The Duty of Every Girl

 

    Gladys, at age fourteen, wrote to her aunt on November 10, 1919:


    Miss Lois Bugg  Dear Aunt, Mama and papa said I was too little to go to parties.  I am not.  When I get big enough to do what I want to I am going when ever I please.  You wait and see.  I mean I will come if you ask me.  You all will know not to ask me only when you want me.  Good bye.  G.M.G. 


    In the story for her friend in Paris she wrote:


    If my Dad had any serious long-range plans for making a school teacher out of me, it would seem that he had a rough road before his dream could come true.  With four children to educate, many privations were in store.  Only work was abundant, meaning whatever the season required.  Planting, dropping watermelon or cantaloupe seed into the freshly made hills, was distasteful to me, and I found no pleasure in picking tomatoes, or even in filling baskets with ripe red apples.  Worst of all were the days when we rose at four o’clock to pick melons for early morning peddling.  They were big and heavy, and had to be carried one by one from the patch to the wagon.  At berry picking time, more than the thorns, I hated the dark red stains on my fingers.

     Always, we lived on what we had, and if my Dad had only one horse, then he planned with only one horse in mind; there was no borrowing, ever.  So as we children learned to work, equally well we learned to save, to evaluate, to reason.  Our Dad always worked with us, bearing the brunt.  Still, as I worked by his side, I made up fantastic dreams of better days.  Work seemed more bearable if I could picture a nice home with pretty furniture, and just a little vacation sprinkled in.  And sure enough, our Dad never left us to labor only in dreams.  At the end of every week, we children could look forward to the gaiety that I, especially, longed for—in an ice cream supper.  Come what may, every Saturday afternoon Mama made a delicious cake.  Then she mixed more than a gallon of milk, sugar, eggs, and flavoring.  After we all had baths, we took our ice cream and cake, to put with a neighbor’s, for our weekly social.  With the other children, we played till tuckered out, while our parents visited.  During the week our nightly fare was less attractive.  In summer our usual supper was cornbread and milk; into big glasses filled with cool sweet milk we crumbled warm cornbread.  This supper I enjoyed, but our winter suppers of mush (corn meal, salt, and water boiled till thick), or oatmeal, I didn’t like.

    Sundays were different; I could always tell from the preparations.  My Dad bought groceries in town; Mama cleaned her house, baked pies or cakes, and gave us baths.  So Sunday’s work was light.  We were regular at Sunday School, all except Mama.  She saw us off, and then used the quiet of the next hour to be alone, as her temperament required.  With Dad, we walked the half mile, or went in the buggy.  I was in my grandfather Gregory’s primary class at Whaley Chapel, our Methodist church; he made the Bible stories come to life.  A circuit pastor came third Sundays, and was frequently at our house for dinner and supper.  From this tradition, and nightly devotions with Dad and Mama at home, the spiritual side was cultivated early in my life.


    In two months Gladys will be seventeen. The year before (in Fannin County on December 6, 1921) the Bonham News reported:  “Ku Klux Klan Gives $1,000 to Wesley [College in Greenville, Texas.]  Dr. G. F. Winfield gladly accepted this handsome gift....”  Gladys’ father was a member of the Klan; she watched anxiously one night as a “fiery cross” appeared high on a nearby hill, “in the sky.” Two years after the Klan’s gift to Wesley, Alvin Gregory enrolled her there.



    ... just got home from church. A bunch of us went on a truck out to a country community named Concord, to hear a boy from the college preach. He is only 19 years old & he sure can preach. We all felt proud of him. Its exactly like home here.  I couldn’t get lonesome. Two girls came just a few minutes ago and asked me to go to their room. I went & they had some cake & chicken. Whoever told me Wesley didn’t have good things to eat told a fib. They have lots, and its good. Everybody is so nice to me. I have no roommate yet. Kinda hope I never do. I like to be alone.

    Gainesville certainly has made me a name. I would be nothing here if they didn’t know I was from Gainesville. I have been kissed three times since I have been here. Oh—don’t get excited—it was a girl! I wore my pink veil to church this morning and my black crape tonight.  At the end of this year I will get a certificate for 3 years and I can teach next year if necessary.  It took about 10 minutes to get it fixed. —finish in the morning cause I’m afraid the lights will go out.

