52 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
advertised for families of field-mice, and the influx of the all-tooprolific little animals was terrifying to the heart of so perfect a housekeeper as my mother. The horror produced by the discovery of several of the above-named families in the refrigerator was more than trying to the nerves of one less devoted to science. My sister Anna, the most unselfish of older sisters, was the chief sufferer always, as, in spite of her extreme youth-for she was only four years older than my brother-her unusual ability and maturity made her seem more like a second mother than a sister. On one special occasion Theodore, having advertised and offered the large sum of ten cents for every field-mouse and thirty-five cents for a family, left for a trip to the Berkshire hills, and my poor sister was inundated by hundreds of active and unattractive families of field-mice, while clamoring country people demanded their ten-cent pieces or the larger sum irrelevantly offered by the absentee young naturalist. In the same unselfish manner my sister was the unwilling recipient of families of young squirrels, guinea-pigs, etc., and I can see her still bring= ing up one especially delicate family of squirrels on the bottle, and also begging a laundress not to forsake the household because turtles were tied to her tubs !
Those summers on the Hudson River stand out as peculiarly happy days. As I have said before, we were allowed great freedom, although never license, in the summer-time, and situated as we then were, with a group of little friends about us, the long sweet days passed like a joyous dream.
Doctor Hilborne West, the husband of my mother's halfsister, stands prominently out as a figure in those childhood times. My mother writes of him as follows: "Dr. West has made himself greatly beloved by each child. He has made boats and sailed them with Ellie; has read poetry and acted plays with Conie; and has talked science and medicine and natural history with Teedie, who always craves knowledge." In spite of his craving for knowledge the boy, now nearly fourteen years old, had evidently, however, the normal love of noise and racket,