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

Page 83

bully and the brawler knew well enough that they had small chance against such an equipment, and kept out of the way. In all Mr. Roosevelt’s life on the frontier, sometimes in unfamiliar towns keyed up to mischief, he was molested but once, and then by a drunken rowdy who took him for a tenderfoot and with a curse bade him treat, at the point of his two revolvers, enforcing the invitation with a little exhibition of “gun-play,” while a roomful of men looked stolidly on. Roosevelt was a stranger in the town and had no friends there. He got up apparently to yield to the inevitable, practicing over mentally the while a famous left-hander that had done execution in the old Harvard days. The next instant the bully crashed against the wall and measured his length on the floor. His pistols went off harmlessly in the air. He opened his eyes to find the “four-eyed tenderfoot” standing over him, bristling with fight, while the crowd nodded calmly, “Served him right.” He surrendered then and there and gave up his guns, while Mr. Roosevelt went to bed unmolested. Such things carry far on the plains. No one was ever after that heard to express a wish to