An average audience never gets its money’s worth unless some one is hurt doing some daring act. Pa suggested that they have some one pretend to be hurt in every act, and have them picked up and carried out on stretchers with doctors wearing red crosses on their arms in attendance, giving medicine and restoratives. The show tried it at Bucyrus, O., and had seven men and two women injured so they had to be carried out, and the audience went wild, and almost mobbed the dressing-room, to see the doctor operate on the injured. It was such a great success that next week we are going to put in an automobile ambulance and have an operating table in the dressing-room with a gauze screen so the audiences can see us cut off legs like they do in a hospital. Maybe we shall put in a dissecting room if the people seem to demand it.
The Bad Boy Puts Fly-Paper in the Bob Cat’s Cage—The Bob Cat Causes a Panic in the Main Tent—The Midget Quarrels with the Giant—Pa is Almost Arrested for Kidnaping and the Ostrich Swallows His Diamond Stud.
May 14.—This has been a week that would kill anybody, and pa and I talk of resigning, though pa feels as though he didn’t want to break up the show by going away right in the middle of the harvesting of shekels from the country men, and I don’t know what would happen if pa and I should both be taken sick at the same time.
The boss of the menagerie got a new animal by express from Colorado when we were leaving Akron, O., and we got it in one end of a cage occupied by a happy family of rabbits, coons, a spotted leopard and a hound dog and a house cat. The new animal was a bob cat, such as Roosevelt shoots when the man has the camera ready to catch him in the act. Say, but that bob cat is a terror, and crosser than any animal we got, except the hyenas. The bob cat just walked around and snarled and spit at the happy family through the bars, and kept them awake all night on the road, and the happy family held a sort of convention and I could see by the way they all looked at me that they were passing resolutions inviting me to break up the bob cat business. The manager of the menagerie told pa he wished the confounded bob cat would escape, ’cause he was a blooming nuisance, so I thought I would help get rid of the beast, and save the show from disgrace. So when we got to Oberlin I thought that was a pious community that could stand a wild bob cat, so I put several sheets of sticky tanglefoot fly paper in the bob cat’s cage and opened the door of the cage, after the crowd had gone into the main tent to the big show, and the menagerie tent was empty except the keepers. They were all asleep under the wagons, and the animals had all curled down for a nap, and the freaks were on their platform lolling around, waiting for the main show to be out so they could do their stunts over again.