Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/236

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202
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

now point to an ex-member of Congress who was thus tossed until sore and exhausted.

Among the various performances on our circus program one feat was that of placing a large stone on a man's breast, as he lay on his back, and then striking the stone with a sledgehammer so as to break the rock. The audience was invited to furnish a man to break this stone, and although one would naturally suppose that such an act would hurt the performer on whose breast the stone rested, he would, in fact, receive no shock whatever. But one day, while exhibiting at a small town, a drunken countryman, in attempting to break the stone with a sledge-hammer, missed his mark entirely, and the poor fellow received a blow that nearly killed him. He was obliged to lie in bed and have medical aid.

The following day we were compelled to move on to the next town, as advertised, which was a keen rival of the village we were just leaving. Our principal actor being unable to perform, we came near being mobbed, for this rival town did not relish the idea that its competitor had witnessed features which it could not see. All our remonstrances were in vain; and we were finally compelled to allow the injured man to quit his bed and actually