We were passing round the Monument, whose candelabra flooded the plaza with light, and Mrs. Owen inveighed for a moment against automobiles in general as we narrowly escaped being run down by a honking juggernaut at Christ Church corner.
“It seems Morton has grown some,” she resumed. “He’s even got big enough to forgive his enemies, and John Ware says only great men do that. You’ve noticed that ‘Hoosier Folks at Home’ column in the ‘Courier’? Well, Ike Pettit runs that; Morton brought him to town on purpose after Edward Thatcher closed out the Fraserville paper. I read every word of that column every day. It gives you a kind of moving-picture show of cloverfields, and children singing in the country schools, and rural free delivery wagons throwing off magazines and newspapers, and the interurban cars cutting slices out of the lonesomeness of the country folks. It’s certainly amazing how times change, and I want to live as long as I can and keep on changing with ’em! Why, these farmers that used to potter around all winter worrying over their debts to the insurance companies are now going to Lafayette every January to learn how to make corn pay, and they’re putting bathrooms in their houses and combing the hay out of their whiskers. They take their wives along with ’em to the University, so they can have a rest and learn to bake bread that won’t bring up the death-rate; and when those women go home they dig the nails out of the windows to let the fresh air in, and move the melodeon to the wood-pile, and quit frying meat except when the minister stops for dinner. It’s all pretty comfortable and cheerful and busy in Indiana, with lots of old-fashioned human kindness flowing round; and it’s getting better all the time. And I guess it’s always got to be that way, out here in God’s country.”