New Providence, N. J.
July 29, 1898
From: Ruth Barrell
To: William A Gray
My dear dear Will:
I think I knew you were comfortable and cool just now, but I cannot feel you are, when the
heat is almost unbearable out here.
Will, it is 10:20 P. M. and I am alone with you in this dear old sitting room. Every one has
retired but us, you and I. When I received your dear loving letter tonight, I felt I must answer it, but
I hardly saw where I could make an opportunity; but Mer asked me to mail a letter for her in the
early morning mail, so I grasped this only opportunity of sending a letter in time for you to receive it
before leaving the city. So now that I have fulfilled all duties, as reading an hour and a half to Ethel
and helping her to bed, etc, I am free for a sweet few minutes with my love.
O, my darling why will you insist on working so hard, especially during this dreadful weather
of the last week. I hope that dear head doesn’t ache tonight. Poor head with no one to pat it, rub it
both right and wrong way and comfort it. I want you to treat it better in future. I don’t mean pat it
yourself, but just take good care that you do not give it cause to ache. Am I too romantic tonight? I
guess its the hour.
By the way tell your old secretary I won’t send him any check for $895.68 just yet for
sample garbage cans, but I’ll send you enough love and kisses to pay for them. Won’t that do?
Seeing as you enjoy the knowledge of my riding as much as though rode yourself, I’ll take
you for a spin tonight, but mind you’ll be very warm when you stop. We rode right after a big supper,
company any dear little light hearted, giggling Elise, distance 3 ½ miles, over the river to Pages,
back to the Dutch woman’s house (third house from the corner over the river) then home then up
to the village as far as Mr Sayers and home again. Lovely cool riding, but, a bit warm when we
stopped, felt the better for it though both in body and mind.
Ethel is better but still pale and thin and has no appetite. If the weather only improves I
think she will get better more rapidly. She thinks you will be sick too by your vacation time, if you
work so hard. You really must be careful. Dear, this is a bad time of year for extra hustling
especially with head work.
Hope your musical friends don’t keep you awake nights, or cause you to dream of cats.
Well, as tomorrow is ironing day, sweeping day, baking day and probably churning day, I
ought to get some long hours of sleep to fit me to tackle it all properly and get through in time to
“muse” my little sister by reading to her.
I am reading a very interesting, very well written story now, “Anne” by Constance
Fennimore Woolston. Guess I haven’t spelled her name right but you know her, or her, I mean. I’m
getting too sleepy to write straight and I must turn the page and say goodnight with so much love
for my Will.
I return your clover leaf minus your kisses, but with some more from me. It seemed ready
to carry still more so I imposed upon it again with kisses upon kisses for you.
I suppose down in my heart I cannot disguise the fact that I have to worry about you, but I’ll
be patient or try to be, until I can see you nice more, really here and safe and well and happy.
Sunday I see your letter says. Get all the rest you can on Saturday night, Will.
I don’t think you remembered that last night was our anniversary when you were writing to
me, did you? You didn’t mention it. I thought of it many times through the day. Two sweet years
and all the love we have packed away with them, and O, our sweet future, Will, stretching out
before us. My last sweet thoughts before I sleep.
Goodnight and love and kisses until we meet