Home Life in the White House 239
dining-room to drink the health of the bride and groom, and recall various incidents of his and of their college days.
In March of that year I wrote him that my youngest boy was to debate at St. Paul's School on the Santo Domingo question, and he answered at once, with that marvellous punctuality of his: "I wrote Stewart at once and sent him all the information I could on the Santo Domingo business. I wish you were down here. In great haste. Ever yours, T. R."
In great haste, yes, but not too busy to write to a schoolboynephew "at once," and give him the most accurate information that could be given on the question upon which he was to take part in school debate.
Again, when I suggested joining him in his car on his way that fall to vote at Oyster Bay, he writes: "Three cheers ! Now you can join me. We will have lunch immediately after leaving. I am so anxious to see you. I shall just love the Longfellow." [Evidently some special edition that I am about to bring to him.]
On November 20, with his usual interest in my boys, he sends me a delightful letter from his ex-cowboy superintendent, Will Merrifield, with whom they had been hunting in August and September, 19o6; and I am interested to see after reading his opinion of my boys how Mr. Merrifield, although many years had passed since the old days of the Elkhorn Ranch, still turns to him for advice, still, beyond all else, wishes to justify his various ventures in the eyes of his old "boss." Merrifield writes: "I have sold my ranch, and will be able to make good all my financial obligations, which was my great ambition, besides having something left, so that I will not take office for the purpose of making money. [That was one of Theodore Roosevelt's perpetual preachings, that no one should take office for the purpose of making money.] I can be independent as far as money goes, and above all will be able to make good my word to you years ago, as soon as my business is straightened out." He sends me the letter not because of that sentence, but because, as he says,