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An early darkness descends on the Loop with icy rain pelting in every direction and wind turning umbrellas inside out. Commuters hurry home with their heads down, dodging streams of traffic. Up against the drugstore on Randolph near Michigan, a small Oriental rug is spread on the sidewalk, and two turbaned men, in business suits but without topcoats, are on their knees bowing east, oblivious to the rain.

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