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SAWDUST AND SPANGLES
instantly bounded upon the narrow bracket—precisely the result at which the trainer had been aiming.
Before the leopard was fully aware of what was transpiring, Frenchy reached forth his training-rod and rubbed it caressingly along the creature's back from head to tail. Of course the animal struck out spitefully with its paw, but the blows were received by the chair and did no harm, while the trainer had been able to bestow upon his ferocious pupil a caressing touch of approval.
Even at that early stage in the education of the animal I fancied I could see an understanding of this commendatory stroke. Certainly within a week this sign was clearly understood, and never did one of the animals leap upon the bracket without receiving this token of approval. Before Frenchy came out of the cage on the occasion of this first experience with these two creatures his chair was splintered beyond repair. Backing out as deftly as he had entered, he leaned up against one of the posts in the winter quarters and remarked:"Those cats will make good performers. They've got just enough fight in them. I don't mind working a leopard that's been captured, but I don't want anything to do with