That saved us from serious trouble, for the chariots run over a lot of negroes, which pleased the audience, and they let us off without killing us. They got me back to the dressing-room and had to take a pair of pinchers to get that safety pin out of my spine, and on the way to the dressing-room some one walked on my monkey tail and pulled it off, and that was a dead loss. Pa sat by me and fanned me, ’cause I was faint, and then he said: “My boy, you played your part well, until the persimmon hit you, and then you forgot that you were an actor, and became yourself, and I don’t blame you for wanting to punch that boy who called you a little nigger, and said I was your pa. After this chariot race is over we will go around in front of the seats, and find the boy, and you can do him up. Your monkey business was the feature of the show to-day.”
We went out and found a boy that looked like the one that sassed me, but he must have been his big brother, ’cause when I went up to him and swatted him on the nose, he gave me a black eye, and I am a sight.
That evening, at the performance, we cut out the educated ourang outang, and the lawyer we met on the cars came to the show, and said we would all be arrested for not performing all we advertised, but he could settle it for a hundred dollars, and pa paid him the money, and he went out and got a jag and came in the show and was going to make trouble, when pa took him to the cage where the 40-foot boa constrictor was uncoiling itself, and the Virginian got one look at the snake and went through the side of the tent yelling: “I’ve got ’em again. Catch me, somebody.”
We got out of town before morning, and nobody was arrested, except the negroes that got run over in the chariot race.
The Circus People Visit a
Southern Plantation—Pa, the Giant and the
Fat Woman Are Chased by Bloodhounds—The Bad Boy “Runs the
Gee, but pa is sore at me. He has been disgusted with me before, but he never had it in for me so serious as he has now. I guess the whole show would breathe easier if I should fall off the train some dark night, when it was stormy, and we were crossing a high bridge over a stream that was out of its banks on account of a freshet.
It was all on account of our taking an afternoon off on a Sunday at Richmond. An old planter that used to be in the circus business before the war thought it would bring back old recollections to him and give us a taste of country life in the south if he invited all of us, performers, managers, freaks, and everything, to spend the day on his plantation, and go nutting for chestnuts and hickory nuts, pick apples and run them through a cider mill and drink self-made cider, and have a good time.
We all appreciated the invitation, and after breakfast we rode out in the country to his plantation in carriages and express wagons and began to do the plantation. The fat lady and the midgets rode out together in a load of cotton, and when they got to the house they had to be picked like ducks, and they looked as though they had been tarred and feathered.