Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/257

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219
SHOWS AND SHOWMEN

At that time he was not an educated man, although years after, when visiting him at his magnificent house at Girard, Pa., I found that he had a well-stocked private library, and he had certainly become an exceedingly well-read man.


AN IMITATION PATRIOT SHOWN UP

My last experience with Dan Rice when he was in the circus business was at Elkhart, Ind. It was a very stormy day during the war. The weather was too windy to permit the hoisting of the usual flags, and one pompous young fellow, inflated with conceit, appointed himself a committee and visited Dan, demanding that the flags be hoisted. He charged that Dan had made secession speeches in the South. With an ugly mob at his heels the fellow declared that if the flags were not hoisted he would burn the whole outfit. Dan truthfully told the crowd that he had already erected, at Girard, Pa., a monument to the Union soldiers; that he owned more flags than the whole city of Elkhart, and that he would show them if they desired; but he absolutely refused to hoist a stitch of bunting upon such a demand. Threats and arguments were alike powerless to move him from his stand. I thought him