They took pa in a back room and searched him some more, and found his roll, and then a man who said he was a lawyer offered to help pa, and keep him out of the penitentiary. He told pa the law of Kentucky made the crime of trifling with a slot machine the same as breach of promise, or arson, and that he would be lucky if he got off with ten years in the pen, with 30 days’ solitary confinement in a Turkish bath cell, with niggers for companions.
Pa turned blue and asked the lawyer if there was no way out of it, and the lawyer told him that for $120 in spot cash he would let him go, and fight the case after the show had got out of the state. A hundred and twenty-five dollars was the amount they found on pa, and he told them that inasmuch as they already had it, they better keep the money and let him go, and he would be always a living example of the terrors of gambling.
So they let pa go, and all the way to the train he told us he hoped this experience would be a lesson to us not to covet the money of the rich, and as far as he was concerned, John D. Rockefeller could go plum to thunder with his money after this.
Then we got to the car, and found about a dozens of the circus men who had been out to beat the slot machines, broke flat, and I had to divide my shot bag of nickels with them, that I had won before I let them into the game, before they would let me go to bed.
Dad says this circus life is making me pretty tough.
The Bad Boy Feeds Cayenne Pepper to the Sacred Cow—He and His Pa Ride in a Circus Parade With the Circassian Beauties—A Tipsy Elephant Lands Them in a Public Fountain—Pa Makes the Acquaintance of John L. Sullivan.
I am learning more about animals every day, and when the season is over I will be an expert animal man. Animals naturally have a language of their own, and lions understand each other, and bears can converse with bears, but in a show, all animals seem to have a common language, so they understand each other a little.
I found that out when I put a paper of cayenne pepper into a head of lettuce and gave it to the sacred cow. She chewed the lettuce as peacefully as could be, and swallowed the cayenne pepper, and then stopped to think. You could tell by the expression on her face that when the pepper began to heat her up inside she wanted to swear, although she was a sacred cow. She humped herself, and shivered, and then bellowed like a calf who has been left in the barn to be weaned, while its mother goes out to pasture, and the sacred bull, her husband, he came and put his nose up to her nose, as much as to say: “What is the matter, dearie?” and she talked sacred cattle talk to him for a minute, and then the bull turned to me and chased me out of the tent. Now, as sure as you live that cow told the bull that I had given her something hot. All the animals within hearing were onto me, and they would snarl, and make noises when I came along, and act as though they wanted to make me understand that they knew I gave that cow a hot box, and they all wanted to get a chance at me.