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186 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

that they were apparently expected to sit upon one chair, as my brother had invited so many more people to breakfast than could possibly be seated at my comparatively small table. After breakfast was over, Mr. Platt would say in a rather stem manner, "And now, Governor Roosevelt, I should like to have a private word with you," and my brother would answer, "Why, certainly, Mr. Platt, we will go right up to my sister's librarygood-by, gentlemen," turning to his other guests, and then to Mr. Platt again, "We shall be quite private except for my sister. I always like to have her present at all my conferences. She takes so much interest in what I am doing!" This with a humorous side-glance at me, knowing how irritating my presence was to the gentleman in question. I can bear witness to the fact that through those many conferences my brother's courtesy to the brilliant older man never failed, nor did he ever lose his independent outlook or action. My brother's effort to work with Mr. Platt rather than against him also never failed, and many a time I have heard him say: "Mr. Platt, I would rather accept your suggestion of an appointee than that of any one else if you will suggest as good and honorable a man as any one else. I want to work with you and I know that your great information about Republican affairs is of enormous value to me, but I must reserve my own power of decision in all matters, although I hope always to be in accord with you."

The Rough Riders were always turning up on every occasion, or if they did not actually turn up in propria persona, strange letters on many and varied subjects came to my house from them. Amongst these letters one arrived when my brother was breakfasting with me one morning at my house. The mail that morning was unique in more ways than one, for another letter arrived with no name and no address on it. Instead of name and address there was a drawing of a large set of teeth, and on the reverse side of the envelope was written: "Please let Jack Smith, 211 W. 139th Street, know whether this letter reaches its destination. It is a bet and a lot of money hangs in the bal

The Rough Rider Storms the Capitol 187

ance" ! Those strong white teeth, which had been the terror of the recreant policemen, were quite as much a factor at the Capitol on the hill at Albany.

In the same mail, as I said, came a very characteristic epistle from a Rough Rider, which ran as follows:

"Dear Colonol: Please come right out to Dakota. They ain't treatin me right out here. The truth is, Colonel, they have put me in jail and I ain't ought to be here at all, cause what they say ain't true, Colonel. They say that I shot a lady in the eye and it ain't true, Colonel, for I was shootin at my wife at the time.-I know you will come and get me out of jail right off, Colonel, please hurry. J. D."

How my brother laughed as he turned the manuscript over to me, and said: "They are the most unconscionable children that ever were, but oh what fighting men they made!"

Another amusing incident occurred at the house of my sister, where we were all lunching one day, having one of our merry f   y reunions to meet the governor. My sister had just returned from Europe with a "perfect treasure" of an English butler, who had not yet become entirely accustomed to the vagaries of the Roosevelt family ! We were in the midst of a specially merry argument when the door-bell rang and the butler left the dining-room to answer the bell. In a few moments he returned with a somewhat puzzled expression on his face, and leaning over my brother's chair, he said in a stage whisper:

"There is a   there is a   gentleman in the hall, sir

he says, sir, that his name, sir, is Mr. `Happy Jack' of Arizona." "Why," said my brother, leaping to his feet, "I didn't know that `Happy Jack' was in New York," and he hurriedly left the room to welcome his precious Rough Rider. In a few moments he came back literally doubled up with laughter, and burst out: "You know, there has been a great deal in the newspapers about the trouble that I have had with importunate office seekers, who have forced themselves, in a very disagreeable way, into the executive mansion at Albany. Dear old

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