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“ [115] not even a pocket-knife, on his person. We are strong enough to do without knives and pistols. If a fight must come, we shall go into it like soldiers, not like Negroes and Kickapoos. But there will be no fight — the President is backing down.”

A buzz of conversation swells and murmurs to the dome, like flow and ebb of tides on shingle. Now it rises to a roar, through which a military band outside is hardly heard; anon it sinks into such silence that the click-click of the telegraph needle strikes on the ear with pain. A crash of kettle-drums rolls up. All eyes appear to seek the clock, as though the dial were a living face on which a man might read the secrets of President Grant's Cabinet. All ears are strained towards the telegraph clerk, as though his needles were living spirits, from which men could force the secrets of the Capitol. Messages come in as fast as clerks can read them, so that we in the Rotunda learn what is being said and done in our behalf, not only in Charleston and Richmond, but in New York and St. Louis, as soon as these things are known in Broadway. Wires connect us with the Capitol, and we

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