MALINS hands him the map at which he is working.
(After studying it in silence): Yes. There’s no doubt about it. Unless Meade goes to sleep it can only be a question of hours. Lee’s a great man, but he can’t get out of that.
Making a ring on the map with his finger.
Malins (taking the map again): This ought to be the end, sir.
Grant: Yes. If Lee surrenders, we can all pack up for home.
Malins: By God, sir, it will be splendid, won’t it, to be back again?
Grant: By God, sir, it will.
Malins: I beg your pardon, sir.
Grant: You’re quite right, Malins. My boy goes away to school next week. Now I may be able to go down with him and see him settled.
DENNIS comes back.
Dennis: Colonel West says, yes, sir, for the last half-hour. The cook says he’s sorry, sir. It was a mistake.
Grant: Tell him to keep his mistakes in the kitchen.
Dennis: I will, sir.
He goes back to his place.
Grant (at his papers_): Those rifles went up this afternoon?
Malins: Yes, sir.
Another ORDERLY comes in.
Orderly_: Mr. Lincoln has just arrived, sir. He’s in the yard now.
Grant: All right, I’ll come.
THE ORDERLY goes. GRANT rises and crosses to the door, but is met there by LINCOLN and HAY. LINCOLN, in top boots and tall hat that has seen many campaigns, shakes hands with GRANT and takes MALINS’S salute.
Grant: I wasn’t expecting you, sir.
Lincoln: No; but I couldn’t keep away. How’s it going?
Grant: Meade sent word an hour and a half ago that Lee was surrounded all but two miles, which was closing in.
Lincoln: That ought about to settle it, eh?
Grant: Unless anything goes wrong in those two miles, sir. I’m expecting a further report from Meade every minute.
Lincoln: Would there be more fighting?
Grant: It will probably mean fighting through the night, more or less. But Lee must realise it’s hopeless by the morning.
An Orderly (entering): A despatch, sir.
THE ORDERLY goes, and a YOUNG OFFICER comes in from the field. He salutes and hands a despatch to GRANT.
Officer: From General Meade, sir.
Grant (taking it): Thank you.
He opens it and reads.
You needn’t wait.
THE OFFICER salutes and goes.
Yes, they’ve closed the ring. Meade gives them ten hours. It’s timed at eight. That’s six o’clock in the morning.
He hands the despatch to LINCOLN.