Sunday, June 8, 1924
Dearest old pal,
Gosh! it’s a doggone lonely world, not much excuse for existance, just plodding along our own weary ways, nothing doing, no excitement, no phone calls to expect and be disappointed if the call doesn’t materialize, no dates, and Sat nite as lonesome as it has been so often lately and I guess I’ve got a pretty stiff attack of the “blue devils” and they sure are a torment! and it’s equal to purgatory. I really ought not be blue, this next week looks fairly bright, but somehow the thrill of all the brightness is gone. I can’t get excited or enthused or thrilled over anything. My mother says I’m worse than impossible, and she’s threatened to kick me out of the house and down to the railroad station, put me on the train and bid me farewell to my mournful face. Now, ain’t that nice!!!! Like heck it it!
However, I have plans of my own!! And here they are. If by this time next Sunday I have received a telegram or nite letter saying “Won, place, Distance? Sail Monday” or something similar, why I proceed to prepare myself for a merry (like heck) flight up to San Marcus, Austin, San Antonio and El Campo! However, if only silence rewards my anxious waiting, why I shall unpack my little suitcase and wait til I hear results of the meet from you. I know without doubt that I shall go utterly, impossibly insane if I have to stay in this berg any longer alone. You always did tell me that I was spoiled, didn’t you? and who knows better than you that when I want a thing real badly. I usually somehow manage to get it. I can’t have, and only 2 days 7 hours and 6 minutes have passed since that elusive and record breaking personage boarded the train and the train pulled out of sight. (Gosh, I wish I had had nerve enough to hop on the observation car and let you hide me like you did Ape. Fun? Boy Howdy! I could have seen the world thru my own eyes then! Besides, think you once told me that my face was good for a trip around the world! Yes, I think my face could stand such a trip, but I’m not at all sure that it could all streaked up with tears. Tears are such disastrous objects and they surely spoil a woman’s complexion, either bought or natural. That’s why I so seldom indulge in them. Of course, with men it is different. Their noses are shiny and expected to remain so; but Heaven help a woman with a shiny nose. Murder has committed for less!)
But, you see, if I do leave I don’t expect I shall get back until you do. In fact, I think I shall make it a point not to. But this house is simply driving me insane! Every where I look, everywhere I turn, I see something to make me long that much harder for you, and if I continue such foolishness as being miserable all the time you’re gone why I won’t even be fit to be at the train when you come back 3 months from now. So, I haven’t had the power yet to realize anything but that you’re gone, and each day carries you further and further away. Foolish? I’m worse than that. There’s only one consolation – that is that you are gaining something for which you have worked, aimed and trained for 7 long years, and you are really happy. So I can make myself wait, as I have always done.
Now, to come to something beside sob stuff. I was just thinking this morning how the tables had turned. Last year at this time, I was having oh! such a glorious time on the house party, and you began your exile in Port Arthur. Then for 3 1/2 months you served your sentence, and I was free as the air, wanted you back dreadfully, but I wasn’t awfully bored. Now, the tables are turned. You’re not bored and are free as the air, a pocket full of traveler’s checks, and plenty more money to check out – supply unlimited! A chance to go to Paris, and already the chance of seeing old America! And I am serving the jail sentence, and the same loneliness that you had last summer. But you were patient, and while patient, and while patience is surely not one of my virtues, I can’t learn the art any younger. I don’t guess you remember how. When you come back last summer and I found I really cared I said if you ever leave me for so long! But if you ever did leave me for that long again, I’d make you take me. Well, by heck, you’re gone, thousands and thousands of miles away and maybe soon across the water, and I’m not with you. So, sweet papa, you done me wrong! But there’s always a price on the tinyest things we get!
