Summit, N. J.
Sep 13, 1897
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell
My own dearest Ruth:
Your letter awaited my home coming tonight and the reading of it was of course, the
greatest possible pleasure. I didn’t really expect to hear from you so early in the week and did not
look for a letter upon arriving home, as is usual, and nobody told me that there was one, so I was
half through super before discovering it on the side-boards. I always like best to be alone when
reading your letters, if that be possible, so finished up my meal and retired to my room, where I
could be entirely alone with you, Love. Do you know, my great, noble, Ruth, all your expressions
of sympathy and love made my heart beat in great throbs and I longed to be near that pure
unselfish girl, to kiss and thank her.
A word or two about myself. I am not your poor sick Will tonight, Dear, but am feeling very
much like myself once more. Neither poor nor sick, Ruth, tonight. Was pretty well used up when I
got home last night, perhaps for hurrying faster than I should of. I didn’t lose any time in getting to
bed, after taking two drahms of Warburg’s tincture. I over slept, not waking up until about 6
o’clock, which made it impossible to take the 6:20 as I had intended. I was glad to find upon
waking that my bone aches had nearly all gone; what remained was in my left arm, it feeling much
as though I had been throwing a baseball all day Sunday. However, Ruth, “All’s well that ends
well,” and as it stands now, I am very nearly as good as ever. I will be very careful in future to keep
clear of dangerous drafts, and in doing that will avoid future trouble.
I wish I could dissuade you, Ruth, of the idea that you don’t do anything to help me. Why
Dear, I am tonight the living proof of what you did for me yesterday. Who went to a lot of trouble
to build a fire upon the hearth to warm me up? Who compounded a remedy for my fever? Who
thought of me all evening long, wrote to me the most satisfying kind of a letter and asked our
Savior to help me always? You, Ruth, did all this for me and I’m sure I wanted nothing more.
One so good and pure as you Ruth, is sensible of faults where they hardly exist, and while
I think you are much nearer the top round on the ladder of exemplary life, than you seem to feel
yourself. I shall always love and honor your desire to go higher, and shall ask you to take my hand
and lead me to ascend. Your example, Ruth, has been a power with me since I first learned to
love you, and it is my foremost desire that I may improve myself to the point when I shall deserve
the love of one so good as you.
I was able to get though a great deal of work today, and think I shall have things pretty
snug by Saturday. I shall enjoy myself very much more while away, knowing there isn’t a great pile
of work awaiting my return. The Albany trip is looming up with promise of lots of fun and I won’t
care how fast this week goes.
I will to do better tomorrow than this morning, and go down with Mr Bud’s van so, in order
to do so will close this excuse for a letter, with a kiss good night.
I hope you continue to enjoy the good health I left you in last night, and that you find time
to take a little ride on your wheel each day.
I haven’t any honeysuckle to Kiss and send you, but will try to get some tomorrow
morning, and slip it into this letter. Would get it now but by leaving it until tomorrow it will be
fresher when it reaches you. If all goes well, will see you Wednesday evening, Dear. With the
sincerest thanks and appreciation of all your kindnesses and with much love, I am ever your