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and he gave his thoughts a loose reign

...especially in one’s old age, when one had, so to speak, got comfortably over the actual, burdensome living of one’s own life and settled down to a restful career of puttering! At the very moment one has gained the right to relax a bit, a young, fresh, vigorous life intrudes itself, and —
      Mr. Cullender, in his distress, picked up his cigar by the wrong end and indulged in a single second’s comforting profanity. He could hear his daughter mounting to the second story, and he gave his thoughts a loose reign.

ex Florida Pier, “Musty, Dusty Mr. Cullender” (illustrated by Horace Taylor), Munsey’s Magazine (December 1909) : 389-398 (390) : link

8 November 2022