Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/74

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50
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

THE SALARIES PAID TO FREAKS

The spread of the dime museum craze created a great demand for freaks and a consequent rise in their salaries. I know I am violating no confidence when I say that at various times the following freaks have drawn weekly the sums set opposite their names:

"La Tocci Twins," $1,000.00
"Millie Christine," 600.00
"Wild Man of Borneo," 300.00
"Chang, the Chinese Giant," 400.00
"Chemah, the Chinese Dwarf," 300.00
Ordinary giants and midgets, $30.00 to 100.00
Bearded ladies, 30.00 to 75.00
Living skeletons, 30.00 to 75.00
Armless men, 30.00 to 100.00
Ossified men, 30.00 to 200.00

And as an offset to the above figures, I have heard of a tatooed man who would talk outside, exhibit himself inside, do a turn of magic, lift barrels of water with his teeth, and, as boss canvasman, superintend the putting up and pulling down of the show, all for six dollars a week. He must have been first cousin to the man who traveled with the circus simply to be able to sit on the fence and hear the band play.