Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/279

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241
SHOWS AND SHOWMEN

shining for you. If I had the merits and qualifications of Master Eastwood [Eastwood could write and Bastrop couldn't] I would now fill the President's chair. Then I have the "Little Man" with the chariot and horses presented by Queen Victoria. Then I have the tall man. The great curiosity is why one should grow so small and the other remain so large. Why, ever since Adam, people have beer; of the human family, and if it were not for the human family where would the show be?" This sort of talk given out with a showman's gusto would be sure to draw a crowd.


THE ESCAPE OF A LEOPARD

In the days when one large tent answered for both the circus and menagerie we once met with an experience that seemed to reverse all the laws relative to the handling of animals. We were stopping at a small place in Indiana. The crowd which we had managed to get under the canvas was a large one, and they were taking in the show with all the eyes they had. Suddenly one of our leopards, made uneasy by something or other, managed to make his escape from the cage. With a snarling cry the creature ran into the ring where the ponies were doing their "turn." The presence of