“The kindly reader at this point clutches his brow and asks, ‘But why carry this paper around? Why, in Heaven’s name, do it as a beggar? Why do it at all?’

Let me make haste to say that there has been as yet no accredited, accepted way for establishing Beauty in the heart of the average American. Until such a way has been determined upon by a competent committee, I must be pardoned for taking my own course and trying any experiment I please.

But I hope to justify the space occupied by this narrative, not by the essential seriousness of my intentions, nor the essential solemnity of my motley cloak, nor by the final failure or success of the trip, but by the things I unexpectedly ran into, as curious to me as to the gentle and sheltered reader.”

Vachel Lindsey, Tramping Across America

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