Bess Streeter Aldrich

Katherine it was who took upon herself the complete charge of [Junior’s] speech. Not an insignificant “have went” nor an infinitesimal “I seen” ever escaped the keen ears of his eldest sister, who immediately corrected him. Mother sometimes thought Katherine a little severe when, in the interest of proper speaking, she would stop him in the midst of an exciting account of a home-run. There were times, thought Mother, when the spirit of the thing was so much more important than the flesh in which it was clothed.

Junior was eleven. The statement is significant. There are a few peevish people in the world who believe that all eleven-year-old boys ought to be hung. Others, less irritable, think that gently chloroforming them would seem more humane. A great many good-natured folks contend that incarceration for a couple of years would prove the best way to dispose of them.