Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/99

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75
MOVING THE BIG SHOW

It may not be generally known that all wellregulated roads employ a certain number of men as track walkers, whose constant duty it is to patrol every inch of the road and report the slightest irregularity of rails, road-bed, etc. On this particular night the track-walker's lantern had gone out, and the only expedient he could think of was to throw a stone through the cab window. I have often shuddered to think of what the consequences might have been had not his aim been a true one.

THE BRONCHOS' CHARMED LIFE

On another occasion, while going into Clinton, Iowa, with the biggest show I ever owned, we were running about twenty miles an hour, when the locomotive jumped the track and struck a tree. The shock threw all the cars of that section on their ends. The Mississippi River was on one side of us and a springy hill on the other. Here in this narrow place stood the cars, laden with animals of all kinds. It was truly an awful situation. We began to break up the cars in order to extricate the poor dumb brutes. We were compelled to hitch ropes about the horses' necks and pull them out, only to find perhaps that their legs were broken or that they were other-