April 2, 1872
My dear friend Katie,
Although you have been gone only a few short weeks, I miss you so very much, and hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to tell you that Johnny and I have agreed to be wed on the twentieth of May this year. The date was chosen in part so that you will be able to attend, should you so desire. It will be an intimate ceremony and my happiness will be complete if you will be there.
As our situation is quite unusual, so our wedding will be. There are many lovely customs in marriage celebrations in Mexico, and also certain Unitarian traditions I am familiar with, and we have chosen to meld those aspects of his heritage most meaningful to him, with those of my childhood most appealing to me.
My fiancé instructs me to tell you he is happy with what we have decided he will wear as it is not the “monkey suit” he claims he was forced into when you first met him. I know you will approve of it nevertheless. Johnny looks very dashing and handsome in formal dress. I find myself wishing he would wear a well-tailored suit more often!
My wedding dress is to be sewn in San Francisco. I must admit to feeling this is an extravagance, but Johnny agreed it was just the gown I needed, and when the fabric was not available anywhere near us within the time available before the wedding, he surprised me with arrangements to have it made this way. The initial fitting is at the end of April, in San Francisco, and I hope to see you then. If the dates are agreeable, perhaps you and I could travel together to Lancer when it is time for you to visit.
Dear Katie, may I request one other favor? I know you noticed when you were at Lancer, but were far too polite to comment on, my cropped hair. It will not be sufficiently long at the time of the wedding for the styling I had hoped for. I am enclosing a drawing from one of Teresa’s magazines of a style that may work. Your hair always looked so lovely, and you are far more conversant in hair dressing than I. Do you think it could be done? Dare I ask for your help?
You will be happy to know that Johnny is recovering very well. Although he tires easily and is always hungry, he is able to do more and more each day. We hope the doctor will give him permission to ride soon. He misses riding more than anything else. “More than stringing wire or clearing streams,” he says, and that is a direct quote. And I miss riding with him.
I have been able to resume my work. The herd you and I watched when you were here has undergone some fascinating changes. I was privileged to watch the stallion drive out several of the juvenile males; there was much kicking and squealing and flashing of teeth. I am endeavoring to track the outcasts now to find out how a bachelor herd is formed. Oh, dear Katie, I could go on and on but I shan’t bore you any further.
There is another person of your interest here at Lancer I have yet to mention. Since returning from San Francisco last month Scott has kept a very close eye on the mail. He has arranged for it to be delivered on the days he has been unable to go to town to collect it. He will not divulge what he hopes to find, but if he thinks he has kept his feelings for you a secret, he has made an error. Even Mr. Lancer smiles behind his hand when Scott thinks he is being discreet about your correspondence.
Your dear mother has written me a lovely letter. Her correspondence awakened in me the feeling of missing my own mother, but do not trouble yourself that this is a bad thing! My mother loved me very much. I now see her love in the faith she had in my brother and me, in the way she allowed us to experience as much of the world as we desired without the constraints of polite society. In my brother’s case, the experiment failed. In mine, however, I came to know my own mind at a very young age. I feel you, too, have been permitted that luxury which few of our sex have known. We are indeed fortunate!
Everyone at Lancer sends their love. We cannot wait to see you again.