I am thinking seriously of going to Washington Saturday night and coming back Sunday night . . . It is doubtful. I wrote your father that perhaps I might do so. I hardly think I shall be able. A letter put in the post office as late as Sunday evening will reach me.
So wrote John Bidwell to Annie from New York City. He should have made the trip and given her the ring. But he waffled around, didn’t go, and didn’t get her letter in reply before he got on board the ship for California.
Annie promptly replied on Sunday, but the letter didn’t get to John in New York in time. In it she says:
Mamma thinks if you had brought “the ring” there would have been no impropriety in my acceding to your terms–namely–to be mine until circumstances, on your part or mine, should render the return of it advisable. I hesitated, but if it would be a gratification to you, it would be agreeable to me. It would have given me pleasure to see it, having seen it in its rough state. You need not fear that you have offended me.
A little more boldness on his part, and the ring would have been on her finger before he departed. Of course, she had to consult with Mamma first. She always did. But since Mamma gave her approval, it would not be a breach of etiquette to accept the ring.
Obviously she was charmed by the man from California, and attracted to him. But she hadn’t said so yet. Most of her letters were taken up with urging him to accept Christ as his Savior. Nevertheless, she was intrigued by that diamond, and by the man who offered it to her. He would win her yet. A few more months would pass, however, before she got to wear the diamond ring.