Free Air (Chapter 8, page 1 of 13)

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Chapter 8

On the morning when Milt Daggett had awakened to sunshine in the woods
north of Gopher Prairie, he had discovered the golden age. As mile on
mile he jogged over new hills, without having to worry about getting
back to his garage in time to repair somebody's car, he realized that
for the past two years he had forced himself to find contentment in
building up a business that had no future.

Now he laughed and whooped; he drove with one foot inelegantly and
enchantingly up on the edge of the cowl; he made Lady Vere de Vere bow
to astounded farmers; he went to the movies every evening--twice, in
Fargo; and when the chariot of the young prince swept to the brow of a
hill, he murmured, not in the manner of a bug-driver but with a stinging
awe, "All that big country! Ours to see, puss! We'll settle down some
day and be solid citizens and raise families and wheeze when we walk,
but---- All those hills to sail over and---- Come on! Lez sail!"

Milt attended the motion pictures every evening, and he saw them in a
new way. As recently as one week before he had preferred those earnest
depictions in which hard-working, moral actors shoot one another, or
ride the most uncomfortable horses up mountainsides. But now, with a
mental apology to that propagandist of lowbrowism, the absent Mac, he
chose the films in which the leading men wore evening clothes, and no
one ever did anything without being assisted by a "man." Aside from the
pictures Milt's best tutors were traveling men. Though he measured every
cent, and for his campfire dinners bought modest chuck steaks, he had at
least one meal a day at a hotel, to watch the traveling men.

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