Played the Coward

I’m reading a history of the Southern Presbyterian mission to Korea (of which my Hopper grandparents and great-grandparents were a part) that my great uncle wrote. He shared a sequence of journal entries written by a young, single missionary:

  • Nov 11, 1896 – One has no opportunity to know a single lady here if one is single without provoking gossip.
  • Dec 14, 1896 – I offered to stay with Miss Davis and Mrs. Drew while Mr. Drew and Mr. Junkin go to Seoul and my offer was accepted.
  • Feb 22, 1897 – Miss Davis is discreet!! Good! … Miss Davis does not say much, but doubtless thinks a lot!!
  • Aug 30, 1897 – Stopped by Drews to return Miss Davis’s shoes and came nearer to delivering my ultimatum.
  • Oct 1, 1897 – Visited Miss Davis and again “played the coward.”
  • Oct 30, 1897 – Bell, Tate and I dined with Miss Davis … good cook.
  • Nov 2, 1897 – While the other were going up the hill for goose and duck hunting, I went after fairer game. For once I played the man. I made the heartiest speech of my life, and thank God, captivated my audience. Miss Davis (now Linnie Dear) said I said as I was about to go without an answer, ‘I love you’ …. For appearances sake, I hurried up the hill after seeing Miss Davis and shot three ducks, sent her one.

They were married the next summer.