Boston Witness’s Story
Says President Prayed That Assassin Might Be Forgiven.
Special to The New York Times.
BOSTON, Mass., Sept. 7.—“I was within
five feet of President McKinley when he was shot yesterday afternoon,”
said Charles J. P. Lucas of Cambridge this afternoon. “The scene
that followed the shooting was one of pandemonium, and the horror
of the attempt to murder the Nation’s Chief was something I do not
care to go through again.”
Mr. Lucas is a prominent athlete of
Cambridge and was in Buffalo competing in the international events
at the Exposition grounds. He went to the Temple of Music to meet
the President and was only four persons behind Czolgosz, the assassin,
in the line. Mr. Lucas reached home at noon to-day.
“The Secret Service men,” he continued,
“seemed to have their eyes on a certain man in the line, several
feet ahead of Czolgosz. He was a rather hard looking individual,
a foreigner in appearance, with unkempt hair and beard, and a hard
look on his face. Secret Service man Foster moved very close to
the man, and followed him along, holding his arm in such a manner
as would lead one to believe that he was going to grab the man.
Nothing happened, however, and after a hearty handshake on the part
of the President the man passed on.
“Next came a woman holding a little
girl by the hand. President McKinley shook hands with the woman,
but his eyes were riveted upon the light-haired child, who seemed
to have caught his eye. He stooped over in a kindly manner, and,
grasping the hand of the little miss, asked her name, but her answer
“All this time a man with his hand
tied up in a handkerchief, resembling a bandage that appeared to
be the work of a surgeon, followed. When he came within one person
of the President one of the Secret Service men looked him over and
also glanced at the man’s right hand, which was held near the region
of the diaphragm. No ends were open in the bandage, the hand being
done up in a manner that would lead one to think that it was attached
to a splint.
“President McKinley slowly raised
his hand, as if tired, to grasp that of the would-be assassin. As
he took the hand of the foreigner he raised it to the ordinary height
in handshaking, and as he did so the man, pressing his elbow close
to his side, turned the muzzle of the gun toward the President’s
breast, and, without the slightest sign of anything unusual, fired
two shots in quick succession.
“So rapidly was the deed committed
that the police, detectives, soldiers, and every one stood still
without moving a muscle.
“The crowd did not have the opportunity
of venting its feelings, however, as the marines and cavalrymen
surrounded the man.
“As the President sank into a chair,
to which he was half carried, he was heard to say by those within
several feet of him, ‘May God forgive him.’ After the shooting I
stood near the President for several minutes. He bore his sufferings