1/5/23 45 Lines of Virgil

316 West Hall

Jan 5, 1923

Dearest Old Pal,

I guess you’re wondering if I’m over that horrible case of the blues. I sure had ’em bad. Walking up the stairs that nite to the telephone I was crying so hard I could hardly talk – but I managed to pull myself together. I’m so glad you called. You can’t imagine how glad I was to hear the phone ring. When I finished talking to you —
I wrote that much this morning in school then when I got home I found that precious letter. I’m so glad you wrote to me. Last nite after I talked to you, I went to bed but I wake myself up a dozen times crying, so I decided I’d try to write something. I got as far as this.
There are times when the world gets so blue.
That our lives don’t seem worthwhile.
And our hearts are aching
And our brains whirl ’round
And we haven’t the power to smile.

Then it all started over again + I tried to write to you. Like I told you I do when you got awful blue (a rhyme) but I couldn’t see the paper, so I gave up. Today at school – everybody noticed my eyes (the ones you gazed into on the fatal Oct. 30 under a black net mask – remember?) and wanted to know what in the world was the matter with me. I didn’t tell them but just passed it off. But that’s enough sob stuff.

Wish you were here. I’m off to wash the car. It’s a big job but I guess I’ll live thru it. Send some of your slimes* out + be sure to include Skinney and Slime Feathers – ha ha – what a bird –
coo – coo

10:25 pm

I guess your deep in some math or physics problem now or perhaps even some Spanish. pitiful about that, isn’t it? I’m rejoicing that all my studying is done till tomorrow morning – I’ve been horribly industrious in my studies + horribly bored. I had to construct some senseless (graphic) and get 45 lines of Virgil. The geom wasn’t so worse but Latin – good gosh!
I began in earnest at 8 tonite + constantly for 2 1/4 solid hours did I translate – there are almost 10 more lines but I had to quit. It was where Lascoon was devoured by the serpents – remember – and it’s so horrible. I’m sure I’ll be fighting dragons all nite long but I’ll use the DeMolay sword + that’ll protect me, won’t it?
Oh – listen – tell me why the De Molay picked out that pin – the funny big part + then the little sword. Wasn’t there some object? I’ve often wondered but never thought to ask –
It was awful hard to get back into the harness again. I guess your finding it so, too. ‘Cause when one has fun + late hours, it’s pretty hard to get back to drudgery + early rising + late slumber. Anyway – it’s all started in earnest and in 2 more weeks my finals + then, Fred, starts the most wonderful time – my very last year of school in Houston unless I decide to attempt Rice – shall I?
I think I have finally decided on my course + unless I flunk out on History + I’m sure I won’t – I’ll go on with the straight course + next year I’ve got to get a scholarship. A tony gold pin so I can study – oh, some more of my resolutions to be broken.
I’m awful sorry for you – I know how it is to be a cripple. I was one for a whole month this summer.
There was a epitheliamal (say it with flowers) tumor in my foot + it had to come out or within (I believe) 3 months, there would be a funeral – so, of course I wasn’t anxious to leave this cruel world + so the thing was cut + burned out. Almost every day I went to the doctor’s. Thank fortune he (the doctor) was handsome and unmarried and proved to be very fond of me. SO except for the pain + worry + inconvenience, I enjoyed it. But he nearly burned my foot off with a sort of green fire salve – oh gorsh as Virgil says “horresco referens” I shudder to recall it. Tell friend foot that if it has any mercy or regard for other people’s feelings to hurry + get well.
From the way you talked in that letter, old dear, you believe in the Fates, do you? The ones that just fashion things to suit themselves + not you + who don’t care whether it hurts you or not? Were the Fates working on October night or was that Cupid? Oh – but excuse me – I forgot it’s been 2 years since you studied mythology.
I’m thrilled to death over Ike. He’s really quite precious. Remember how that first afternoon I was out at Rice + we waited for him + then rode around til he came out + then once he went to town with us + you told me I had gotten what I came for —
I want to come out there again some time but I’m not sure just when it will be – I’m a busy human these days – resting + getting back the strength and sleep I lost last year.
I’m glad Ike enjoyed his good times here – I know I did – but I was not wholly responsible for them. You know, a certain young man – I think he’s a sophomore at Rice Institute and I believe if I’m not horribly mistaken, his initials are F. J. S. furnished the most attractive part of those good times namely the boys and himself C? now will you be good.
Please – meus carus* don’t forget all you start to say when you write to me. If you can’t think of anything else to say – tell me what you think of me – ha ha – do you suppose words could do that??

How can your foot pain you from sitting up?

Ring – dumbbell – ring!
I didn’t intend to write a book when I started but really I got interested so the conclusion is obvious.
Oh – listen – one more thing – did all of my old friends come back? George + DuBois + Smith + Skinney + Jack (friend??!!) + Lokey –
Oh – I saw Lakey uesday + he smiled so sweetly – oh – goodness!!

Tell Ike hello for me + give him my best 73’s.

And I’ll pray for your foot tonite + hope that it will get well fast. And for the love of M-Ike don’t step on any other nails. Ha Ha
wasn’t that cute?

I’m going to have to ring off. It’s way after 11 + I’ve got a hard day before me tomorrow. Besides, my arm is horribly cramped.

I’m looking for another blue + gray envelope soon – pride of my fading years, so don’t disappoint me.
Just oodles of —- to you.
It’s the same old tale.


P.S.  Did Walter L come back?

P.S.2 Honestly, Fred, if I ever got a letter this long from you, I’d faint, but I don’t think there’s much chance of that, do you?
*Latin for “My dear”
This is some more of my senseless wit. They’ve asked me to put it into the high school paper but I don’t know whether I have the nerve.
Read it and laugh. neus carus , and think of my poor, poor head and forget your head.
Something about History and Heads.
There’s a nut that’s preaching history,
to a class of dumb, dumb bells,
he thinks that we can learn from it
And really learn it well.
But here is one dumb,  dumb bell,
Who can’t learn History.
Who can’t even listen to the poor old man
When he starts to preach to me.
Oh, goodness I think my head is empty.
Like a bottle without any water
That has only the outside label
To tell what it hadn’t oughter.
You’ll pardon the poor comparison
Of my head to a bottle without water,
You see, it’s really just this way
I’m only my father’s daughter.
Does it hurt your foot to laugh or write?
* During this era, students at Rice Institute (now University) referred to freshmen as “slimes

2 Responses

  1. steph says:

    that was a long one! Loved the poem.

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