    It is morning now, and I will write before breakfast. I have been thinking about Dean starting to school.  I’m going to have a big time today, meeting all the new folks that come in and giving them a big B.J. [social club] welcome.  I will send you a card.  A boy gave me a bunch to give to the new ones.  I haven’t joined yet, but I think the B.J.’s are ahead & I want in the leading bunch.  The good time Lydia bunch is Astonians, I think.  What did you do yesterday?  We went walking and took some pictures.  Be sure & send me those we took.  We sang yesterday afternoon.  We all, boys & girls, met in the parlor & played & sang religious songs.  Sure was pretty.

How is Ray & what does Wanda think of my going away?  Ask Worth if he misses me at the table.  He won’t have anybody to fuss at now.

    I done forgot all about the parting now.  Only I remember it shore was a sad and solemn occasion.  I had courage though, had it stored away for three months.  I didn’t cry, & never have yet.  All the way down here, I had to hold in & never had a change to explode & when I got here it was all over and then Sun. morning at church I couldn’t cry again, & it was over kinda when we got to school.  Write soon.  Gladys


...Daddy, Clayton Hall is a little boy just a little bigger than Jack Witherspoon.  He is real nice looking and is going to be a preacher.  He talks about deep and stirring subjects and things you all wouldn’t call absurd....


1923 November 23:  My dearest sis [Dean], 

    I remember well that night before I left, or one night, you told me to write to you alone and tell you all my deep secrets.  I have never done it.  I am going to now.  I will tell you the exact truth as I have found it to be in the world, partly by observation and partly by experience....

    I have about decided that boys are all made of about the same material, only some are a little better disguised than others.  If you flatter one, it frightens him to death.  If you allow him to make love to you, he gets tired of you in the end, and if you don’t, he gets tired of you in the beginning.  If you believe everything he says, you soon cease to interest him, and if you argue with him, you soon cease to charm him.  If you act dignified, modest, and intelligent around a boy, he ignores it and all the while watches and admires some girl who is acting the opposite way, and if you act flippant, he will hate you.  If you run after a boy, he thinks you have no brain, and if you act a modern, advanced, independent girl, he doubts whether you have a heart or not.  If you are popular, he is jealous, and if you are not, he won’t have you.  Blooming on boys anyhow!!!  Hear that little sis, or can you understand such outbursts of transition?... With all the love I possess, Gladys.


1924 January 24:  You
know I’m awful blue today, I don’t know why.... Another thing, I want school to get over, so I can do something.  I want to teach school for about three years, go to school and graduate at Southwestern or Bible school and Scarriat and then I’ll be ready to do my work.


January 27:  Dad never said anything about Clayton.


Why—When a boy talks about his sisters, mother and home most all the time, I know he is all right.


    I don’t know what will ever happen to Harry and I.  I told you once Clayton was going to be a Methodist preacher, and that he is a good boy.  Bill went home the other day and I sure wanted to go with him....

    Life gets better every day though and I guess when I get to University this all will seem little and then when I get to doing good myself all that will seem little, and then when I get married—I guess everything will seem trivial except home again.  Always though, home will seem the greatest to me and I’m anxious to get back.

This day has been perfect for me.  Today I got a letter from Harry and then the box came—and mama I’ll be so glad when I get home so you can read the letters I write to Harry.  You would like them.  I quote Shakespeare and I’m making them deep so he can’t understand them.  I have given him 2 big chances to quit and he hasn’t done it yet.


March 14:  Dear Daddy,  I’m not worrying about Skinner or anybody else at present.  I positively refuse to have it intimated to me in any way that I’m thinking about the boys.  I am not!  I care less every day of my life and you are wrong if you say it is right.  I think I should take it more serious, but its not in me.  I think its the duty of every girl to think serious on these very lines, and I do not think there’s plenty of time later on.  I think there’s horribly too little time, to be given to such.  When a girl gives herself to a man, it’s for life, and I certainly should consider every phase of his life, and do you think I could know and understand what a good man is if I don’t give more time to it than just a few years before the decision?  Certainly not!  I’m going to use my education.  Upon my work, upon my life, and my decision; I’m going to use it, but often the best of it’s over and I have been with the best class of people that is; after I have studied and known every quality that a good man should have, I intend to marry, and shall do so feeling sure that no mistake is being made.


