“You don’t mean to rob them, do you?” said the boss canvasman, and pa said: “No, no; far from it. We will borrow it of them. It is no harm to borrow from an Indian.”
Just then the treasurer came in with an empty tin box he had carried the money out in, and he said there would be no use of having an evening performance, ’cause the Indians had taken their ponies and squaws and money and gone towards the setting sun, and pa said: “Where is that old showman?” and the treasurer said: “He has gone with them. He is their legal adviser, and went down to Memphis to rope us into the game.”
The Circus Has Bad Luck in Indian Territory—A Herd of Animals Turned Out to Graze Is Stampeded by Indians—They Go Dashing Over the Plains, and the Circus Tent Follows, Picked Up by a Cyclone. No more horse racing for this circus.
The managers held a meeting at Guthrie, Okla., after we had lost our money horse racing with the Indians, and pa said the consensus of opinion was that we better stick to the legitimate show business, and not try to work in any side lines. Pa says he made a speech at the managers’ meeting, in which he showed that the business man who attended strictly to the business which he knew all about, would make money, while the man who knew about dry goods, but worked in a millinery store or a stock of tinware, got it in the neck. He would either get stuck on the head milliner, or buy a stock of tinware that would not hold water.
So a resolution was passed to the effect that hereafter no temptation could be great enough to get our show to go into anything outside of the business, no matter how good it looked as a get-rich-quick affair. So we gathered up our show and played a whole week in Oklahoma, and had full houses all the time, and made money enough to redeem our animals that had been attached by creditors. We have paid up our debts, and we got out of Oklahoma with flying colors.
If we had gone right on to Kansas we would have shown sense, but some cowboys from the Indian Territory told pa and the other managers that if we would take the show to the Indian Territory we couldn’t get cars enough to haul the money away, as the Indians had got round-shouldered and bow-legged carrying the money they had made grazing cattle, and the territory was full of cowboys that had money to burn, and they hadn’t seen a circus since the war.
Well, it seemed a shame to go by the Indian Territory, and allow those poor Indians to break their backs carrying money around, and so we sent a carload of bill pasters into the territory and billed towns that would hold us about a week, and we figured that we would clean up enough money to last us all a life-time. I wish I didn’t have to write about the result, ’cause we are broke up so we can’t look pleasant to have our pictures taken.