Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/106

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80
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

hearing the word "lost" under these conditions.

After one of these disheartening experiences, when we were obliged to "right about face" and drive the poor, jaded horses back over the same road along which they had made their useless but painful pilgrimage, I clambered up to the top of the tent wagon, stretched out on the jolting, shaking heap of canvas, and was soon oblivious to fatigue and discouragement. My next conscious impression was that of a sudden crashing of timbers, the squealing of frightened horses and "the sensation of falling. Then I felt myself plunging into the icy waters of a little stream into which the heavy show wagon and all its contents had been precipitated by the breaking of a bridge. It seems almost miraculous that I should have escaped falling under the mass of tents on which I had been sleeping, but in some way I was thrown to one side and contrived to reach the shore in safety.

It is usual, in arranging the season's route, for a circus to make all the "big jumps" on Sundays; and it not infrequently happens that from three hundred to five hundred miles are covered between Saturday and Monday. This arrangement is very convenient in many ways.