234 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
possible. Having listened carefully to my short story, he said: "Have you proof of this?" still rather sternly. Again I decided to answer as he asked, and I replied: "I should not be here, wasting your time and mine, did I not have adequate proof." With that I handed him the notes made by the governor of Porto Rico, and proceeded to explain them. He became a little less severe after reading them, but no less serious, and turning to me more gently, said: "This is a very serious matter. I have got to be sure of the correctness of these statements. A man's whole future hangs upon my decision." For a moment I felt like an executioner, but realizing as I did the shocking and disgraceful behavior of the official in question, I knew that no sentimentality on my part should interfere with the important decision to be made, and I briefly backed up all that the governor had written. I can still hear the sound of the President's pen as he took out the paper on which the man's name was inscribed, and with one strong stroke effaced that name from official connection with Porto Rico forever. That was the way that Theodore Roosevelt did business with his sister.
During that same year, 1905, the old Provencal poet Frederic Mistral sent him his volume called "Mireille," and the acknowledgment of the book seems to me to express more than almost any other letter ever written by my brother the spirit which permeated his whole life. It shows indisputably that though he had reached the apex of his desires, that though he was a great President of a great country, perhaps the most powerful ruler at the moment of any country, that his ideals for that country, just as his ideals for himself and for his own beloved home life, were what they had always been before the sceptre of power had been clasped by his outstretched hand.
White House, Washington,
MY DEAR M. MISTRAL: December 15, 1905.
Mrs. Roosevelt and I were equally pleased with the book and the medal, and none the less because for nearly twenty years