84 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
1873, he writes to his older sister: "My dear darling Bamie,I wrote a letter on the receipt of yours, but Corinne lost it and so I write this. Health; good. Lessons; good. Play hours; bad. Appetite; good. Accounts; good. Clothes; greasy. Shoes; holey. Hair; more `a-la-Mop' than ever. Nails; dirty, in consequence of having an ink bottle upset over them. Library; beautiful. Museum; so so. Club; splendid. Our journey home from Samaden was beautiful, except for the fact that we lost our keys but even this incident was not without its pleasing side. I reasoned philosophically on the subject; I said: `Well, everything is for the best. For example, if I cannot use my tooth brush tonight, at least, I cannot forget it tomorrow morning. Ditto with comb and night shirt.' In these efforts of high art, I have taken particular care to imitate truthfully the Chignons, bustles, grease-spots, bristles, and especially my own mop of hair. The other day I much horrified the female portion of the Minckwitz Tribe by bringing home a dead bat. I strongly suspect that they thought I intended to use it as some sorcerer's charm to injure a foe's constitution, mind and appetite. As I have no more news to write, I will close with some illustrations on the Darwinian theory. Your brother-Teedie."
The last letter, on October 5, was to his mother, and reads in part as follows: "Corinne has been sick but is now well, at least, she does not have the same striking resemblance to a halfstarved raccoon as she did in the severe stages of the disease." After a humorous description of a German conversation between several members of his aunt's family, he proceeds to "further illustrations of the Darwinian theory" and closes his letter by signing himself "Your affectionate son, Cranibus Giraffinus."
Shortly before leaving Dresden I had my twelfth birthday and the Minckwitz clan made every effort to make it a gay festival, but perhaps the gift which I loved best was a letter received that very morning from my beloved father; and in closing this brief account of those days spent in Germany, because of his wise decision to broaden our young horizons by new