OCTOBER 18, 1939
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—I had a ride this morning. At first the sky looked very threatening, but later it cleared and the clouds were very beautiful. The horses felt so full of fun that it was hard to hold them down. "Dot" may be old, but a summer's rest makes her behave like a two-year-old, and she can out-trot and out-canter the younger horse which I borrowed for the summer.
I motored down to lunch today with a friend of mine who is the dietitian at a sanitarium below Beacon. If one has to go to one, I think of all the places of this kind I have seen, this one is the most attractive. The views of the river are lovely. Besides the old Sargeant and Howland houses, there are any number of smaller cottages where one can feel really at home. Running an institution of this kind, from the standpoint of food and service, must be an art, but my young friend seems to find it easy and interesting.
Back at my cottage, and it is so tempting out of doors that we are going for a walk to get the view from the top of the hill. At sunset it is very lovely.
Yesterday morning when I arose, I discovered that, as sometimes happens in the autumn, the mice are beginning to come indoors and one had undertaken to chew the wood by my closet and left a little trail of sawdust around the floor. We bought traps and set them temptingly with cheese, but so far have no reward. I think having so many people in the house has scared the little mice out again temporarily, but I suspect that they will come back and I hope they will be caught.
I see in this morning's paper that the question of credits in the neutrality bill, which has been so inexplicable to a great many people, has been taken out of the Administration's bill. It would have been possible under the law as originally drawn, for the President to extend credit up to 90 days to belligerents making purchases in the United States and transporting goods in their own ships, whereas on a straight cash and carry basis, the governments will have to pay immediately. This plan has now been substituted and it looks as though the Administration, though barring American ships from Europe's danger zones, will allow free travel in the Pacific and Indian Oceans as well as in the South Atlantic.
It is a curious thing how much we desire to be kept out of war and yet, as soon as staying out entails a loss in some financial line, we immediately have to make concessions because whatever else happens some people are always sure to feel that their pockets must be saved. If these provisions pass, certain rights which would be ours under straight international law are, of course, given up by Americans.