March 24:  Dearest Dean, ...  you naughty little girl for saying Harry is ugly!  How could you ever find facts enough to express your thoughts in words like that?... Dean hun, I shore do need your good advice.  I’m crazy to see you—absolutely wild to hear you tell me what to do and get tickled at my foolish notions.  Aren’t you glad the Fosters are out  of my life?  I am.  Dean, last night we put on a show for the girls.  Margo, Maud, Buena and I.  We entertained with a program and tickled everybody to death.  They yelled and screamed with laughter....


    After her first year at Wesley College, Gladys returned home to spend the summer of 1924 with her family.  She wrote to Clayton:


    The next morning at 7 o’clock, my Daddy met me, and of course home was thrilling.  I lined my pictures up in grand style.  The family liked you best of all.  Worth has a new buggie and goes to see his girl every Sunday.  I’m going with him, even if he doesn’t say I can because it’s nothing but right that he should take me.  He never goes in the car.  He likes the buggie best because it’s all his, but I’m his sister and I’m going.  Worth says it’s ridiculous for me to want to go every time he goes, but I think it’s nice.  I thought I would have a good time working this summer but I believe I’m wrong in all I thought.  Those boys I told you about are quite unlike you and the poor things can’t make a hit at all.  I have tried to pick some berries, and I had just started when a big ant stung me on the finger.  I’m going to have a good time, no matter what happens.  I can have a good time anywhere, just so Mrs. Holderness has no power over me.  Clayton, I wouldn’t go to town so much because—well, it’s so far.  That was in fun—do as you please!  I’ll like you for it all.  Sincerely, Gladys


    I have some more to say so that’s why I’m writing on this... [Gladys’ summer letter to Clayton in 1924 continues.] Clayton I thank you for saying I’m ladylike. It’s hard to be sometimes—for example, the night of the debate. I was upset that night. I will surely miss you on Sundays especially, because it’s lonesome here then.

    I sent Skinner his picture. I didn’t want to because I’m afraid he doesn’t like me at all. He asked me for it again—the last day, and I had to keep my promise.

    I had a letter from my little Chinese friend. She said another American girl had written to her, but she would never love her as much as she loved me. Wasn’t that funny for her to say? She wants me to go to China.... [In her first year at Wesley, Gladys chose the name of Vung-Tsing Pao to be her penpal.]


June 10:  Dearest Clayton, Today I received news from all parts of the country.  I like to get letters, especially when three come in the same mail.  I had three today, and two yesterday.  I guess I won’t get any tomorrow.  I’m glad you like farm life—and home life too.  Of course, I like to be at home and even love my home, but I’m just not made for such a life.  I admire the right kind of homes, but many of my 1923 school friends are getting married, and I see little in some matches to make a home.

    I go with my Daddy to hear all the candidates, and I believe I know how to vote good now.  I want to be a leader in the religious and political world.  I’m interested in politics, and a certain kind of society.

    My brother may be right in his theory, but I surprised him last week by showing him he wasn’t needed.  I know you will be surprised when I tell you.  Alton Jones was out to Daddy’s home three nights last week.  I was surprised myself, but I made my pal sit by him all the time.  He has asked me to go to the League conference next Sunday, and if nothing happens we will go.  I wish it were not so far from your home to Sherman, then I could see you too.  I’m going in Alton’s car, but I don’t know what boy will be with me.  Ira Thomas, I think.  Do you know him?

    I want you to come when the others come.  If mother keeps feeling so badly I don’t know what I’ll do about the party.

    Yes, Clayton, of course I think about you, as much as I think of any of my friends.  But I have tried to feel toward boys as other girls do, and it’s just not in me.  I’m just not supposed to be in a world of romance.  It’s necessary that there be girls of that kind, it’s true, but there must be a free, independent, business type too, and I find myself a member of the latter.  I’m not disappointed in myself and the things I admire, but I wish I could be just a little different sometimes.

    All boys must respect me.  I accept admiration gracefully, but anything beyond this is not even appreciated by me, while other girls are not happy without flirtation and love.

    I’ll be happy if I can serve America in a religious way, make laws in a political way, and own just lots and lots of friends.  And too, I want to be secretary for the K.K.K.  Such an ambition!

