Rosalinde by Edgar Wilson Nye

Story type: Essay

In answer to a former article relative to the dearth of woman here, we are now receiving two to five letters per day from all classes and styles of young, middle-aged and old women who desire to come to Wyoming.

Some of them would like to come here to work and obtain an honest livelihood, and some of them desire to come here and marry cattle kings.

A recent letter from Michigan, written in lead pencil, and evidently during hours when the writer should have been learning her geography lesson, is very enthusiastic over the prospect of coming out here where one girl can have a lover for every day in the week. She signs herself Rosalinde, with a small r, and adds in a postscript that she “means business.”

Yes, Rosalinde, that’s what we are afraid of. We had a kind of a vague fear that you meant business, so we did not reply to your letter. Wyoming already has women enough who write with a lead pencil. We are also pretty well provided with poor spellers, and we do not desire to ransack Michigan for affectionate but sap-headed girls.

Stay in Michigan, Rosalinde, until we write to you, and one of these days when you have been a mother eight or nine times, and as you stand in the golden haze in the back yard, hanging out damp shirts on an uncertain line, while your ripe and dewy mouth is stretched around a bass-wood clothes pin, you will thank us for this advice.

Michigan is the place for you. It is the home of the Sweet Singer and the abiding place of the Detroit Free Press. We can’t throw any such influences around you here as those you have at your own door.

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Do not despair, Rosalinde. Some day a man, with a great, warm, manly heart and a pair of red steers, will see you and love you, and he will take you in his strong arms and protect you from the Michigan climate, just as devotedly as any of our people here can. We do not wish to be misunderstood in this matter. It is not as a lover that we have said so much on the girl question, but in the domestic aid department, and when we get a long letter from a young girl who eats slate pencils and reads Ouida behind her atlas, we feel like going over there to Michigan with a trunk strap and doing a little missionary work.

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