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Hoosier Mosaics

200 pages
Library of Alexandria
As early as eight o'clock the grand entrance gateway to the Kokomo fair ground was thronged with vehicles of almost every kind; horsemen, pedestrians, dogs and dust were borne forward together in clouds that boiled and swayed and tumbled. Noise seemed to be the chief purpose of every one and the one certain result of every thing in the crowd. This had been advertised as the merriest day that might ever befall the quiet, honest folk of the rural regions circumjacent to Kokomo, and it is even hinted that aristocratic dames and business plethoric men of the town itself had caught somewhat of the excitement spread abroad by the announcement in the county papers, and by huge bills posted in conspicuous places, touching Le Papillon and his monster balloon, which balloon and which Le Papillon were pictured to the life, on the said posters, in the act of sailing over the sun, and under the picture, in remarkably distinct letters, "No humbug! go to the fair!" Dozier's minstrel troupe was dancing and singing attendance on this agricultural exhibition, too, and somebody's whirling pavilion, a shooting gallery, a monkey show, the glass works, and what not of tempting promises of entertainments, "amusing and instructive." Until eleven o'clock the entrance gateway to the fair ground was crowded. Farm wagons trundled in, drawn by sleek, well fed plough nags, and stowed full of smiling folk, old and young, male and female, from the out townships; buggies with youths and maidens, the sparkle of breastpins and flutter of ribbons; spring wagons full of students and hard bats from town; carriages brimming with laces, flounces, over skirts, fancy kid gloves, funny little hats and less bonnets, all fermented into languid ebullition by mild-eyed ladies; omnibuses that bore fleshy gentlemen, who wore linen dusters and silk hats and smoked fine cigars; and jammed in among all these were boys on skittish colts, old fellows on flea-bit gray mares, with now and then a reckless stripling on a mule. Occasionally a dog got kicked or run over, giving the assistance of his howls and yelps to the general din, and over all the dust hung heavily in a yellow cloud, shot through with the lightning of burnished trappings and echoing with the hoarse thunder of the trampling, shouting rumbling multitude. Indeed, that hot aguish autumn day let fall its sunshine on the heads and blew its feverish breath through the rifts of the greatest and liveliest mass of people ever assembled in Howard county.