Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/273

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235
SHOWS AND SHOWMEN

cuses secured most of their performers by stealing children. One time when we were showing down in Texas an incident occurred which will illustrate under what strong suspicion we were held in certain localities. It so happened that at the time we were showing in a certain Texas town, a little colored chap named "Josh" became lost. Of course there was a great hubbub over this incident, and we were immediately blamed for having a hand in the matter. A thorough search of all our belongings, however, failed to reveal to the angry inhabitants the whereabouts of the missing boy. At intervals during the excitement the boy's mother, a great negro "Mammy," went about among her people moaning and wailing:

"Ain't dat horrible, ain't dat sorrowful, the old showman done stole little Josh away from his paw an' his maw." This incensed the crowd and for the time being we were in imminent danger of being torn limb from limb by the enraged crowd. Finally, however, the missing boy turned up, and, to make amends, the old negress went about exclaiming: "Little Josh done got home; little Josh done got home!"

EXHIBITING "YANKEES" IN THE SOUTH

Just after the war many of the Southern people regarded a "Yankee" as an unending