Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/239

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205
ADVENTURES

On this occasion, at the close of his act, he jumped from his horses, ran out of the dressing-room and boldly entered the church, exclaiming in the stentorian voice for which he was famed: "I am victorious! I am victorious!" The effect was magical. The revivalist had been eloquently exhorting on the subject of the Prince of Darkness, and the overwrought congregation took but one glance at the theatrical Satan, and then, leaping madly through the windows and doors of the little church, broke for the woods.

At Council Bluffs, Iowa, we had exhibited to a large afternoon audience. The day was extremely hot and sultry, and in the evening, just as the people were seating themselves on the benches, a cyclone struck us without the slightest warning. In a twinkling the poles, seats and canvas were being hurled through the air in all directions. At that time we used an inflammable liquid for illuminating the tent, and this ignited and added the horror of fire to the scene.

THE WILD BEASTS LOOSE IN THE BIG CROWD

In those days our menagerie was exhibited in the same tent used for our circus performance, the seats being arranged on one side and