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Source: With Claw and Fang
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “Victory of Anti-Christ” [chapter 9]
Author(s): Babcock, Bernie
Publisher: Clean Politics Publishing Co.
Place of publication: Indianapolis, Indiana
Year of publication: 1911
Pagination: 89-100

 
Citation
Babcock, Bernie. “Victory of Anti-Christ” [chapter 9]. With Claw and Fang. Indianapolis: Clean Politics Publishing, 1911: pp. 89-100.
 
Transcription
full text of chapter; excerpt of book
 
Keywords
McKinley assassination (fictional accounts); Leon Czolgosz (fictionalization); Nikola Golzosch; anarchism (religious response); McKinley assassination (religious response); William McKinley (death: fictional accounts); William McKinley (mourning: fictional accounts).
 
Named persons
Nikola Golzosch; William McKinley.
 
Notes
No text appears on page 90 of the book (see following note).

The chapter (below) includes two illustrations. Page 90 features an uncredited full-page illustration accompanied by a quotation from page 97 (“To this extent had the claw and fang of anarchy triumphed.”). Page 100 features a small uncredited illustration decorating the bottom of the page.

From title page:

ANARCHY IS HELLTHE SALOON IS ITS PROPHET

     This story is sent out knowing it will be evil spoken of, not alone by open and secret friends of Liquor Traffic[,] anarchy and God-hating apostles of “personal liberty”, but by others more honest, who, forgetting that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, will think because the story is not pleasant it should not have been written. That the story is TERRIBLY TRUE cannot be denied. Whatever its reception, the author has performed a duty however unpleasant it may have been, and casts the book into the arena of TODAY’S THOUGHT with the same purpose that moved those brave ones, in laying the foundation of Christian civilization, to shout in the face of Numidian lions and Rome’s mocking thousands. “PRO CHRISTUS.”

From title page: With Claw and Fang: A Fact Story in a Chicago Setting.

From title page: By Bernie Babcock, Author of “The Daughter of a Republican,” “At the Mercy of the State,” “An Uncrowned Queen,” “The Devil and Tom Walker,” “Justice to the Woman,” etc.
 
Document

 

