Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/24

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4
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

popularity was General "Tom" Thumb, who was petted and feasted wherever he went. But Nellis, the man without arms who could paint pictures and shoot pennies from the fingers of the manager, claimed a large share of my silent admiration.

MY FIRST EXCITING EXPERIENCE

My first exciting experience came very early in my service. I had learned that the very best use to which I could put my time when not actually engaged in work was to throw myself on the nearest bunch of hay and sleep until awakened by the "boss." Having a boy's natural affinity for an elephant I chose, on this particular day, the hay near which the Ceylon drove was staked. In the midst of my dreams I was suddenly awakened by a strange sensation—a peculiar sense of motion that had something startling and uncanny about it. Then I realized that I was being lifted in the coils of an elephant's trunk. So intense was my horror at awakening to find myself in this position that I had strength neither to resist nor to cry out. My helplessness was my greatest protection. From sheer inability to do otherwise I remained entirely passive, and Old Romeo, the king of the drove, laid me