Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/179

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149
ANECDOTES

brought me from Delaney to come at once to the ostrich pen. I did so, expecting to hear of another combat of feathered gladiators. Instead a sorry sight met my eyes. During the night some vandal had plucked the brilliant plumage from the birds and left them miserable and dejected specimens of despoiled pride. I would cheerfully have given $1,000 to have discovered the miscreant. As for the birds, the life seemed to have left them. They would gaze sadly at each other, peer at their own denuded bodies, and with an indescribably piteous expression, slink away into corners as if inexpressibly ashamed of their appearance.

Every possible inquiry was made in the hope of finding out the vandals who had plucked their feathers, but in vain. I dare say, if the truth were known, some of our own men secured the plumes. The birds did not regain their beauty for many moons, and all we got that season for our big outlay was the thrilling spectacle of the ostrich fight.


THE BELLIGERENT ALLIGATORS

During the whale season we utilized the whale tank, which was empty owing to the death of the whale, by placing in it a number of alligators from Florida. Our agent had just