Oct 4, 1897
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell
I want to study stenography some tonight, but before doing so must write you a few
short lines to express my best wishes for your health when this reaches you and hope that
you have fully regained your usual good health and spirits, that were suspended over
Sunday. As I have no means of knowing just how you feel, it will at least afford me some
relief of mind to write you these wishes trusting at the same time that they have already
Well, Ruth, only twenty-four hours have passed since I left you, and that is almost
too short a space to furnish material to write about. I found last night in coming home that I
am still able to push a bicycle, and think by Saturday shall be able to follow you wherever
you lead. My appetite has returned so suddenly that I can’t seem to get enough to satisfy it
and I can almost feel the new tissue forming on my bones, (don’t laugh).
I have been wondering if you were in my position, reading all kinds of newspapers
every day whether you too wouldn’t be carried away by the stories of fortunes picked up in
the Klondike in a few weeks. How plentiful gold must be up there when a man, having
been out in a wind storm, when he returned to his hut coughed up $76.23 in gold dust.
This is only one of the many stories illustrating the fabulous wealth of that wonderful land
of gold and ice, etc.
This isn’t studying stenography, neither is it the next best thing and as you may
already be exhausted from reading the foregoing, I shall not tax you farther.
This is the weather of all the year, Ruth, for wheeling and I hope you will devote
much of it that cause. If Bob be home, take him off on wheeling trips with you. O for the
days gone by, when I could take a day off most anytime; how I should enjoy one now.
If there is anything I can do for you Ruth, Dear, write and let me know. I feel that in
my rough nature I am sometimes forgetful of some of the courtesies and kindnesses I
should show my Ruth, but Dearest, if you will remind me of such failures on my part, I shall
try my very best to correct them. I am not sure that I have any faults that I am not aware of
and am not trying to correct, but would like to have you help me in all the ways you can,
which are a great many.
I find in reading over the above that my meaning is not very clear but perhaps you’ll
understand it; if you don’t, do not waste any thought over it as I guess it is only of
Ruth, I seem to carry a good many things to extremes, and letter writing as much as
anything else. I wrote either pure nonsense or else wade so deep into something of an
alleged serious nature that I cannot quite pull myself out. I wish I could think occasionally
of something sensible and interesting to write you, but tonight I can’t.
My dear Ruth, be very good to yourself and these days while you can. Take life very
easy. Don’t go wheeling at this season without good thick gloves with gauntlets, for it is
very easy to catch cold, if the wind has free passage up your sleeves. Pardon this advice
not tendered with a quarter, and believe me to be
Ever your own