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278   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

dred and five, he struggled on through the mazes of the jungle, weak and weary, unselfishly begging his companions to leave him to die, for he felt that his condition endangered the possibility of their escape alive from their difficulties. As in Africa, so in South America his tireless energy, even when weakened by illness, never failed to accomplish his purpose, and not only did he put the "River of Doubt" on the map-a river which from that time forth was called Rio Teodoro, after Theodore Roosevelt, the explorer-but during those suffering, exhausting weeks he never once failed to keep his promise to his publishers, and to write, on the spot, the incidents of each day's adventures. Robert Bridges, of Scribners, has shown me the water-soaked manuscript, written in my brother's own handwriting, of that extraordinary expedition. In several places on the blotched sheets he makes a deprecatory note-" This is not written very clearly; my temperature is 1o5." Such perseverance, such persistence are really superhuman; but perhaps it is also true that the human being must eventually pay the price of what the superman achieves.

Theodore Roosevelt returned from that Brazilian trip a man in whom a secret poison still lurked, and although his wonderful vitality, his magnificent strength of character, mind, and body, seemed at times to restore him to the perfect health of former days, he was never wholly free from recurrent attacks of the terrible jungle fever, which resulted in ill health of various kinds, and finally in his death.

True to his loyal convictions, he was determined to give all the aid possible to the candidates on the Progressive ticket for the election of 1914. His wife writes, August, 1914: "Theodore seems really better, although I scarcely think he will have voice for the three speeches he has planned for the last of the month. I asked him if I could say anything from him about the War, and he simply threw up his hands in despair." This letter was written nine days after the cataclysm of the Great War had broken upon the world. From the beginning he said to his family

what he did not feel he could state publicly, owing to the fact that he did not wish to embarrass President Wilson. Having been President himself, he knew it was possible for one in high authority to have information which he could not immediately share with all the people, and he hoped this might be the reason of President Wilson's failure to make any protest when the enemy troops invaded Belgium.

To his family, however, he spoke frankly and always with deep regret that the President enjoined a neutral attitude in the beginning. He felt, from the very first, that the Allies were fighting our battles; that the British fleet was the protector of the United States as much as it was the protector of Great Britain; that a protest should have immediately been made by the United States when the Germans marched through Belgium. All these views he stated to his family and to his friends, but for the first few months after August 1, 1914, he felt that, as an influential citizen, he might hurt the fulfilment of whatever plan the President might have in view in connection with the Allies were he openly to criticise the President's course of action. Later in the war he told me how much he regretted that, from a high sense of duty toward the Executive, he had controlled himself during those first few months when we were asked by President Wilson to be neutral even in thought.

In my sister-in-law's letter, quoted above, she speaks of her doubt as to whether my brother would be strong enough to make the speeches which hehadagreedtomake. ThePhiladelpllia North American published, about that time, an editorial called "The Amazing Roosevelt," a few paragraphs of which run as follows:

"On April 3oth, there came out of the seething jungles of Brazil to a river port iooo miles up the Amazon, a man who was heralded by cable dispatches as broken in body and permanently impaired in mind. ... On his arrival at home, there were grave dicta from former critics that never again would this man be a force in public life. The solemnity of these pronouncements scarcely concealed the gratification which they

Whisperings of War


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