Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/277

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239
SHOWS AND SHOWMEN

and gentlemen, Queen Victoria gave this superb outfit to him with the words: 'Here, Tom Thumb, is the little carriage, together with the horses, together with the harness—here, Thomas, take it. Take these to America; show it to your countrymen. Tell the people of America that it cost three thousand pounds in our money or $15,000 in their money. Take it, Thomas, take it.'"

SHOWMEN'S NAMES

Showmen were often given names for the city or county in which they were hired. Thus "Cincinnati Bill" or "Chicago Jim" would not only serve as well as any other name, but they possessed this advantage, that they indicated in a breath where Bill or Jim had been picked up by the circus. When the show was touring Texas we chanced to hire a man in Bastrop county. Of course we called him Bastrop. He proved to be an "all around" handy man, and, while he had no professional training for any particular feat or "turn," he proved a capable man in whatever position he was placed. One of his early duties was that of driving; but there came a time when he was given a chance to distinguish himself. After we had "opened our doors" for business in a