Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/233

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199
ADVENTURES

the enemy in order to retard our progress, and we had to stop and remove these obstacles before we could pass. The time lost by the first attack, by the bridge engagement and subsequent delay threw us behind a whole day.

Although the people were all anxious to see our show they had not a friendly word for us. Frequently large crowds would force their way into the tents, pointing a cocked revolver at the doorkeeper's head. Finally, however, we managed to reach the Arkansas line with comparatively small loss of life. I am surprised that we were ever able to do so, because of the extreme bitterness which then prevailed toward all Northerners.

At length we came to a town called Bucksnort, the scene of the hanging described in one of Mr. Opie Read's short stories. Nearly every man at the tavern was ready for any kind of excitement. They started the quarrel by accusing our men of stealing their hats. A fight quickly ensued; and we were forced again to defend ourselves by resort to arms. At that time we were playing Mazeppa in which we used a number of dull swords. These were instantly placed in the hands of performers and canvasmen who knew how to wield them, and