Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/76

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52
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

tious characters for which their freaks are played that I sometimes think they almost get to believe these stories themselves.

Among the freaks the women were almost universally jealous of their professional reputations. Hannah Battersbey, who weighed more than four hundred pounds, recognized Kate Heathley as her particular rival, and either of these women could be instantly thrown into a jealous passion at the mention of the other's claim to superiority in the matter of weight. The strange alliances which sometimes took place in the freak world are well illustrated by the marriage of the weighty Hannah to a living skeleton who touched the scales at sixty-five pounds.

Before leaving the subject of freaks I must mention the strangest sight that it was ever my fortune to look upon in the course of a life spent in association with human novelties. Early in my career I was fortunate enough to secure the show rights for a fair in Montgomery, Ala., which was held just at the end of the northern show season. This circumstance resulted in bringing to the fair a most unusual number of small shows, the main attractions of which were freaks of every kind and color.