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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 284


ONE of the incidents connected with Edward Bok that Theodore Roosevelt never forgot was when Bok’s eldest boy chose the colonel as a Christmas present. And no incident better portrays the wonderful character of the colonel than did his remarkable response to the compliment.

A vicious attack of double pneumonia had left the heart of the boy very weak—and Christmas was close by! So the father said:

“It’s a quiet Christmas for you this year, boy. Suppose you do this: think of the one thing in the world that you would rather have than anything else and I’ll give you that, and that will have to be your Christmas.”

“I know now,” came the instant reply.

“But the world is a big place, and there are lots of things in it, you know.”

“I know that,” said the boy, “but this is something I have wanted for a long time, and would rather have than anything else in the world.” And he looked as if he meant it.

“Well, out with it, then, if you’re so sure.”

And to the father’s astonished ears came this request:

“Take me to Washington as soon as my heart is all

XXV. The President and the Boy
 

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