Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/228
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES
knocked the pistol down and it went off between my feet. This was taken as the signal for a rush toward me, the crowd evidently thinking I had shot at the marshal. The noise attracted the concourse that had just left the circus and they drew up in line with revolvers cocked. A slaughter of showmen was clearly imminent.
I leaped upon a box and tried to pacify the infuriated Texans, while receiving, at the same time, their abuse. I was entirely ignorant of the cause of the disturbance and demanded to be informed of the reason of the uprising. Getting no reply, I appealed to them as law-abiding citizens, and for the first time in my life this appeal was useless.By this time our entire force had collected, and as the show was the "First Hippodrome" and altogether the largest circus ever in the south, we had at least five hundred attachés, three hundred of whom were powerful fellows and well armed. This was the first time that I had ever thought of permitting my people to fight. Our gang was headed by my boss canvasman, "Put." I momentarily expected the attack, but just as I got down from the box a detective who was hired to travel with the show rushed upon the scene and yelled: "In the