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family, and of the fact that one of his children was again ill. “I will return to my family,” said he to two of his closest friends. “But if I am needed here, let me know at once.” And his friends promised to keep him informed. Two days later he was back among the Adirondacks, in the bosom of his family. The prayers of a whole nation were in vain. William McKinley's mission on earth was finished, and one week after he was shot he breathed his last. His wife came to bid him farewell, and so did his other relatives, and his friend of many years, Mark Hanna, and the members of his Cabinet. “It is God's way,” murmured the dying Executive. “His will be done, not ours.” Then like a child going to sleep, he relapsed into unconsciousness, from which he did not recover. He died September 14, 1901, at a little after two o'clock in the morning. It was the last of a truly great life. Illustrious men may come and go, but William McKinley will be remembered so long as our nation endures. As a soldier and a statesman he gave his best talents to better the conditions of his fellow-creatures, and to place the United States where we justly belong, among the truly great nations of the world.

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CHAPTER XXIV

THEODORE ROOSEVELT's TRAMP UP MoUNT MARCY — A MESSAGE OF IMPORTANCE – WILD MIDNIGHT RIDE THROUGH THE MOUNTAINs — ON THE SPECIAL TRAINS FROM North CREEK to BUFFALo

WITH a somewhat lighter heart, Theodore Roosevelt returned to the Adirondacks and joined his family on Wednesday, three days previous to President McKinley's death. The last report he had received from Buffalo was the most encouraging of any, and he now felt almost certain that the President would survive the outrageous attack that had been made upon his person.

“He will get well,” said several who lived close by. “You need not worry about his condition any longer.”

On the following day it was planned to go up to Colton Lake, five miles from where the family was stopping. Some friends went along, and in the party were Mrs. Roosevelt and several of the children. Two guides accompanied them, and it was decided to spend the night at a camp on the lake, returning home the following day. The next morning it rained, but in spite of this drawback Theodore Roosevelt, leaving the ladies and children to return to the cottage, started to climb Mount Marcy. Such an undertaking was exactly to his liking, and he went up the rough and uneven trail with the vigor of a trained woodsman, the guide leading the way and the other gentlemen of the party following. At last, high up on the side of Mount Marcy, the party reached a small body of water known as Tear of the Clouds, and here they rested for lunch. “You are certainly a great walker, Mr. Roosevelt,” remarked one of the gentlemen during the progress of the lunch. “Oh, I have to be,” answered Theodore Roosevelt, jokingly. “A Vice-President needs exercise to keep him alive. You see, when he is in the Senate, all of his work is done sitting down.” The words had scarcely been uttered when one of the party pointed to a man climbing up the mountain side toward them. The newcomer held some yellow telegramslips in his hand, and Theodore Roosevelt quickly arose to receive them. He had soon mastered the contents of the messages. President McKinley was much worse; it was likely that he would not live. For fully a minute Mr. Roosevelt did not speak. He realized the great responsibility which rested upon his shoulders. Then, in a voice filled with emotion, he read the messages aloud. “Gentlemen,” he continued, “I must return to the club-house at once.” And without waiting, he turned and started down the mountain side along the trail by which he had come. It was a long, hard walk, but it is doubtful if Theodore Roosevelt took note of it. A thousand thoughts must have flashed through his mind. If William McKinley should indeed breathe his last, the nation would look to him as their Chief Magistrate. He could not make himself believe that his President was to die. It was not long before Theodore Roosevelt reached the club-house at the lake. He asked for further news, but none was forthcoming.

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