Wellesca has been sleeping with “the Doctor” for 15 years. The last few years she has been posing as his nurse. She has accompanied him on trips, including to the Bahamas, all the while trying to keep the affair secret. And now Mr. White, Zella’s lawyer, has filed a very public divorce suit. Mrs. Leach (actually Maud Leech) is a domestic who worked in Wellesca’s house and is apparently happy to testify to her employer’s adultery.
In tones first wheedling then outraged, Wellesca vows to fight Zella. It is no wonder the letter was admitted into evidence at the Dyars’ divorce proceedings.
781 Mill Street, Reno, Nevada,
December 5, 1915
Dear Mrs. Dyar:
The Doctor left last Monday for San Bernardino by way of Goldfield and Owen’s Lake. He finds this climate now too wintry and took a cold. I ought to have gone with him but could not. I trust he will get along all right and not overexert. He decided it was useless to wait here any longer for you to come and apply for a divorce in Nevada. I am holding your three letters and card for instructions from him if he wants them forwarded. He said he wished to get away from all correspondence for awhile and try to relax and get some sleep.
Your postals are probably intended for the postman, the cook and myself. Certainly anyone who “cared” for the doctor would never write slurs with the intention and hope that the public would read. You can afford the extra cent but you think it interesting to pose as a martyr before outsiders, I suppose. I do not mind if you say you cannot answer my letter. All I want is action and the withdrawal of the suit, which will speak louder than words or a letter.
If you want some sensible downright practical advice of a friend (you don’t need to think of personalities now) I will tell you what I should do if I were in your place. I should send a telegram to Mr. White to withdraw that Washington suit at once. I should dismiss that lawyer. Then, I would write to my husband and tell him that I had done just what I thought would please him and what he had repeatedly asked and urged me to do. Then I should say:
“Now, deal with me [however] suits your pleasure. You have my faith and trust that you will treat me well. I trust you on your own worth more than I trust any forcing process with lawyers trying to compel you to do this or that. I appeal to your honor and sense of justice. Come now, let us be reasonable. Let us forget the weeks just past of horrors and misunderstandings. If we must separate, let it be in peace rather than in desperate warfare. What will you do for us, for us all? (And that will include my mother, for she is a source of comfort and I just must have her with me.) I wrote to you some time ago that I knew you well enough to know that no bulldozing would ever move you one peg. But somehow I forgot it in the excitement and was carried along in the stream of distrust, having been led on by Mr. White and Mrs. Leach, who never knew you and whom I should have known better than to so implicitly believe in. I knew you years ago and have never seen you dishonest. Now, prove to me that my trust in you is well placed. Come up [to] the high standard of which I know you to be capable.”