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166   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

watch. It was exactly what I wished. Thank old Douglas too, for the watch and for his many many kindnesses. I hope to leave to-morrow, but Wood, who is now in San Antonio, may keep me here a day or two longer to hurry up the shipment of the troops, rifles, etc. I much want to get with the regiment to help get it into shape, but there will be many tedious and irritating delays, of course. I have about twenty-five `gentlemen rankers' going with me from the Knickerbocker Club, and twelve clean-cut stalwart young fellows from Harvard,-such fine boys. I feel rather like a fake at going, for we may never get down to Cuba at all, and if we do, I do not think we shall see very serious campaigning, while proper care will prevent the serious risk of disease."

And again on May 8:

"Kenneth turned up just in time. [Referring to my husband's young Scotch cousin, Kenneth Douglas Robinson, associated with my husband in business, who was confident that he was doing the right thing to follow his hero, Theodore Roosevelt, into the Spanish War.] I enlisted him and sent him off with Bob Ferguson [another Scotch friend] and the rest...."

And again on May 12, after I had sent him a poem, he writes:

"My own darling sister:-I loved the poem and I loved your dear letter; it made me sure that you really knew just how I felt about going. I could not stay; that was the sum and substance of it;-although I realize well how hard it is for Edith, and what a change for the worse it means in my after life. It will be bitter if we do not get to Cuba, but we shall have to take things as they come. Your own brother."

I had doubted whether it was his duty to go to Cuba, feeling it might be even more his duty to remain in his important and difficult position of assistant secretary of the navy, but Theodore Roosevelt would not have been his true self unless he had practised what he had preached so vigorously.

Kenneth Robinson writes on May 17 from San Antonio:

Cowboy and Clubman   167

"Theodore has been drilling us the last few days. The men

always do their best when he is out. He would be amused in

deed if he heard some of the adjectives and terms applied to

him, meant to be most complimentary but hardly fit for publica

tion. We certainly are a curious aggregation,-cavalry men,

cowboys, college men, etc."

And Bob Ferguson, our very dear friend who had made America his home, and was like a member of our family, writes

early in June:

"You should see some of the broncho busting that has been going on daily in camp;-the most surprising horsemanship, and though it cost about a man a day at first, knocked clean out, the busted-rate is now diminishing. The men, as you can imagine, are well satisfied with their commanders; Theodore has a great hold on them, and before long he will be able to do anything he likes with them. The Army officers said they had never seen such a body of men. One of the troops from Arizona came almost entirely from one large ranch; they all know each other and will fight shoulder to shoulder. Our own troop'K' was rather a gay affair at first, a little gang of Fifth Avenue `Dudes' having constituted themselves as leaders before Theodore arrived, but now it has a large number of first rate cowpunchers and sheriffs drafted into it, and has been increased one-third beyond its normal strength. We are more or less intelligent, and are looked to as the possible crack troop."

It is interesting to look back and remember that that Company "K" was indeed a "crack troop," and the writer of the above lines became one of its most gallant officers. What a body of men they were ! The romance of medixval days was reborn in that regiment, and the strange part of it all was that they had so much of chivalry about them, in spite of the roughness of the cowboys, in spite of the madness of the bronco-busters, in spite, perhaps, of another type of madness injected into the regiment by the Fifth Avenue "Dudes"; still, that body of men, as a whole, stood out for gallantry and courage, and gen-

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