114 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
have shot fair quantities of game, are in good health, though our fare and accommodations are of the roughest. The shooting is great fun; you would laugh to see us start off in a wagon, in our rough, dirty, hunting-suits, not looking very different from our driver; a stub-tailed, melancholy looking pointer under the front seat, and a yellow, fool idea of a setter under the back one, which last is always getting walked on and howling dismally. We enjoy the long drives very much: the roads are smooth and lovely, and the country, a vast undulating prairie, cut up by great fields of corn and wheat with few trees. The birds are not very plentiful, but of great variety; we get prairie chickens in the stubble fields, plover in the pastures, snipe in the 'slews,' and ducks in the ponds. We hunt about an hour or two in a place, then get into our wagon and drive on, so that, though we cover a very large tract of country, we are not very tired at the end of the day, only enough to make us sleep well. The climate is simply superb, and though the scenery is not very varied, yet there is something very attractive to me in these great treeless, rolling plains, and Nellie [his pet name for Elliott] and I are great chums, and in the evening, sit and compare our adventures in `other lands' until bedtime which is pretty early."
And again he writes a few weeks later from Chicago, in a very bantering vein:
September 12, 188o-Darling Pussie: We have come back here after a week's hunting in Iowa. Elliott revels in the change to civilization-and epicurean pleasures. As soon as we got here he took some ale to get the dust out of his throat; then a milk punch because he was thirsty; a mint julep because it was hot; a brandy mash "to keep the cold out of his stomach"; and then sherry and bitters to give him an appetite. He took a very simple dinner-soup, fish, salmi de grouse, sweetbread, mutton, venison, corn, macaroni, various vegetables and some puddings and pies, together with beer, later claret and in the evening, shandigaff. I confined myself to roast beef and potatoes; when