August 26, 1916: Harry Truman writes a letter to Bess

T.C.H Mining Company – Zinc and Lead Ores – Commerce, Okla.

Dear Bess:
Your very good letter came day before yesterday in the morning but I have been so hard pushed trying to raise this week’s payroll that I couldn’tharry & bess write. I succeeded in doing it, although I hope I never have such another time doing it. The banker had broken the National Bank Act by paying me out last week and it looked as if he’d either have to bust it wide open or turn me down today. There is a lead buyer here who has a heart, and he happens to be a friend of my ground boss and also of the banker. They succeeded in having him advance me a payroll on the expectation that I would get out some lead by fourteen days hence. He wasn’t my last resort though by any means because Old Man Bigham had already promised to let me have it if I failed to make connection. Everyone says he’s a hoss thief and a pussyfoot but I wish I knew some more of that kind. You know he’s already paid my gas bill to save me $35. He may have an ax to grind but I can’t find it. If he has, I’ll certainly try to grind it.

The mine is a mine now sure enough if my eyebrows don’t give way before it pays out. Every shot makes things come better. More lead and more jack every shot.

The old gink I went to see Tuesday was as lenient as he could be. He told me to go right ahead and do what I could to run because he is for me. I shall get to the point after a while when I can ask Morgan, himself, for a loan and not even think I’ll get a refusal. If the mine could only be persuaded by conversation to yield something, I guess I’d surely get a bonanza. It is totally deaf to all my entreaties so far but I am still hoping for the best.

I am the sole boss and proprietor on the job now. Hughes hasn’t returned or written me. If the thing goes, I suppose I’ll have plenty help to run it. Perhaps I won’t need it. I am surely sorry to hear that your mother is sick and I am hoping that she is well by this time. The fair I know is fine. I hate to miss it but it can’t be helped. Do you suppose I’ll ever get to come over every Sunday and twice a week? It seems a year since I saw you. Mr. Hughes will surely come so I can get home for Labor Day. I shall certainly scalp him if he doesn’t. I hope you are having a good time entertaining Walter. Please send me a letter quickly because I spend a half-hour daily going to the P.O. and it’s some disappointment when your letter fails.

Hope to see you very soon.

Most sincerely,

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