than ever before. I have grown
accustomed to thinking of you at night in your home in New Providence and am so familiar
with your occupations, that my fancy could follow you from one thing to another, that I
could almost feel I was with you, in fact. Now you are in a strange place, to me, and I
cannot follow you there. And, although my heart is with you, it does not send back any
consoling impression. All this would tend to indicate that I am one of the most unhappy of
mortals, but it is not so. I cannot ever be unhappy and loved by you, my Pet, at the same
time, and as that is to be always, I guess it would be sensible for me to stop complaining of
the loneliness due to a few days separation, so I will.
I knew you wouldn’t like the proofs, I guess, because I didn’t like them myself. They
may be like me, perhaps so much so, that they are not good pictures. You will get a better
idea of what they would be, when finished, by looking at them from the wrongside over a
light. However, I think they can be improved upon, and as the agony of beholding one of
them will be chiefly yours, it is my desire, as I love you, to have that diminished as much as
possible. So I will hie me once more to the executioner, and try if he can not do a little
better in taking off my head. If not less painful to me at least so to my friends.
In equipping myself for the ordeal, I think better results can be obtained by wearing
different hair, collar, neck tie, etc. Enough of this!
Ruth, it is late, and I guess for your own dear sake, I’d better stop. To continue
would only be to get into some awful mire, out of which I would find it difficult to navigate.
We are having some real March weather now and it is said that Brooklyn is the
particular haunt of grip and all manner of diseases and sicknesses. I want to ask you to be
very careful and if you see any of it coming please go around the other way.
But in earnest, Ruth, nothing worries me so much as when you are unwell, and for
my sake, dear, be selfish.
Make up your mind where you want to go Saturday, Ruth, as I have no choice, and
as our time will be short, there must be none wasted.
With much love, I am