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"squarer." He is generally a member of various secret societies and orders, and his particular duty is to bribe the petty officers of the towns visited, to secure immunity from arrest. Lottery schemes, gambling games of every sort, pocket-picking and robbing are among the methods by which these fakirs reap their harvest.


My life has been frequently threatened and twice attempted because of my persistent determination to drive this thieving fraternity from my shows. One day in a small western town a man introduced himself to me as the brother of a very respectable Chicagoan and explained that he was on his way to Texas to join in certain speculations. I at once suspected him of being a fakir and gave orders to the manager of the side-show to get rid of him and all his kind. A little later the landlord came to me and said: "Mr. Coup, there is a fellow out here who says he will shoot you on sight; he is one of the men traveling with you." On investigation I found that he was not the man who had introduced himself to me, but was one of the gang attempting to work the show: he bore a desperate reputation,