Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/213

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
181
TRAINING

kill the next man who enters its cage. To neglect to show the brute which has injured you that you are its master is therefore, according to the ethics of the profession, a deed of cowardice, and a sure way of bringing disaster upon any other person having the hardihood to trust himself in the power of an animal that has "downed" its trainer.

Of course some trainers are killed outright, and others are so disabled in severe encounters that they are absolutely unable to continue in the service. Then the duty of inflicting the chastisement falls upon a new man, and you may rest assured he never looks forward to the job with any particular pleasure. There is but one course, however, and that is to beat the creature until it howls for mercy. Occasionally an animal famed for its splendid performances is suddenly and without any apparent reason retired from the program. As a performing animal is worth many times as much as one that has not been trained, this would seem a strange and unbusinesslike course on the part of the management.

The outsider would immediately ask: "Why not continue the performance with this animal so long as it does not kill a man or conduct itself more savagely than many others of its