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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,

remember this, if Mr. Hughes is elected on November 7th, I shall never be seen in politics again. I am through.' I felt rather sorry to hear the Colonel say this. He is so energetic and courageous, so full of the fighting spirit that we need to tone up the national affairs, that it seems a pity to contemplate his retirement before he attains 6o. Of course, he will write his views for the benefit of the reading public, but if he follows his inclination, he will become a quiet figure in the background, leaving younger men to carry through the ideas he created. We do not believe that the American people, however, will ever permit him to retire. Just as sure as Wilson is re-elected, there will be a demand for Theodore Roosevelt in 1920. He knows it and he is trying to start the talk now through us to show that it is the last thing on earth he cares to do. He would, I think, have liked to run this year; he would have liked to grapple with the problems which will arise after the war is over, but he took his licking at the hands of the old-line Republicans, and he really wants to see their candidate elected."

On my brother's return from this trip, so graphically described by the young and able correspondent whose prophecy that America would not let Theodore Roosevelt retire into obscurity was so soon to come true, he continued, up to the evening of the election, to hammer his opinions in strong, virile sentences into the minds of the audiences before whom he spoke. I was present in the Brooklyn Theatre, where the crowd was so great that one of the newspapers reported the next day:

"Say what you will,-there is no other one man in this country that can draw as large a crowd as Theodore Roosevelt. He is always an interesting talker as well as an interesting personality. He is not running for any office this Fall, though to hear some of the other speakers and to read some of the other newspapers, one might be pardoned for thinking that he was running for all of them."

It was at that great meeting in Brooklyn that he referred to a speech made a few days before by President Wilson in Cin-

" Do It Now "



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