At one time in Kansas,
when they were extending the railroad out west, we
showed in the tent city, and Fulton happened to meet
a friend there, running a billiard hall. He surely
dressed funny. He was wearing a suit of clothes made
out of green billiard cloth. That was the only suit
I have ever seen made of this material.
The circus boys were always a study to me. As soon
as they are in a position that will justify it, they
are taken with the diamond fever, and they are never
satisfied until they get a diamond or two. In the
spring of the year previous to starting out, they
would sometimes arrive weeks ahead, the ones that
were broke always arriving early. They were sure of
a meal ticket, and it was probable their welcome had
worn out where they had spent the winter. On their
arrival it was never necessary to ask them how they
were fixed. If any diamonds were on their persons -
necktie, shirtbosom or fingers - they were all
right, and had passed through the winter in good
shape, but if no diamonds adorned them it was a dead
sure thing they were flat broke; because if they had
ten dollars they would have a diamond.
We had many strange experiences when we traveled by
wagon. On long routes we would have to start early.
We often had breakdowns, or some other accident. On
Sunday we would have a long journey, sometimes as
much as fifty miles. No provision was made for
meals, and we had to eat the best we could on the
I remember one time when we were in Missouri, it was
too late for regular meals. We stopped at a little
old hotel and asked the proprietor if we could get
some dinner. There were about ten or twelve of us,
but he said, "No, I cannot take care of you." We
pleaded as well as we could; we told him we were
nice people and would be no trouble to take care of,
that he would find us all right, etc. He listened to
our talk, and in answer to our saying that we were
all right, he replied that he had often heard of
entertaining angels unawares, but he had never heard
of any angels being with a circus. So we drove on,
hoping to do better at the next place.
In traveling through the country we had many funny
experiences. Often when we wished things for the
table, such as eggs, butter, milk, etc., we would go
to a house and plead for these things for the people
to eat, and nine times out of ten it would be
impossible to get them. But I never knew it to fail
if we went to a house and asked for something for a
sick monkey, he would surely get it, if they had it.
That was one thing I never could understand.
I remember one day at Indianapolis, I was sitting
behind the candy stand in the menagerie, when a lady
came up with a child and asked if we had any
drinking water. She was told that we had not. She
remarked that the little boy could not drink
lemonade. She was assured that he could drink what
we had as there was not a particle of lemon in it.
The circus boys did not waste lemons by making
lemonade out of them.