Jacob A. Riis (18491914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.
could never live. A tug went down within hail; but only the sailors knew it. The passengers had been cleared from the deck, that the Sylph might be stripped of its awnings and every rag of canvas which might help throw it over if the worst happened. We went gladly enough, for the deck had ceased to be a comfortable or even a safe place,all except the President, who had fallen out of the general conversation and into a corner by himself, with a book. A sailor confronted him with an open knife in his hand.
Mr. President, he said, orders are to cut away; and without any more ado he slashed at the awning overhead, cutting its fastenings. The President woke up and retreated. Following him down into the cabin, I came upon Mrs. Roosevelt placidly winding yarn from the hands of the only other woman passenger. They were both as calm as though Government tugs were not chasing up the river as hard as they could go to the rescue of our boat, supposed to be in peril of shipwreck.
But at the moment I am thinking of, the hurricane was as yet only a smart blow. We were steaming out past Centre Island, under the rugged shore where Sagamore Hill lay hid