Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/275

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237
SHOWS AND SHOWMEN

up with outlandish stories the attachés of the show decided to have a little fun at their expense. To bring this about they bribed the hotel keeper to let them have for a sleeping room one of the front rooms which faced the streets. When it became rumored about the town that the circus men would occupy this room a crowd composed of the curious assembled on the sidewalk outside. When night came each and every showman stood on his head. They ranged themselves in rows and the countrymen who caught glimpses of them were told that this was the way all showmen slept.

The advertising agents for a large circus of the present day would, no doubt, get a good deal of amusement from the tales of the experiences of the advertising men who traveled in advance of the old-time wagon show. One time when I was traveling with a show owned by a man named Yankee Robinson we discovered that we were almost entirely out of showbills. We were for a time in a serious quandary—but we were not to be downed in this manner. We finally hired a "democrat" wagon and with a single bill in our possession started out to bill the country from which we hoped to draw our patrons. At the gate of every