This is my first line of the New Year. Anne is a true daughter of Martha this morning—her heart is troubled with many things, getting ready for the raid of the Huns this afternoon. She says she will write when she repossesses herself of her right arm. Good health!
Some days later
... I have been receiving your wireless messages all week, my dear Mary, and not one was an S. O. S. Good! The fair ship Mary Miller is safe. Hurrah! She never has been staunch, but she was the gayest thing on the sea, and when her sails were all set from jib to spanker she made a gladsome sight, and some speed.
Of course, being so gay she was venturesome. That’s where the Devil comes in. He is always looking about for the gay things. He hates anything that doesn’t make medicine for him. If you are gay you are likely to be venturesome, and if venturesome, you can be led astray. So the good ship Mary Miller instead of hugging the shore took a try at the vasty deep and got all blown to pieces. Then she sent out a cry for help. The wireless worked and now with a little puttering along in the sunshine and a lazy sea, she will be her gay self once more, and like Kipling’s Three Decker will “carry tired people to the Islands of the Blest.”
That was a most charming letter you sent me, a real bit of intimate talk. Anne read it first. She is very careful as to my reading. And I was glad to know that she could discover nothing in it which might injuriously affect my trustful young mind. Anne is really a good woman. I don’t believe in husband’s abusing their wives, publicly. Good manners are essential to happiness in married life. We are short on manners in this country, and that explains the prevalence of divorce. How much better, as our friend L. Sterne once said, “These things are ordered in France.”
F. K L.
TO EDWARD F. ADAMS
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Washington, January 11, 1916
My dear Adams,—I have yours of the 2nd. Of course, you can not sue the United States to get possession of its property without the consent of the United States; but I will forgive you for all your peculiar and archaic notions regarding government lands and schools and sich, because I love you for what you are and not because of your inheritance of old-fashioned ideas.
As I am dictating this letter I look up at the wall and discover there the head of a bull moose, and that bull moose makes me think of all the things you said four years ago about Roosevelt. And now he is to be again the master of your party—perhaps not a candidate, because he may be guilty of an act of self-abnegation and put away the crown, or take it in his own hands and place it upon some one else’s brow.
I remember the manner—the scornful, satirical, sometimes pitiful and sometimes abusive manner—in which you treated the Bull Moose; and so we are going to have a great spectacle, the Bull Moose and the Elephant kissing each other at Chicago; and seated on the Elephant’s shoulders will be the crowned mahout with the big barbed stick in his hand, telling you which way to turn and when to kneel!