Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/139

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113
BOOMING THE BIG SHOW

Of the many other sharp tricks played on me by opposition shows, one of the best, or worst, was that of equipping men with sample cases, and sending them in advance of my show in the rôle of commercial salesmen. These men would step into prominent stores and, after a short business talk, incidentally mention my name and then impart the information that my show had disbanded and gone to pieces. This, of course, would set the whole town talking, and the news would soon spread over the entire country, thus doing me irreparable harm.


COSTLY RIVALRY

The general public has very little idea of the extent to which opposition tactics are carried by the representatives of circuses and menageries. The rivalry between two shows often costs thousands of dollars and is sometimes kept up by the agents long after the proprietors have become reconciled. Once we became involved in one of these contests, and the opposition, in order to harass us, actually had four of our men arrested in different States on a charge of libel. The Indiana libel laws were very severe, and in each instance we were com-