Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/41

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21
STOCKING A MENAGERIE

globe, that beyond the managers of gardens and shows, only a very limited number of persons have any conception of the extent of their operations.

THE PROFESSIONAL ANIMAL HUNTER

The head of the Reiche firm, and its directing spirit, was Mr. Charles Reiche, who was well educated and had traveled widely. His New York establishment was each day passed unnoticed by thousands of pedestrians, yet from it wild animals were supplied to almost every traveling show in the United States. The great supply depot for this country was in Hoboken. Henry Reiche, his brother, lived in Germany, where they had a large supply farm for all the world, with accommodations and appliances for keeping almost every bird, beast and reptile produced by any country or clime of the world. They were ready at any time to fill an order for anything, from a single canary to a flock of ostriches, or from a field-mouse to an elephant.

Africa, the home of the most fiercely voracious animals, was their most extensive field for operations. In it they had many stations, with sheiks or chiefs in their employ, and standing rewards offered to natives for choice specimens