Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/69

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45
FREAKS AND FAKES

Coup?" The voice was strangely familiar. I scrutinized the fellow's features and recognized in him a Russian who had been exhibited in our sideshow as a "hairy man." He had allowed his skin to be dyed yellow and his whiskers and hair black, and, for a consideration of about four times his usual salary, was now posing as a wild man. He afterward went West and continued this mode of exhibition for several months, until he was played out in that capacity, whereupon a few warm baths enabled him to resume his former employment as "Ivanovitch, the hairy man."

Another celebrated fake which met with success in the East was' the "dog-faced man." The Englishman before spoken of engaged a variety performer who was an adept at imitating the barking of dogs. The manager had in his possession an old photograph of "Jo-jo, the dog-faced boy," and was resolved to place a good imitation of this freak before the American public. He accordingly had made a very expensive wig which covered completely the head, face and shoulders. Dressing the man in the garb of a Russian peasant, he advertised him as "Nicolai Jacobi, the Russian dog-faced man." So good was the .disguise that they exhibited an entire week at a Jersey City mu-