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Excerpt from Michael Collins Own Story
It began belligerently. It grew into a friendship I valued more than any other I ever made. The reference is to my relationship with Michael Collins. I tell it not because these two facts matter to anyone except me, but because they are in themselves proof of the greatness of this Irishman. And, inasmuch as I found him, in nine months of intimate association, the finest character it has ever been my good fortune to know, I mean to adduce such proof as I can as will tend to justify my opinion.
My job as a newspaper correspondent took me to Dublin early in December, 1921. I made the trip from London aboard the train that carried the five plenipotentiaries and the Treaty they had signed the night before. But it was not until several days later that I met Collins.
Of the 110 correspondents representing newspapers in all parts of the world at that first public session of Dail Eireann, none could have been more unconversant with the Irish situation than I was. But that did not prevent my quickly discovering that Collins was far and away the most interesting figure in all that remarkable parliament. An interview with him was patently what newspaper readers most wanted. So I made it my business, during a lull in the proceedings, to follow him into the lobby and introduce myself to him. He made an appointment to see me at ten o'clock that evening at the Gresham Hotel.
A quarter of an hour before time, I arrived at the Gresham and sent my card upstairs.
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