June 15, 1897
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell
My dear Ruthy:
I have only finished supper and read your letter a second time, but the cuckoo has
just called nine so you see I haven’t many minutes left before bedtime. The little while I
have I want to use in talking to my Darling, principally to thank her for the pleasure she
gave me after this long, long day, in so delightful a letter. After I had read it over twice
Ruth, it really seemed as though I hadn’t been away from you at all, and all my time since
Sunday had been spent in playing hide and seek with the little ones, making it difficult for
you to feed the chickens, going for walks, and all the different pursuits I so love when you
are my companion. This perhaps explains why all your letters do a very great deal to
shorten what would otherwise be a very long separation.
Dearest Ruth, I thank you with all the fullness of my love for the brightness you cast
along my path, and while my thanks are but words now, it will be my constant aim that they
will be changed to deeds as early as possible.
I am glad you find time to play hide and seek with the children. I am very glad they
are with you, for I know with so pleasant a distraction, you will be apt to do more play and
less work than if they weren’t there.
It seems like very hard work, getting up so early to pick and market your peas, but
so long as your object – “a bicycle” – is so grand, I will not say more of the work, only I ask
that you go to bed early, not even using all night to write to me.
I feel like writing you a nice long letter, Ruth; one such as I owe you, but if all goes
well, I hope to see you tomorrow night, so will get all the sleep I can tonight. Don’t be
scared, Ruth, I won’t keep you up late. I promise you I will. Went down on the 6:20 this
morning, so beat you a little if you were in Summit at all.
Your briar rose is just as sweet as it can be, so much the more as for your having
kissed it. In return I send you some leaves of the tea rose you gave me Sunday. Each
represents a kiss to you, Dear. The other flowers I have before me now, and looking more
like fringe than ever, but still very sweet.
Well, Pet, until tomorrow. I will say goodbye, and for just now goodnight. In not
many minutes I shall be in bed and perhaps dream of some picnic with you or get in my
sleep, a transient glimpse of a future I delight to picture. Wishing that God’s richest
blessings will always be most bountifully bestowed upon my Ruth, I am
Will mail this in Summit tomorrow morning so you will receive it in the early mail.
Myself and a letter all on the same day are somewhat of an imposition but I want to see
you too, so this time it can’t be helped.
I am sparing with the rose leaves because I might want to send you some more
kisses later in the week. Good night Ruthy, Love