How the Path Led to the White House 203
why omit Foxy Loxy ? I am anxious to see Dr. R and I do hope you will ask him to lunch on Thursday also. Ever yours, T. R."
That lunch-party proved to be a great success, as did various others later; and then came a moment, for me, of serious anxiety when my eldest boy was stricken with diphtheria in college. At once many loving letters came from Oyster Bay-and later, when the young freshman had recovered from his illness, and I was at my home on Orange Mountain, the newly inaugurated VicePresident acceded to my wish that he should come to my home, where my husband and I had lived all our young married life, and be the hero and excitement of the neighborhood at a reception on my lawn. It proved a hot day in July, but his pleasure in meeting all my friends was unabated, and he took special interest in my butcher and grocer and fish man and ice man, and the kindly farming people who had been devoted to my husband's mother as well as to me for many years. At the end of the day he resuscitated with tender care an old veteran of the Civil War, who had stumbled up the hill in the blinding heat to pay his respects to the colonel of the Rough Riders, now VicePresident of the United States.
That same summer he engineered a sailing trip for his little boys and mine, and writes me in answer to a request from me to know how much I owed for the trip: "About $12 would cover completely your boys' share of the expenses. It is just like you to want to pay it, but I would like to feel that for this trivial matter your two boys were my guests. So if you don't mind, I am going to ask you to sacrifice your feelings. As I have told you the extent of the obligation, and it is surely not heavy, let
me continue to stand as the munificent host!"
Once that summer during his "month's rest," of which I
have already spoken at the beginning of this chapter, I spent
a night at Sagamore Hill, and my sister-in-law, Mrs. Roosevelt,
said tome that she was anxious about my brother. The "rest"
did not quite agree with him, and the prospect of a more or less