Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/46

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twice the size of an ordinary man's, planted firmly on the table. It always seemed to me that it would take a crowbar to pry these wrists from the board, once Talaat's strength and defiant spirit had laid them there. Whenever I think of Talaat now I do not primarily recall his rollicking laugh, his uproarious enjoyment of a good story, the mighty stride with which he crossed the room, his fierceness, his determination, his remorselessness—the whole life and nature of the man take form in those gigantic wrists.

Talaat, like most strong men, had his forbidding, even his ferocious, moods. One day I found him sitting at the usual place, his massive shoulders drawn up, his eyes glowering, his wrists planted on the desk. I always anticipated trouble whenever I found him in this attitude. As I made request after request, Talaat, between his puffs at his cigarette, would answer "No!" "No!" "No!"

I slipped around to his side of the desk.

"I think those wrists are making all the trouble, Your Excellency," I said. "Won't you please take them off the table?"

Talaat's ogre-like face began to crinkle, he threw up his arms, leaned back, and gave a roar of terrific laughter. He enjoyed this method of treating him so much that he granted every request that I made.

At another time I came into his room when two Arab princes were present. Talaat was solemn and dignified, and refused every demand I made. "No, I shall not do that"; or, "No, I haven't the slightest idea of doing that," he would answer. I saw that he was trying to impress his princely guests; to show them that he had become so great a man that he did not hesitate