Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/253

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217
SHOWS AND SHOWMEN

summer came both shows took to their tents and traveled toward New York State. There Dan's enemies succeeded on some charge or other in getting him in jail. While in his cell he composed the song "Blue Eagle Jail," in which he described the jailer, whom he disliked, as "Dot-and-Go-One," from the fact of his having a wooden leg. This song made the one-legged jailer notorious all over the country.

One thing I must say for Dan Rice: He was the only original clown I ever heard—with the single exception of Dilly Fay. The latter was an erratic individual who actually became a clown that he might save money to complete his studies in Paris. Fay was educated and original, but lacked the physical power and deep voice of Rice. I never heard of Fay after he started for Paris, but presume he never reëntered the ring.

TAN-BARK ORATORY AND HARLEQUIN PLUCK

Once when I was with Dan Rice on the river circus we showed at Memphis. At this place a certain fellow was loud in his denunciation of Dan and the show. He was a source of great annoyance to the showman and had also made himself very unpopular by declaiming against slavery. In retaliation Dan entered the ring