New York, NY
July 25, 1898
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell
My dearest Ruthy:
“In the midst of life we are in death” is an oft repeated phrase, and it suggests
another especially adapted for present use “In the midst of work we are in play.” So it is
with me just now. I have dropped being my own stenographer for a few moments to drop a
line to the Dearest, Sweetest girl who ever lived. I mustn’t take long for it is now nearly
nine and I’m not yet through for tonight, yet must fulfill my promise to be in bed by ten. I
thought of your mother’s request for me to send Bob McClures, but I do not know his
present address, having neglected to ask for what it was Sunday. If you please, Ruthy,
when writing include this information.
I’m getting so full of business that I can’t think of any nice sentiment any more; too
full of “stock phrases,” etc.
On this new clean piece of paper I want to send love and kisses to my Ruthy: loads
of love and hundreds of kisses. I’m wondering if you found time today to go and gather in
those berries we investigated and sampled yesterday. I suppose if you did today it was for
“business” only, all your efforts being centered upon how many berries you could pick in
the shortest possible time.
Why wasn’t it my privilege to have been with you, and to have revisited that house
which nature constructed for us with its generous ventilation, abundance of light and the
entire absence of any disagreeable features such as mosquitoes, or the necessity for
keeping doors locked at night or closing windows when thunder storms threatened.
I have wandered from my purpose in writing and must come back to the stern
reality. I tell you thoughts travel quickly. Mine have traveled 50 miles just while I was
writing a few words; from New Providence to New York and back to New Providence again.
This little sheet is all for love and kisses to my Ruthy. It may be that one night,
perhaps Thursday, I’ll run out and see you and deliver some of those kisses of which I
have so many for you. Anything I can do for you or any of the people you know. I’m
anxious for the opportunity to be useful.
Hope Ethel’s fever is gone and that she is much better when this reaches you and
that the improvement will be continuous.
Maybe I’ll get to the Love and Kisses soon and here they are, many many of them
for my Ruthy.
Good-night, Dearest. God bless and keep his child and my Ruth always.
With, O, so much love,
Ever your own