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76   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

"My dear, I told you they could not get enough oil if you had the party so early. It was your own fault," said Mr. M. worked up

to desperation.

Mrs. M. gave him a glance that would have annihilated three

millstones of moderate size, from its sharpness, and would have followed the example of Miss Dragon Fly, but was anticipated by Ma

dame Maybug, who, as three of the lamps above her went out, fell into blue convulsions on the sofa. As the whole room was now sub

siding into darkness, the company broke up and went off with some abruptness and confusion, and when they were gone, Mrs. M. turned

(by the light of one bad lamp) an eagle eye on Mr. M. and said-, but we will now draw a curtain over the harrowing scene that ensued and


"Good Bye."

"Teedie" not only indulged in the free play of fancy such as the above, but wrote with extraordinary system and regularity for a boy of fourteen to his mother and father, and perhaps these letters, written in the far-away Dresden atmosphere, show more conclusively than almost any others the character, the awakening mind, the forceful mentality of the young and delicate boy. On May 29, in a letter to his mother, a very parental letter about his homesick little sister who had not yet been taken from the elderly family in which she was so unhappy, he drops into a lighter vein and says: "I have overheard a good deal of Minckwitz conversation which they did not think I understood; Father was considered `very pretty' (sehr hiibsch) and his German `exceedingly beautiful,' neither of which statements I quite agree with." And a week or two later, writing to his father, he describes, after referring casually to a bad attack of asthma, an afternoon of tag and climbing trees, supper out in the open air, and long walks through the green fields dotted with the blue cornflowers and brilliant red poppies. True to his individual tastes, he says: "When I am not studying my lessons or out walking I spend all my time in translating natural history, wrestling with Richard, a young cousin of the Minckwitz' whom I can throw as often as he throws me, and I also sometimes cook,

The Dresden Literary American Club 77

although my efforts in the culinary art are really confined to

grinding coffee, beating eggs or making hash, and such light

labors." Later he writes again: "The boxing gloves are a source

of great amusement; you ought to have seen us after our `rounds'

yesterday." The foregoing "rounds" were described even more

graphically by "Ellie" in a letter to our uncle, Mr. Gracie, as

follows: "Father, you know, sent us a pair of boxing gloves apiece and Teedie, Johnnie, and I have had jolly fun with them. Last night in a round of one minute and a half with Teedie, he got a bloody nose and I got a bloody mouth, and in a round with Johnnie, I got a bloody mouth again and he a pair of purple eyes. Then Johnnie gave Teedie another bloody nose. [The boys by this time seemed to have multiplied their features indefinitely with more purple eyes!] We do enjoy them so ! Boxing is one of Teedie's and my favorite amusements; it is such a novelty to be made to see stars when it is not night." No wonder that later "Ellie" contributed what I called in one of my later letters a "tragical" article called "Bloody Hand" for the D. L. A. C., perhaps engendered by the memory of all those bloody mouths and noses!

"Teedie" himself, in writing to his Aunt Annie, describes himself as a "bully boy with a black eye," and in the same letter, which seems to be in answer to one in which this devoted aunt had described an unusual specimen to interest him, he says:

"Dear darling little Nancy: I have received your letter concerning the wonderful animal and although the fact of your having described it as having horns and being carnivorous has occasioned me grave doubts as to your veracity, yet I think in course of time a meeting may be called by the Roosevelt Museum and the matter taken into consideration, although this will not happen until after we have reached America. The Minckwitz family are all splendid but very superstitious. My scientific pursuits cause the family a good deal of consternation.

"My arsenic was confiscated and my mice thrown (with the tongs) out of the window. In cases like this I would approach

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