Victory of Anti-Christ

     Old Glory was shaking her red, white and blue folds ten thousand strong; bands were playing and the gladness of expectancy showed on the faces of tens of thousands who waited to greet the Chief Executive of a Nation.
     It was in a great city, where a mighty Republic was showing to the peoples of its own vast borders and to the nations of the earth, what can be wrought by progress in a land of peace and plenty where the door of Opportunity stands open to every man who will enter.
     But with such evidences of phenomenal progress and prosperity on every hand as the great Exposition gave, that giant vandal of Destruction named Anarchy was even then reaching its gaunt arm up the flag staff of a Nation’s emblem and feeling with fiendish eagerness for the starry folds which it would tear from its height, shred to rags, spit on and grind in the dust.
     With the thousands of visitors that thronged the city had arrived the Catspaw of Destruction but a night before.
     He was one of the ever changing throng and came bringing nothing but a cheap valise—such a one as the wage earner buys with the pennies he has left when the saloon till holds his dollars.
     Although a stranger, this Catspaw had no trouble locating his home atmosphere, and with the instinct [89][91] of the fly that seeks putrefaction to breed its kind, he gravitated toward the nesting place of criminals and took lodging at a saloon.
     With claw and fang was the Government of the Republic to be set upon, and the target for the claw and the tenderest spot for the sinking of the fang was in the heart of the well beloved President—a President elected by the people, for the people and with a majority of the people’s votes.
     But no hint of tragedy, no suggestion of Anarchy came now.
     No shadow of the blood red flag obscured the Nation’s emblem as twenty thousand people crowded nearer and nearer the great Temple where the President was to receive them.
     Eager they were, every one to look into the kindly face of the great hearted Christian President, eager to feel the hand grasp that spoke louder than words of brotherly kindness.
     At the appointed time he came, and as the great organ burst into peals of patriotic melody which the bands took up while the thousands cheered, the crowd stood back as the President went to his place in the front.
     Among those first in line to greet the Nation’s President was the Catspaw.
     Scarce a hundred had shaken hands when he found himself near the front.
     But three remained between him and the President, a woman, a white man and a negro.
     Nearer and nearer, a step at a time they came.
     He heard the kind greeting of the President to [91][92] the working woman; he heard his courteous greeting to the business man; he saw pleasure on the face of the black man as the President gave his hand a kindly grasp.
     Then he stood before the President, and in the presence of twenty thousand people, not the peaceful citizen he seemed, but the Catspaw of Anarchy whose gospel is Murder and whose slogan is MIGHT IS RIGHT.
     There was nothing in his appearance to attract attention. His clothing was neat and clean. He had a frank, honest face, as kindly as that of the President into whose eyes he looked.
     As he extended his left hand, the President glanced at his right, and seeing that it was folded in white and held behind his coat lapel, he did not hesitate to take in his friendly grasp the offered hand.
     The friendly hand grasp of the President was returned with more than a clasp.
     It was a grip like a vice, and leaning a bit forward the Catspaw drew the President slightly toward him, at the same time placing his white wrapped hand quickly against the heart—the big, kind heart beating even then in friendly sympathy for one afflicted.
     Immediately two pistol shots rang out, for in the wrapped hand were hidden claws of steel and fangs of fire.
     As the pistol shots echoed back from the lofty walls of the Temple, the President dropped the hand he was holding and staggered back a step. [92][93]
     Sinking into the arms of those nearest him he said, “May God forgive him!”
     A warm blood stain showed itself.
     “Do not be alarmed!” said the President, noting that those about him were frightened.
     “But you are wounded!” they said.
     The President slipped his fingers through his shirt and pressed them against his breast—over the hole torn of the claw and fang.
     When he withdrew his hand, blood dripped from his fingers.
     A sharp pain gripped him.
     He pressed his lips tightly.
     His head sank back.
     Drowsiness overcame him.
     There was for a moment the silence of death, for those nearest had been stunned by the enormity of the crime.
     Then pandemonium broke loose as word was passed that the President had been assassinated.
     The burly negro, whose hand the President had last grasped, had the Anarchist pinned to the floor; and lest he might escape, twenty others had thrown themselves in a heap on the assassin, while thousands crowded forward eager to lay hands on him.
     He was secured by guards.
     To have done him violence would have been to grieve the President.
     The guard and police knew this and he was held in safety.
     Outside the great building the thousands yet [93][94] waited their turn to shake the hand of the President, and when news reached them of the crime, peace was turned to wrath and an orderly body became a mob.
     It was through this mob a passage must be cleared for two people.
     First came the President of the United States, borne on an ambulance stretcher.
     His face was ghastly.
     There was no gleam of recognition in his eye for any man.
     His white shirt front was crimson with fresh blood.
     With uncovered head and white lips tightly pressed, the throng stood silent as the bleeding body was carried to the ambulance.
     The second person was the Catspaw—a young man, scarce less ghastly than his victim.
     But the Government at whose heart he had struck was to protect him, and responding to the call, the Marines arrived none too soon.
     “Load rifles!” was the order, and when the thousands heard the breeches click they stood back while the prisoner was hurried into a closed carriage.
     He sank into the cushions, white and trembling, only raising up at intervals to look through the windows at the crowd.
     As their cries for vengeance reached his ear, convulsive shudders ran through his body and his terror stricken eyes seemed bursting from his head.
     When it became known at the police department [94][95] that the new criminal was no common law breaker, that he was an Anarchist—an assassin of the President—the tens at first around the building grew to hundreds and to thousands, and again the Government he had struck at came to protect him from the mob.
     When questioned he gave his name as Nikola Golzosch.
     When asked why he had committed the crime, he answered: “I am an Anarchist and I have done my DUTY.”

*                 *                *                *                *                *                *                *

