222 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
always had the book at hand that we wanted to read, instead of wasting time in looking for it, if we always had clearly in our minds the extra job we wanted to do, and the tools at hand with which to do it, we might accomplish in some small degree the vast numbers of things he accomplished because of preparedness.
As early as December ig, 1904, my sister-in-law wrote me: "Theodore says that he wants you and Douglas under his roof for the Inauguration." I always felt a deep appreciation of the fact that both my brother and his wife made us so welcome at the most thrilling moments of their life in the White House.
In January, 19o5, he came to stay with me in New York to speak at several dinners, and a most absurd and yet trying incident occurred, an incident which he met with his usual sunny and unselfish good humor. We had had a large luncheon for him at my home, and when the time came for him to dress in the evening for the dinner at which he was to speak, I suddenly heard a call from the third story, a pitiful call: "I don't think I have my own dress coat." I ran up-stairs, and sure enough the coat laid out with his evening clothes, when he tried to put it on, proved to be so tight across his broad shoulders that whenever he moved his hands it rose unexpectedly almost to his ears. I called my butler, who insisted that he had taken the President's coat with the rest of his clothes to brush, and had brought it back again to his room. This, however, was untrue, for the awful fact was soon divulged that the extra waiter engaged for the luncheon, and who had already left the house, had apparently confused the President's coat, which was in the basement to be pressed, with his own, and had taken away the President's coat ! No one knew at this man's house where he had gone. There seemed no method of tracing the coat. We dressed my brother in my husband's coat, but that was even worse, for my husband's coat fell about him in folds, and there seemed nothing for it but to send him to the large public dinner with a coat that, unless most cleverly manipulated, continued to rise unexpectedly above his head. No one but my brother