32 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
"I was able to get a top berth and retired for the 3rst time in two months to spend the night on the railroad. My three nights at home have made it hard, rather than easier, to continue my journeys.
"All our party started from Albany to Fonda, and I had a hard day's work for the men had been deceived by the bounty and were suspicious about everything regarding the Allotment Commission. The officers' dinner was a good deal like pigs eating at a trough. When at night three companies had not yet been visited, I determined to do it wholesale. I had two tents pitched and occupied one already prepared, placing a table, candles and allotment roll in each. I then had the three companies formed into three sides of a square and used all my eloquence. When I had finished they cheered me vociferously. I told them I would be better able to judge who meant the cheers by seeing which company made most allotments. [This sentence of my father's makes me think so much of my brother's familiar "shoot; don't shout !" when he would receive vociferous cheers for any advice given.] I thus raised the spirit of competition and those really were the best that I had taken during the day. By eight o'clock we found our work done, dark as pitch, and rain descending in torrents, but still the work was done."
These letters give, I think, a vivid picture of my father's persistence and determined character, and the quality of "getting there," which was so manifestly the quality of his son as well, and at the same time the power of enjoyment, the natural affiliation with his humankind, and always the thoughtfulness and consideration for his young wife left with her little charges at home.
In that same home the spirit of the war permeated through the barriers of love raised around the little children of the nursery, and my aunt writes of the attitude of the small, yellowhaired boy into whose childish years came also the distant din of battle, arousing in him the military spirit which even at four