Page:My Life and Loves.djvu/297

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.


NEW EXPERIENCES.

Emerson, Walt Whitman, Bret Harte.

Chapter XIII.

Smith met me at the station: he was thinner than ever and the wretched little cough shook him very often in spite of some lozenges that the doctor had given him to suck: I began to be alarmed about him and I soon came to the belief that the damp climate of the Quaker City was worse for him than the thin, dry Kansas air. But he believed in his doctors!

He boarded with a pleasant Puritan family in whose house he had also got me a room and at once we resumed the old life. But now I kept constant watch on him and insisted on rigorous self restraint, tying up his unruly organ every night carefully with thread, which was still more efficient (and painful) than the whipcord. I also put a lump of ice near his bed so that he could end at once any thrill of sex. But now he didn't improve quickly: it was a month before I could find any of the old vigor in him; but soon afterwards the cough diminished and he began to be his bright self again.

One of our first evenings I described to him the Bradlaugh lecture in much the same terms I have used in this narrative. Smith said: "Why don't you write it? You ought to: the "Press" would take it.