Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/61

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
39
FREAKS AND FAKES

bills, etc. All things got from Wood I will settle for with him and give the concern credit. We can make a stunning museum department. If you want to call it my museum and use my name it may be used by allowing me the same very small percentage that Wood allows for calling himself my successor (3 per cent on receipts). You can have a Cardiff Giant that won't crack, also a moving figure, Sleeping Beauty or Dying Zouave a big Gymnastic figure like that in Wood's museum, and lots of other good things, only you need time to look them up and prepare wagons, etc., etc.

"Yours truly, 
"P. T. Barnum."

"I will spare time to cook up the show in New York when you come. I think Siamese Twins would pay."


The year 1884 is a memorable one in the annals of circus history, and circus men remember it as the "White Elephant Year." For many years persistent attempts had been made by enterprising showmen to secure for exhibition purposes a sacred white elephant. Schemes by the score had been discussed in the confidential councils of the showmen in winter quarters, with a view to faking a black elephant into a white one, but without satisfactory results. In the winter of 1883, however, it was given out by Mr. Barnum's manager that he