Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/172

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142
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

It was exhibited in barns in the eastern country and was considered a great curiosity and sufficient in itself to constitute a whole show and satisfy the people. It traveled altogether at night—principally that the country people should not get a free glimpse of the wonderful animal, and also because, in Connecticut, there was a law prohibiting the driving of elephants through that State during the daytime without a license, the neglect to obtain which entailed a fine of $100, half of that going to the informer and half to the State. The law was passed in 1828, and, so far as I know, has never been repealed. This piece of information will doubtless astonish a good many showmen.

At some place in Rhode Island this elephant was fatally shot by some malicious person, and no one at the present day seems able to explain the wanton outrage. It may be that it was done out of curiosity, to see whether a bullet would penetrate the skin, but I think it is more likely to have been the spite of some countryman who was disappointed at not being able to obtain a free glimpse of the animal. I am encouraged in this opinion because it is a matter of record that the farmers would gather on the road over which the elephant was to pass at night and build huge stacks of faggots, straw