New Orleans, LA
April 12, 1909
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray
My dearest Girlie Ruthy:
We have just returned from the theatre where we saw the musical comedy “The
Gay Musicians.” There was quite a large cast, but the music was not especially pretty, nor
was there anything to it which would appeal strongly to you or I other than perhaps some
beautiful costumes worn by the leading ladies.
It is very near eleven and I have just read your cheery letter written on Good Friday
the ninth again. This little letter is bubbling over with Ruthy, the sweet girlie I’ve known and
loved so long, and whose words of love and good cheer are the sweetest of all music to
There isn’t much to say of the day’s events. Calling on the trade until noon. A long
trolley ride after lunch and theatre to night. Tomorrow is our last day here and I shall be
heartily glad to shake the dust of this old town off my shoes. Business is not good here.
The state legislature recently passed an anti horse racing law and the citizens here claim
this to be the reason for the poor business. There is nothing much doing in our line. The
concerns who have been coming here for envelope business for some years have
themselves pretty well entrenched, resigned to giving good goods at exceptionally low
prices. We can get business here but not in “quick lunch” style. It has to be worked up.
I am happy to know you took a night off and heard “Calvary.” It must have been very
fine indeed to have been better than the time we were there together. I hope Mr Fletcher
didn’t bore you to death about the ink business, otherwise you must have had a very
Am glad the candy reached you all right. I dare say the kids enjoyed it and I guess
big Ruthy as well as little Ruthy.
I told you in a postal we went down to inspect the good ship which has contracted to
bring me home. When we came down there were about 30 passengers on the Brazos.
There will be over 100 on the Momus, returning.
I expect to write you tomorrow, the last until I deliver myself into your arms next
Monday. I will try and give you a message for each day, but send all in one letter.
Now Sweetheart, truest and best of all in the world, the strongest love of my life
goes out to you tonight. I want you, O how I want you by my side once more. The days
when we are both busy at our necessary work don’t make so much difference, but the
nights are so lonely away from you. But I have you my first and only love. You are very
close to me. Your eleven P. M. love message will speak to me as I lie down and the night
will be calm and peaceful. Good night, fairest, truest Ruthy — sweet sleep and happy
dreams bless your slumber tonight. Kiss and squeeze all the dear youngsters for me and
with the love of my life for you, sweet heart once more, good night.
Lightening flashes and it pours rain out doors. Within, I am talking to the pet of my
life and I am very happy in the untarnished love. The simple and perfect boy and girl love
we have for each other. I will now retire with a mind full of the beauties of your character,
lapse into a deep and wholesome slumber. Good night Dearest Ruthy.
Your own Will.