     The President of the United States knew that he must die.
     Since early morning the sun had been hidden, and the sky, as if weeping for a Nation, had poured a steady flood of tears.
     But the President knew nothing of dark clouds or storms.
     For him the joys and disappointments of Life were at an end.
     For him the mortal pain of Anarchy’s claw and fang, and that greater pain, the knowledge that a fellow being whom he had never harmed had struck him down, were alike calmed by approaching dissolution.
     His waning strength was fast ebbing and it was only at intervals that he was conscious.
     While the Life cord weakened, a Nation’s millions waited the minute bulletins for news from the bedside.
     But there was only one among them the Presi- [95][96] dent thought of now.
     This was his wife—his frail, devoted wife.
     When he realized that the end was very near, he sent for her.
     With unutterable misery pictured in her sad eyes, she came and knelt by his bedside.
     He reached his hands, trembling in their last weakness to her’s [sic], drew her toward him, and with faltering lips whispered a message against her breast.
     Her heart was breaking.
     Her worn face was wet with tears and pitiful with the anguish of the parting, as she raised it to the physician and in agony of soul cried, “I cannot let him go!”
     Appeal to the physician was however of no avail.
     All that medical science could do had been done.
     Anti-Christ was to have seeming victory.
     Overcome by the slight exertion, the President’s strength gave way and those watching thought the end had come. Once more he rallied.
     Voices sounded far away.
     Faces were dim.
     Yet there was one face he saw.
     There was one voice he could hear, and with his last strength he again reached for the hand of his wife and tried to take it as of old in his grasp.
     She bent over him.
     His lips moved faintly.
     He was saying, “Goodby—goodby! It is God’s way! His will, not ours, be done!”
     The death film had obscured his vision. [96][97]
     The cold of death was chilling him.
     His last breath was in his throat.
     And yet once more he spoke, and leaning close to catch the message from the Valley of the Shadow, they heard the dying whisper, “Nearer my God to Thee.”
     Then there settled over the face of suffering the peace that passes understanding, which no claw nor fang of Anarchy, neither any other weapon of devilish cunning, can take from the soul.
     News was flashed around the world that the President was dead, and men wept as they read the black-bordered news sheets.
     To this extent had the claw and fang of Anarchy triumphed.
     But was MIGHT RIGHT?
     Ask of a Republic, and eighty million strong will come back the shout, “Not by the Eternal God!”
     The funeral train bearing the body of a Nation’s Chief made its way to Washington, shrouded in black, while bells tolled and women and children strewed the track with flowers.
     The President was dead, but the Government at Washington yet lived, and had turned out in the bitterness of sorrow to do respect to its beloved dead.

*                 *                *                *                *                *                *                *

     But a few months before he had taken the oath of office in the presence of cheering thousands.
     The thousands had again gathered, but there went up no cheers; and the handkerchiefs, that [97][98] had before waved in billows of white were now held to wet eyes, while the Stars and Stripes, at half mast, hung in silent folds toward the ground.
     From afar came the faint notes of the bugle, and then “Nearer my God to Thee!” pulsated on the still air, as borne by soldiers and marines the body of the martyred President of America was brought to the seat of America’s Government.
     As the body was borne up the wide steps, voices somewhere near sang softly:

“Lead, Kindly Light,
Amid th’ encircling gloom—
Lead Thou me on
     *        *        *
So long Thy power has blessed me,
Sure it still will lead me on
O’er moor and fen,
O’er crag and torrent,
’Till the night is gone.”

     It had been the prayer of the President that the people of his Nation should follow the Kindly Light.

*                 *                *                *                *                *                *                *

     Silence reigned in Chicago!
     In Chicago, hot bed of saloons and brothels, hiding place for anarchy.
     In Chicago, headquarters for blasphemers.
     Silence reigned.
     By tolling bells at Westminster, and booming guns at Gibralter [sic], was the news told that across an ocean a body was being lowered into an open grave, while in the Homeland quiet reigned. [98][99]
     This was why silence held Chicago.
     But a moment before a million people had been rushing to and fro and choking from wall to wall such streets as the funeral procession moved on.
     As the masses struggled, a horseman appeared and uncovering his head shouted, “Hats off!”
     This was the signal.
     The muffled drums hushed.
     Bells ceased tolling.
     Every whistle, every wheel, every train and every telephone, every car and every cable was quiet.
     Every steamer bound for port or turned seaward stood like a painted boat on a painted sea.
     No breeze stirred the folds of the flags drooping at half mast, and men stood with bare heads bowed while women prayed.
     In a quiet burying spot far away a bit of earth was being thrown into an open grave, as from a Book a voice read: “Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, and dust to dust.”
     For five minutes Chicago stayed quiet—quiet like the grave in which a Nation’s President was being covered.
     Then happened something yet stranger for Chicago than this unheard of silence.
     Over the heads of the vast multitude came strains of music, far and faint at first as it floated on the hush.
     Then the thousands caught up the tune—men, women and children—singing, siging [sic], singing! [99][100]
     Chicago was singing:

“E’en though it be a cross
That raiseth me.”

     Chicago, except those nestlings of the Inferno who had crept to their holes.
     When Sodom sings Nearer my God to Thee, may it not come to pass, as has been written, “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess HIS name, the PRINCE OF PEACE, the PROPHET OF LOVE!”
     A time when anti-Christ shall be driven to the Hole, if hole there can be found to hide him.

*                 *                *                *                *                *                *                *

For though from out the bourn of time and place
     The tide may bear me far,
I hope to meet my Pilot, face to face
     When I have passed the bar.

*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *

WILLIAM McKINLEY,
Twenty-Fifth President
of the
United States of America,
1843-1901.

 

 


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