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BOOMING THE BIG SHOW

tisements of the Coup Show to exhibit at ——— on the ——— day of ——— pay Mr. ——— $ ——— amount due him.

"(Signed) ——— ———, Agent."

These orders were extensively used by the opposition for some time before we discovered it. Its object, of course, was to make the newspaper proprietors and the public think they were advertising the Coup show, while of course their own dates would be inserted instead of ours.

At a certain place in Ohio a bridge was burned in advance of us and entailed the loss of our next "stand," or date. We could not safely accuse any of our competitors of this contemptible and incendiary trick; but we knew they were driven to desperation and were capable of resorting to any such outrage.

There were agents so utterly unscrupulous as to receive pay from opposition shows for disclosing to them information that should have been jealously guarded, even betraying the advance route. I knew one agent who was an expert telegraph operator and able to take messages by sound. He would scrape acquaintance with the regular operator and pass his spare time in the telegraph office secretly taking our messages as the latter were being