Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/113

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87
THE PRAIRIE FIRE

bed at nearly the same hour every night of the year, to the painful excesses of a circus man's hours told on me very severely and I was long in becoming acclimated.

At the painful period of which I speak my main object in life was to sleep. For this I lived, and my idea of Paradise then was a consciousness that I was in the act of falling asleep in bed with clean sheets, and that I would not be awakened until the end of eternity unless I should chance to get my sleep out before then—and this possibility seemed deliciously remote.

While I suffered more keenly than the others from the tortures of longing for sleep, all the men who had anything whatever to do with the moving of the show were under the spell of this dragon. They, however, rallied more quickly than I, when dry roads and good weather fell to our lot for any length of time.

Well, weeks "of terrible traveling, of getting lost, of fighting our way through the mire and floods, was followed by a fortnight of fair weather. My associates had "caught up" in the matter of sleep, but I was still in a half torpid state and thought only of the blessed privilege of closing my eyes for an hour or two at a stretch.