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238   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

news in French. His French was always fluent, but more or less of a literal translation from the English, which method he exaggerated humorously. "Je vais avoir un fils en loi," he said, smiling gaily at me across the table, delighted at my puzzled expression. With a little more explanation I realized what he was suggesting to my befuddled brain, and he then proceeded to describe a conversation he had had with the so-called "fils en loi," and how he had talked to him like "un oncle Hollandais," or "Dutch uncle"

There was much excitement at the prospect of a wedding in the White House, and, needless to say, so many were the requests to be present that the line had to be drawn very carefully, and, in consequence, the whole affair assumed an intimate and personal aspect. Alice's Boston grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. George C. Lee, were especially welcomed by Mrs. Roosevelt, and my memory of the great morning of the wedding has a curiously "homey" quality. I much doubt if there was ever a function-for a wedding in the White House could hardly be anything but a function-so simple, so charming, and so informal as that marriage of the lovely daughter of the White House. Almost all the morning Mrs. Roosevelt knitted peacefully at the sunny window up-stairs near her secretary's desk, chatting quietly with Mrs. Lee. All preparations seemed to have been made in the most quiet and efficient manner, for there was no hurry, no excitement. My husband took Mr. Lee for a walk, as the dear old gentleman was very much excited at the prospect of his granddaughter's nuptials in the "East Room." Everything seemed to go on quite as usual until the actual moment came, and Alice Roosevelt, looking very beautiful in her long court train and graceful veil, came through the group of interested friends up to the white ribbon which formed, with flowers, a chancel at the end of the "East Room." My brother was at his best-gay, affectionate, full of life and fun, and later took his son-in-law (no longer "to-be") and all the ushers, members of Harvard's Porcellian Club like himself, into the state

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,

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