Feb 3, 1898
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell
My own Dearest Ruthy:
Another week of our separation is now fairly under way and I seek to interrupt its
monotony by this means of coming as near you as is possible with the few miles of mother
earth that lies between us. And indeed Ruth, dear, this is very near; so near in fact that I
am, O, so lonesome. You will think this is a strange statement so I’d best explain, (if I can).
You see, Ruth, here I am, alone; mind and heart all given up to you. Yet I cannot hear you
speak; I cannot look into those pure bright eyes, I cannot sit beside you and sing and play
and enter into those past-times that are so dear to us both. We are as near each other just
now as can be, and be apart, yet our relation now as compared with two evenings ago is
so different, that the very contrast makes me wish I had wings or some other means of
taking myself quickly to your side, and securing the happiness of your actual
companionship, instead of sitting here dreaming all these nice things. But to dwell upon
these things only makes me lonelier still and does nothing to conquer the impatience that
seems constantly burning in my heart, so I’d best set these inharmonious elements of past,
present and future aside, and enter a more cheerful vein.
Well, Ruth, did you understand my sign language last evening and look at the moon
rising. Just as I left you it appeared in the East, a great red ball, seeming to rest on the
hills of Summit. Before I had gotten home it had lost its redness, some of its size, and had
drawn considerably away from the hill. The evening certainly came upon us beautifully and
what reluctant steps those were that drew me away from you. I was glad afterward to have
been able to show a little unselfishness and I think it was appreciated at home.
I can’t say just when this week I shall see you, Friday will be the latest, Wednesday
if I can.
The sand man is getting in his good work just now and I’ll soon have to submit.
Ruth, Dearest, if there is anything in the world I can do for you, remember it always
gives me the greatest pleasure to wait upon your slightest request.
I hope this will find you very well and that you may always be so, with happiness
and every other blessing to match.
I send a real sweet silly kiss to your Dear self and a loving good night.
From your own
My mind is just awaking to livelier themes, but eyes won’t cooperate. I vish to vant to
rite you a brighter letter and will do so in my next. I just remembered that I have forgotten
to say several things I wished to want to say, but shall do so another time.