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A Straight Deal by Owen Wister
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Owen Wister

To Edward and Anna Martin who give help in time of trouble

Chapter I: Concerning One's Letter Box

Publish any sort of conviction related to these morose days through which
we are living and letters will shower upon you like leaves in October. No
matter what your conviction be, it will shake both yeas and nays loose
from various minds where they were hanging ready to fall. Never was a
time when so many brains rustled with hates and panaceas that would sail
wide into the air at the lightest jar. Try it and see. Say that you
believe in God, or do not; say that Democracy is the key to the
millennium, or the survival of the unfittest; that Labor is worse than
the Kaiser, or better; that drink is a demon, or that wine ministers to
the health and the cheer of man--say what you please, and the yeas and
nays will pelt you. So insecurely do the plainest, oldest truths dangle