The Clarence Darrow Digital Collection
Written letter from Clarence Darrow collection
Collage of Clarence Darrow at different ages Postcard from Clarence Darrow Collection

Clarence Darrow Signature

The Clarence Darrow Letters

Karl K. Darrow to Ruby J. Splitstone, June 13, 1905

Click on the image to view as a PDF. A transcription of the letter is on the right.

Chicago, Tuesday, June 13, 1905.

#6036 Jefferson Av.

Dear Ruby:

I am overwhelmed with contrition at my not having written to you for so long –– having overstepped the limit so far. I have been ruminating as to whether the wisest course would be to tell you that a wreck on the Lake shore has prevented the transmission of mails, or whether to put a bogus date on the letter. I have chosen the latter method.

Aunt Mary and I went to the White City last Sunday and had a very pleasant time –– not nearly as pleasant, however, as it would have been had you been along to bump-the-bumps and chute-the-chutes. No, we did not do either of those stunts. Possibly you were still here when they began printing those advertisements of the "Bump-the-bumps" show. The place itself consists merely of a long, polished slide of board, some forty or fifty feet wide, with eight or nine sudden elevations scattered on it. Aunt Mary and I rubbered for a time. The most interesting part wasx when four or five would go down in line, arms linked together. They generally fundamentally changed their position before the end of their slide. Once five went down together –– three girls in the middle, a young man on either side. They started correctly, but finished their trip sidewise and at full length. One gentleman came down wildly waving his cane above his head. The applause when one of these freak feats was accomplished was deafening.

Aunt Mary and i also attended two other shows, and spent innumerable

View of the Bump-the-Bump


pennies on slots and other little side-shows. One attractionx was a window-breaking stunt –– the back of the booth was painted in imitation of brick, entitled "Sleepy Hotel", and furnished with several little windows, the object being to break them. I saw one broken when present, but did not succeed in breaking any myself –– partly, no doubt, being due to the fact that I did not compete. There was also a chute-the-chutes and a tight-rope performance running over the lagoon. The electric tower has not been completed.

Beulah, Stelle, and Mrs. Gerner have doubtless moved to their new establishment –– no. 5,817 Rosalie Court. I have not been over yet, nor seen Promised Land for X two (2) weeks.

Aunt Mary pulled off another vaudeville Friday evening, but I did not attend. I was prevented by a timely cold Aunt Mary says "it went off splendidly". Take this statement "cum grano salis". Mrs. Bodge, alias Mrs. Challis, mas splendid when she first came.

The moon Mars was in conjunction with Spica on the 12th, and the same with Mars on the 13th. Yesterday it has approached Scorpio, and will probably this evening pass over into that constellation. Tomorrow (Friday) it will be in Sagittarius, and full. Kindly look at it. Cygnus, with the bright star Deneb, may be perceived north and below Vega in the evening. Altair can be seen later, low down; it has two fainter stars, one on either side, thus forming a row.

The final examinations began today with Drawing. I skipped at 11, and therefore am writing this letter early –– it is now eleven minutes after one. Tomorrow the examinations are German and Physiology. Monday there are examinations in subjects of which I am not guilty; so I will remain at home all day. Tuesday morning closes the series with French; the last examination comes Tuesday afternoon, and the


senior classes graduate the evening of Friday the twenty-third, thus formally closing school. I will, however, not attend after Tuesday.

Vladimir Linevitch Rojestvensky is in good health and spirits. At present he is sleeping on the back porch under the table. He spends most of his time, except dinner-time, sleeping. He weighs 47 pounds now.

June 13th part of th the day was exceedingly interesting. I refer to that part extending from 11.35 to 12.20. Miss Borough, our German teacher, stayed only long enough to announce to us that she had work to do in the office; she then put the class on its honor (which was a foolish thing to do, as it had no honor to put on), instructed a a boy to act as her proxy, and skipped. She had assigned the boy some English sentences to read from a book to divers pupils, the chosen ones then to translate them orally. Generally the pupils go it translated passably, to the accompaniment of considerable laughter; but if, for any reason, the pupil struck an obstacle and was unable to proceed, the accommodating class struck in and finished the sentence for him. About noon some of the pupils asked the boy whom Miss B. had left to let them have a spelling-match; he refusing, two boys elected themselves captains and called out names as fast as they could. He yielded –– there was nothing else to do –– and gave out words, which the whole room spelled in concert. At this point the bell rang.

Please don't fail in your letters as badly as I did. Last Sunday before last, as I told you, it went up to 87; Monday to 90, Tuesday to 91. Last Sunday there was a strong wind. Imagine my disappointment if, after contending with such adversities, I should get no letter!

Saturday last the German Club — Pa, Ma, and some friends of theirs — announced a Pic-nic. It was to be held in Washington Park at 6 p.m. We were there at 4. All day the sun had shone brilliantly, and the tem-



had played around in the 80s. For dinner iced tea was a prominent article of consumption. Having attired ourselves in our thinnest clothing we sallied to the place of the appointment. The sun encouraged us by pouring down ions of heat which chased all leisurely people to their homes. Arrived at the picnic-point, the sun began to sink; we congratulated ourselves that it would grow cool and we would have an enjoyable picnic; but suddenly the light was shut off; we looked over the to the southwest, and beheld what you and I have so often beheld there. Lightning-bolts were playing tag in it, and an occasional thunder-clap reached us.We waited fifteen minutes for the rest of party. We then skipped. At this juncture it began to rain. Not, either, like the deceptive drops which gently descended on us, that day we went to Irondale –– or was it Pullman? It rained steadily till half-past eight p.m. We finished our picnic in the home of our friends. Lightning furnished the illumination, thunder was the orchestra. Of course.

Well, I shall will have to shut off steam and bank the fires. I think I will go over and see Beulah. We will then go and get some nectar on 63d St., where you come down from the Alley Elle. Perhaps we will go to 90th St., see the quarry, and buy some candy on the southwest corner, having first viewed the quarry and the peaceful bovines grazing around it. Possibly we will go out to the lake and the gentle Mo-oo-oo-oo-oon come up. Why dalliest thou? Well.

Next Tuesday.


P.S. All things - including photos come to him who waits.

Miss Ruby J. Splitstone


Trumbull Av.