But you do not tell me of yourself. Can you chop wood or saw wood or play golf or do aught else that doth become a man of muscle, energy, life, vim, go, pep? Take a trip to the South Seas, a knock-about trip, casting off clerical garb and living in the open, mixing with the primitive peoples, seeing beauteous nature, climbing mountains, swimming in soft waters, not seeing newspaper or book. They tell me that in Burmah live a happy people who love beauty, are always smiling and follow the Golden Rule far nearer than those who live by trade and are blest by civilization. Ah, that I might see such a people! The nearest I ever came was at Honolulu, and there was the taint of the Christian, alack-a-day! The White Man’s Burden is the weight of the load of sin, disease, death, and misfortune he has dropped on the happy ones who never knew a Christian creed. We have given them bath tubs in exchange for cheerful living!
I am as much in the air as to the future as I was in the russet days of Bethel. But one of these days, let us hope we may gather over a bottle of something sound and mellow, and laugh together over our adventure into the land of the woebegone. I do not take to it, tho’ they say some people live in it by choice, for they find something to talk of there, and feel saintly because they suffer. Well, we will have more knowledge in that happy future and more of sympathy. What a lot one must endure to gain a wee bit of wisdom. And then to have it die with us. Maybe it does not, eh? Maybe it somehow, somewhere finds a corner into which it drops and carries someone over a hard place. I don’t know what kind of theology this is that I am dripping from my pen, but I cannot yet be beaten to the point where I say it is all purposeless. And that is the faith that may not save a soul but does save souls, I guess.
I wish you the joy and elevation of spirit that you have many times given to my sick soul and to others. Did I tell you my boy is married—to a Catholic girl too, of much charm? They were married on the ancestral farm with the ancestor of ninety years present and in high spirits. A Dios, Padre mio,
F. K. L.
To John G. Gehring
Rochester, Minnesota, [April] 30, 
Tomorrow will be May day—once, before the world became industrial, a day of gladness, now a day of dread, another result of mal-adjustment.
What ever would these doctors do if they had no cheeks in which to hold their tongues while telling sick folk what ails them, and the cure? You are learning, Sir, how much of wisdom some men lack who have certain knowledge. And wisdom is what we are after, we Knights of the Mystic Sign. Wisdom—the essence of lives lived; knocks, blows, pains, tortures reduced to fears, and these incorporated into a string or queue of people who have eyes, nerves, and powers of inference, and the initiative to experiment and