The Last Romantic

Roosevelt never got over Quentin's death. Not since his beloved Alice had died thirty-five years earlier had anything caused him such grief. In public he put a stern face on his emotions, but those close to him could feel the anguish that made every action an effort. Edith told Kermit: "Quentin's death shook him greatly. I can see how constantly he thinks of him and not the merry happy silly recollections which I have but sad thoughts of what Quentin would have counted for in the future." James Amos, who as butler, bodyguard, and all- purpose "head man"--Roosevelt's term--had probably spent more time with his boss since 1901 than anyone besides Edith, saw a different person than he had known. "He did not weep or talk about it," Amos said. "But to me, who had been used to watch his every movement for years and who knew him so well, it was plain that he was a changed man. He kept his peace, but he was eating his heart out." Occasionally, when Roosevelt thought no one was around, Amos could hear him say softly: "Poor Quinikins!"

Corinne observed much the same thing. On the train coming back from Saratoga, she noticed that not even books--until now his assured escape and soul-soother--could hold his attention. Corinne had left him with a volume in hand before going to order dinner; on her return: "I stood behind him for a moment before making myself known to him again, and I could see that he was not reading, that his sombre eyes were fixed on the swiftly passing woodlands and the river, and that the book had not the power of distracting him from the all-embracing grief which enveloped him."


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T.R.: The Last Romantic
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