Home Life in the White House 233
entrance to the White House, and in a moment I leaned out of the dining-room window and watched him walk across the short space between that window and the office, his head thrown back, his shoulders squared to meet the difficulties of the day, and every bit of him alert, alive, and glowing with health and strength and power and mentality.
I went up-stairs, put on my "best bib and tucker," and proceeded to go around the other way to the front door of the offices. As I rang the bell the dear old man who always opened the door greeted me warmly, and said: "Yes, Mrs. Douglas Robinson, your appointment is at 9. It is just time." I went into the outer hall, where a number of the appointees of 9.15, 9.30, etc., were already waiting, to be surely on hand for their appointments, and in a moment or two Mr. Loeb opened the door of the private office of the President, and came out into the hall and said in a rather impersonal way, "Mrs. Douglas Robinson's appointment," and I was shown into the room. My brother was seated at a large table, and on it was every imaginable paper marked "Porto Rico." As I entered he was still reading one of these papers. He looked up, and I almost felt a shock as I met what seemed to be a pair of perfectly opaque blue eyes. I could hardly believe they were the eyes of the brother with whom I had so lately parted, the eyes that had glistened as he recited the poems of Kipling and Swinburne, the eyes that had almost closed to see better the tiny breast-fluff of the fox-sparrow. These were rather cold eyes, the eyes of a just judge, eyes that were turned upon his sister as they would have been turned upon any other individual who came to him in connection with a question about which he must give his most careful and deliberate decision. He waved me to a chair, finished the paper he was reading, and then turning to me, his eyes still stem and opaque, he said: "I believe you have come to see me on business connected with Porto Rico. Kindly be as condensed as possible." I decided to meet him on his own ground, and made my eyes as much like his as possible, and was as condensed as