The Captain and His Lady

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-05-30
  • Publisher: Textstream
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


In the year of 1924, George N. Randolph, a US Army captain stationed at Camp Gaillard in the Panama Canal Zone, sat at his desk and began writing his first love letter to Ruth Morrison, a woman he had fallen in love with at first sight. Being a military man, he began expressing himself in a definite, precise manner. The recipient of his letter was the principal of the English Speaking School of Gatun, in the Canal Zone. She immediately replied to his letter in her own softer, more descriptive manner. Thus began their love story. In The Captain's Lady, the couple's daughter, Ellen Randolph Weatherly, shares the letters her parents penned to each other, complete with all the essential elements necessary in a spellbinding love story. The letters include commentaries involving historical events, political elections, pioneer history, humorous happenings, and life during the period of 1924. Compiled exactly as they were written, the letters, and accompanying photographs, not only paint a picture of the times, but also narrate the tale of an enduring love story.


The unrelenting humidity and the scorching heat on February 16, 1924 were as normal....for a winter day in the tropics.

George N. Randolph, native of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, Captain in the United States’s Army, now stationed at Camp Gaillard in the Canal Zone, was one hell of a long way from home. The boat he was on, traveling down the Canal, was headed for the Islands belonging to the San Blas Indians.

As it slowly, laboriously meandered down the canal, he allowed his mind to wander back to the time when he had quit school in the ninth grade to see the world. Despite the fact that he had no tolerance for school, he had an unsatiable need to know about the world around him, so he fed this need by joining the Army and reading books with an avariciousness that never seemed satisfied.

As he gazed out over the vividness of the variety of color that no where but the Tropics could offer, he was startled by the sound of laughter..a sound so compelling that he had no choice but to turn around to find the source. She was tiny, five feet, two at the most, but exquisitely formed from the top of her rich sable brown hair to her delicate face, her dainty hands and her perfectly shaped petite figure. His eyes continued to the tip of her tiny shoes and then back again. And he knew, deep in his heart, he knew.

Ruth Morrison, eldest daughter of a prominent lawyer of Frankfort, Indiana, now Principal of the English speaking school of Gatun in the Canal Zone, was doing what she loved to do. She was headed down the Canal to the Islands owned by the San Blas Indians, hopefully to add to her esteem collection of San Blas moolahs, (brilliantly colored, artfully designed and hand sewed dresses made by the San Blas women). She had coerced two of her fellow teachers to go with her and they were laughing and talking when she felt it, the feeling one gets as someone is looking at them. She noticed out of the corner of her eye that the soldier across the deck of the boat, had turned and was looking their way. The feeling that came over her was compelling her to return that look, but being a lady, she knew she must not. In desperation, she turned her back to look the opposite way. She could feel it through her skin; he was still looking.

He stood it as long as he dared, and then with all purpose, he approached the trio. Asking their forgiveness for intruding, he introduced himself, and then..looking straight into the most beautiful blue eyes he’d ever seen, he told her.

Ruth had heard his footsteps, heard his apology, and with excitement, deep within her, she looked up into his face. Through a haze, she heard him informing her that she was the woman he was going to marry. And she knew. She knew she was looking at her future.

These letters were written during the time following the crossing of their lives.

Fort Clayton
April 1, 1924

Dearest One:

My first letter!..I essay it with misgivings for I was ever a poor hand at writing and yet naturally I feel as tho’ it should be a literary masterpiece. You should inspire one, dear girl.

The first thought that came to me was of last week end. I was so happy every minute. Even the old maid with her “soul expression” and the warped, distorted ego which characterizes those who live alone did not disturb my contentment..much.

It is a wonderful thing to feel yourself beloved by such a girl as you, dear heart. If out of all my longings and desires I had been allowed to fashion my own mate and mold her to my hearts desire, she would be a living replica of you. In character, ideals, beauty, in everything which goes to make up a woman, you are my ideal. Shouldn’t a man be happy who can truthfully say that about his intended wife?

In point of fact as I have told you so many times, it is all so beautiful and wonderful as to seem a dream from which I will awake and find myself again in the misery which has been my portion for these many years. Your love has lifted me to heights I never dreamed of reaching and has acted as a great tonic to me both spiritually and physically.

Today I met an officer who has known me for years. He told me that I looked pounds heavier and years younger, and said the climate must agree with me. I do feel years younger and infinitely happier, if not heavier, but the climate, the devil take it, didn’t do it.

Out of the whole happy week end stands one moment apart from the rest..when you asked your naively sweet question about the bed. That gave me a real thrill and brought me to a comforting realization of the actuality of the whole blissful event. I will remember that moment when we go to buy it, dear one, and we shall have the finest for sale on the zone. I am an undemonstrative cuss and yet, altho I did not say much, I fairly reveled in those linens, so pretty and dainty and in such perfect taste. I can hardly wait until I see them spread on “our” table.

I am eagerly awaiting next Friday and Saturday. I am sure I will be able to get away and will let you know at the earliest opportunity. These week end visits with you are my whole life now. The other officers here are railing against the order which keeps them all in camp but I just smile and am content, for did I not see you last week end, and will I not see you again the coming one?

Ruth, I love you with my whole heart and soul. Nothing shall ever be done by me to offend you knowingly. It is glorious to feel that you can love and show that love without fear of its cloying, As far as I am concerned our marriage is as good as consummated, and if you feel as sure we can enter unreservedly into that exquisitely happy period of planning and dreaming for the future.

Many faults have I but I can bring to you a constancy and a depth of love which few will equal. Do not let the fierceness of my passion frighten you but remember that in the sanctifying state of marriage even its intensity will contribute to your happiness.

A thousand ardent kisses to you sweet girl, to last you until I can again give them to you in person, from

Your adoring lover,

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