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196   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

my sister and myself share in all of his interests, in his glory, or in his disappointments, and so, when the convention at Philadelphia met, and as the contending forces struggled around him, he telegraphed to my husband and myself, who were then at our country home in New Jersey, and begged us to come on to Philadelphia, and be near him during the fray. Needless to say, we hurried to his side.

I shall always remember arriving at that hotel in Philadelphia. How hot those June days were, and how noisy and crowded the corridors of the hotel were when we arrived ! Blaring bands and marching delegations seemed to render the hot air even more stifling, and I asked at once to be shown to the room where Governor Roosevelt was. A messenger was sent with me, and up in the elevator and through circuitous passages we went, to a corner room overlooking a square. We knocked, but there was no answer, and I softly opened the door, and there sat my brother Theodore at a distant window with a huge volume upon his knees. The soft air was blowing in the window, his back was turned to the door, and he was as absolutely detached as if vice-presidential nominations, political warfare, illicit and corrupt methods of all kinds in public life were things not known to his philosophy. I tiptoed up behind him and leaned over his shoulder, and saw that the great volume spread out before him was the "History of Josephus" ! I could not but laugh aloud, for it seemed too quaint to think that he, the centre of all the political animosity, should be quietly apart, perfectly absorbed in the history of the Jews of a long-past day. As I laughed, he turned and jumped to his feet, and in a moment Josephus was as much a thing of the past as he actually was, and Theodore Roosevelt, the loving brother, the humorous philosopher, the acute politician, was once more in the saddle. In a moment, in a masterly manner, he had sketched the situation for me: `Yes, Platt and Odell did want to eject him, that was true, but it wasn't only that. The West felt strongly, and the Middle West as strongly, that his name was needed on

How the Path Led to the White House 197

the presidential ticket. No, he didn't want to give up a second term as governor of New York State; he hated the thought of a vice-presidential burial-party, but what was he to do? He didn't really know himself.'

At that moment, without any ceremony, the door was thrown open, and in marched the delegation from Kansas. Fife and drum and bugle headed the delegation with more than discordant noises. Round and round the room they went, monotonously singing to the accompaniment of the above raucous instruments: "We want Teddy, we want Teddy, we want Teddy." My brother held up his hand, but nothing seemed to stop them. Over and over again they filed solemnly around that sittingroom, and finally, forming in a straight line, they metaphorically presented arms, and stood for a moment silently before him. He stepped nearer to them and, with a somewhat anxious tone in his voice, said: "Gentlemen of Kansas, I know that you only want what is best for the country, and incidentally what you think is best for me; but, my friends, I wish you would withdraw your desire that I should be the candidate for the vicepresidency. I want another term as governor of New York State. I have initiated a good many reforms that I think would help my native state. I have made many appointments, and the people I have appointed would feel that I have gone back on them if I can't be there to help them with their work. I am sure I could be of more use to my country as governor of New York State than as vice-president. I wish you would change your minds and help me to do the thing which I think is the best thing to do." The delegation from Kansas looked the pleader gently but firmly in the eye. The fife and drum and bugle struck up its monotonous sound again. The leader of the Kansas delegation turned, and, with all his followers, once more they marched slowly and steadfastly around that room, making no answer to Governor Roosevelt except the indomitable refrain of "We want Teddy, we want Teddy, we want Teddy," which sounded for a long while down the corridor.

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