New Providence, NJ
October 18, 1898
From: Ruth Barrell
To: William A Gray
My Dear Will:
Will, I’m so lonely tonight without you. I don’t know what to do with myself. Perhaps
it’s partly the weather, but no, I may as well tell the whole truth. It is because you did not
seem either so well or so happy as usual on Saturday and Sunday. I cannot help worrying
about you. I know you are working too hard and I know you do not get exercise enough,
and I am so afraid you’ll make yourself sick. I wish I could just fly down to N. Y. and see
how you were getting along each day. I don’t suppose I will be perfectly happy until you
get your work down to some kind of regular hours so we can be married and be happy
together. It wears on my nerves thinking of you and all that pile of work you make your
poor weary body accomplish.
I just wish we were married now, then perhaps you’d come home and take care of
yourself or give me a chance to try my hand at taking care of you. Now, Will, forgive me for
all that scolding and I’ll just be your Ruthy as you know her when she’s happiest, in your
arms and looking into those eyes, which are my secret home. That sentence sounds
wrong, but it’s right as I mean it. Your arms are the walls of that home and your eyes the
light of all the future years, which shows me in my dream thoughts all the happiness to
come to us and ours.
I do hope Dear, that your rheumatism is all gone — and you are feeling perfectly well
I expect Florence here by Thursday. I am so happy to think of her coming. I love her
so much. Will, I always have since we were school-girls together and I always will. This
last year I could not understand. I should never have written letters but gone to her, yet it
has all happened for a happier end, I believe. Both she and Bob are so happy I know —
and I know how to be happy with them.
Will, I cannot seem to think of another happy thing just now. The sad thoughts come
up so thick and fast I just want to have a good cry. I cannot get that broken up family out of
my mind. Poor Gussie and her little girl. Oh, if I could only do some real something for
them. Nothing has been heard from Abe and, as the work had to be done, Mother made
arrangement with Lew High for the next six months. And Frank Sayers wants the house.
He came to see about it today. He would be a good and permanent tenant — and Mother
could hardly afford to lose such a one, so she decided to let him have it on Nov 1. Bessie
went to see Gussie about it today. She was at her fathers. She is all broken up over
leaving her little home, and I don’t wonder. She doesn’t know where she can go or what
she can do with her furniture as she wants to keep it so if Abe comes back, as she hopes,
there will be a home waiting for him. We feel we must do all in our power for her. Bessie
and I will try and get her some place if possible, we thought of trying Morchonses first.
Gussie is a splendid worker, handy with every thing about a house. We would help her in a
minute if we could afford it and if there weren’t enough of us to do the work. If we succeed
in securing her a place, she could store her furniture someplace. My heart aches for her
and I have been trying to think of any scheme I can to help her. Can you think of anything?
O, why doesn’t Abe come back. What a weak miserable man he is to leave a helpless
woman and child and the cold winter coming on. I wonder do some of our noble
townspeople sleep easy at night, are they proud of their influence in tempting weaker
ones? My head feels like bursting with all its suppressed feelings and thoughts. I had best
go to bed and prepare for clearer thinking tomorrow.
We were working on some pretty white clothes today — pretty white shirts and such
things. It’s lots of fun. Don’t you wish you had to make some too? Don’t know where you
could put ruffles and lace on your things though and that’s the fun part so guess you
wouldn’t enjoy it after all. This is a sudden diversion, indeed that’s the way I feel tonight,
first sad, then gay. Guess I’m sleepy. Wish I had you to talk to Will, you always help me so
much. But I must tear myself away as usual, no I won’t wither. I am going to stay right with
you tonight, these nights I can, and you don’t know how very clear I come some times.
O, days fly away and let me have my Will. I want him so.
Will, I’m naughty again. I’ll be good and patient now, and go to bed with sweet love
thoughts of you, to sleep and dream happy dreams of you.
God keep my Will well and strong and safe in His care till we meet in His good time.
P.S. Will you please bring out a dripping pan for Mother on Saturday, We’ll pay you for it.
She wants to try one of your agate ones. I must hurry as Bessie is waiting.
Goodby R. B.