Before going back to Cambridge Will had said he would send an engagement ring when he could and asked if I did not like a narrow gold one.  I though he meant a narrow gold band ring, as he intended I should, and told him I should like any he sent.  We also planned to read a chapter from the Bible every evening before going to bed, if possible, the same one, and so have that in common -- just a little time each evening when each would think of the other.  This practice we continued all through our engagement.

        For Christmas Will sent me a beautiful blue silk scarf and I sent him some military brushes.  After Christmas he worked for Prof. Beale and by March had saved up enough to buy me the ring.  I was so surprised when I opened the box to find that it was a diamond.  I was astonished and almost hurt for I felt that he really could not afford it.  Even though he had earned the money he needed it himself.  Still I was of course pleased as I couldn't help but be for the diamond was a beauty of the first water, one without a flaw.  Besides it was the ring my third finger had waited or for as I had never worn a ring of any kind on it before.  Even since our engagement I had kissed it for Will after saying my prayers and getting ready to go to sleep.  At first trial it seemed about the right size but when I tried it again I found it was a little too large so I had to put it away until I could take it to town and have it made smaller.  I only got to town once in two or three weeks then and forgot it a couple of times so was not able to wear it for a month or so.  Will chided me for not wearing the scarf every day and I then told him about the ring.  He must have been hurt and though I did not like to wear it but soon afterwards I had it altered and wore it continually.  It surely wasn't that I didn’t love it.  I kissed it every night and often during the day when I thought of him.  Once I remember we had company for dinner and in the midst of it I thought of Will and kissed my ring, smiling to think that no one knew what I was doing.

        January 24, '08.  Will has since our marriage told me about buying the diamond.  He had a check for fifty dollars from Beale and a five dollar bill in his pocket.  He had been introduced before to the jeweler by Mr. Wyman and had been in once to look at diamonds.  There were two possible to his means, the small perfect one at sixty-five dollars and a larger one with a slight yellowish tinge at sixty.  He wanted the smaller one but did not have the money.  After some dickering he told the jeweler that he did not want the yellowish one, he wanted the other one.  Then he took out his money and laid it on the counter, saying it was all he had and asking if he could have it for that price.  The jeweler accepted and the diamond was his.  He promised however to return to the same jeweler for the wedding ring which he did when that time came.

        Will was now getting along so well with his studies and earning so much by his work for Prof. Beale and by typewriting that it occurred to him that it might be possible for us to be married in the summer.   I could go back with him to Cambridge in the fall and perhaps even enter Radcliffe.  It was a beautiful dream and we were almost convinced of its plausibility but when we consulted our parents they were dubious and brought forth so many arguments against the plan that we had to reconsider.  Moreover Will's studies began to take so much of his time that he could not earn as much toward the end of the term.  Then there were his debts to be paid and more would have to be incurred; so we gave up the idea of getting married in the summer.  Now we almost wish that we had done it in spite of the objections of a year together at Cambridge would have meant much to us.  I could have learned typewriting and helped to pay expenses by copying.  I wish we had. I have never been in the far East and Will loves it.  I'm almost jealous of that part of his left with which I have so little in common.

       Intended to visit his parents at Wheaton Easter but Easter was late that year.  Lillie would be home in a short time when her school was out.  She came home over Sundays as her school was only seven miles from home.  Dora planned to return that way from Minneapolis so I put off my visit until the first part of June.  Dora did not go by Wheaton but came directly home.  A day or two after her return I went to Wheaton and she went with me to Fargo whence I took the train in the evening.  I remember that she and Inga Nyvall saw me off.  Arrived at Wheaton about ten o'clock.  Rev. Monten met me and tough it was very dark we drove out to the parsonage that evening.  Esther, Mrs. Monten and Lillie were up to greet us.  It was the first time I had met them since my engagement and I somewhat dreaded it but I soon felt at ease.  No one could help but do so with dear Mrs. Monten.  Esther I had only seen once or twice before and Dora had given me the impression that she was very critical and I knew I'd have to make her like me.  With Lillie it was different; I was sure of her.  I needn't have worried.  We had a fine time all week, talking, riding and planning and sewing on Lilly's trousseau.  She was to be married in the fall and Dora and I went to be bridesmaids.  Esther and I became very good friends though as she told me "when she came she didn't know how she would like Will's little sweetheart."  She was lovely to me as were all the others.  She and Lillie gave me a button bag and an apron such as we were making for Lillie.

