Morganton, N.C.
Oct. 18th, 1877 

My Dear Capt.,

The house is as quiet as a mouse. Sister is off enjoying a ramble this lovely balmy morning. Willie at his farm and Johnnie in Raleigh at the fair (He is one of the marshals) as I sit here lost to all save you.

Your pleasant letter received a genuine welcome on Tuesday evening. It was refreshing to steal off and enjoy it all alone. I'd had a fatiguing day entertaining country relations who came in to enjoy the circus. I love to see friends who come to visit me, but I hate to be made a convenience of. It's a reflection on my good sense.

I wish I could abandon this dull medium of communication and talk with you this morning, but I must conduct myself with this poor weapon of defense.

You ask if Col. Tate knows of our bond of union. No, I think not. I told you how often he questioned me (sometime ago that was) and of my positive denial of any tie but friendship. Since then though we have talked of you, he has never mentioned it to me or hinted in any way. If he suspects it he keeps it hid from me.

I know he would approve of my choice, but often I'd made up my mind no tie of mine (I've no idea any of my family would wish to deter me) could dissuade me from giving my heart to the only man I ever loved. Do you want him to know it? Oh, he is a noble true man and has been a brother to me. I love to hear him talk of you for I know he feels every word he expresses. Clande prattles constantly of her "feet heart." She told cousin Sam the other day she loved you "a dollar and a half in specia" ha! ha! I so often want to fondle and caress her when she is talking of you, but I'm afraid they will find out the keeper of my affections.

How sorry I am that you need be fretted or annoyed, yet I'm so glad you are looking on the bright side my very dear Capt. Try and throw it all off, do your duty and "Be careful of nothing." This is a wall against a thousand troubles, but if you make room for care and unbelief it is like a leaven that spreads through all our actions. If we only trust our covenant keeping God all will end well. He will never fail you, but carry you through the most difficult and intricate circumstances though there should be ever so little appearance of it in our own eyes. I think of you so often, and in my feeble petitions at the " Throne of Grace" your dear loved name is never forgotten.

I do trust that you may find in me all that you expect, yes all that you need. At times I feel real hungry and impatient to see and talk with you, but I feel confident that when it's best you will give me this pleasure. Don't neglect your business to come.

The mountain party returned in high glee. Say they had a charming time. Went to "Linville Falls" on Sunday, all of the party except Johnnie are communicants in "the church." They say the morning they started from Mr. Franklin's (the old man at the foot of the mountain, where they spent the night) he told them he "loud" none of the crowd was Presbyterians, for he had lived there and "tuck" in folks for forty years and had never seen a crowd of Presbyterians go up for a visit on Sunday. They heeded not the old man, but went and give the most glowing accounts of the trip. Johnnie had "the gentle Flo" under his protecting care.

Col. Tate is thinking of going out to Texas next month. He has some land out there that he wants to dispose of. I tell him he just wants a trip from home.

Mrs. Walter Brem is here at her mothers (Mrs. Caldwell's) very desperately ill. Dr. Moran hardly thinks she will recover. Mr. and Mrs. Pool are at "Silver Creek." I've not seen them.

No, no, it's no sin to talk to me quietly on Sunday. Don't you remember it was on Sunday when I gave my heart into your keeping for life. Don't forget the inscription is "Each for the other and both for God." Have it large enough for my fourth finger. I wish you could put it on for me, but I'll feel how binding and holy are the vows that God alone has heard us utter. Oh! that we may never forget these vows or the inscription in the signet of our betrothal. I appreciate your long letter for I know you don't like to write long letters. Cora Erwin has been very sick, but is much better now.

I'd a pleasant letter from my cousin Mrs. Vance inviting me down to Synod. She has come up to Charlotte and taken her house, will perhaps spend the Winter in C[harlotte] with her oldest son who has employment in the Bank and lives at the "Central Hotel." She fears his associates and wants hom influance around him.

I walked out to the Asylum a few evenings ago with Sissie, Willie and Mrs. Joe Burgin (a friend of Col. Tate's). I could tell you all about the plan of the buildings now. They have done a good deal of work since we took our drive.

I expect you will receive this on Sunday. Col. Tate would have a pleasant message if he knew of my writing you. Love to your sisters. Hope you are all well. God bless and keep you under the shadow of his all powerful protecting care.

Yours, L.T.P.

Go to LETTER 23