Pa was so frightened he couldn’t get supper, and everybody talked about cats of nine tails, and how prisoners were cut to pieces, and every time pa saw a jay with a slouch hat he thought it was a constable after him. After dark he put on an old suit of clothes and said he was going to Washington. They told him if he went to take a train he would surely be arrested at the depot, so pa put a saddle on one of the mules, and rode out of town and rode all night, and all the next day he bought oats of farmers to be delivered at Wilmington for the circus. Finally he got out of Delaware, and the next day the farmers came in with the oats, but the show was gone, and they won’t do a thing to pa if he ever shows up in Delaware again.
[Illustration: Pa Rode Out of Town and Rode All Night.]
Pa met us at the depot in Washington, but he was ever so changed from his long ride and anxiety over the possibility of being arrested and pilloried, and lambasted by a negro in Delaware. He said to me, with a trembling voice: “Hennery, this ’ere show business is too much for your pa. I would rather be a Mormon, in Utah, with 40 wives, and several hundred children, and long whiskers. I am a changed man, Hennery, and afraid of my shadow.”
A Senator’s Son Bets
the Bad Boy That Elephants Are Cowards—They
Let a Bag of Rats Loose at the Afternoon Performance—The Elephants
Stampede, Pa Fractures a Rib and General Pandemonium Reigns.
Gee, but I must be an easy mark. I have got so I bet on a sure thing, and when a fellow bets on a sure thing he is bound to lose.
It was this way. The show arrived in Washington, D. C., on a Sunday morning, and, as usual, all the boys in town came to the lot to see us put up the tents. I was around with pa and the boss canvasman, and the town boys could see I belonged to the show, and they envied me and wanted to get acquainted with me so I would let them walk around with me, and go into the tents Sunday afternoon and see the animals.
There was one boy with a sort of rough rider hat on, and buckskin fringe on his pants, and everybody said he was a senator’s son, but the other boys had rather be acquainted with me, because I belonged to the show, and I took pity on the senator’s son and let him talk to me, without looking cross at him, or snubbing him, as I do most boys who try to butt in on me. I got to liking the senator’s son and had him come in the tent, and we put in the afternoon looking at the animals.
The elephants were chewing hay and looking fierce, and the senator’s boy said elephants were the greatest cowards on earth, and I said, “Not on your life; the giant in our show is the greatest coward, and the behemoth of holy writ is next.” The senator’s son said elephants were such cowards they were afraid of mice, and we could take a trap full of mice and turn them loose in the ring and the