We trekked with great haste through the halls of the White House to the door of the President's Ovoid office, and as I reached for the latch of the thick iron door I was given a great start, for a terrible noise was wrought and the door itself shook violently. A strange indentation that had not been there a moment before was now extant upon the sheer surface of the portal and the martial minister smirked and then bellowed,
"Arthur we seekest to enter thine presence,
but shocks such as that will of surety lack pleasance,
for no plate of mail does Kermit call home,
like most men he wears only tissue and bone."
From within the chamber a great pleasurable guffaw went up and thereupon the doors swung open as though of their own volition.
The President Chester A. Arthur stood forth before the immense granite table upon which he conducts the business of the Republic, beaming with the great intent which he holds towards all fine men. By his side was his own manikin mister, upon the sight of whom Confucius strained at his golden chains with a look of fearsome intent, causing the somber little crumb to toss up into the air in fright a basket of large iron bearings which the President had been heaving with all of his strength into the iron door; so intense the power that resided within his frame that they did not merely dent the foot-thick gate, but instead stuck true to it, so deeply did they penetrate.
Yanking back upon Confucius' chain, I lowered my head in apology and prepared myself for the haranguing of this President, who does not mince words save in civil society,
"My valiant, my hearty, the President of Men has called you before him today for a most dangerous task, my brilliant, a most difficult task indeed. Eleuthère Du Pont, my noble young strongheart, Eleuthère Du Pont, scion of that duplicitous family of war-time profiteers, has learned of a City of Brass, my stalwart, my sapphire. A City of Brass in far Araby where legend has told of a magical lamp of Saracen manufacture."
"This lamp, my prince, this lamp of true Auric and design most complex contains the key to wonders unimagined, my steadfast, my stout. For inside, my noble, my fine popinjay, abides one of the Gen-iee of Mohammedan legend. A creature, my fearless, which grants to his master his wildest ambition uncorrupted."
"My dauntless young adventurer, you must find this fine lamp and return it to me, for I fear that Eleuthère means to put it to no good means, my gallant, to a purpose which I should say, would be a sincere detriment to the welfare of our Most Serene Republic."
I began to express my sincere intent to perform the task appointed to me to my utmost ability, but the magnificent majesty had already forgotten my presence, so heavily did the matters of state weigh upon his mind, and hence quietly did Lincoln and I make our way from his company, that I should be shewed from the manse and repair to my Clipper to make preparations for my next great adventure...
"Don't you get it? What we have to understand is it's them or us. It can't be all of us, or one. It's got to be us, or they become it. Then we lose what makes us we."
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