Sawdust and Spangles

Sawdust and Spangles  (1901) 
by William Cameron Coup
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Herbert S. Stone and Company

Eldridge Court, Chicago



Foreword ix
I. Boyhood with the Old-time Wagon Show 1
My First Exciting Experience 4
The Intelligence of Elephants 5
Fights with the Grangers 6
“Doc” Baird and the Bully 9
Teasing Old Romeo 10
The Story of a Stolen Negro 12
Horse Thieves in the Circus 15
II. The Perilous Business of Stocking a Menagerie 18
Beasts at Wholesale 20
The Professional Animal Hunter 21
Striking into the Interior 22
Hunters’ Life in the Jungle 23
Why Baby Elephants are Hard to Capture 26
Across the Desert with Captive Beasts 29
The Adventures of Specimen Hunters 31
III. Freaks and Fakes 35
The Burial and Resurrection of the “Cardiff Giant” 37
The Rival White Elephants 40
How the "Light of Asia" Embarrassed the Lecturer 41
The Wild Cave-Dweller of Kentucky 44
The Two-Headed Girl's Three-Headed Rival 46
Missing Links and Dancing Turkeys 49
The Salaries Paid to Freaks 50
The Love-Making and Merrymaking of the Freaks 51
The Exposure of the “Aztec Children” 54
An Adventure with a Circus Shark 56
IV. Moving the Big Show 59
The First Attempt to Move a Circus by Rail 61
The Spartan Habits of the Old Timers 63
Seven Heartbreaking Days on the Long Road 64
Performing by Day and Traveling by Night 67
On a Runaway Circus Train 69
Panic Among the Animals 71
A Single Track and a Broken Rail 73
The Bronchos’ Charmed Life 75
Old Romeo to the Rescue 77
An Unexpected Midnight Bath 79
V. The Prairie Fire 86
A Chance Meeting with a Great Man 96
VI. Booming the Big Show 104
Novel Advertising Features 105
The “Devil’s Whistle” 106
“Spotters” 108
Rivalry in Exploiting Opposition Shows 112
Costly Rivalry 113
Idle Bill-Posters 116
The Courtesy of Editors 118
Jumbo’s Free Advertising 120
VII. Parades and Band Wagons 124
The Fifty Cent Rivals of the Ten Thousand Dollar Hippos 124
A Skillful Appeal to Public Sympathy 126
A Silent Parade from Albany to the State Line 128
The Fluctuating Level of Circus Values 130
What it Costs to Ride with the Band Wagon 132
Requirements and Cost of the Circus Horse 134
A Page from the Invoice Book of the Big Show 136
VIII. Anecdotes of Men and Animals 139
Origin of the American Circus 139
The First Elephant Brought to America 141
The First Drove of Camels 144
The Fight of the Ostriches 145
The Belligerent Alligators 149
Parrots and Cockatoos 153
Educated Dogs 154
A Wounded Horse in the Grand March 156
Intelligent Bronchos 158
The King of the Herd 159
An Elephant’s Humor 160
Zulus in London 162
IX. Training Animals and Performers 169
The Perils of a Trainer’s Life 170
Where Steady Nerves are in Demand 172
Captured Animals Preferred to Cage-Born 173
The Education of a Young Jaguar 174
The Leopards at Kindergarten 177
How they Punish Unruly Pupils 179
Punishment of Treacherous Beasts 180
A Single-Handed Fight with Five Lions 182
Teaching the Horse the Two-Step 186
Ring Performers Trained with a Derrick 187
Circus People a Long-Lived Class 189
X. Mobs, Cyclones and Adventures 192
Forcible Argument with a City Marshal 193
Breaking Camp under a Hot Rifle Fire 195
Ambushed and Shot at on the Road 197
The Studies of the Apprentice to the Clown 201
Devotional Services Upset by a Demon 204
The Wild Beasts Loose in the Big Crowd 205
The Midnight Stampede of the Elephants 208
A Polar Bear Hunt on Fifth Avenue 209
An Equine Officer of Artillery 211
XI. Stories of Old-Time Shows and Showmen 214
Dan Rice’s One-Horse Show 215
Tan-Bark Oratory and Harlequin Pluck 217
An Imitation Patriot Shown Up 219
In which Cupid was Master of the Ring 223
Barnum’s One Unconquerable Superstition 227
Gullible Patrons in Early Days 229
Expedients of Advance Agents 231
Plantation Shows 234
Exhibiting “Yankees” in the South 235
Sleeping in Strange Attitudes 236
A Circus “Crier” 238
Showmen’s Names 239
The Escape of a Leopard 241
Hotel Keepers 243
Early Breakfasts 245
XII. How the Great New York Aquarium was Made and Lost 247
The Quest of the Tree-Tailed Kingio 249
Half-Hours with Bashful Whales 251
A Slippery Deal in Sea-Lions 254
An Eventful Monday Morning at the Aquarium 258
The Ultimate Fate of the Aquarium 260

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.