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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,

Green Fields and Foreign Faring   37

for it was long since the younger brother had been heard from,

as the amnesty granted to all those taking part in the Rebellion

had not been extended to those who had gone to England, as had my two uncles, to assist in the building and the sailing of the Alabama, and letters from them were considered too dangerous to be received.

This "Irvine" had been saved when the Alabama sank, after her brief career, and the two brothers had settled in Liverpool, and my mother knowing the great sorrow that his mother's death had meant to this younger brother, had always longed during the intervening months to see him and tell him of that mother's undying devotion, though she herself had passed away the year before.

It seemed now to the active imaginations of the Southern sisters that somehow or other Irvine had braved the authorities, and would be able to see them and hear from their lips the story of the past five years.

One can well imagine the excitement of the children around the breakfast-table at the romantic meeting suggested by the anonymous letter. And so, on the following Thursday, the two sisters went in to New York and walked up the Mall in Central Park, and there, standing under the third tree to the left, was the young man-a thin, haggard-looking young man compared to the round-faced boy with whom they had parted so long ago, but eagerly waiting to get from them the last news of the mother who had hoped she would die before any harm could befall him. He had worked his way over in the steerage of a sailing-vessel under an assumed name, for he was afraid of bringing some trouble on my father, and had taken the method of the anonymous letter to bring to him the sisters he had loved and missed so sorely.

What a meeting it must have been under that "third tree to the left" of the old Mall of Central Park, and what reminiscences of happier childhood days those three must have indulged in in the brief hour which the brother could give his sisters be-

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