Roosevelt responds to the tale of a Burmese tiger encounter: "I think that probably nine times out of ten,—the ordinary tiger or lion, under such circumstances, would have acted exactly as this beast acted"
TLS, two pages, 7 x 10, Oyster Bay letterhead, February 3, 1916. Letter to L. H. Mosier of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society in Burma, responding to the tale of a tiger encounter. In full: "Thank you for that very interesting account of your tiger experience. You ask me three questions: First,—Can I believe the story? Most emphatically, yes! You tell it with convincing truthfulness. Any man experienced in both men and in animals, and any writer of his own adventures, will realize that your story is true, from your account. Second, you ask me do I believe it can be accounted for without acknowledging supernatural intervention. Most emphatically, yes! It does not even suggest anything supernatural. Indeed, the part that you consider most wonderful is by no means the most wonderful part. You describe the tiger as fleeing from you when a number of your friends and yourself ran after him, just subsequent to his killing the buffalo calf. There is nothing extraordinary in this. On the contrary, I think that probably nine times out of ten,—the ordinary tiger or lion, under such circumstances, would have acted exactly as this beast acted. It was, of course, a dangerous thing for you to do, simply because there was the one chance in ten, or one in three, that the tiger would not behave as his kind ordinarily do behave. But, where I have been in Africa, I have often known natives, when several of them were together, to run up and scare a lion from his freshly killed prey. Third,—You ask me if I believe it to be a miraculous intervention. For the reasons given above, I do not think there is anything miraculous about it. The really extraordinary fact was the fact that the tiger repeatedly came back to the remains of the calf, even after he had been so terribly shot. This also is not unparalleled, although very rare." In very good to fine condition, with scattered light soiling, and slight blurring to the type and the signature. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope.