New York, NY
March 29, 1898
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell
My own Dearest Ruthy:
I have just arrived here (Mills House) and referring to my old watch I find it a few
minutes of eleven, the hour finds me rather sleepy, but otherwise very well. Went home
last night and had a good night’s sleep, so since Sunday until now have kept very good
hours, the wholesome effect of which I certainly feel. That fine apple you so kindly gave
me Monday morning I ate just before leaving the office tonight, that being the very first
chance I have had to take time to enjoy it.
Surrounding me are the strangest circumstances in which I have ever written you a
letter. Most times before, I have been at home and alone, but here I am seated at a heavy
oak table about ten feet long, in a room all of 250 feet deep. This room is separated in the
center by two arches, between which is a space of about 25 feet containing a library. This
middle space also separates the smoking half from the other. This is certainly an extremely
pleasant room. The ceiling is high, the chandeliers are fine, also the light, and distributed
the entire length of the room on either side are palm trees of different variety. Around this
table are several men, but all very quiet, so intent are they upon their evening papers. The
Journal seems to be the favorite and looking up in most any direction, I can see nothing
but spread type and war pictures, (Hanna not forgotten). I presume it will be necessary to
hurry this letter for very soon the papers will be laid aside, and the debate will commence;
then writing will be next to impossible.
My Dearest, Ruthy, the most pleasure I get just now is to close my eyes on this
strange scene, when I go up stairs to bed and draw very near you. It gives me a lot of
comfort to know you are situated so comfortably and happily at home, away from all the
noise of the world, as well as all other unpleasant phases of it. O, Ruthy love, when the
time comes when I can share that quiet delightful life with you, how amply I shall feel
repaid for all the hours I have been compelled to spend in this way.
Dearest, I am perfectly happy in feeling you to be so near me now, and I shall lie a
few minutes in thought of how you might have spent the evening. I shall hear you play and
sing, while I am seated in my favorite place at your left.
Ruthy, I am silly, but dear I couldn’t well get along without the privilege, and using it
I must send you good night kisses now and go to my bunk. Will try sleep to at least
7:00 and guess I won’t have any trouble about it tonight.
Am going to fix it so I can see you good and early Saturday, so we can have some
fun together. If the weather is good perhaps you will meet me at Summit. I will tell you what
time at a later writing.
Well the people are commencing to disperse and a porter is piling the chairs up sky
high. I suppose the lights will go out soon, which I believe is the management’s final coup
to make the people retire.
Good night my Dearest Love, and many kisses for all the week.
From your loving