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Hill Country Living

Cousins Mend Fences After Detestable Flirtation

It’s a Wagner Week and I found a Cousin Minnie letter. John and Minnie’s young love affair was secret and dramatic, a relationship of extremes. They were always in some sort of fight or describing steamy dreams to each other. Did I mention they were cousins? Enjoy!

Salisbury, N.C.

Nov 16th, ‘87


10 pm

My dear Cousin John,

Your letter was given to me today at dinner. Directly afterwards I had to go to the dressmakers then up the street and to prayer meeting tonight, so I have just gotten time to thank you for writing me that nice letter and cannot go to sleep until I do.

John, I have rec’d a good many letters in my life, letters of almost every kind but I’ll tell you the truth. I never read one that I appreciated and enjoyed as much as this. I did not much expect you to ever write or speak to me again and I just thought you would conclude that I was a “plum idiot” for writing to you as I did.

And right here, let me tell you that you are entirely mistaken about one thing. I most positively do NOT think you a “villain liar scoundrel” etc and you must not think that I do. I think that, at heart, you are a good, true noble boy and will make a true noble man, and I will some day be proud to call my Cousin John. I know you deceived me once but I don’t believe you would do so again and I trust you tonight as much as any one in the world. You will not prove false to the trust, will you? 

Now, John, I want to make you look at one thing in the same light I do. It is this: that wretched, abominable, detestable flirtation was as much my fault as yours and you have almost as much to forgive me as I had you. Now, please look at it that way and then we will both feel alright and be real good friends.

In the first place, you would never have carried the thing so far if I had not led you on. Next place, you could never have taken those privileges with me if I had not allowed it. And I would never have believed all you told me if I had not been a big goose. So you see it was my fault after all. Then look at the stories I told you! Why they were enough to ruin me. Now this is the way it stands.

You have wronged me and I have wronged you, you have deceived me and I have deceived me. Well cry “quits,” bury the whole thing in a grave 40 feet deep and never think of it again. Won’t we? Please say “yes.” 

I hope I’ll see you soon and then we are to be friends and talk just like any other friends forgetting all about that “40 foot grave.”

I am really very sorry to hear that you were sick. Now, if you do not write to me soon I shall be disappointed and think you didn’t mean any of this “nice” letter. I’ll tell you all another the N.C. trip and everything next time. Next time I’ll write you some news and show you what a nice cousin can be.

Good night and pleasant dreams!


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