Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/175

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145
ANECDOTES

Post"; but, this proving unsuccessful, the animals were turned loose to shift for themselves until showmen created a demand for them and bought most of them for very little money, in some cases paying only $80 apiece for them. It is said that even now there are a few camels running wild in Western Texas and Mexico.


THE FIGHT OF THE OSTRICHES

For the opening of the Hippodrome we had imported a drove of nearly forty ostriches and had quartered them at the American Institute. The birds attracted a great deal of attention, not only on account of their rarity, but also on account of their magnificent plumage, some of them being marvels of natural splendor. They would walk around their enclosure with the most majestic gait imaginable. Among the professional spectators one morning was Mr. J. J. Nathans, a retired circus proprietor. Mr. Nathans wore in his scarf a very valuable diamond stud, and the stone evidently attracted a great deal of the attention of the birds. They would turn their heads around and the gleam in their small eyes would rival that of the stone. Suddenly one of the ostriches made a vicious peck at Mr. Nathans. That gentleman immediately drew back, but too late to