Home  »  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen  »  Page 206

Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 206

of that class. They sent word from the Navy-Yard to meet the President that on no account must he proceed down the Bay to Ellis Island. No boat could live there, ran the message. The President had the pilot come down and looked him over. He was a bronzed sea-dog, a man every inch of him.
  “I have promised to go to Ellis Island; they are waiting for me. Can you get us there?”
  The pilot wiped the salt spray from his face.
  “It can’t be worse than we ’ve had,” he said.
  “I’ll get you there.”
  “Then go ahead,” said Mr. Roosevelt, and to me, “What do you think of him?”
  “I would go with him anywhere,” said I.
  “To look at him is to trust him.”
  The President followed his retreating form up the ladder with a look that, had he seen it, must have made him take his ship through Hades itself had it been between us and Ellis Island. “So do I think,” he said. “They are a splendid lot of fellows.”
  But I am sailing ahead of my time. We were on our train just now. We did n’t wake up, any of us, the next morning, till it rolled