Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/100

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76
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

wise hopelessly injured. No fewer than thirty-five of my best horses were thus lost. The reader must remember that, as the cars had been thrown on their ends, in each horse car twenty horses were thrown into a struggling heap. Strange to say, the bronchos seemed to have charmed lives, for not one of them was hurt, and I was enabled to give a performance that day in spite of the accident.

The elephants were piled up in much the same way as the horses, and in order to extricate them it was necessary to strip the cars completely—a labor in which those huge animals assisted us. The camels were unhurt. The loss, in crippled animals and destruction of cars, amounted to several thousand dollars.

I cannot leave the subject of moving the big show without going back to some of my earliest pioneer experiences.

No other human being can realize like the showman the volume of dread hardship and disaster held by those two small words, "bad roads." At the time of my breaking-in we were passing through a section of the country in the southwest, over such wretchedly constructed highways that the slightest fall of rain was sufficient to convert them into rivers of mud. The heavy wagons would sink to their