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62   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

innate depravity which he wished with all his soul to cure in his beloved little sister. At the end of my description of the quail I fall by the wayside, and only once again make an excursion into the natural history of the great land of Egypt; only once more do I struggle with the description of a bird called this time by the curious name of "Ziczac." (Could this be "Zigzag," or was it simply my childish mind that zigzagged in its painful efforts to follow the impossible trail of my elder brother?) In my account of this, to say the least, unusual bird I remark: "Tarsus not finished." Whether I have not finished the tarsus, or whether the bird itself had an arrested development of some kind, I do not explain; and on the blank page opposite this final effort in scientific adventure I finish, as I began, by the words "Natural History," and underneath them, to explain my own unsuccessful efforts, I write: "My Brother, Theodore Roosevelt, Esq." Whether I had decided that all natural history was summed up in that magic name, or whether from that time on I was determined to leave all natural history to my brother, Theodore Roosevelt, Esq., I do not know; but the fact remains that-from that day to this far distant one I have never again dipped into the mystery of mandibles and tarsi.

And so the sunny, happy days on the great river passed away. A merry eighteenth-birthday party in January for my sister Anna took the form of a moonlight ride to the great temple of Karnak, and, although we younger ones, naturally tired frequently of the effort to understand history and hieroglyphics, and turned with joy even in the shadow of the grand columns of Abydos to the game of "Buzz," still I can say with truth that the easily moulded and receptive minds of the three little children responded to the atmosphere of the great river with its mighty past, and all through the after-years the interest aroused in those early days stimulated their craving for knowledge about the land of the Pharaohs.

On our way down the river an incident occurred which, in

Green Fields and Foreign Faring   63

a sense, was also memorable. At Rhoda on our return from the tombs of Beni Hasan we found that a dahabeah had drawn up near ours, on which were the old sage Ralph Waldo Emerson and his daughter. My father, who never lost a chance of bringing into the lives of his children some worth-while memory, took us all to see the old poet, and I often think with pleasure of the lovely smile, somewhat vacant, it is true, but very gentle, with which he received the little children of his fellow countryman.

It was at this time that the story was told in connection with Mr. Emerson that some sentimental person said: "How wonderful to think of Emerson looking at the Sphinx ! What a message the Sphinx must have had for Emerson." Whereupon an irreverent wit replied: "The only message the Sphinx could possibly have had for Emerson must have been `You're another.' " I can quite understand now, remembering the mystic, dreamy face of the old philosopher, how this witticism came about.

And now the Nile trip was over and we were back again in Cairo, and planning for the further interest of a trip through the Holy Land. Mr. Thayer and Mr. Jay, two of the young friends who had accompanied us on the Nile, decided to join our party, and after a short stay in Cairo we again left for Alexandria and thence sailed for Jaffa. In my diary I write at the Convent of Ramleh between Jaffa and Jerusalem, where we spent our first night: "In Jaffa we chose our horses, which was very exciting, and started on our long ride. After three hours of delightful riding through a great many green fields, we reached this convent and found they had no room for ladies, because they were not allowed to go into one part of the building as it was against the rules, but at last Father got the old monks to allow us to come into another part of the convent for just one night."

"Father," like his namesake, almost always got what he wanted.

From that time on one adventure after another followed.

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