Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/114

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88
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

But, one morning as we started north from the small Missouri town in which we had given a very successful performance, the scene was so novel and impressive that I held out for a few minutes against the demon that was pulling my eyelids together, and really aroused to the picturesque features of the scene.

We were winding our way to the northward, our caravan being fully a mile in length and stretched out like a long serpent. The elaborate and gilded chariots, the piebald Arabian horses, the drove of shambling camels and the huge swaying elephants gave a touch of genuine oriental picturesqueness to the scene strangely out of keeping with the wild western landscape and surroundings.

On every hand the prairies were carpeted with wild flowers in the greatest variety and profusion. Their fragrance even reached me as I stretched out at full length on the top of a lumbering chariot. The almost endless vista of prairie, the serpent caravan, the gay colors and the fragrance of the flowers all combined to refresh and impress me, and to give me more cheer and courage than hours of sleep. The pleasant picture haunted me after I closed my eyes and mixed in my dreams after I dozed off into a half conscious slumber.