Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/75

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51
FREAKS AND FAKES

It will doubtless seem incredible to the person unused to the society of freaks that these unfortunates should take a seeming pride in their distinguishing misfortunes and be jealous of their reputations; this, however, is one of the strongest traits of the typical freak. In our show at one time we carried two giants, a Captain Benhein, a Frenchman, and Colonel Goshin, an Arabian. These two fellows were almost insanely jealous of each other, and it was ludicrous to hear the threats which they exchanged; many times it seemed that a personal encounter was imminent, but the Arabian's courage seemed in inverse proportion to his size.

THE LOVE-MAKING AND MERRY-MAKING OF THE FREAKS

Referring to Goshin as an Arabian brings to light a curious fact with regard to freaks of great size. He was not an Arabian, but a negro picked up by "Yank Robinson" in Kentucky. So confirmed is the habit of speaking of him as an Arabian that it has become second nature with me, and I think that this tendency is almost universal with showmen; they become so accustomed to enlarging on the ficti-