Can any human agency work the great miracle of giving the ages a part of the America that was ours? I do not know. I dare not predict.
Can this weak, new, little journal, openly established as a pulpit of heresy to the orthodox selfishness and commercialism in sport, work that vast miracle? I do not know, I dare not predict. But may we not all at least join in that clean hope? Surely, if it also shall fail, then all hope of outdoor America also has failed and failed forever.
By the fruits, judge. The result of these other agencies has been ruin and despair. IT IS TIME TO CALL A HALT.
We have been on the wrong path. The farther we go, the more we leave truth behind. Let us halt, retrace, go back and get into some new path, hoping it may at last be the right road, with success and not failure, happiness and not despair, at its end. THEN WE SHALL NOT NEED TO HALT.
Spirit of the Great Angler; all spirits of patriots and gentle men, look down upon us and have pity upon us! We are weak. Give us your calm and serene strength, your eternal youth, your cleanliness of soul, your lofty aristocracy of thought. Help us set aside material motives. Help us work out the great miracle, in a land now almost beyond the aid even of miracle.
When one unclean hand touches the management of this experiment, then it fails. When one commercialized motive comes into its thought, then it fails. When it becomes the organ of any man’s vanity, the tool of any man’s selfishness, then it fails.
At the suspicion of any one of those things, at least one name will never again appear on any of its pages. I willingly lend it here after fifty years of love and labor in and for outdoor America — fruitless labor, myself no better than the next — none the less with an undiminished love for this America of ours, and a hope not yet wholly faltering that the needed miracle EVEN YET MAY COME.