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Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/13

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The notes from which the following narrative was drawn were dictated by Mr. W. C. Coup at odd moments in the big show tent, the special car or the hotel where he chanced to find himself with a half-hour at his disposal. The manner and the motive of their writing unite to contribute to their charm and effectiveness. His unbounded enthusiasm for his peculiar calling and his desire so to state the facts of his experience as to give the general public a fairer and fuller understanding of its real conditions inspired him to the labor of crowding into his busy life the pleasant task of putting upon paper the main points of his interesting career.

Nothing could have been more fortunate than the fact that he was compelled to do this in a manner wholly informal,—intending later to put his haphazard notes into good literary form. His recollections fell from his lips as they came into his mind, in the forceful and picturesque phraseology of the typical showman. To preserve this original quality has