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66   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

rout. While waiting for the steamer there my brother Elliott was taken ill, and writes in a homesick fashion to the beloved aunt to whom we confided all our joys and woes. Poor little boy! He says pathetically: "Oh, Auntie, you don't know how I long for a finishing-up of this ever-lasting traveling, when we can once more sit down to breakfast, dinner and lunch in our own house. Since I have been sick and only allowed rice and chicken, -and very little of them-I have longed for one of our rice puddings, and a pot of that strawberry jam, and one of Mary's sponge cakes, and I have thought of when I would go to your rooms for dinner and what jolly chops and potatoes and dessert I would get there, and when I would come to breakfast we would have buckwheat cakes. Perhaps I am a little homesick." I am not so sure but what many an intelligent traveller, could his or her heart be closely examined, would find written upon it "lovely potatoes, chops and hot buckwheat cakes."

But all the same, in spite of "Ellie's" rhapsody, off we started on another steamer, and my father writes on March 28, 1873

Steamer off Rhodes.

Teedie is in great spirits, as the sailors have caught for him numerous specimens, which he stuffs on deck, to the edification of a large audience.

I write during the same transit, after stopping at Athens, that "It is a very lovely town, and that I should have liked to stay there longer, but that was not to be." I also decided that although the ruins were beautiful, I did not like them as much as either Karnak or Baalbek. Having dutifully made these architectural criticisms, I turn with gusto to the fact that Tom and Fannie Lawrence, "Teedie," "Ellie," and I have such splendid games of tag on the different steamers, and that I know my aunt would have enjoyed seeing us. The tag was "con amore," while the interest in the temples was, I fear, somewhat induced. Our comprehending mother and father, however, always allowed

Green Fields and Foreign Faring   67

us joyous moments between educational efforts. In a letter from Constantinople written by "Ellie" on April 7, he says: ,,We have had Tom and Frank Lawrence here to dinner, and we had a splendid game of 'muggins' and tried to play eucre (I don't know that this is rightly spelled) with five, but did not suceede, Teedie did make such mistakes. [Not such an expert in cards, you see, as in tarsi and mandibles!] But we were in such spirits that it made no difference, and we did nothing but shout at the top of our voices the battle cry of freedom; and the playing of a game of slapjack helped us get off our steam with hard slaps, but even then there was enough (steam) left in Teedie and Tom to have a candle fight and grease their clothes, and poor Frank's and mine, who were doing nothing at all!" As one can see by this description, the learned and rather delicate "Teedie" was only a normal, merry boy after all. "Ellie" describes also the wonderful rides in Constantinople, and many other joys planned by our indulgent parents. From that same city, called because of its many steeples The City of Minarets, "Teedie" writes to his little friend Edith:

I think I have enjoyed myself more this winter than I ever did before. Much to add to my enjoyment Father gave me a gun at Christmas, which rendered me happy and the rest of the family miserable.

I killed several hundred birds with it, and then went and lost it! I think I enjoyed the time in Egypt most, and after that I had the most fun while camping out in Syria.

While camping out we were on horseback for several hours of each day, and as I like riding ever so much, and as the Syrian horses are very good, we had a splendid time. While riding I bothered the family somewhat by carrying the gun over my shoulder, and on the journey to the Jordan, when I was on the most spirited horse I ever rode, I bothered the horse too, as was evidenced by his running away several times when the gun struck him too hard. Our tent life had a good many adventures in it.

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