To Bertha from Frank Buckler – Approx. date
I scribbled a note in the forest at noon.
About this York person. He seems to be making the grade and is on the verge of something bigger. A former letter, unanswered, offered me the vice-presidency of his Trading Corporation now being formed and position as Chief Operator (trade) incorporate – 100 shares of 6% preferred stock (voting power) and sell the common to the public. Use the money derived there from for ___ trading capital. Vote ourselves bonuses and extra dividends when we make successful trades. Give common stock holders dividends when they are any left. The old racket played by Investment Trusts? With a little more build ups, dignity and the prestige of some bank as trustee but the same thing exactly. I know. In business, to make money for the insiders like they all are. And the public apparently likes it for they buy and will continue buying. This idea of his is my idea. I told him that I was washed up with “services” but was interested only in trading and you see that he has gotten the idea. While I talk about it, he does it.
I am writing to you about it. Here is where we will be if considered. A chance to trade with money to do it with and a part of the profits. Manage Tom’s account for 50% and a salary besides from York. Whether we like York or not or approve of him is neither here nor there. He is unique. In a depression, he has made the grade while I am in the sticks. And Honey, we need $100,000 badly and here is a chance to get it. I am ambitious for us. You can be the social leader of the Spokane with that sum. You have talent and brains and beauty. I have learned what NOT to do in the market but here is a chance of what to do. I have brains and nerve, if I have $10,000 to trade with can make us independent in a year or two.
Are we willing to fight for this chance? I am older and more conservative now. I do not want you to have hardships anymore, but if you have the old audacious spirit yet, the sink or swim idea I always have, I am ready to go. York is not four flushing [Note: Bluffing.] There is no reason to do so. He would not call me across the continent on a four flush. He knows me too well. He has nerve and will make his million in a few years some way. I dislike the service idea as I dislike all services but a trading corporation is my meat and he sees it now. He has a former investment trust man with him but says he is no trader and I am. Personalities aside, here is a chance at Wall Street, a job and a larger account to trade (Tom’s account my private affair) but a useful extra source of income.
Now, honey, don’t be alarmed. I lay my cards on the table face up. I will not go without you. Never. I love you deeply and want to do well by you. But can I make you happy in a small way. As I said, I am invigorated and happy by your visit. Shall we take this chance or not? It’s alright with me whatever you say. I will not go alone. Life is too short. How to go? A small car for $75.00 – $100.00 expense money – an advance from York if stuck on the road.
I’m not out of my head, honey, my feet are on the ground but, honey, we need the money. With a background of $5,000 a year, $100,000 at 5% we can be the most popular couple in Spokane. I like the social thing, the country club things, winter in London and all more than you suspect. (But I like it only with you. Not for myself.) But perhaps you think this a wild idea, maybe it is. At any rate, I love you a whole lot. You are my life and hope and I write this merely to see how you feel. No dogmatic statements. It looks like a chance to make some money. But it means a year’s concentrated hard work for me and child rearing in a small apartment for you. [Note: It isn’t clear what he’s referring to, since Bertha didn’t have any children.] Let me know your reaction but don’t say go alone for I won’t. Neither do I say it’s best. I don’t know. It’s this way, York is making money. I’m not and I need to. He gives me a chance. Is it worth it?
Lots of love and a long kiss. You are mine and I’ll always cherish you, my love.
I’m thinking faster than my pen so please excuse.