Provo, Utah May 2, 1915
Mr John Reeve
Dear Brother Reeve,
Your message of April 30 came Saturday as I was leaving for American Fork and Lehman and during a walk of one mile and a half I forgot the storm and distance and read and reread it; And if you thot it would surprise or displease and embarrass me – guess again! For I see that we “must agree with the adversary quickly” while “we are in the way with him” – and that it is the little foxes that spoil the vines – “we must oust them or they will turn again and rend us” – And tho you cannot work to the first proposition I’ll forgive you tho “delays” “are” very “dangerous”! And it is so dear of you to propose such a thing – It will be so much more endurable to get accustomed to the congratulations the new name the new sensations and all before being brought to the stern reality and if, dear it will be of any solace to you to have a wife in name only for three or four weeks why all I can say is I’d have suggested the thing myself if I’d been doing the proposing! So I shall await Uncle Marion’s answer relative to the 18th – if that date meets your approval. If that miscarries I’ll meet you at 4:15 am an unearthly hour for such desperate characters. But I see I must not only walk thru eternity with you. But since you won’t take “no” nor any other rebuff or refusal I’ll have to tell you frankly and bluntly, I’d go to the ends of the world with you, - Sure that if I stumbled in the journey or missed step in the march, that you would be only too happy to restore me to order and harmony with your own exalted superiority so far as it is possible. And I’d feel sure you’d forgive me for my blunders and never reproach me for my failures! You must discover there are some details about which you must be more arbitrary and the sooner you know it the better for us both!
But, say I don’t want to waste more days than are absolutely necessary right in the middle of the week, So we must rush it thru. I’m waiting for your letter tomorrow, wonder why I didn’t get it today! For Heaven knows now I need them badly to keep me from being “inextricably bound” in Satan’s trap. So I feel I must “yield” to you! But regarding that Richfield trip. I wish it were over, for I’m afraid you’ll not write every day. Be sure to and if I know just when you’ll be there I’ll have a long wireless epistle to you at that place.
Now I must close tonight it is after twelve and I must pile in and maybe finish this tomorrow after the mail comes – if I hear from you! In contrast to what I felt when bound so hideously last Sunday evening when I made you so unhappy. In comparison now I feel this way: “Thots of what my lot might be, But for a moment troubled me So I said, “today, be duty done, Think not of tomorrow’s Sun
Of Joy or pain may bring”! Goodnight!
May 3, 1915 1:15 pm. I hurried home to dinner, met the mailman and he said I had no letters. “Well,” I thot, “I don’t understand that.” But things have come to such a pass now it will take a great many mislaid letters to make me lose confidence now. And then I found he delivered them unbeknown to me and one of them warned me against such an event. But my dear J.R. I can’t tell you what I feel for you now. And God being my helper I’ll never again waver – And shall appreciate all “joy and sorrow” with you! And your proposition! I can’t understand how I could shrink from one who proves himself as noble as you are doing now. Your suggestion to go on home that night and of course it is only your consideration for me and my feelings. And really dear I’m afraid it will test me too – For I feel sure, dear, that the new irresistible emotions that are nearly undermining my much boasted of stability – is love for you – A gift from God coming in answer to my supplication, long before I expected it! So you think all my terrors are foundered on such vanishing chimers as that seems to have been? I’ll write again tonight. Must post this now or you’ll be left again.
Hinckley, May 8, 1915
My Very Dear Mary,
Just arrived home safely this evening, after a very pleasant and eventful journey. The details of which I’d much prefer to deliver in person. However, if I may collect myself sufficiently to even express a hundredth part of the things thronging my mind you’ll get a pretty good letter. But even then you’ll not get one anything like the one which awaited me on my return – came Tuesday, And the fact is I have it before my eyes, here now. And I can hardly keep this pen moving for my eyes insist on reading, and re-reading that sentence – declarative, I believe, majestically sublime, the climax of all your declarations to me. The sweetest message ever feel from the lips of woman. Oh! What comfort that sweet sentence gives! You know, dear, how the Methodists do when they “get religion”. After being at the mourner’s bench, - jump up and shout, Well that’s what I’ve been doing ever since I opened this letter this evening. And if you find this letter chopped off, Don’t lay the blame on me. But just remember what you wrote me and then you’ll know where I am.
