22 Cliff St
New York, NY
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell, New Providence, NJ
My Dearest Ruthy:
For the past two evenings, just about this time when the day’s work just closed and
the night’s not begun, my thoughts have, for a little while, winged themselves away to New
Providence and I have enjoyed the nearness to you which always comes when writing
you a letter– altho those I wrote you this week were little more than notes.
I want to tell you I received your interesting letter of yesterday with all that came
between the lines! It came to me just after I returned from lunch or dinner rather. Your ring
I got while out and it is now “as good as new” and as I look at it now where you saw it last,
on my little finger, it seems very bright indeed. I had secured two boxes and was going to
securely pack and send it to you by registered mail but since reading your letter will be
glad to do as you request. I will wear it in the day time and at night (this and tomorrow) will
put it in a box and under my pillow beside my watch. Saturday afternoon will see it back
where it belongs if nothing happens to me.
Father told me Walter had been home and that he had gone over to your place. You
say he looks old and dignified; that is of course a desirable air for an aspiring physician to
cultivate, but I don’t think I noticed that Walter was making any great strides in that
direction. I thought too that he looked quite thin but of course his position is such as not to
generate much fat. He is going to take a vacation this month and part of next, which will
surely do him good. It sometimes makes me shudder to think of that weak heart of his; Just
to think how uncertain his life is. He knows tho, just what care of himself is necessary, and
if no accidents happen, he may live a long life. Walter is one of the best dispositioned boys
I know and it pains to think of the menace which hangs over his life.
About vacation Ruth: we’d best wait until it comes, and I’m afraid there’ll be so
many, enjoyable things we can do, that the time won’t be one fourth long enough. If we go
to the sea shore, the arrangement will be in every way consistent so you will need not
worry on that score.
You didn’t tell me whether you had any report from that specimen sent to Princeton.
I am anxious to hear that it is in every way favorable to Ethel. I take it for granted that she
is improving steadily, as you would have told me of any relapse. I hope my surmise may be
I told you our Princess ware catalog was completed — I meant as far as I can go.
Have not yet added the prices, which are a very essential feature. Are waiting for costs
from the factory before we can make them up. In some cases where the goods are new for
us, they have to cut out the blanks and make up 100 of the articles before we can get the
actual cost of that number. This delay I’m afraid is going to cause trouble as we must have
the catalog issued by the 25th of this month in order to follow out the proposition we make
in our “ad” to appear in Sept Home Journal issued 25th. I enclose you proof. What
do you think of the scheme?
Talking of Ladies Home Journal reminds me that the “Strand” will be out in a week. I
will enjoy reading this number more than ordinarily, as on the Saturday I bring it to you, will
turn my back on business for two weeks and a day. I didn’t tell you that the little “ad”
enclosed costs for one issue $250.00. I don’t quite see how we are going to get it back as
the cup, catalog and postage will cost more than 18 cents. Perhaps the “women
convassers” will make some money for us. I know you are an expert in colors, so send you
some samples of cover stock as I cannot seem to decide which is going to look best. Give
me your opinion as to which color you think will make the prettiest cover, won’t you. This is
nothing special, Saturday will do. The inks to be used in printing will be black and red.
Seems to me I have devoted quite some space to some of the things I have to worry about
all day, and should forget when writing to you — but what I have mentioned are the more
interesting tasks and I enjoy looking after their development.
Will try and get train to New Providence Saturday, Dear and we shall be together
again for another delightful season.
Must say good night and go out and eat a little.
Am sorry you did not feel well Monday and hope you didn’t attempt any work until
you were better. Don’t rush too hard, Ruth, if things have been delayed, or work any faster
because I am coming early Saturday. If there is any particularly arduous task, leave it for
me. Am in need of exercise and will be very pleased to help you a trifle; but the bigger the
task the better I’ll like it.
Have just bestowed several kisses upon your ring which I feel is an ambassador of
love and peace from you and will carry back this message to you Saturday.
Take good care of your Dear self and accept best wishes for your good health and
With my whole hearts love, I am as ever