He used no notes, for a
volcano does not need notes.
In 1862, a son of Keokuk's late
distinguished citizen, Mr. Claggett, gave me this incident concerning
The war feeling was running high in Keokuk (in '61), and a great mass
meeting was to be held on a certain day in the new Athenaeum. A
distinguished stranger was to address the house. After the building had
been packed to its utmost capacity with sweltering folk of both sexes,
the stage still remained vacant - the distinguished stranger had failed
to connect. The crowd grew impatient, and by and by indignant and
rebellious. About this time a distressed manager discovered Dean on a
curb-stone, explained the dilemma to him, took his book away from him,
rushed him into the building the back way, and told him to make for the
stage and save his country.
Presently a sudden silence fell upon the grumbling audience, and
everybody's eyes sought a single point - the wide, empty, carpetless
stage. A figure appeared there whose aspect was familiar to hardly a
dozen persons present. It was the scarecrow Dean - in foxy shoes, down at
the heels; socks of odd colors, also 'down;' damaged trousers, relics of
antiquity, and a world too short, exposing some inches of naked ankle;
an unbuttoned vest, also too short, and exposing a zone of soiled and
wrinkled linen between it and the waistband; shirt bosom open; long
black handkerchief, wound round and round the neck like a bandage; bob-
tailed blue coat, reaching down to the small of the back, with sleeves
which left four inches of forearm unprotected; small, stiff-brimmed
soldier-cap hung on a corner of the bump of - whichever bump it was.
This figure moved gravely out upon the stage and, with sedate and
measured step, down to the front, where it paused, and dreamily
inspected the house, saying no word.
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