Last nite after I had tried and tried to read, I gave it up and went to bed. Later I couldn’t sleep, so I got up and stood at the window watching the sky. Orion was slowly moving across the sky, and my heart thrilled as I thought of how I once told you that story out in the swing. Remember? And I thought of how you said last summer in one of your letters, that you were on nite shift, as you would look out at the stars and Orion and think of me. And while I was standing there wondering what you were dreaming of I looked up at Orion again, and the most beautiful star I ever saw fell across the Heavens leaving a stream of golden fire behind it. It lasted only a second, but it shot straight across Orion’s girdle and down, down out of sight. I usually thrill all over when I see a star fall, but somehow that star seemed to mean otherwise. I’m not superstitious but somehow I felt an iron hand had just clenched my heart and body and nearly crush them. The star really didn’t mean anything. It was just my state of mind; but I thought surely I would faint. A few minutes later I was asleep. But I can’t understand, Fred, why I should feel like that. It puzzles me so. The stars mean so much to me. They’re like Heavenly lamps shining down and usually I can get peace and rest from looking at them, twinkling so brightly, and even tho clouds do hide them from us, we always know they’re there and we soon see them shining down as brightly as before. I know I’m foolish, but I guess I was born that way.
I’m dying to hear from you. Can’t you write me on the train and let the porter mail it at some of those little 2 by 4 railroad stops. I swore I wouldn’t say a word to you about writing, because I knew you would when you could, but here it’s popped out! Darn! This patience is the work of an artist, not me.
I talked to your mother a long time yesterday morning. She calls me up to ask me all sorts of questions. Really, I think I know more about you than she does! She was your first sweetheart, but I’m your latest. You notice I didn’t say your last for who knows? We’re both yet young n’est ce pas?
You might be rattling French off to me when you come back. You can’t get any better practice than being among French. Don’t be afraid to say Mon Dieu or Sapristi or parbleau. Really those are mere tame words! Something like “goodness gracious” or “my, my” or something similar.
If I ever finish this letter I’m going to write one to Marguerite introducing you to her. Her name is Marguerite Loiseau, pronounced Lwazo! She won’t recognize it if you call her anything different. Her address is 24 bis rue de Picpus. I don’t understand all about that myself, but I know rue means street and I believe bis is house. SO it would be 24 (no. of house on the street of Picpus, whatever part of Paris that might be in. Tell her about me – not all you know, of course, but – ah, I don’t guess she’ll be lacking for something to say. Tell her I’m anxious – terrible anxious to see ma petite amie francois! but since I couldn’t come way across the waters, and you could???? (If!) why I wanted you to meet her, and tell her that I loved her, and for the love of strawberries (and, sons doute, you do!) please tell her to send me a real good picture of herself or better still, you bring it back. Fred, I’d adore to be behind the scenes when you are formerly seated in Marguerite’s parlor, and talking English to her when she knows about 3 words! Wouldn’t that be great?!!!
Say, I think I’m going to exile myself away from every body! Heck, mother and I just had a tiff and I feel like the good ship has gone down!
Say, if you don’t go across, and get to stay in New York, or if you do get a chance, I wish you’d look up my aunt, and tell her you’re Fred. She already knows you. I’ve told her lots. Her address is 41 East 42 St. Perhaps you’ll have to find out her business address. She’s frighteningly busy and perhaps you won’t have any luck, but if you have more time than you know what to do with, why, there’s a way to occupy the time. Her name is Mrs. Benjamin F. Armstrong. If you don’t get to it, Fritzie boy, don’t put aside anything for it.
Freddy-boy, I don’t suppose I’ll be able to write any more. You won’t be able to get my letters. I won’t know where to address them, for I guess you will have left Cambridge by the time another letter could get there. That’s why I’m making this letter real long. And Fred, be sure at each post office to leave a forwarding address. I might write a letter and it be delayed so if you leave a forwarding address your mail will follow you. Like if your next stop was Kansas City, tell the people at the post office at Cambridge to forward your mail to Kansas City, General Delivery. Of course, if you go across, why tell them that mail doesn’t matter any more and bon voyage!
And big Freddy boy, please if you do go across, don’t forget Houston’s lonely without you. And the mails can’t come as often. And can’t you squeeze in a tiny minute out of the day to write to us lonely folks?
Gosh, I feel like the old ship has struck bottom an all the treasure has been stolen.
How do you like the portrait of you? Didn’t you know that was you? Can’t you see a slight resemblance? Of course, the lips ruin the whole thing, but your lips are very difficult to draw (but not difficult to???!) I’m really proud of your portrait. For a pencil sketch I think it’s real good, don’t you?
I’ll have to put baggage stamps on this letter. It’s the fattest yet. I have an idea tho, that you won’t shed tears over getting it.
I must go parler francais a Marguerite and if you go across why use it. If you don’t go, why hasten fast down to Houston and tell it all to me, and remember –
je vous aime