Adventures in Contentment by Ray Stannard Baker

By Ray Stannard Baker

This e-book is a facsimile reprint and will comprise imperfections reminiscent of marks, notations, marginalia and fallacious pages.

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Lord be thanked for my escape! Sometimes I think that Success has formed a silent conspiracy against Youth. ” John Starkweather said nothing. “Yes,” I said, “there are duties. We realise, we farmers, that we must produce more than we ourselves can eat or wear or burn. We realise that we are the foundation: we connect human life with the earth. We dig and plant and produce, and having eaten at the first table ourselves, we pass what is left to the bankers and millionnaires. Did you ever think, stranger, that most of the wars of the world have been fought for the control of this farmer’s second table?

We both washed our hands, talking with great good humour. ” So he sat down on one of the logs of my woodpile: a solid sort of man, rather warm after his recent activities. He looked me over with some interest and, I thought, friendliness. ” For a single instant I came nearer to being angry than I have been for a long time. Waste myself! So we are judged without knowledge. I had a sudden impulse to demolish him (if I could) with the nearest sarcasms I could lay hand to. He was so sure of himself!

And how he did eat, saying nothing at all, while Harriet plied him with food and talked to me of the most disarming commonplaces. I think it did her heart good to see the way he ate: as though he had had nothing before in days. As he buttered his muffin, not without some refinement, I could see that his hand was long, a curious, lean, ineffectual hand, with a curving little finger. With the drinking of the hot coffee colour began to steal up into his face, and when Harriet brought out a quarter of pie saved over from our dinner and placed it before him—a fine brown pie with small hieroglyphics in the top from whence rose sugary bubbles—he seemed almost to escape himself.

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