[Bloomington—Friday, 22 October 1875]

Friday Oct 22. Lectured in Bloomington. In the afternoon we were driven out by a Dr. Smith to a Suburb called Normal, to see the State Normal School of Iowa [sic] and the Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home, two establishments of which Iowa [sic] may justly be proud. Dr. Smith was one of Dickens’s typical Westerners. He wore a toothpick in his mouth which he revolved restlessly with his tongue until you were driven into wretched perplexity as to the possibility of a tongue evading any longer the sharp point inside, every second seeming to make it more probably [sic] that he would stab that frequently offending member through & through. He was one of the “Smart men.” Hard keen blue eye[s] and perfectly restless nature. Luckily for us he was somewhat occupied with other matters or we should hardly have escaped being dragged over the museum (“the finest in America, Sir”), the parks, kitchens, laundries, cupolas and every corner of these buildings. I took “J”s part steadfastly and declared as he was to speak that evening he was far too lame to go up and down stairs, otherwise I know not what would have become of us.


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