36 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
and though my father or my aunt frequently had to take Theodore for change of air to one place or another, and rarely, even at his best, could he sleep without being propped up in bed or in a big chair, still his spirit was so strong and so recuperative that when I think of my earliest country memories, he seems always there, leading, suggesting, explaining, as all through my life when the nursery was a thing of the past and the New Jersey woodlands a faint though fair green memory, he was always beside me, leading, suggesting, explaining still.
It was in those very woodlands that his more accurate interest in natural history began. We others-normal and not particularly intelligent little children-joyed in the delights of the country, in our games and our liberty, but he was not only a leader for us in everything, but he also led a life apart from us, seriously studying the birds, their habits and their notes, so that years afterward the result of those long hours of childish concentration took form in his expert knowledge of bird life and lore so expert a knowledge that even Mr. John Burroughs, the great nature specialist, conceded him equality of information with himself along those lines.
It was at Lowantaka, at the breakfast-table one day, after my father had taken the train to New York-this was the second year of our domicile there, and the sad war was over-that my mother received a peculiar-looking letter. I remember her face of puzzled interest as she opened it and the flush that came to her cheek as she turned to my aunt and said: "Oh, Anna, this must be from Irvine!" and read aloud what would now seem like a "personal" on a page of the New York Herald. It was as follows:
"If Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt and Miss Anna Bulloch will
walk in Central Park up the Mall, at 3 o'clock on Thursday
afternoon of this week [it was then Tuesday] and notice a young
man standing under the third tree on the left with a red hand
kerchief tied around his throat, it will be of interest to them."
As my mother finished reading the letter she burst into tears,