Home Life in the White House 231
never could go to bed when we were together, and I am so glad that we never did !
The next morning I knocked at his door at eight o'clock, to go down to the early breakfast with the children, which was one of the features also, quite as much as were the brilliant lunches, of home life in the White House. He came out of his dressingroom radiant and smiling, ready for the day's work, looking as if he had had eight hours of sleep instead of five, and rippling all over with the laughter which he always infused into those family breakfasts. As we passed the table at the head of the staircase, at which later in the day my sister's secretary wrote her letters, the telephone-bell on the table rang, and with spontaneous simplicity-not even thinking of ringing a bell for a "menial" to answer the telephone-call-he picked up the receiver himself as he passed by. His face assumed a listening look, and then a broad smile broke over his features. "No," he said. "No, I am not Archie, I am Archie's father." A second passed and he laughed aloud, and then said: "All right, I will tell him; I won't forget." Hanging up the receiver, he turned to me half-sheepishly but very much amused. "That's a good joke on any President," he said. "You may have realized that there was a little boy on the other end of that wire, and he started the conversation by saying, `Is that you, Archie?' and I replied, `No, it is Archie's father.' Whereupon he answered, with evident disgust: `Well, you'll do. Be sure and tell Archie to come to supper. Now, don't forget.' `How the creatures order you about!"' he gaily quoted from our favorite book, "Alice in Wonderland," and proceeded to run at full speed down to the breakfast-room. There the children greeted us vociferously, and the usual merry breakfast ensued. For that half-hour he always belonged to the children. Questions and answers about their school life, their recreation when out of school, etc., etc., followed in rapid succession, interspersed with various fascinating tales told by him for their special edification.
After they had dispersed there was still a half-hour left be-