You’d best not come right now. Alonzo is terribly excited about Theodore Roosevelt. He stays at the newspaper until all hours of the night. He thinks the whole future of the country depends on “getting that fat man out of the White House.” I’ve tried to calm him, but you know how Alonzo is. He has made all kinds of enemies in town here, and is carrying on a ferocious battle with John Kemper, editor of the paper over in Afton. He hates John Kemper. He looks at me funny every time his name comes up. You may not remember. Mama, but this is the John Kemper who was courting me at the same time as Alonzo. I don’t think Alonzo ever liked him. But he’s hated him really, ever since Kemper wrote that editorial, America Expects Every Lion To Do His Duty, when Teddy went to Africa. Alonzo wanted to go over to Afton and thrash Kemper then, and it took Sheriff Mimms to talk him out of it. Don’t you remember, when I married Alonzo you said his temper would be his ruination? I’m having reason to remember those words. Still he hasn’t been beat up by those ruffians across the tracks in a long my time now. If he just wouldn’t get so excited about everything. He’s also in the midst of his annual campaign against liquor and cigarette smoking. People are beginning to complain that he doesn’t print any news in the paper except all those black headlines about DEMON RUM. Several of the men around town have taken to smoking and Alonzo threatened to resign as Superintendent of the Sunday School unless, as he put it, his fellow Christians put off foul tobacco and come to an understanding with God. I don’t dare say anything.
We’re all getting ready for the Fourth of July here and I suppose you are too. Alonzo is going to give the speech on liberty in the park, the same one he always gives on the Fourth. I pray nothing goes wrong. Everyone will be there of course, and if anyone in the audience makes fun of him I shudder to think what might happen. It was months before we got over the last Fourth, if you remember, with Alonzo pouring out all those young men’s liquor and them beating him up so badly. I wish we could have a quiet and peaceful Independence Day.