Posted 4 years ago
Old Mitten Ranch Oct. 15, 1907
You will no doubt be surprised to receive a letter from this part of the world, and at first will no doubt wonder you is writing it. I hope however that you have not entirely forgotten me, your unruly old Sundayschool scholar. I often think of you Miss Kerkof. When I left home I promised you I'd write you sometime and although I've waited a long time to do so, at last I have determined to fulfil my promise.
How's everything going in old G.H.? Is there anything in-teresting going on? Is the same lovable old gent superintendent of the Sunday school?My sister told me in her last letter that the church was destroyed by fire. Ill luck was it not. But then it can be rebuilt.
I'm seventy miles from the nearest town, and one hundred and seventy five from the nearest church. How do you think you'd like that? I'm right in my element now. I'm my own boss. I' see the range foreman once or twice a month. hat just suits me. All I have to do is sit on my horse and ride a-round. I've got a good horse and saddle of my own.
The weather on a whole is excellent here. We have a feirce storm now and then. In storms we have our hardest work. We must be out night and day till the storm is over, looking out for the stock. But in good weather we have nothing to do but lay around and ride a few miles now and then.
I can go hunting every day if I wish. I'm about three miles from the timber. There's lot of deer and antelope here. I killed a fine buck antelope the other day. I'm right on the Wyoming and Montana line, a little north of the north fork of Little Missouri River. It's a fine country I think.
I'm as healthy as can be and weigh nigh on two hundred lbs. You'd laugh to see me, my beard is about an inch long.
Are you quite well and your mother is she healthy? I'd like to see you now, and all my friends. But I'll be back again sometime.
I hope you'l excuse my writing with pencil. You must remember I'm not sitting at a Mahogany desk. I'm sitting far away on the broad prairies as I write.
How is the weather over home? The worst weather in this country is in the months of Jan. Feb. and Mar. Last spring we had snow storms as late as June. But from July to the later part of Dec. we have our nicest weather. It's as warm here to day as a July day.
Did you have a good time at the Sunday school picnic or did you go? I'd like to have been there.
Do you ever think of me Miss Kerkof. I think of you often. It alway makes me think un-happy to think how unruly I used to be, when you were trying so hard to learn me some good. But it's past and cannot now be undone. All I can do now is ask your forgiveness. If I could do it over I assure you I'd not be so unruly. You were very patient with me, and I shall ever remember you for it. I guess however it's to late now to begin over.
I'm the same old independent fellow I used to be. I sometimes think of trying to be good but then I always think it's no more use, I've been bad too long. Don't you think so?I'll never as long as I live however forget you and the way you tryed to be good for me. I sometimes wish I could get a chance now to listen to your advice. But it's too late now.
I hope you haven't forgotten me, and it'll give me the greatest pleasure to get from you an answer to this letter. Please answer it will you?
I haven't heard from my folks for about four months. I wrote to them yesterday. I wrote to John also.I wish he was here. But he will be before very long. He'll soon be nineteen now. And then won't be long more. He and I are a pretty good team, don't you think so?
Now please answer me and I'll not wait so long next time to write. So now I close remaining as ever
Your old scholar and true Friend
Arnie Van Herwynen
Address Gillette, Wyoming
Care of the Old Mitten Ranch