When you find these wonderful pieces of antiquity, don't you wish you had pictures and knew the whole story? Reading a letter is like reading a snippet of a novel - just enough to get you interested with no way of knowing how the story turns out. I found this letter in a box of ephemera at the flea market many years ago. Here it is verbatim (commas and run on sentences galore). Enjoy!
Feb'y 9, 1912
My darling wife:
Your dear letter received this morning at 7:30 a.m. & I was pleased to hear from you so soon. As I am alone tonight will spend my time writing letters. Barry has gone up on N. 14th St. to see some one - don't know who - but rather think it is a woman.
Dear Lillian, Barry & I went to the new Multinomah hotel last night to see the place, & it is certainly a swell place. Wish I could have paraded in with you on my arm - just as I see the swells do last night. The women nearly all had real low necked dresses - showing their busts - while the men were all dressed in black dress suits, with white vests. The dinner cost $2.50 per plate - so Barry & I did not stay for it. There were flowers galore, & music in 2 or 3 different places in the lobby. Tis the swellest hotel I was ever in - or ever saw in my life. Honey, it made me feel blue to see other men there with their wives & sweet-hearts - when mine was so far away - so I & Barry left there at 7:30 P.M.
You sweet little woman. I would give a month's salary now - if you were here, so I could hug & kiss you as of yore. Hope sister will come out with you & then we will have a good time. Bring the Graphaphone, etc. with you - I love to hear them play.
Well, darling, you remember about my scrap with Mrs. Brown - well Lou Smith gave her the bounce last night - he told me her work was something awful - so you see I am vindicated at last. He realizes now that I was in the right. I am getting along nicely with the boys & keep the work all cleaned up. My little stenographer, Miss Leahy, has been sick for about a week - but she was at work again today, although she should have been at home. She is the only one for me. Mr. Lou Smith hired another dried up old maid - who has been with the Title & Trust people for about 20 years, & told me if I had any typewriting to do - to have her do it. I hate the sight of the old b--- - so told him I had no work for her to do - then sat down at the machine & did it myself. I won't work with her if I can get out of it. She is a lemon & they will find it out.
I received a letter from Walter & folks today. Walter will probably locate in Minnesota as one of the large Minneapolis jewelery houses has promised to set him up in a live town & furnish him with a complete stock - even though he now owes them a bill. They seem to have great confidence in him. I don't want to leave here as I have a position which will develop a much larger salary in the next year, & I like to be my own boss & I am practically that now. Mother is failing fast so father writes, & could not write. He is terribly discouraged - has been out of work over 6 weeks now & says they will be in debt by the time spring opens up. I must try & pay them what I owe to them just as soon as possible - but cannot do so until I am through with my case & have sent money for your return.
Darling, may be you can get your father to give you a hand-out - if you tell him you want to go west where you will have a chance to do something for yourself, try it & see how he comes across. I can then pay part of what I owe my folks, a little sooner & help them out that way.
My "Lilly" I bought another bottle of Palmer's Toilet water tonight - the chamber maid swiped what I had - but left the bottle. Will take a fall out of her if I catch her in my room - gee won't she squeal. Boy, darling, that picture which was in your letter is a good one, will keep it near my heart. As for the card enclosed "Hustling for business" - will say that it truly represents one of the male genii in pursuit of something which every male loves. I had some fun with that card - showing it to the boys at the Court house. Lou Smith said he never once thought that I was inclined that way - so I told him to try me with some pretty, plump maiden, & see if she would not develop a watermelon. Dear Sister thinks - no doubt - that I am a bad pill & that is the reason you are so thin - but you know best. My Queen, 'twill be 4 weeks tomorrow night that you left me - when I kissed you last - when I stood at the depot smiling at you as you sat in the car, but with my heart drowned in tears. I will never forget that night - & may we never be compelled to go through such a strain again. Many sad, lonesome nights have I spent since the 13th of January & will have to spend quite a few more, dear heart, unless you can get your father to help you - as I can not send you enough to return until some time in March - at the earliest. Oh, dear, why can't you fly? Could have you with me then in a day or two. Get those papers & then see if you can make a touch for $100 - or if he would only give you $50 - you could come at once. I would be glad if he would even give you the $20 - he soaked my father for releasing my trunk. Make the most of the case & if he seems to act right, you can tell him a story to suite yourself about our relations - but don't tell him where I am - lead him to believe I am in Minneapolis & have not been away from there since last year when I went up there - to the best of your knowledge. Carrie will help you, I know, because she wants us to be together & be happy. Dear sweetness, enclosed find a few Valentine postals which express my feelings very well.
I hope that you are all well & will try & be happy until we are together again - indulging in "bare hugs" & the like. Sister had better take a few lessons in wrestling before she comes out here - so she can hold me (down?) up. Yes, honey, I am sure able to walk straight - never felt better physically in all my life - so beware & prepare for the battle. Will expect to see a rosy - plump - brown haired lassie step off the train some Sunday - because I want you to be sure & start from there so that you will arrive here about noon, and I can then meet you & take you to a hotel - or some rooms which I may have rented. You can easily find out just when to start so you will arrive here on Sunday at about noon - I will be Johnny on the spot - dear Lillian.
Barry has come back & was in my room for 1 1/2 hours, & I will now finish my letter. Will write you again Sunday, darling, & hope you will write every other day - it cheers me up wonderfully when I receive your loving letters. Hope you will have lots of nice things for our home, dear heart - but don't work too hard - for if you do you won't get plump. Give my love to Carrie & Boo. Will write sister again when she writes me.
Will say "Good night" now darling Lillian, take good care of your dear self, and until we meet again, I am, with love & kisses,
Your own Hubby
Untie a ribbon in your life – you might find an adventure!