Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/242

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208
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

THE MIDNIGHT STAMPEDE OF THE ELEPHANTS

When we exhibited in Kansas the country was in such a state of terror, resulting from the "border warfare," that all the towns and villages had organized military companies. At each camping place we were obliged to join these home guards, for protection. One day, while we were exhibiting at Lawrence, a detachment of militia encamped about a mile from us, the posts and guards surrounding the entire city. I had with me a friend from my old home at Delavan, Wisconsin. He was a merchant and had never seen any of the hardships of the camp or of circus life, and all this rough experience was new to him.

As we were obliged to travel through the country for weeks without daring to take off our clothes, I had a wagon snugly covered and this served as a sort of sleeping berth. In this wagon my friend and I spent our nights. At our feet slept a faithful watch dog. On this particular night we were sound asleep, when the dog made a sudden lunge, jumping upon us and instantly awakening us. The moon was hid behind a cloud, and it was, for the moment, very dark. As I jumped to my feet, I indistinctly saw what appeared to me to be a body