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136   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt   V

husband and myself, and young George Cabot Lodge. The latter was the sixteen-year-old son of our valued friend Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, and was truly the "gifted son of a gifted father," for later he was not only to earn fame as a poet, well known to his countrymen, but in his brief life-for alas ! he died in the summer of i9o9-his talents were recognized in other lands as well.

I had been prepared by many tales for the charm and freedom and informal ease of life in the Bad Lands, and had often dreamed of going there; but, unlike most dreams, this one came true in an even more enchanting fashion than I had dared hope. Many had been the letters that my brother had written to me from Elkhorn Ranch several years previous to our journey. In June, 1886, he wrote: "I have never once had breakfast as late as four o'clock. Have been in the saddle all day, and have worked like a beaver, and am as rugged and happy as possible. While I do not see any very great future ahead, yet, if things go on as they are now going and have gone for the past three years, I think that each year I will net enough money to pay a good interest on the capital, and yet be adding slowly to my herd all the time. I think I have more than my capital on the ground, and this year I ought to be able to sell between two and three hundred head of steer and dry stock. I wish I could see all of you, but I certainly do enjoy the life. The other day while dining at the de Mores I had some cherries, the only fruit I have had since I left New York. I have lived pretty roughly."

I quote the above simply to show, what is not always understood, that my brother's ranching venture was, from his standpoint, a perfectly just business enterprise, and, had not the extraordinarily severe winters intervened, his capital would not have been impaired. Writing that same summer, shortly after hearing of the birth of my baby girl, he says in his loving way:

"My own darling Pussie, my sweetest little sister: How can I tell you the joy I felt when I received Douglas' first telegram; but I had not the heart to write you until I received the sec

and the good old boy sent me, and knew you were all right.

Just to think of there being a second wee, new Pussie in this

big world ! How I shall love to pet and prize the little thing !

It will be very, very dear to Uncle Teddy's heart, which is

quite large enough, however, not to lose an atom of affection

for Teddy Douglas, the blessed little scamp. I have thought

of you all the time for the last few weeks, and you can hardly

imagine how overjoyed and relieved I felt, my own darling sister. I hope the little new Pussie will grow up like her dear mother, and that she will have many many loving ones as fond of her as her irrelevant old cowboy uncle is of Pussie, Senior. Will you be very much offended if I ask whether she now looks like a little sparsely-haired, pink polyp? My own offspring, when in tender youth, closely resembled a trilobite of pulpy consistency and shadowy outline. You dearest Pussie, you know I am just teasing you, and how proud and fond I am of the little thing even when I have never seen it. I wish I was where I could shake old Douglas by the hand and kiss you again and again.

"Today I went down to Dickerman to make the Fourth of July speech to a great crowd of cowboys and rangers, and after, stayed to see the horse races between the cowboys and Indians."

In another letter about the same time: "If I was not afraid of being put down as cold-blooded, I should say that I honestly miss greatly and all the time, and think lovingly of all you dear ones, yet I really enjoy this life. I have managed to combine an outdoor life possessing much variety and excitement, and now and then a little adventure, with a literary life also. Three out of four days I spend the morning and evening in the Ranch house writing, and working at various pieces of writing I have now on hand. They may come to nothing, however; but on the other hand they may succeed; at any rate, I am doing some honest work whatever the result is and I am really pretty philosophical about success or failure now. It often amuses me when I indirectly hear that I am supposed to be harboring secret

The Elkhorn Ranch




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