Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen > Page 80
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen.  1904.

Page 80
 
called of ranch-owners, the neighbors for half a hundred miles around, and in the meeting Mr. Roosevelt rose and confronted the sheriff squarely with the charges. He looked straight at him through his gold-rimmed eye-glasses, himself unarmed, while from the other’s pockets stuck out the handles of two big six-shooters, and told him without mincing words that they believed the charges to be true and that he had forfeited their confidence and good will. A score of grave frontiersmen sat silently expectant of the reply. None came. The man made no defense. But he was not without sympathizers, and his reputation would have made most men think twice before bearding him as Roosevelt did. I asked him once why he did it.
  “There was no other way,” he said, “and it had exactly the effect we desired. I do not think I was in any danger. I was unarmed, and if he had shot me down he knew he could not have escaped swift retribution. Besides, I was right, and he knew it!”
  How often since have I heard him weigh, with the most careful scrutiny of every argument for and against, some matter to be decided

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