    I will be glad when Sunday comes, and I hope I can see you there.  I imagine a lot of our friends will be there.  I wish your sister would be there. I surely do like her.  Sincerely, Gladys


1924 June 27:  [from Margo, left in photo below, her best friend at Wesley]  To Miss Gladys Gregory.  Subject:  “YOU”  Dearest Girlie O’My Heart:

    Gladrags, you are the darlingest girl ever.  I wish I could show you or describe to you the picture I always keep of you in my mind’s eye.  Somehow, when I think of “Gladrags,” I see a something set off entirely by itself, so very individual, and it seems there is a mist of whiteness about this something which guards and protects it from other train of tho’ts or pictures I might have stored up in my upper story, and in the middle of this something is you, always smiling, and that understanding smile that I believe I never saw you grant to any one else but me, and which privilege I appreciate, it is differe
nt from your other smiles, it seems all for me and me only, and I am selfish enough to claim it solely.

    I almost laughed until I disturbed the old office clock a’ sitting over on one of the desks, when I read your letter, especially at the last.  No, you and I don’t tell each other things, A TALL!

     Gladrags, dear, I am so sorry you and your letter writing, (which I enjoy very much, as I think it is quite fascinating and quaint) gets you into so much trouble.  Of course, I will write Clayton; in fact, I have tho’t of writing him several times just for ol’ times sake, but hesitated, as I think a boy should write first, but I’ll do anything to please you, and if you like I will sent you a “Carbon” copy of it.  Has Fladger ever written to you? He asks about you in every letter almost....

     Now, Gladrags, dear, get me straight, I do not hate Buddie, I hate no one, and I even don’t exactly dislike her. In fact, I honestly think she is very sweet, extremely pretty and very bright and smart. Those are some of her qualities I can not get around, but it is just her actions that sometime irritate this ole peculiar bug—called “MargO”.... I, too, have always had so many more girl friends than boys, boys just naturally don’t understand me, but I have never wanted for girl friends. Well, suppose I have taken up too much of the company’s time already yet.... Loving you lots, “Margo”


“A Personal Description”

[of Gladys, by Buena Good as a class assignment, for the grade of “A”.]

    I have intimately known one girl in Wesley College who has impressed me very much. As to her personal appearance, many people call her pretty. I shall not say she is, because beauty is one thing on which not all people agree. But she has blue eyes, a beautiful complexion and a very pleasant smile. One thing people usually notice about her is that she has a large amount of brown hair, which she wishes had a much redder tint than it has. These characteristics together with the fact that I think she is just the right size, as she is five feet six inches in height and weighs 130 pounds, make her very interesting to me.

    But the cause of most of my interest was the fact that she had more striking characteristics than any person I ever knew.  In fact, she wants to be different—anything she is to do must be done in a way that no one has ever thought.  Her main object in life is to be original.  Another characteristic is that she analyzes everything.  When she gets a letter she wants to know the motive behind each word.  And, too, her ability to write poetry makes her different from the rest of us.


1924 July 8:   Dear Clayton, [Gladys wrote]

    ...Lena [Rosser] has bobbed her hair!  Margo and I have formed a “Holy Alliance” in which we have agreed to keep ours long.  I would cut mine in a minute if it was not so common.

    I’m planning on a grand year at Wesley—a second one!  I’m glad you are going back, but you needn’t have told me you wouldn’t bother me.  I knew that—you never did.  I sure do not understand you.  In fact I can’t see how you ever liked me in the least.  I’m so selfish in my thoughts, so determined in my ideas, so independent in my actions, and so broken out with pride.  That’s me and I can’t help it, but I will some day.

    Everything is so dull here, we never, never have any socials, and when we do the bunch is so different I can’t enjoy it.  There’s an old maid in our church, she has always run things, and we do not get along at all.  She disagrees with me on everything and doesn’t appreciate my work I try to do.  I get so discouraged I think I’ll drop out entirely.  Now if I were a real Christian, I would look over all of this—or “If I were busy doing good I’d soon forget to think twas true that someone was unkind to me!”

    I guess you are tired of listening to my troubles and such, but somebody must listen or it will be awful to me.

    Be good, and remember me.  Sincerely, Gladys


1924 September 13:  [to sister Dean] ...Margo told Fladger the other day she wasn’t going with him this year. Poor boy! but I think he really expected it. I’m kinda glad Clayton isn’t back. I can write him heart soothing syrup and he won’t know whether I need it or not.

    [October]  ...I’m going to learn music if it takes me the rest of my life, and typewriting too.  I’ve got to.  I’ve even thought about a specific work I want to do.  I am going to do something—and I can’t wait till time comes.  I’m going to Nashville to school.  There’s only one way I’m going.  I don’t know any news only my ambition is soaring high tonight.


