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 Because Miss W—— lived some distance from the city and would remain there until her school season opened, I neglected to write to her; but once September had come and the day of her return was near I began to think of her and soon was as keenly interested as ever. Her and charm came back to me with great force, and I one day sat down and wrote her a brief letter recalling our Chicago days and asking her how long it would be before she would be returning to St. Louis. I was rather nervous now lest she should not answer.  
In due time, however, a note came in which she told me that she expected to be at Florissant, about twenty or twenty-five miles out of St. Louis, by September fifteenth, when her school work would begin, and that she would be in St. Louis shortly to visit an aunt and hoped to see me. There was something about the letter so simple, direct and yet artful that it touched me deeply. As I have said, I really knew nothing of the conditions which surrounded her, and yet from the time I received this letter I sensed something that appealed to me: a rurality and simplicity plus a certain artful daintiness—the power, I suppose, to pose under my glance and yet evade—which held me as in a vise. Beside her, all others seemed harder, , or of coarser .
It does not matter now but as I look back on it there seems to have been more of pure, or frenetic romance in this thing (at first, and even a year or so afterward), than in any mating experience of which I have any recollection, with the possible exception of Alice. Unlike most of my other affairs, this (in the beginning at least) seemed more a matter of pure romance or poetry, a desire to see and be near her. Indeed I could only think of her as a part of some country scene, of walking or riding with her along some leafy country lane, of rowing a little boat on a stream, of sitting with her under trees in a hammock, of watching her play tennis, of being with her where grass, flowers, trees and a blue sky were. In that idyllic world of the Fair she had seemed well-placed. This must be a perfect love, I thought. Here was your truly sweet, pure girl who inspired a man with a nobler passion than . I began to picture myself with her in a home somewhere, possibly here in St. Louis, of going with her to church even, for I fancied she was of a strict religious , of pushing a baby carriage—indeed, of leading a domestic life, and being happy in it!
We fell into a correspondence which swiftly took on a regular form and resulted, on my part, in a most extended correspondence, letters so long that they surprised even myself. I found myself in the grip of a letter-writing fever such as hitherto had never me, writing long, personal, intimate accounts of my own affairs, my work, my dreams, what not, as well as what I thought of her, of the beauty of life as I had seen it with her in Chicago, my theories and imaginings in regard to everything. As I see it now, this was perhaps my first and easiest attempt at literary expression, the form being negligible and yet sufficient to and without difficulty all the surging and emotions and ideas which had hitherto been locked up in me, bubbling and steaming to the explosion point. Indeed the newspaper forms to which I was daily compelled to confine myself offered no , and in addition, in Miss W—— I had found a seemingly sympathetic and understanding soul, one which required and inspired all the best that was in me. I was now, as I told myself, on the of something wonderful, a new life. I must work, save, advance myself and better my condition generally, so as to be of her.... At the very same time I was still able............
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