NOTE: If the video didn't load video for about 30 seconds. Please try to refresh the page and try again for several times.
If it's still not working, please contact us/comment on the page so we can fix it ASAP.
The idea angered him and he made an excuse to mend the fire, poking and banging till he had worked off his momentary attack of spleen. Then he was ready for their proposal which came promptly, voiced in turn by each of 38the three. Roosevelt said nothing, sitting rubbing the back of his neck as he often did absently when he was trying to keep a cool head, a thing that with his impetuous nature and itch for action was not easy for him to do.
Finally, when their bland recital of their purpose in coming here—intruding on a father’s holiday at home—was all stated, the last part in concert, he jumped to his feet, paced across the room and back and braced himself facing them.
“Gentlemen, you have asked me to intervene in this matter which primarily affects only the City of New York, and your office, authority and functions in that city. Let me remind you in the first instance that I am not yet governor of New York nor will I be for several days. Secondly, I remind you that interference of this type is no function of the governor, and that your appeal (if it is an appeal) should be lodged with the proper authority to consider it. After that, gentlemen, I bid you good day.”
The three men went out grumbling and Theodore stamped up the stairs angrily, to where Edith sat by the fire, rocking Quentin, who had the sniffles, to sleep.
“Low, unprincipled scoundrels,” he stormed, “coming out here on Christmas Day to ask a favor of me knowing all the time it would be utterly outside all order and sense for me even to consider it.”
“There will be a great deal of that in a state like New York,” Edith reminded him. “You might as well make up your mind to accept it and be able to combat it calmly. Your experience as Police Commissioner certainly taught you that.” Edith was not too certain in her mind that anything she said would do any good. Theodore’s first impulse was always to fight any imposition or injustice toward himself or any other innocent party, whether the war was 39waged against the oppressed Cubans or against civic or national righteousness.
That he was usually effective only increased his crusader’s urge and his wife had her own moments of trepidation about facing his career as governor. She had a clear and analytic mind that was always able to face truth even in its ugliest mien and she had a quiet dread of all those stone walls of intrenched selfishness and evil against which Theodore Roosevelt’s militant nature might hurl itself in vain. He had had so many high periods of satisfaction and achievement these past years he had become an idol to many but she knew that from the dawn of the history of the world the lands of it had been paved with the scattered dust of fallen idols.
She said then, “Mame is bathing the boys and Ethel, and they’ll go to bed early. Then you and I and Alice will have a quiet supper downstairs. The cook came in just a few minutes ago. Poor soul, she spent nearly the whole of Christmas afternoon just going over to see her sister and carry her a white fascinator she had crocheted. She was too conscientious about her duty here to take time even for a Christmas visit.”
But Theodore was still not soothed or mollified. “Those fellows who came here had the presumption to ask me to intervene in a civic matter that concerns only their own interests in the City of New York.” He resumed his angry self-justification, “I practically showed them the door. They were important men and politically powerful and now I have undoubtedly made three powerful and influential enemies.”