Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/180

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returned from an expedition, with forty of these creatures ranging in length from one to twelve feet. Although the tank was an immense one, these forty saurians did not have as much room as they would have liked. This overcrowding was doubtless the cause of a most terrible fight between them, which occurred very soon after they were installed in their new quarters. It is impossible for me to describe this conflict. Nearly all the larger "gators" took part in it, springing at each other and locking their jaws with a resounding, crashing noise that could be heard all over the building.

While thus locked together they would toss each other about and swish their tails with such vigor as to completely destroy the tank, breaking the thick glass. Our attendants were almost paralyzed with fear and confusion at the strange battle, and vainly endeavored to separate the combatants. There seemed, however, to be no way of doing this, as they would snap at each other so violently as to break each other's jaws, and this horrible snap really sounded like the report of a gun. To prevent their escape into the exhibition room a temporary barrier was soon erected and, when they became exhausted in attempting to kill