204 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
sedentary life in his new position weighed on the active initiative of his mind.
A little later they went to a hunting-lodge in the Adirondacks, and all the world knows what happened on September 6, 1901. Then came the great anxiety as to whether Mr. McKinley would recover from the assassin's onslaught, and on September 14, he succumbed to the weakness engendered by his wound. While the dramatic drive from the Adirondack Mountains, where Theodore Roosevelt was found, was in process, I, the only member of the Roosevelt family near New York, was inundated in my Orange Mountain home by reporters. That evening after receiving a number of reporters and giving them what slight information I could give, I said that I could not stand the strain any longer, that I could not be interviewed any more, and with the dear cousin, John Elliott, who had been our early childhood companion, and who happened to be visiting me, I went into my writing-room, shut the door to the world outside, and a strange coincidence occurred. My sister-in-law, Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, had shortly before returned to me a number of childhood letters which we had exchanged, first as little children, and then as growing girls, for we had always been very intimate friends. These letters were in a box on my writing-table, and I said to my cousin John: "Let us forget all these terrible things that are happening, and for a moment, at least, go back into our merry, care-free past. Here are these letters. I am going to pick one out at random and see how it will remind us of our childhood days."
So speaking, I put my hand into the box and proceeded to draw out a letter. Curiously enough, as I opened the yellow envelope and the sheets fell from it, I saw that it was dated from Washington in 1877, and looking more closely I read aloud the words:
"Dearest Corinne: Today, for the first time, I went to the White House. Oh, how much I wished for you. It seemed so wonderful to me to be in the old mansion which had been the