“That tells the hull story, Theodore, I could throw statistics at you till you wuz black and blue, about our country spendin’ for what is useless and ruinous to soul, body and estate, one billion four hundred millions a year, and about the hundred thousand drunkards that stumble along into the staggerin’ slobberin’ ranks every year, and drop into the drunkard’s grave. I could eppisode eloquent to you about all this but what’s the use; you’re real smart and you know all about it. You’ve seen on every side on you the beast drivin’ out the angel in man, you’ve seen the staggerin’ army march by you to ruin. You’ve seen the saloons spring up by the thousands on every side, for the purpose of makin’ drunkards, you’ve seen wives murdered by them that promised to protect ’em, you’ve seen children driv to starvation and the streets by it; you’ve seen Poverty drive Prosperity out everywhere the curse fell. And you’ve seen nothin’ good come from it, nothin’ at all, only the money that Uncle Sam takes with one hand, and pays out with the other, for law’s machinery to punish the criminals he makes, and prisons, jails, reformatories, poor houses, orphan’s homes, cheap coffins, etc.
“No use my tellin’ you all this for you know it, but you love your boys, and I want you to promise me to do by other boys as you’d want me to do by yourn if I see the Saloon tryin’ its best to entice ’em, and see their bright innocent eyes beginnin’ to enjoy the deathly glitter on’t. You’d want me to slam that door to and keep ’em out. Put my shoulder blade agin it, prop it up with all the strength I could git holt on in law and gospel, so they couldn’t git in. And that’s what I want you to do, Theodore, I want you to help keep out other children jest as dear to their fathers and mothers as your children are to you. And you know that you and their mother would ruther see ’em lay dead at your feet, than to see ’em enter that door with the doom of the place on ’em.
“It’s a heavy door, Theodore, loaded down with greed and lowest passions, you can’t shet it alone, nor I can’t, but I would feel guilty as a dog if I didn’t try my very best. Public Opinion backed by Law is what has got to slam that door to and lock it. But you and I can help, and you can do more than I can, and I want you to promise me to do all you can.”
Agin I see he wuz strugglin’ for speech, and I hurried to git my last words in, “I believe you want to do right, and I will encourage you by tellin’ you that Josiah is goin’ to vote for you, though we hain’t got nothin’ agin Mr. Parker. He’s close-mouthed, which is a good quality, though it can be carried too fur.
“A neighbor of ourn had warned her girl to not be too familiar with the hired man, a good Christian he wuz too. And once when her ma wuz gone he asked her where the milk pail wuz, and she wantin’ to be on the safe side wouldn’t say a word. That wuz bein’ too cautious, and a good many think he’s been a little too mute about some things, he didn’t tell jest where his politics wuz. But then the tongue is a onruly member and has to be curbed in, and I guess he means well. And Mr. Davis, too, of course he’s gittin’ along in years. But jest think of Methusaler, Mr. Methusaler’s folks would call Mr. Davis nothin’ but a child.”