Jacob A. Riis (18491914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.
his soft spot. In the morning, when the Commissioner came fresh from his romp with his own babies, there confronted him eleven youngsters of all ages, howling dolefully. The doomed policeman mutely introduced them with a sorrowful gesture,motherless all.
Mr. Roosevelts stern gaze softened. What, no mother? all these children! Go, then, and take one more chance, one last chance. And the policeman went out with the eleven children which were not his at all. He had borrowed them, all but two, from the neighbors in his tenement.
But there is no malice in the joking at his expense, rather affection. It is no mean tribute to human nature, even in the policemans uniform, that for the men who tricked Roosevelt in the Police Boardhis recreant colleaguesand undid what they could of his work, there survives in the Department the utmost contempt and detestation, while Roosevelt is held in the heartiest regard that is not in the least due to his exalted station, but to a genuine reverence for the mans character as Mulberry Street saw it when it was put to the severest test.