Dearest Fred o’mine –
I had a surprise last nite that nearly knocked me over! I’ve gotten so many of them lately that I ought to be used to them. I answered the phone and it was a girl. She talked a little like a boy I like awful well and she asked for me – then informed me that it was Mary Stancliff. My dear you could have knocked me over with a tooth pick!!!!! She came up Tuesday but didn’t call me til last nite – for various reasons – anyway, she’s to be operated on Fri morning – for appendicitis. Did you know it? I guess, of course, your folks have told you about it. I talked to her a long, long time and she’s awful interesting. It really gave me a thrill – Honest! She will be in the hospital for a week or maybe longer – and I don’t intend to give her a chance to get lonesome, believe me! I’ll go about it in a very dignified sort of way, tho – Ha Ha. Anyway – I’ll get to meet your mother and sister – and you’ll be here, too.
I’m awful glad you decided on the 9th, you’ll get to be with your folks in Houston + help cheer Mary up, and maybe you might be able to stay here a little longer since your mother + sister are here. So, Big Boy, I think you’ve decided wisely. I intended writing you today and telling you they were here and to come home the 9th, C? Then I got your letter. My dear, are you well? Are you sure your head has not been smashed in some sort of accident? or that someone has stolen your brilliant mind away? Three letters in three days!! Thank the Fates you have come back to normal. Now, for the love of Jeremiah’s children, keep up the good work. It gives a fellow an excuse for living, and that’s something I haven’t had lately.
So Fred just can’t wait any longer. He’s getting impatient + restless. Well, well, and he’s going to quit a week ahead of time. Tell me, big boy, why has the sudden fever of anxiety + longing + restlessness taken such absolute possession of you. You really flatter me, m’dear. You think of me so much lately – (I wonder) – you want to see me so bad (I wonder) – Am I the only one? Haven’t you any regrets living P.A.? After all it’s a good place. Why should you feel as you do toward it? I’m sure it has done nothing to earn your contempt. When you leave, Mon Ami, please thank Port Arthur for me for me won’t you, please? I can’t tell you for what because you wouldn’t understand but please thank it for me from the depths of my heart.
The people next door are playing “Daddy won’t you please come home, I need you badly, Daddy won’t you please come home.” One of those moonin’ blues, now – oh, Good Grief – it’s “Sunny Tennessee” – I wonder of whom you are thinking? Someone sometime, now where____??? Oh, yes I can see your lips curl in disgust for my mentioning it, ah, you, I can hear you thinking.” ah! the creature, could I but drag her (me), screaming, thru the streets with her mouse colored hair grasped in my strong right hand, the hand that hurls 16 lbs, swiftly thru 42 feet, the strong right hand that hurls 4(?) lbs over 145 (?) ft. had I but her at my mercy, dare she remind me of someone else. Then she would realize that the mercy of man in, upon her bended knee would she beg my forgiveness – while I stony-faced would stand above her, scorn her, my strong arms folded over my mighty chest, in which a heart beats for her alone, but she should not know it. Dare, she, remind me of someone else. Oh! I am a hundred or more miles away from her, she is beyond me. here I sit reading it. I can’t wreck my fury on her as I should like to do for we are apart. Allans! whisper it not to a soul! I should get even with her, in only a short week! Oh! death, where is thy sting!”
Now, that was a grand free for all outburst. Profit by that, mon ami, commonly called “caveman stuff.” Most girls adore it, and it is up to the boy to find out which girls do, C? Strength, and courage, dare and fearlessness, only accomplish that miracle. How do I know. Ah! They say experience is the best teacher. After one looks on life through the rose colored veil of illusion. Has not love whispered his devilish lies into your ears and I laughed at you? You had escaped it? Oh! Fortunate one – your eyes have not yet been opened to disillusion. Grasp the joy while you may, for all too soon, alas! Comes the viper and stings, stings until the heart within you turns cold, and bitter, and life became a mockery. Grasp what you can of bliss while it is offered, for at the end of each of our roads the House of Lost Souls awaits us.
Fred, I wish I could explain that above paragraph. I know that broad, intellectual brow of yours is drawn into a frown and you are saying to yourself “What is that child thinking of. Does she fancy she is old as Helen of Troy? Does she think she knows so much of life?” Well, that’s up to you. You know me better than most, perhaps. You have been given a deeper sight than most, and I fancy you have taken advantage of it – as for illusion – and the serpent. I was stung once, and I’m pretty well disillusioned. Yes, even for one so young, a little over 17.
Well, I’ve been quite industrious.
Yes, so much so – I don’t even have this time to finish this letter. I feel lots better, too, except that my throat is holding its winter carnival and taking several holidays, and I’m crazy enough to go in swimming too. A few couples of us are going tonite and I just can’t say out, simply can’t, so I’m going. Haven’t been in since Mon, Gee! such a long, long time!I sure miss it. I was going in yesterday.
Got downtown + was buying a few things. I got so dizzy I had to grab a counter, and I began to feel numb all over, and my throat began aching. So, thinks I to meself, perhaps I better come home + call off the swim and I did, you know I must have felt pretty bad if I refused a swim. Perhaps I’ll learn how to dive tonite. Oh! Glory! Caro mio, when you come home, we’ll sure have to go swimming, and maybe Mary can go. I doubt it but perhaps, Oh! I tell you, things are beginning to pick up here in this tame town. Thank fortune. Fred, it’s rather a pity but I’m utterly lost without excitement. I’m miserable if there’s nothing to do. I used to be able to drown my troubles in a real interesting novel but times have changed. Books bore me. I adore to write, I believe I’ve spent half my summer writing to you. I know you have a trunk full of letters. I’ve written you. Do you know that exactly10 months ago today, the 30th I met you? 10– mon ami! To think I’ve known you for 10 long months and like you better now than I ever did. You know, that seems to queer to me. I mean, please don’t misunderstand me that I’ve always thought “variety was the spice of life” and that “If God could love all the boys, why couldn’t I love a dozen?” And so I’ve gone from one boy to another – changed hands, as you chose to call it, and closed myself up in a shell + marked “No admittance – Private” and then the Fates decided they’d teach me something more and they arranged our meeting. That was great! Honestly they did me the biggest favor ever done by them – for I began to believe once more. I was in pretty hot hands, believe me, but I didn’t realize it until afterwards.
Will surely have to celebrate 2 months from now for that’s our first anniversary. (Oh! Goodness! this is so sudden, think’st not so?)
Well, I must stop for now. I have to go up town with Mother + I have to dress. C.U.L.O.M.
Cor. Main + Jefferson
I find I’ll have to quit. I’ll be hitting it hard from now on so au revior.
Have you ever met “the girl” in P.A. I asked you to tell me all about her – won’t you? Huh –
Please write to me before Sbt (?) week, won’t you?
Oodles + bushels + tons +gobs of love.
In front of Levy’s
Just beat a fellow into a place + oh! He sure told little Flo what he thought of her. It sure was hateful o’ me but if one doesn’t take things one doesn’t get them, eh. What, m’dear?