Home  »  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen  »  Page 239

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

Page 239

  But of that I made no boast then. I told the people what Roosevelt had done and had tried to do for them; how we had traveled together by night through all that neighborhood, trying to enter into the life of the people and their needs. As the new note rose, I saw the tenement blocks on the east of the Bowery give up their tenants to swell the crowd, and was glad. Descrying a policeman’s uniform on its outskirts, I reminded my hearers of how my candidate had stood for an even show, for fair play to the man without a pull, and for an honest police. I had got to that point when the drunken rounder who by right should have appeared long before, caromed through the crowd and shook an inebriated fist at me.
  “T-tin s-soldier!” he hiccoughed. “Teddy Ro-senfeld he never went to Cu-u-ba, no more ’n, no more ’n—”
  Who else it was that had never been to Cuba fate had decreed that none of us should know. There came, unheralded, forth from the crowd a vast and horny hand that smote the fellow flat on the mouth with a sound as of a huge soul-satisfying kiss. He went down, out of sight, without a word. The crowd closed in