1925 March 23:  My dear mama, ...Mama, why do you say quit Clayton?  I don’t want to.  Why will it hurt to have a friend always?  I would not answer Harry’s letter nor do I write to Skinner.  Can’t boys and girls be good friends without marrying?  I can’t marry every boy I like.  It’s alright with me for him to fix things up for this summer.  I’d like for it to be where he could come to see me often.  I guess you all think Raymon would be a good boy to make me have a good time this summer.  I do wish you would trust me, mama, and remember that I’ve been soaked in a solution to do everything but fall in love with a boy.  I wish that you would remember that my Daddy and mother have made me look upon marriage as a low, degrading force that leads humanity to destruction.  I tell you it’s ground in me and now you try to make me look down on friendship.  Please trust me—and I won’t fall in love, and I promise to carry out the ambitions of my life before I act seriously along that line, if you will only trust me to be sensible.  Let Clayton fall in love with me if he will, and for goodness sake don’t say anything to make me dislike him—before I can’t ever be anything except radical on such a problem, I must think something of a boy.  I only wish I could.  It would wake me up to plain facts in life, I believe.  You will never be able to understand me, I’m afraid.  Mama, my world is do different from your’s that you won’t ever have any conception of how I feel, no matter how I try to make you see it.  Just because you married the first boy you fell in love with is no reason that I should.  I’d like several; in fact, I must have several in order that I may know myself, know what I want and what I don’t want.  I will always regret that I didn’t get to have a real upsetting romance with Addie.  Why mama, that could have been a thrilling little affair with no evil result whatever.  I can keep pure and innocent thru it all, and still just see a little further out into this mysterious world.  Now, what do you think of me?  You will get tired of such strenuous efforts with your girlies by the time you get to Wanda.  I’m afraid you had better scatter these facts against boy friends on down the line.  Is La Dean changing any in ways?  That’s awful about John Robert.  I surely hope he is well soon.  Take care of my buddie Ray.  He is a darling little boy.  I realize it more every day. 

    Daddy says my dress is awful pretty.  You and Dad have surely been wonderful to each other.  I wonder if there is anything any sweeter than just to know that your Daddy and mother love each other.  I’ve always been thankful for that, even though I’d never mentioned it to anybody.... Gladys


“I Rode by a Young Gentleman on the Red Ball....”

1925 March 23:  (Friday night)


Dearest Family,

    Well, I’ve gotten back from Denton.  I left at 6 o’clock Thursday morning on the Red Ball, before anybody was up & it had come a big rain that nite.  Got to Denton about 10:30, & met some boys from Commerce & we felt as if we knew each other.  I was shown to my room & everybody was very nice & I didn’t feel lonesome one minute.  Saw Julia & she was shocked to death.  I wore my blue crepe dress & Mary’s light blue coat & hat & looked nice & I was glad she saw me in the coat.  She surely did have fits about it.  Everybody did.  If anybody saw me once they knew me for the rest of the time because of the coat & hat.  Saw a boy from Trinity that knew Harry.  I called Lillian Moore White in Dallas & she was surprised to death. 

    On my way down I rode by a young gentleman—a traveling salesman who has been all over the U.S.  I knew what you think about such public men, but I chose my subjects & my words with dignity & modesty & we had not one dull minute from Dallas to Denton—a two hour ride—as it was.  He had a smooth line of talk & that will win me anytime.  He was very nice & soon we knew all about each other.  We discussed these subjects:  Evolution, K.K.K., Muscle Shoal question, Negro question (he agreed with me, so no argument was needed), the Immigration question, Is the abolition of war possible.  We agreed on all these until we came to Predestination.  He believes in that & I don’t.  I don’t believe that our lives are cut & dried before us already.  I believe we make our own life. 

    When we got to Denton he wanted to take me on out to C.I.A., but I told him I’d go on the bus line, & then he said he’d come up that nite, & I said I’d be busy & so he smiled & said, “I know what’s wrong.  Your mother has a horror of traveling men,” & I said, “That’s right.”  So we said good bye & the little Romance was ended.  But really, I liked him very much.  He was young & could talk well, but I could not see on the inside, and even though I felt he was a nice man, I couldn’t trust any small favor he offered.  He tried to get me to go on up home because he said you all would want me to, being so close to home.  He thought I was a hard hearted girl for not going.