It looks like I should be satisfied with the message this letter brings me, But I’m not, for I’m just hoping that for some cause or another Uncle Marion can’t perform the ceremony on the date mentioned; But I shall look mighty anxiously to-morrow for a letter telling me the whole story. So remember if the 18th is out of the question, don’t forget the 12th. For I shall sure land in Provo at 4:15 and if you find that your conscience won’t permit you to sleep that morning please jump the train with me, And I’ll see what can be done for you.
But if the 18th is the date settled upon, please get ahold of old father Time, and get him to grind out these intervening days a little faster – for every moment seems a year and day slike passing ages.
Say, Mary, between 2 or 2:30 o’clock yesterday did you think of me specially? For while crossing the divide yesterday I secluded myself among the pines, and communed with you. Oh! I had such a lovely visit with you. But of course I do that often. But this time and the nature of the place seemed pecularly adapted for a real heavenly communion. And it sure seemed that way to me.
Do you know, dear, that the lines you quote reveal to me the sublime courage of your nature, For the more I read and re-read your letters the more am I compelled to bow at your feet in recognition of the sublimity of the ideals you manifest. For I said to you as I traveled along the road to-day, “you have certainly opened my eyes to new and wonderful fields of information.” The details of which I’ll explain personally.
One of the poems Bro. Grant sent me entited the changed Cross I would like very much to have you read; But I’ll bring that, too, when I see you, So I just quote the last verse:
Ah No! Henceforth my own desire shall be
That He who knows me best should choose for me;
And so, What ‘ere His love sees good to send,
I’ll trust it’s best because He knows the end.
Of course you can’t fully appreciate that without reading the whole, But it certainly throws a beautiful light on the screen of life, I wish too, dear, you would get the May number of the Juvenile and read the first poem in the book. As I repeatedly read it I saw you, dear, crowned, Oh, as I think of it, I say from the depths of my soul, “Oh! God help me to sense and appreciate the divine mission of a mother.” Think of it Mary the mother of God, Then again my Mary – Given me of God! Well, sweetheart, I’ll say good night! Pleasant dreams, and leave a line here for the answer to to-morrow’s message. Just one more sweet Kiss – Good night!
No Letter … disappointed
Hinckley, Sunday May 9, 1915
My Dear Mary,
Do you know I’ve been a right good boy to-day. Yes, sure I’ve been to priesthood meeting, Sunday School and Union Meeting at Delta. But you know I had to swallow my disappointment at getting no letter from you before I could even try to get myself in tune for S.S. Union work. However, I am arguing this way: That the celebrated date will not go beyond the 18th, And I’ve decided that with plenty of hard work this next week, an epistle from you every day till then, and by getting a bulldog grip on myself I may be able to wait till then.
Say, my dear, do you know I’ve been reading a wonderful romance – a sweet story – each installment seems to be more interesting than the preceding one, until now. While the climax is not yet reached, it has reached such an intensely interesting stage, That I can scarcely keep my feet in Millard County, Because of such an uncontrollable desire to see the author, for you know the Author is a lady of very rare attainments, cultured, refined, deeply religious, courageous and strong in the right. In fact I’m already head over heels in love with her. Her name, I believe is Mary Lyman R_ _ _ _. So if you should happen to run across her, kindly inform her that I’m determined to kidnap her and bring her to my den, and whosoever enters there shall not return again. Oh! If I had her here to-night! But there’ll come a time some day.
I don’t know whether to look for a letter to-morrow or not. For I never did get one from you on Monday. So I don’t imagine I’ll have my feet – But hold on I’ll wait till tomorrow and see. So I’ll say good night, pleasant dreams, and fond memories of him who loves you so dearly.
