When the crowd had gone into the big show tent, what do you think, that confounded midget began to ask me how I stood on the tariff question, and he argued for free trade, whatever that is, for half an hour, and made me think of Bryan during a campaign, and then he branched off on to the Monroe doctrine, which I suppose is something connected with a rival show, and I guess he would be talking yet, only a big husky fellow came along, a fellow about 25 years old, and he stooped over and put his hand on the midget’s shoulder and said: “Hello, dad,” and by gosh, the midget introduced me to the big galoot as his youngest son. Wouldn’t that skin you.
The first day of the season was great, only all the performers had not got limbered up. One of the girls on the flying trapeze fell off into the net from the roof of the tent and broke her suspenders, so when they got her down in the ring it seemed as though everything she had on was going to shuck loose, and leave her with nothing but a string of beads, and pa went up to wrap his coat around her, and she kicked his hat off and ran into the dressing-room. The audience just yelled, and pa blushed scarlet, ’cause he saw it was a put-up job to make him ridiculous.
[Illustration: She Kicked Pa’s Hat Off.]
During the chariot races pa had to jump like a box car to keep from being run over by a four-horse chariot driven by a one-horse girl, and the attendants dragged pa out from under a bunch of horses being ridden barebacked, like fury. Then two horses hitched together with a strap were being ridden by a woman, the strap broke and the horses spread apart, and some one yelled that she had split clear in two. Pa rushed in to help carry one half of her into the dressing-room, but she wasn’t hurt at all, ’cause the peanut boy told me she was a rubber woman, and you could stretch her half way across the ring, and she would come together all right, and eat a hearty meal. Gee, but a circus is a great place to study human nature.
In the evening performance at Peoria there came up a windstorm which blew down part of the menagerie tent, where the freaks were, and when the storm was over, and the tent top was pulled up again, they found pa all right. He started to crawl under the canvas, and skip out for fear of the animals, but the fat lady caught him and sat down on him.
The Rogue Elephant Creates
a Panic and Pa Proves Himself a Hero—The
Bad Boy Gets Scolded for “Being Tough”—He Finds That Audiences Like
May 6.—We had the worst time at Akron last week and pa proved himself a hero, though he was swatted good by the rogue elephant before he got his second wind and went for the animal.
We have a male elephant that is almost human, ’cause he gets on a tear about once a month, like a regular ugly husband. You can’t tell when his mind is in condition for running amuck, but suddenly he will whoop like a drunken man, strike his poor patient wife over the back with his trunk and grab her tail and try to pull it out by the roots, and jump up and crack his heels together like a drunken shoemaker, and bellow as though he was saying he was a bad man from Bitter Creek.