IT was shortly after four o’clock. The President was in his most
cheerful mood, and evidently enjoying the cordial demonstrations
of good-will with which he was being greeted. John G. Milburn, president
of the Exposition, stood at his right hand; Secretary Cortelyou
stood at his left.
Out of the throng crowding around
the President stepped a medium-sized man, brown-haired and smooth-shaven,
apparently a respectable mechanic. His right hand was swathed in
a handkerchief, and as he approached he held it close to the back
of the man in front of him, as if he wished to conceal it as much
as possible. As his turn came he stepped close up to the dais upon
which the President stood. Mr. McKinley smiled and extended his
hand; but instead of grasping it, the man threw forward his own
bandaged hand, and brushed aside the President’s arm. As he did,
two revolver shots rang out sharply above the subdued murmer [sic]
of voices and the shuffling of feet; the assassin had discharged
a concealed revolver through the handkerchief binding his hand.
As the smoke cleared, the President
was seen to swerve slightly, and raise his right hand to his chest,
while a look of bewilderment passed over his face. Then he collapsed
and sank back into the arms of Secretary Cortelyou.