Monday Morning AM (May 10, 1915)
My Dear Mary,
No letter this morning. But the flowers came, and while I fondly admire their beauty, the sacred Solemn message hidden in the folds of their splendor reveals to me the sweetest story the world has ever heard – Love. And my soul reaching heavenward is led to exclaim: I thank Thee Oh God that Thou hast hidden that sweet story from the wise and prudent of the past and revealed it unto me! Oh, it is excessively kind of you, dear, to thus remember me, and while I am keenly disappointed in not getting a letter I know that that is not your fault! I know that you are true to me! Nothing can shake my confidence in you now! And if no word comes to me to-morrow I shall either wire or phone you that I’ll be along the next morning. So about the only thing that is making me uneasy now is that I’m afraid I will get a letter from you in the morning telling me that the 18th is the O.K. date; However I shall begin my wait till tomorrow. Oh, how time drags!
Hoping and praying that the spirit of God may bring divine peace to your sweet and beautiful soul, and that the fragrant flowers of love may ever bloom in your heart, and that I may be the instrument in the hands of God in bringing the golden sunlight of eternal glory into your life forever, is the sincere wish of him who loves you sweetly, tenderly, and divinely.
P.S. Request number 4 – Harmonize your two theories that I am “uncongenial” and yet “most companionable companion in the world.”
I wish you were here now!
Provo, Utah May 9, 1915
Mr. John Reeve
Dear Brother Reeve:
It is now 4:10 pm and if you don’t get this letter tomorrow I shall regret it, But am afraid you won’t. As I think the mail that should take it leaves in fifteen minutes. But you owe me three and so you’ll not object. But it seems so long since I saw you. I can’t make up my mind it is only two weeks ago you brought me to Delta and with those sad eyes that showed how deeply wounded and disappointed you were in me, You bent and kissed me and without a word left the car and I can’t remember that I have ever seen you smile! That last expression, won your way – and oh! Say! Dear! So many things have crowded me since then, and tho I can’t tell how I feel toward you, I am anxious to try and show you, when the time comes, that with God’s help and yours, I will make it my life’s aim to win the love and confidence of Sister Emma’s children so that she will feel that I have not failed in the stupendous task I had the presumptive audacity to undertake!
The reason for my not having had this written and off on this mail, is that I have had a very enjoyable and heart to heart talk with Aunt Ann Bayles. Who is the type of pure unselfish devotion and one who gave the best part of her life to the care of her brother’s motherless children. He married my elder sister and perhaps you remember my allusion to her. Well Aunt Ann and I had many words and floods of tears, and it has left me feeling exceedingly humble in my approach to you and yours, and I pray to God for strength to be equal to the confidence He has reposed in me in showing me what I have the opportunity to accomplish! And I can’t imagine any dire calamity! – But I feel resigned and cheerful that all will be well! And more than that I feel I must enjoy this lesson, this expensive experience, that God helps us more readily if we smile than if we frown, and so, tho I am not making the elaborate preparations for this event that it’s enormity merits, But I am struggling continually to enjoy, prepare, for, meet, and execute it as He designs and expects me to.
Enclosed is my program for the girl’s ball. I didn’t want to go or I wanted you here to go too. But I was a victim – being a matron – and I had to go – my partner was sister Vilate Elliott of whom you couldn’t possibly object and we had a most excellent time.
My recommend hasn’t come yet and of course you see what that spells – don’t you? So you may see another “week of pure sublimity gone forever.” By the way, everyone knows it up here. I had to tell certain members of the faculty and tho of course I blushed – who wouldn’t? It didn’t plague me very much. I took their advice and they will, (in) place of my people, make an announcement in the paper of it. So in case you should again try the psychological experiment and assume for infinite reasons, that you wouldn’t make me yours, I’ll have many explanations to make and much lying to do! See!
