Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children. 1919.

Quentin’s “Exquisite Jest”

White House, Jan. 2, 1908.

Friday night Quentin had three friends, including the little Taft boy, to spend the night with him. They passed an evening and night of delirious rapture, it being a continuous rough-house save when they would fall asleep for an hour or two from sheer exhaustion. I interfered but once, and that was to stop an exquisite jest of Quentin’s, which consisted in procuring sulphureted hydrogen to be used on the other boys when they got into bed. They played hard, and it made me realize how old I had grown and how very busy I had been these last few years, to find that they had grown so that I was not needed in the play. Do you recollect how we all of us used to play hide-and-go-seek in the White House? and have obstacle races down the hall when you brought in your friends?

Mother continues much attached to Scamp, who is certainly a cunning little dog. He is very affectionate, but so exceedingly busy when we are out on the grounds, that we only catch glimpses of him zigzagging at full speed from one end of the place to the other. The kitchen cat and he have strained relations but have not yet come to open hostility.

White House, Jan. 27, 1908.

Scamp is really a cunning little dog, but he takes such an extremely keen interest in hunting, and is so active, that when he is out on the grounds with us we merely catch glimpses of him as he flashes by. The other night after the Judicial Reception when we went up-stairs to supper the kitchen cat suddenly appeared parading down the hall with great friendliness, and was forthwith exiled to her proper home again.