"Ten Days a Madwoman" by Deborah Noyes November/December 2016 AR Biography Activity

"Goats wandered through, nibbling weeds in vacant lots between squat houses. It was about as far from where Nellie needed to be every day as it could get." (p. 1)

Based on the context clues the word"squat houses" means houses that are abandoned.

"One of the thousands of horses hauling the city's carts, carriages, hansom cabs, omnibuses, and street cars might bolt at any moment, their transports careening into bystanders." (p. 2)

Based upon the context clues, the the word "hansom cabs" means a two passenger covered vehicle drawn by one horse.

"As she climbed the dim spiral staircase to the third-floor newsroom with its haze of cigar smoke and raucous conversation, anxious office boys darted here and there on errands." (p.2)

Based upon the context clues, the word "raucous" means disorderly or rowdy.

"On March 30, 1890, a bank official advertised in the help-wanted section of the Chicago Tribune to warn female stenographers of "our growing conviction that no thoroughly honorable businessman who is this side of dotage ever advertises for lady stenographer who is blonde, is good-looking, is quite alone in the city, or will transmit her photograph."(p.11)

Based upon the context clues, the word "stenographers" means a person who copies in shorthand.

"He looked "in a sagacious manner" and felt her pulse. How did the heart of an insane person beat?" (p.27)

Based upon the context clues, the word "sagacious" means having a keen practical sense or an acute mental discernment.

"The expert shone light in her eyes to observe her pupils, repeating the judge's speculation that belladonna or deadly nightshade poisoning which can cause hallucinations and delirium might underlie her condition, though Nellie insisted she had taken no drugs." (p.27)

Based upon the context clues, the word "delirium" means a kind of state that has violent emotion or excitement.

"Apart from rhapsodizing about what food they would eat when they made it back across the river, patients had little to entertain or engage them beyond "waiting enthusiastically for new unfortunates to be added to our ranks," at which point patients gathered around in sympathetic greeting, "anxious to show them little marks of attention." (p.57)

Based upon the context clues, the word "rhapsodizing" means to speak with extravagant enthusiasm.

"The couple had been overseas for three years and were arranging to return to New York to seek new management for Seaman's troubled business when Nellie got dire news. Her thirty-two-year-old sister, Kate, had contracted tuberculosis and died suddenly in July. Heartbroken and fierce with grief, Nellie sailed to New York ahead of her husband." (p.111)

Based upon the context clues, the word "tuberculosis" means a disease that affects that lungs.

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