Clayton is coming tomorrow.  I mean, he is aiming to.


    I was disappointed in Wm. Allen White, the big newspaper editor.  He isn’t a good orator.

    Well, I had a wonderful time.  Got back about an hour ago.  I expected a letter from you all, but didn’t get it.  Mrs. H. let me go without your all’s permission.  Why not write?  Goodbye.  Gladys

     ...Bishop Moore spoke on unification [of Methodist Church] last nite.  I didn’t get to go hear him.  I don’t know much about it, but I can tell what side I’m on.  I’m for it.  I see no reason for division in the first place.  Racial prejudice caused it, I guess....


1925 April 4:  My daddy dear, Sunday morning, and I just wonder if our college dreams & plans are as ideal as we imagined when you used to hold me in your lap & plant big ambitions in my head that will stay there forever.  I just wonder if I’ve disappointed you and my mama in any little thing that I’ve never thought about.

    Dad, I ought to get a good school with the recommendations I have from Bro. Roach & Mr. Jackson.  They are first class but flatter me a lot.

    I believe I’ll end this note, and write a poem.  I’ve just had a inspiration, and there is no news.  Love to all, Glad Rags  ...Clayton didn’t come this week end.  I had a letter this morning, and he said his father was not resting quite so well, and he was afraid to leave him....



April 4:  [in a separate letter] My mama dear, ... Had a letter from Clayton today and he isn’t coming back to school.  His Daddy is much better, but

wants C to stay with that farm now, and says he can go to summer school....


May 5:  My mama and Daddy,                                            

    I had a letter from Pecan Gap this morning and I was elected [teacher] there. I’m sure I can get more in other places, but it would be in the country with my own fires to make and such as that with no way to learning anything myself.

    So if you all are willing for me to take that place at $75 teaching high school subjects only, and perhaps Expression on the side line, I think I will.  I think the recommendation I would get at Pecan Gap and all the conveniences are worth the difference in salary and Mrs. H., Bro. Clement, Garrett, and Jackson all think it would be a wise thing to do, because Pecan Gap is rather widely known.  I’m writing Mrs. Garrett to find out if I can get board for twenty dollars, and if I can I guess I’ll go up there before I go home and get the contract signed and such.  You all had better send me a little money because if I go I’ll need it.  Please!  Now write soon and tell me what to do.  Gladys


1925 May 6:  (from Wesley College)

My Mother Dear,

You might have won honors, it’s perfectly clear.

You would have succeeded in any career,

But I’m glad in my heart you decided to be

Rather than famous the

Mother of me!

Your girlie, Gladys




    ... I remember well when I had that scrape with Verd & Addie, you said you were glad, so if I ever had such luck between nice boys, I would know how to do.  But is seems I know less every day of my life.

    I could not find nerve to “come out & tell Clayton,” so Mildred & Margo talked to him & told him how things were.

Sunday night I went to church.  He was there & only the Sunday before we had been there together & neither of us had dreamed of such a change within a weeks time.  I thought about it a lot Sunday & wondered what I ought to do.  I like Wren, & want to go with him.  I like Clayton, but I see no use in giving him all my time.  Why can’t I be with other boys & make them like me too?  Besides, Clayton is not a leader; Wren is.  Wren is not as good a boy as Clayton, but I can make Wren better.  His character is morally good, but I mean he just isn’t as reasonable & fair & would not make as true a friend as Clayton has been.  I can truthfully say, I have never had as true a friend as Clayton.  Never!

    But disregarding all this, I could not afford to spend the rest of this school year with Clayton having that inward feeling that—perhaps if I were with some other boy, I’d have a better time.  I was miserable during church.  I thought I’d forget my worry if I went, but it only made it worse.  One minute I felt glad that things could be ended between us, then I thought how fair & true he had been—yet far from my ideal.  I argued back & forth with myself & the preacher’s every word made me think more & I became more & more undecided.  I was almost crazy when I got home; I was so undecided.  I had slept only 3 hours the night before, because 13 of we Seniors bunched in a room to wait for the night watchman.  We have a man who walks the halls each hour in order to decrease the fire rate or something.  We were going to march behind him when he came by & not say a word, but he never came.  With the lack of sleep & a worry of all day Sunday, I was never so dilapidated.

