Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/101

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77
MOVING THE BIG SHOW

hubs in the mire and the whole train would be stopped.

Then followed a scene too picturesque to escape the attention of even the poor fellows who were half dead from lack of sleep. By the light of flaring torches a dozen big draft horses would be hitched to the refractory wagon. Inspired by the shouts, curses and sometimes the blows of the teamsters, the animals would join in a concerted pull that made their muscles stand out like knotted ropes. But often a battalion of six teams would fail to start a wagon.

OLD ROMEO TO THE RESCUE

Then the shout would go down the line for Romeo. In a few minutes the wise old elephant would come splashing through the mud with an air that seemed to say, "I thought you'd have to call on me!" He knew his place and would instantly take his stand behind the mired wagon. After he had carefully adjusted his huge frontal against the rear end of the vehicle the driver would give the command, "Mile up!" Gently, but with a tremendous power, Romeo would push forward, the wagon would start, and lo! the pasty mud