Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/254

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218
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

and returned the compliment in kind. He capped the climax by singing a song in which he described his enemy as playing cards with a negro on a log, and so boldly was this done that the people believed it and the fellow became so exasperated that he threatened to shoot Dan. The clown, however, defied him, and continued ridiculing him until the man was actually obliged to leave the city in a hurry.

Dan also had trouble at Yazoo City, Mississippi. He had, it appears, on a former visit, flogged a prominent man there, and the latter had sworn to shoot him on sight. One night when Dan was clowning in the ring the prominent citizen entered and drew his revolver to kill. A plucky bystander, however, knocked the iron from his hand and prevented bloodshed. The scene that followed I shall never forget. Dan stood undaunted in the ring, called the man a coward and dared him to shoot. His audience went into ecstacies over such an exhibition of bravery and applauded to the echo. Whereupon Dan, stimulated to further efforts, poured forth a torrent of the most stinging denunciation of cowards that ever fell from mortal lips. I have often wondered where Dan picked up such a command of language.