        On Friday after I had been there about a week the congregation had festival on the parsonage grounds -- a little over a week before midsummer I think or was it midsummer's day?  Lillie and I planned to do all we could to entertain everybody and have a good time ourselves as well.  We did too and even succeeded in getting Esther to join in the fun.  In the evening when all had gone home Lillie and I and Mrs. Monten were out in the kitchen talking it all over when Esther called us into the library saying Rev. Monten wanted to see us.  We came in in a row and then could only stand stock still and stare for there on the couch sat Will, mustache, Panama and all.  I was dumbfounded and felt hot all over.  For a minute not one of the three of us could say a thing.  Then Will got up and kissed us all in turn and then such talking!  We demanded an explanation for Will had not written to me when he was coming through I did expect him the next week.

      Rev. Monten had received a letter in the morning which we had been too occupied to notice.   Esther had seen it accidentally so she was the only other one who knew.  I remember she advised me what waist to wear but I was entirely unsuspicious.  Of course Will was common property for a while but they son gave him up to me while the others got him something to eat.  We had a lovely time without a bit of restraint.  It just seemed as tough he had scarcely been gone at all.  But I wasn't used to the mustache and since I didn't like it he shaved it off before the end of the week.  Since then Will has told me that it was my letters which brought him home so soon.  He worried over their shortness and seeming coldness and lack of affectionate expressions and he determined to come home and woo all over again if necessary.  It wasn't necessary as I think he discovered the first evening.  He did not even stay for Gene Hoffeler's commencement part though Gene particularly wished him to stay and meet his girl.  Besides he missed three weeks very profitable work for Prof. Beale, work which was therefore done by Buckner (a friend of Will's and an expert stenographer) and for which he has his name on the book issued by Prof. Beale as co-author.

       WILL:  No, Bucknor was procured to write another article -- such as it was -- in the law -- a work called "Cye" to be written by himself.

        What a lovely, peaceful, pleasant week was the one that followed Will's arrival!  We walked and drove and talked and planned.  If Will ever had had any doubts as to my real affection for him they must have been entirely dispelled.  We enjoyed it so much that when the time came we thought we should like to come back and spend about two weeks of our honeymoon at the parsonage at Wheaton.  Even as I write I recall with deep pleasure and many smiles the happy little incidents of that blissful, tranquil week after nine long months of separation and letter writing.

        Will and I were little disturbed by the antics of Paul and Raymond, Esther's children, or the occasional worried moods of Lillie.  Esther had previous to her homecoming, had a disagreement with Tony and had determined not to go back until he wrote asking her to do so.  That is at least until she had made a long visit.  He soon found it lonesome without her and they made up and he began to wonder how soon she would be home.  Naturally Esther's view of married life was a little biased just then and her talk worried Lillie who was preparing to be married.  If David didn't write regularly she was nervous and then she would question whether she ever wanted to be married or not.  This was only seldom; usually she was her jolly, happy, joy-dispersing self.  Esther was very nervous and had in fact come home for a rest in the country.  Her nervousness reacted on the children, especially Raymond, a most obstinate but clever little fellow.  The only ones who could manage him successfully was Grandpa and Grandma and they wouldn't interfere with Esther though he ruled her.  He often was very funny. One day Esther threatened to spank him with a stick and he said, "When I see the stick I'll do it."  When Esther went back home she left him with her parents and except for occasional visits home he has been there since.  With Grandma and Grandpa, he knows that he must do as they say and he never questions their authority.

        The Sunday after Will's homecoming we all went to church and sat way up near the front on the right h and side near the pulpit where Rev. Monten preached.  Lillie played the organ.  I sat next to Will and we sang out of the same hymnbook.  During the sermon I let my left hand slip down between us and Will slipped down his right hand over it and so we held hands all through the sermon being careful that no one observed, not even the minister.  We do that often yet and a gentle pressure calls the attention of the other to some particular point in the speech or sermon; a look tells whether we agree or disagree with the speaker.

        On Wednesday Esther with Paul returned to Minneapolis and I decided to go home Saturday morning because Aunt Ashlund from Minneapolis was visiting at home.  She had come shortly after my departure for Wheaton.    Aunt Ashlund had to return on Tuesday and wished to see me before going.  Moreover Nellie Thompson, a college friend of Dora's and mine, was to come from Minneapolis that day and Dora wanted me to meet her in Fargo.  She had never traveled alone before and would be thankful for some one to tell her when to get off the train even if she was a college graduate with a Phi Beta Kappa degree.  Will wanted me to stay longer, assuring me that Nellie could take care of herself, but I had already made a long stay and did not wish to disappoint Aunt Ashlund so I decided to go. Will wanted to go with me as I asked him to do but felt that a six weeks visit would be too long for he wanted to stay over the fourteenth of August, the anniversary of our engagement.  But I thought that the stay would not be too long considering our long separation so he finally made up his mind to come.  On Saturday morning Rev. Monten drove us to the train after Mrs. Monten had prepared us a fine lunch which we forgot.  Before going we urged Lillie to promise to come for a short visit before going to Minneapolis which she intended to do in a month or six weeks.  It had been decided that her wedding should take place in Esther's home in Minneapolis, that being more convenient for all concerned.

