OCTOBER 15, 1938
EN ROUTE TO CHICAGO, Friday—There is a very interesting movie starting on its travels around the country this week. I think you will find it unusual and enthralling if you are interested in strange people, strange places and strange animals. The people who took these pictures happen to be relatives of ours. At least Mrs. Dennis was a Roosevelt.
They say they enjoyed taking this movie which they have named "Dark Rapture." However, as I looked at this young woman last night in her lovely brocade evening dress, and at her husband in immaculate evening clothes, it seemed a far cry from living four months with a savage African tribe to gain their confidence so as to be allowed to take pictures of a hitherto hidden ceremony.
They both speak with enthusiasm of the pigmy people. They evidently looked upon them somewhat the way we look on child prodigies and they insist they never had any fear of their treatment at the hands of any of these Negro people. They must, however, have had some moments of anxiety in the jungle in contact with horrible looking snakes and other dangerous animals. The fire which closes the picture must have been an unforgettable experience.
You can judge how interesting I found the picture, when I tell you that I had planned to be polite by watching for a short time and then slipping away in the dark to work at my desk until the time for saying goodnight came. Instead of that, I stayed to the end and had a mad scramble to finish what mail absolutely had to be signed and what could be left behind.
Until the last moment, I never remember that one needs a certain amount of money to pay for such necessities as food and tips when one travels around the country. While I dressed for dinner, it dawned upon me that I had neglected to cash a check, so I called downstairs and asked the usher if he knew some place in Washington where he could get it cashed at that hour in the evening. With the characteristic cheerfulness of the White House staff, he answered: "I'll do my best, Mrs. Roosevelt." By the time we finished dinner, he was ready to produce the cash I needed for the trip, which Miss Thompson and I started on last night at 11:40.
When I said goodbye to my husband, I thought I detected a distinct gleam of complacency and malice in his eye when he remarked: "Well, while you are touring the country, I shall leave here Sunday; pick up Colonel and Mrs. Arthur Murray in New York City, and have a delightful week at Hyde Park."
I tried not to show it, but he certainly made me envious. And yet I do like these trips around the United States and would not care to give them up. It is just another case of when you want to be two people at the same time.
Last evening, we talked to my mother-in-law, who is back from her trip to Seattle and settled at home in Hyde Park and saying: "I'm so glad I went."