Capt. Zebulon Lee Crayne
I have to agree with your mother in law. Too much would be made of our own youthful romance, innocent though it was.
You must to think of yourself and your children. It wouldn’t be right to deny them the opportunites they have only through the Nelsons. And I’d hate to think of you in dire circumstances.
I only wish I’d been more of a man and convinced you to elope with me in the first place. Just like we’d wanted to. But I was young and stupid and scared of loosing my commision, placing my own wants and needs ahead of yours, something I’ve spent my whole life bitterly regretting, letting you get pressured into marrying Nelson.
I will always be there for you, no matter what you decide, but marriage is out of the question as my wounds have rendered any husbandly duties impossible.