Today, at work, in preparation for our move:”(of which I shall not speak because the work is unending and wearisome)”, I came across The love letters of an Irish woman. Originally they had been found in a dump and published as a small book. And then serialised in Gaelic Gleamings, which is what I was cataloguing. And as they are freely available online I have no problems with reporducing them here. Don’t worry, I won’t give them to you all in one go, but one at a time. If you get caught up in Nora’s romance with Mike then you can read ahead on The Internet Archive.
The Love Letters of an Irish woman
These letters were found by Riley the junk dealer in the dump that is situated just back of the canning factory across the street from McCarthy’s lot. These dainty epistles were, no doubt, meant only for the eyes of ” Mike”, but as the love-letters of kings, queens, jacks and English women have been cast upon the public, we feel sure that Nora will forgive us for handing her billets-doux” down to posterity in cold, black type.
F. C. V. [F. C. VoorHies]
Boston, Sept. i
Mike, my pet, —
Here I am sitting in my boodwar on the third floor using my trunk for a writing desk and as I sit here I can look out my window and see Keegan’s goat on McCarthy’s lot, calmly chewing a red flannel shirt as he gazes up toward the broad blue dome of the heavens. Oh, that dear goat.
I could dash out there acrost the lots, jump the dump and cast my arms around his silky neck, then I could gaze into his dreamy blinkers and kiss him, oh, a thousand times. Why ? Do you ask me why I am so moved by a goat, I who have been brought up with a goat in the kitchen most of the time, well better people than me have been moved by a goat before now, and Mike dear, this goat is not like other goats.
When I look at him it brings the vision of your dear face before me. He reminds me of my own true Mike, because he has the same style side board and chin whiskers that my Mike has, the only difference is that his are white and yours are red. Yes, his are white just like yours will be when you have grown to a ripe old age, if you don’t fall off a ladder someday with a hod of bricks on your back and break your neck before you have time to get ripe. Some days I get all in a flutter when I think of the perils of your ocupation. I can shut my eyes and see you climbing round by round up to the roof of a house with half a chimbly full of bricks in your hod. One unsteady step and my own boy with the auborn hair would be dashed headlong and headfirst into eternity, but we must not think of such misfortunes, we who are to be so happy together forever, if you can only get a raise in your wages.
And when we are old Mike dear, I will be such a good wife. I will fill that little old T.D. for you and pull your boots off for you when you come home from work. You will never have to chase the goats out of the parlor or feed the pigs. I will do all these little domestic duties and you can sit in the kitchen and smoke until dewmsday with never a kick from your Nora.
Oh, I can hardly wait until we have a large four room house of our own, Mike. How pretty we will make it look. I can shut my eyes and see the parlor now. A green sofa, two nice red covered chairs, a beautiful wreath of leaves on the wall and a crayon picture of you and me. When we can afford it we will get one of those bunches of wax flowers or fruit under a glass case to put on a little table. Won’t it be divine ? I will keep it just as tidy as can be and we will never use it except on Sunday.
But no more of this beautiful dream today for I must go down and milk the goat. Be a good boy darling and don’t forget to slide into the front stoop easy tomorrow night so the old man won’t get on. He always hits in the kitchen. Load of love from
The copy I read also had an editor’s note:
… I hope our readers will understand the ethnic comments as being the writing of Nora and no harm intended