Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen > Page 357
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen.  1904.

Page 357
 
every one trying to look into his face while they skipped and talked, so that at least half of them were walking backward on the toes of those next to them all the while. No fear of patronizing there. They were chums on the minute. If anything, they did the patronizing, the while their mothers were escorting Mrs. Roosevelt with simple dignity, proud of their guest, and touched in their innermost hearts by her coming among them.
  “Was that your ship what was all lit up out there last night?” I heard one of the youngsters ask the President; and another, who had hold of the skirt of his coat, took in the island with one wide sweep of his unclaimed hand: “Ain’t it bully?”
  And it was. Not a sign “Keep off the grass” on the whole island; free license to roam where they pleased, to wade and to fish and to gather posies, or to sit on the rocks and sing. The visitors went from the woods to the house, saw the big bedrooms,—so big that when the trees outside waved their branches in the patch of moonlight on the floor, the children at first huddled together, frightened, in a corner. They felt as if they were outside in a strange country.

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