Yesterday I sent some white carnations to you – hope they got there all right and not wilted too badly. You see that she gets them. I wanted to write. But I don’t know her first name and I’ll try to do it after we have completed our plans for the future and she will have then become my mother for eternity, and if in this life here, she fails to draw from me the same support that I could give my own, I hope she will see that would be impossible as for me, to take the place of the dear departed one in your home – the which is impossible – but tell her for us that we love her and crave her blessing on our proposed union, And to be always frank and free in suggesting to us what appeals to her as better in the working out of our great program. Tell her this and more for I can’t voice my feelings on such topics that wring my life too closely to be voiced.
Tell all the children about this in any way that you wish – and my heart goes out to those who have gone, that “another woman” my come in! Oh God! Help me to always feel toward them as I do today, to do for and love them bear with them as I pray they may have the courage to bear with me!
Some of my folks are entertaining for me tomorrow before Aunt Ann goes home! Wish you were here! If you should take it for granted all will be well for Tuesday’s departure to Salt Lake this week – or Wednesday – or a week hence “let not your heart be troubled: for my suit case is ready and waiting for your letter.
With prayers for you and yours and love from me
I am Mary
Provo, Utah May 10, 1915
Mr. John Reeve
Dear Brother Reeve,
Your letter of yesterday came today and tho of course I was pleased, I have to smile at the intensity of what some would call your “terrible case” – But I can’t see why you haven’t received my letters. I heard from Uncle Marion Wednesday sent it to you in Richfield to answer as you wish. On the outside I asked the P.M. to forward it to Hinckley if not called for at once! And now you are up in the air, and I don’t know what to expect! His letter was very short one and ran something like this “Either date will be all right – let me hear from you and I’ll arrange to be there all right – May God Bless you twain. With Love I am your uncle etc”. In my letter to you I told you to answer as you wanted – You know how I feel and that maybe it was a sentimental notion on my part, But for you (to) answer him and send me word as I was ready for further orders; And here I am, don’t know a thing! Can’t see why you didn’t get anything yesterday – And I’m still looking for anything that might make you take the train tomorrow night. But can’t see how it can all be arranged now and “father time” grinds fast enough don’t you think so? So lets plan for 18th!
Think about you Friday! Of course I did! And wished you were here! Or that I didn’t have to go to the ball! But you were “gone beyond recall”! But I can’t imagine what you were so tickled over my letter Tuesday. I guess you are fooling me!
Now of course I hope you get this tomorrow. But if you don’t and I don’t hear a word from you I’ll of course have to be down there to that train Wednesday morning, But I hope it doesn’t come to that. I told you in one letter, to get your return ticket to Provo – and then you come up and get off and we take the interurban at six a.m. and then you can come back here with me. Didn’t you get that? Or else you could take the other route if you don’t want to come to Provo, and I can meet you there! But as I say – without I hear differently to what I know now, I shall meet that train Wednesday morning and that would be scandalous! Can’t you see that? And my recommend hasn’t come – Of course Uncle Marion will do for me what he can. But tho I’ve never been married it seems there is some data that has to be furnished by my Bishop. I have written for it, but it hasn’t come and then you know we’ve got to have breakfast and go to the courthouse and have a little visit together before it comes off – and back here the next day! But you know your circumstances and mine too – so you pull the wires!
Did the flowers get there all right. I hope so! And you delivered them. You’re a dear and I’ll kiss twice for that. I’m writing with the baby in my arms and so excuse me!
Now dear in case this letter should have any weight in forming your decision – let me say – let’s wait till the 18th if it is not too late to choose! For I’m certain that we can’t, to any advantage, rush it thru now day after tomorrow!
It seems nice to know you enjoyed your visit and arrived home safely and when I see you I shall be so pleased to hear all about your many interests and the details of your affairs up there and at home. Your visit with me and the other Mary, and I hope you will bear the disappointment of seeing me fail (no not fail just stumble occasionally) in the great work God has given me – and yet love me for what I wanted to do rather than what I did! For I see now dear that love is not always what we think it is – that it is different – far different to the counterfeit, infatuation, or passion and I’m going to let you read a little book of notes I carried with me for a time. I’ll give it to you on the way home. Now I must close –
With love and best wishes