Gentlemen — my job is to feed Mrs.
Then he sat down. The talk, short as it was, had the desired effect
and for a long time was the best-remembered speech in the annals of the
Besides her many horse theories, my mother had quite defin-
ite ideas on a variety of subjects and used no hesitation in expressing
them. She disapproved wholeheartedly of smallpox vaccinations; the
vaccine came from an unhealthy cow (not a horse, unfortunately)
and she would not allow her children to be vaccinated. "When a smallpox
epidemic comes it will be time enough to do something about it," she
She disapproved of cosmetics and anyone who came to ride horseback
wearing lipstick or rouge — wearing war paint, she called it — would be
thoroughly berated and told to wash it off before desecrating the horse.
Such a dressing down would naturally startle the uninitiated.
In her book, smoking was not for women. Aunt Sally Fairchild, who
often visited us, was an incessant smoker. "Sally — if you don't stop
smoking," my mother would say, "you'll get cancer."
"But I already have cancer," was Aunt Sally's meek reply.
At one time she considered drunkenness a curable disease. She had a
theory that a man's inability to get liquor made him crave
it; if he had all he wanted he would practice moderation. So she
attempted to cure an inveterate drunkard who was delivering something at
our house and she handed him a bottle of whiskey and a tumbler.
With gleaming eyes he filled the receptacle to the brim, tossed it off
in one long pull then began to pour a second. At this
point my mother intervened, realizing the experiment
had been a failure. Not long afterwards we had a laundress with