16 December 1905
PORTIONS OF THE DAMAGED DIARY OF JOANNA WOZNIAK, AS RECOVERED BY THE POLICE DEPARTMENT OF ERIE, PA, ON THE EVENING OF MAY 28, 1974.
Abe was feeling much better to-day. We have made a journey to the river every day and the time spent in the water seems to be doing him much good. I stay on shore, but the cold don't seem to bite him. Today, for my birth-day, he insisted on taking me somewhere more private, along the Allegheny. We left early to find a place he knew north of Pitsburg, where we could enjoy the water in peace. He surely knew this land well! Even covered in snow, it was magnificent. It looked like no one had been to that place since God Himself shaped it.
The water was still moving, despite the ice on the edges. Abe asked for my hand, and gently led me to the water. I told him I was hardly dressed for a swim, and anyway, there was no way I could handle freezing out here. He assured me there was nothing to fear, and I carefully kept to his side. Much to my surprise, we were not going into the water, but onto it! I felt like Peter himself, standing on that river as it ran away under me, and on memory of how that went for the good apostle I grabbed tight to Abe. He laughed, and led me to the middle of the river. He asked me to let go, just enough he could grab something. I was sore afraid, but slowly let go of all but his hand. He knelt down and put his free hand into the water, and when it emerged again it had a small pile of sand in it. As I watched, he clenched his hand around it, and when he opened it again, he was holding a most beautiful ring! He asked me to be his bride, to stay with him as long as we both should live!
Well. After a stunt like that, I could hardly say no.