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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, October 20, 1912, Image 9

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1912-10-20/ed-1/seq-9/

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The One That He Wrote
L(M Am;i:i.i:s, ("ah, Sept. 27, 1901
v DEAB Miss (!i;.\iiam :
Q[ dy H I had hoped to he
ij \ /Vl* i ( M , ( l '" ' lii( ' ll " M ' '" S( ''
| veil before my depar
-0 __— ' " 1(1 ''"' ""' VV( ' sl ; ~:i1
'he sudden death of
! G<!Ul3(inCscj Miss Weldon's mother
necessitated my leaving
while you were out of town.
It is improbable thai we shall meet
again very soon; but I want to assure
you of my sincere and lasting regard,
and to wish you all happiness in the
I can never thank you adequately for
your kindness to me during my stay
in New York, nor for the great gift of
your friendship. It shall be my earnest
endeavor to be worthy of it always.
Faithfully yours.
Jonx Denton Howards.
The One That He Sent
Los Axgklls, Cal., Sept. 27,1001.
*-4 You will let me call you that for
the hist time, will you not? And you
will condone the weakness -■- or shall 1
say the cowardice.' — that prompts me
to write you this letter. For it is noth
ing less than cowardice, I meant to send
you a formal note of farewell; but at
the last moment, my courage deserted
me. Perhaps, it would have been kinder
to keep the truth from you, to let you
think me a cad. who. for the sake of his
own selfish vanity, would win a woman's
love and then fling it away; but 1 can
not bring myself to do that. Lucia. The
thought that you would despise me is
horrible to me. I want you to know the
real truth, the whole truth, and, know
ing, to think of me as kindly as you can.
The day after you left New York, I
got a telegram from Kthel, telling me
that her mother had died very suddenly
and asking that I come to Los Angeles
at once. Of course, I went. You would
have been the first to tell me to go.
On my arrival, I found Kthel frantic
with grief. I was shocked and startled
by her appearance. She was pale, piti
fully thin and worn, the mere shadow
of her former self. It needed no very
great discernment to see that she was
on the verge of a mental and physical
collapse. Her mother was the only rela
tive she had in the world; she was left
absolutely alone, except for a few
friends — and Kthel has never had the
gift of making enduring friendships.
Her joy at seeing me was pathetic;
she clung to me like a little child, im
ploring me to forgive her for her short
comings, begging me not to leave her.
And. Lucia. I can not. I have though!
it all out, tried to look at it from every
point of view ; and that is my decision.
With the width of a continent be
tween us, it had seemed a simple thing
for me to write and tell her that the
engagement was a mistake, that we
were unsuited to each other and could
never be happy if we married. At least
a dozen times, we quarrelled and were
reconciled. When 1 went to New York.
1 believed that the engagement was
permanently broken, and that she was
satisfied to have it so. And then, her
letter came, as one had always come,
blaming her hasty temper for the mis
understanding, and assuming that
everything would be as it had been be
tween us.
How could she know thai you had
come into my life, filling if to the ex
clusion of nil others !
I should have told her then. It would
have been the fairest, the best thing for
all of us. Hut instead, I wrote her that
I felt we should he better apart, since, j
whenever we were together, we dis
agreed. She did not know thai I loved
you: she does not know it now; and,
please (iod, she never will know it. She
believes that the fault has been hers all \
along -and she believes that I love j
Lucia, I can not tell her the truth.
She is frail, ill; she has suffered ter
ribly these lasf two months, and I think
the knowledge that I love another
woman would hill her. Were you and
1 to take our happiness, it would be
over her grave; and even if it were pos- I
Bible for me, I know it would not be
for yon. And so —it is finished.
My wedding day is tomorrow. I am !
going to make her my wife, and to try
to make her happy; and from the mo
ment that 1 place the ring on her finger,
I am going to devote my life to her.
Ihrt today is mine — ours; and it is
no disloyalty to her, or to any one, to
tell you that 1 love you.
I loved you the first moment that 1
Saw you, standing there in the doorway '
with the moonlight falling softly all
about you. Your eyes met mine —do
you rememberf — and I felt that you
were made for me and I for you. It
all seemed plain sailing then; there WAS
nothing to keep us apart. And the
night when I held you in my arms, I
knew thai earth and heaven could hold I
no greater joy for me than — you. And I
I have lost you. I can't quite realize
it yet.
You will be happy, I know. You love
me; but you will love again, some one
who is worthy of that priceless gift. 1
am not worthy; I never was. But I
would have tried to make you happy,
Lucia, and 1 think I should not have
failed utterly. You will forget me. You
are too big. 100 strong to allow this to
influence your life for ill. Perhaps,
sometimes, you will write to me and say
that all goes well with you.
It is useless for me to tell you what
it has cost me to give you up. You
khow. Hut I have done the only thing
that J could do; I have decided as you
would have had me decide. There was
no other way.
We shall meet again some time; and
then, 1 want, to be able to look into
those clear, grave eyes of yours audi
read there the knowledge that though
I have lost your love, I have not for- j
feited your friendship. It is just that
hope that has helped me to do my duly,
made it possible for me to play the part
Fate has given me.
Dear, it's good-bye now. 1 never |
thought to say it to you. If only T
could have (old you all this, face to j
face, and received the assurance that
you understood! I have put it so
badly, so baldly; but, Lucia, I can not
seem to think of anything tonight ex
cept that you can never, any more, be |
to me what you have been.
1 'm bound; tied hand and foot. For
a boyish love-affair, 1 must pay by
making the greatest sacrifice — giving
you up. The worst of it all is that I
know you will suffer. 1 could bear my
own pain cheerfully; but 1 have in-
(Continued on Page 13)
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