       Will and I arrived in Fargo at noon and having forgotten our lunch, went to Piere's restaurant for something to eat.  It being still too early for calls, we went out to the park for a while and then called on Mr. Herman Landblom.  Her baby had been cross all morning and she still had the breakfast and lunch dishes unwashed.  We helped her and enjoyed it. Afterwards we went over to Moorhead to call on Peterson.  We met Hedvig and Mrs. Peterson going to a party but Mr. Peterson and Minnie were at home.  We had lemonade, cookies, and plums on the piazza and often staying about an hour returned to Fargo in time for the train going home.  Nellie had to change trains in Fargo and was relieved and glad to see us as she stepped off the train.  We had a pleasant, gay half hour's ride to Casselton where Dora met us with the double buggy and horses.  Will and I sat in the back seat going home and had a "dandy" time.

        Jan. 28, '08.  This summer vacation on the farm was most happy but gayer than the life at Wheaton for there were always guests and often visits.  It was a momentous summer too and the last one probably which we shall ever spend there all together again.  Already coming events were casting fleeting shadows that could not be mistaken.  Lillie and Anna were to be married in the fall.  Will and I were engaged and Dora was expecting Mr. Lerner to come from Minneapolis for a week's visit -- only she knew what for.  We guessed.

        Aunt Ashlund went home on Tuesday.  Nellie had come for a three weeks visit and, knowing of my aunt's visit had planned to come just before she left.  She knew Aunty in Minneapolis and thought it would be more fun when no one from there was near to watch her, as she said.  And, as events proved, perhaps it was just as well that she had no reporter.

        That summer we had no hired girl and we three older girls and Mamma did all the work.  Consequently as a rule our visitors just became a part of the family and took part in work as well as play.  Will was one of us as a matter of course; he used to helps wash dishes and even sweep and scrub. Then when play time came we all played together.  But with Nellie it was different. 

        Here a word of explanation is necessary.  Nellie had been a friend of mine while I was at the U. of M. and later a friend of Dora's and Florence's.  She was one of the crowd of young folks who used to gather at the parsonage in Hopkins so Albin, Florence, Dora and I knew her well and liked her very much.  She was a sincere, honest girl with high principles and a brilliant student with a Phi Beta Kappa degree, and most ignorantly innocent of the world outside of her own middle class circle in Minneapolis.  Out of her own set she was the only one who attained a university education and this mostly through her own efforts.  Her father was a policeman and, perhaps because of his knowledge of the streets, was very strict with his children and Nellie, who gave much time to work and study.  She had had little freedom from restraint.  Moreover she had never been outside of Minneapolis nor had she had any opportunities for developing social agreeability by extended visits.  She was on the whole good looking and always neatly and prettily dressed.  She had a beautiful figure of a little over the average height, light fussy hair, gray-blue eyes, not a pretty but rather an attractive face and wore glasses.  It soon became apparent that Nellie, as a guest, was not all that could be desired.  Even before she arrived safety at the farm she gave us evidence of that. 

        On the train from Fargo she talked university continually and sang Phi Beta Kappa songs.  She insisted on driving home and on our arrival there seemed lonesome and both Dora and I had to devote all the evening to her.  I wanted to be with Will.  Poor Nellie!  She had never been away from home before and she started out for a walk alone and after wandering around until all tired out came home looking ready to cry.

        But the lonesome stage having passed she still made us feel in spite of all we could do that she was not having a good time.  We had breakfast for the men at six and for ourselves and guests at eight.  The first or second morning when Dora went to call Nellie she was awake and writing letters so she told Dora that she did not want to get up yet.  She had come out to have good rest after her year's work and she meant to have it.  Other mornings she was later which made our work harder.  She never in any way offered to help and we had a hard time to keep Grandma from remonstrating with her for keeping us all waiting on her.  Besides she always talked about how they did things at home; what a good cook her mother was, how well she washed waists, served, etc.  If we didn't serve things as her mother did, of course, we were wrong and were informed of our ignorance.  She was a Phi Beta Kappa and she knew all there was to know.  What made these remarks the more irritating to Dora and me was the fact that we knew just what her home was like and we felt that we not only served as good meals but even better and moreover we were doing all we could for her.

        However we could have endured her manners in the house and toward ourselves had she only acquitted herself better in the presence of strangers.  We often drove to town and on such occasions we were often greatly humiliated and annoyed by her remarks to people whom we knew but who were utter strangers to her.  Se referred constantly to Minneapolis as the ideal of things as they ought to be; they didn't do so and so in Minneapolis, they had such and such things in Minneapolis; this was no place to live in, etc.  She, being from Minneapolis, was so far above Casselton, that she felt she could say or do whatever she liked.