    I’m so tender hearted toward the boys I go with that I cried when Mildred told me about her talk with Clayton. She did too. Sometimes I’m afraid I’d marry through sympathy.  Of course, I wouldn’t, but it kills my soul to tell a boy I don’t like him. Sunday night Buena had not come back. I tried to think it out & finally I decided to write a poem, and then maybe I would feel better. Finally I did that, then I felt as if I had suddenly decided & I had. I could not mar my own pleasure for his, so when I had finished the poem I found that it was my decision and that I would abide by that—life or death.  Wren was at home this week end.

    The poem was this that I am sending to you on yellow paper. I made it as true, as sweet, and as soothing as I could, but I could have told a little more. This morning in Spanish class I gave it to him and said, “Read this.” Then later I saw him in the hall & he said, “Meet me in the Study Hall this afternoon & I will tell you what I think about your poem.” I looked forward to the time with impatience because I dreaded the event & I dreaded discussing truthful facts. Fladger met me in the hall later & said he wanted to talk with be between 3 & 4 o’clock. We went up there & talked during that time. He said he knew Wren liked me & etc.

    Clayton came at 4 and Fladger left. He began by saying my poem was fine but that it was only the surface of my thoughts. He says, “I can see deeper. Go on and go with Wren,” he said. Then he raved on like he did in that awful letter I got last summer, saying I had been deceitful, that I had been an untrue friend. I tried to explain as I’ve told you.  He’s nothing except a friend, neither is Wren. Why not treat them alike? I told him this, but still he said that I was unfair. I got mad & hard boiled on the subject & told him a few plain facts. He tried to make me feel bad & tried to win me by sympathy. I was disgusted; even though I knew it really did hurt him terribly, I realize it is so good for it to happen, because it would have been worse later on.

    You now have the story, and I know that you agree with me! I am not sorry—I feel free—free to talk & flirt with any boy. Certainly I was before, but it’s like this. No boy would go with me so long as Clayton went with me, because they would not like to interfere. I’m so glad it’s over & I do not think I will be sorry.

    Mama, send me some money, please.  I have a dollar but I’m out of powder & that will ruin that bill & then I have to pay $3.50 to have my pictures put in the annual & $1.00 for Society.  I’m going to a league conference Sunday [at] Terrill a place about 20 miles from here.  Going in a car.  A bunch of us.  Send me a permit.  Say, “I have given G. permission to go to League Conference this weekend.”

    Wren never goes to church or league & I think I can win him over to that.  I know I can.  When I ask him to do anything or to go anywhere, he always says he positively will not do it, but goes right straight to do it.

    Well, I’m run down. Can’t think of anything else. I think that’s enough to happen in one weekend.

    I heard all about the conversation Wren & Clayton had.  Clayton told Wren to make a date with me, that he bet he couldn’t get it. Wren said he was sorry, but he was going home this weekend. Clayton surely runs Wren down. Won’t it be fun to win his heart? Love, your Girlie


1925 May 19:  (Monday night)  My Dearest Mama & Daddy, I’ve been looking at my things ever since five o’clock, and they are getting prettier all the time.It’s a regular trousseau, and with my hat, I can easily pass for a bride—not in looks; I’m speaking of the attire. Really, I can think of nothing nicer, nothing I’d like more than what you sent exactly. If you had only come along too, then it would have been complete.

    I called Mildred & Margo in, and as I held the dress up they just stared away. I could hardly made them believe you made it, and all the rest. Mildred & Buena have had their dresses several days & wore them Sunday. They are silk, but mine excels theirs to pieces. It’s just as dainty and pretty as anybody could ever expect and all the under clothes, too.

    I’m getting more confidence along the lines of getting a school. I have a pretty good chance at another place, I think. I want to go to see them before I go home. Don’t think I’ll leave here till Wednesday. How shall I go & when?

    What about teaching 500 miles out west at $100 for 8 months & $20 board?

    I’ll write more when exams are over. Are you coming? I’ve been expecting you; seems as if I can’t help it. Thank you more than I can tell you for the pearls and clothes. I was never so shocked as I was when I opened the pearl box. They are beautiful, and everybody has a fit over them. I wonder how you ever thought of them.

    I’ll be so glad to get home, and gladder still to think of the day when I can do something for you all. It’s one of my greatest ambitions. I’ll do it too. Love to all of you, Gladys