Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/294

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256
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

profits to be acquired by meeting this demand, I greatly desired to replenish our stock of sea-lions, and made an arrangement to that end with a man in California. We supplied him with all the money he required, which mounted high in the thousands of dollars by the time he had captured about three carloads of the interesting creatures. The man then came on to New York and delivered ten of the animals to us, stating that the others were en route. We at once wrote to the zoölogical gardens at Cincinnati and Philadelphia, offering to supply them with these rare animals. Imagine my surprise and indignation when I received answers to these communications, stating that the gardens had already procured sea-lions—from our agent! Of course we instantly made an investigation, and discovered that this crafty hunter had also supplied various European institutions with sea-lions, for the capture of which we had furnished the money. The fellow disappeared before we were thoroughly alive to the extent of the swindle which he had carried forward to such a brilliant success, and I have never seen him since. As he was "a canny Scot," he probably retired to his native heath and purchased himself a castle in the Highlands. Certainly he could easily have