318 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
of us; he has gone out of his way to make sure that we were treated like members of his own family; he has entertained us, as correspondents never were entertained; because what can excel the most interesting American, if not the greatest, telling anecdotes by the dozen of one of the most interesting, democratic, dynamic, forcible careers in American History? A thought that we ought to give him something to remember us by sprang simultaneously into the minds of Yoder and myself. . . . Our suggestions included a fountain-pen, pocket knife, or silver pencil-something that he could use. We elected Yoder to scout through the Colonel's pocket. He went out on the observation platform and casually asked the Colonel if he could borrow his knife. 'Yes-Yoder,' T. R. said, digging into his pocket, `but I am ashamed of it. The blades are rusty, the handle is cracked. By George, I must get anew one.' We decided after hearing Yoder's report, that a knife was the thing. A handsome, little, flat, gold knife was picked out and the presentation came at luncheon today. Odell, in his solemn way, said that I had found out that he was born on October 27th. `Now, Colonel, you have been telling us of many desperate characters you met in the Southwest.... We decided, therefore, that you should have a weapon. We have taken counsel and have determined to give you a little reminder of our pleasure on this trip. . . .' The Colonel took the little box, pulled forth the knife, and smiling a more than Roosevelt smile, `By George, isn't that fine!' he exclaimed. `I have never had a good pocket knife in all my life, and I was going to buy one tomorrow. I shall always cherish this gift,-I shall always carry it with me,' whereupon he at
tached it to the chain with his Phi Beta Kappa key and his little
pencil--'and I want to say that I have enjoyed immensely
having you with me, and the trip has been a pleasure to me
mainly because you young men have been such good company.
I am too old at the political game to enjoy making speeches.
I do not like it, but we have had a bully good time on this tour,
and we have met a lot of my old friends,-and now, gentlemen,