Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/152

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VII

PARADES AND BAND WAGONS

Shows thrive best on bluster and buncombe. Years of experience have taught me that the traveling show business handled by capitalists who have been trained in other lines of enterprise can never succeed. I have often been reproved by business men who were astounded at the lavish and apparently watseful expenditures of the circus for “show and blow,” and who have insisted that these expenses should be cut in half. It is true that such reckless expenditures in any ordinary commercial undertaking would be disastrous, but it is the life of a big show. When it is possible thoroughly to arouse the curiosity of the public, expense should be a secondary consideration.

THE FIFTY-CENT RIVALS OF THE $10,000 HIPPOS

I recall an incident, however, which goes to show that the most expensive attractions do not necessarily prove the greatest drawing cards. Among the rare animals which I had one season were some Memiponias, or tiny

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