[Illustration: I Yelled Murder and Ran Between the Giant’s Legs.]
I went to the house with the boy and the dogs, and we set the dogs on a mess of cats, and treed everything alive on the plantation. Finally the whole crowd came back to the house and had another lunch, with mint julep and champagne, and then everybody was hugging some one, and crying on each other’s neck, and swearing that the war was over, and that the north and the south were one and inseparable, and the two together could whip the whole world.
Pa somehow saw double. I was standing alone, smarting from the switching I got, when pa came up to me and said: “I want you two boys to understand that I don’t want any more experiments played on me. I can take a joke us well as anybody, but when you set a hundred dogs on my trail, I am no gentlemen, see? Now we will go back to the show.”
The Bad Boy Goes After a Mess
of White Turnips for the Menagerie—He
Feeds the Animals Horseradish, but Gets the Worst of the Deal.
You can learn something new and interesting every day in a circus, and a boy, particularly, can store his mind with useful knowledge, that will be valuable to him in after years.
Gee, but I have learned some things that I could never have learned in college, ’cause at college you only learn things that have to be verified by actual experience in business. Pa says one year in the circus will be better for me than ten years in a reform school. But I learned something yesterday that made such an impression on me that I will not be able to sit down comfortably before the season is over.
You see, it was this way. Once a week it is the custom to feed all the animals that are vegetarians a mess of ground white turnips, ’cause it opens up the pores, and makes the animals feel good, like a politician who goes to French Lick springs, and has the whisky boiled out of him. After the animals have eaten the turnip mush, they become agreeable, and will rub against the keepers, and eat out of your hand.
I had been with pa a dozen times to find a place where we could get a few barrels of turnips ground up fine, and so yesterday, when the boss animal keeper was sick, and turned his job over to pa, pa told me to go out in town, at Lynchburg, Va., and get a couple of washtubs full of ground turnips, and have the stuff sent in to the menagerie tent in time for the afternoon performance. I got a boy to go with me. We hunted all the groceries and couldn’t find turnips enough to make a first payment, but we found a place where they grate horseradish and bottle it for the market, and I ordered two washtubs full of horseradish grated nicely, and sent to the tent, but I made the man bill it as ground turnips.