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Chapter 11: the Rotunda. Scene-Rotunda, New Orleans; marble floor, and open galleries, supported by fluted shafts. Time-Wednesday, January 13, 1875, eight o'clock in the evening. Persons present-General Sheridan, with his staff, Lieutenant-governor Penn, Senators, Members of Congress, foreign consuls, sea captains, newspaper scouts, orderlies, messengers, telegraph clerks, and other crowds, including two English travellers. Temperature-boiling point of mercury. Look out for squalls, drops a well-known voice, as we emerge from the dining-hall into the Rotunda. The affair is on, and must be settled .either yea or nay. If Grant backs down, there will be peace; if not, there will be war. Look out! Before you go to bed, the world will know the worst. The central hall of our hotel is a grand apartment — the Rotunda of an edifice which in Italy would be called a palace; a news-room, lounge, divan, and stock exchange; a place where merchants buy and sell, where gamblers s