I met Mr. Greeley only once and then by accident. It was in 1871, in the (old) Tribune office. I climbed one or two flights of stairs and went to the wrong room. I was seeking Colonel John Hay and I really knew my way and only lost it by my carelessness. I rapped lightly on the door, pushed it open and stepped in. There sat Mr. Greeley, busy writing, with his back to me. I think his coat was off. But I knew who it was, anyway. It was not a pleasant situation, for he had the reputation of being pretty plain with strangers who interrupted his train of thought. The interview was brief. Before I could pull myself together and back out, he whirled around and glared at me through his great spectacles and said:
"Well, what in hell do you want!"
"I was looking for a gentlem____"
"Don't keep them in stock -- clear out!"
I could have made a very neat retort but didn't, for I was flurried and
didn't think of it till I was downstairs.
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