statue on the way to lunch, the children
arrived home from school and one of them piped up, "Why did you bring
that old thing down from the attic ?"
My mother also had very definite ideas in geographical matters. For
instance, when Eben Fiske was about ten, we were driving him home to
Rhode Island. In the outskirts of Pawtucket, Eben, who was familiar with
the road said, "We take a left hand turn by that stone church."
"Oh no, Eben, that couldn't be the turn," my mother an- nounced
"All right," Eben replied and we continued on about a mile.
"Here's where we take the left
hand turn, Eben," she said.
"All right," Eben replied indifferently.
A little farther on she said, "We turn to the right here don't we Eben
"If you want to," he replied.
Soon we found ourselves on a dead end street in the heart of the city.
"Now what do we do, Eben?" she asked crossly, "You've got us lost."
"I've been lost ever since that church when I told you to turn left," Eben replied.
Occasionally we were taken to the theatre, but only to plays that my
mother considered proper. If there were undesirable parts she found ways
of avoiding them. Once when the final scene of a play based on the life
of Abraham Lincoln came on — a box in Ford's Theatre in Washington — my
mother announced, "Come children — we're leaving now. The rest is too disagreea-ble," and she rose and walked out and the children reluctantly