THE CIRCUS BOYS IN DIXIE LAND
THE CIRCUS BOYS IN DIXIE LAND
EDGAR B. P. DARLINGTON
UNDER CANVAS AGAIN
"I reckon the fellows will turn out to see us tomorrow
"I hope so Phil. We'll show them that we are real circus
performers won't we?"
Phil Forrest nodded happily.
"They know that already I think. But we shall both feel proud
to perform in our home town again. They haven't seen us in the
ring since the day we first joined the show two years ago and
then it was only a little performance."
"Remember the day I did a stunt in front of the circus billboard
"And fell in the ditch head first? I remember it" and
Phil Forrest laughed heartily.
"You and I weren't circus men then were we?"
"But we are now."
"I guess we are" nodded Phil with emphasis. "Still we have
something to learn yet. We are a couple of lucky boys you and
I Teddy Tucker. Had it not been for Mr. Sparling we might still
have been doing chores for our board in Edmeston."
"Instead we are getting our envelopes with sixty dollars
apiece in them from the little red ticket wagon every Tuesday
"I never thought I'd be able to earn so much money as that in a
whole year" reflected Teddy.
"Do you think we'll get any more 'raises' this season?"
"I haven't the least idea that we shall. You know our contracts
are signed for the season at sixty dollars a week. That surely
should be enough to satisfy us. We shall be able to save a whole
lot of money this year; and if we have good luck in five years
more we'll be able to have a little show of our own."
Teddy agreed to this with a reflective nod.
"What kind of show?"
"Well that remains to be seen" laughed Phil. "We shall be
lucky to have most any kind."
"Do you know what sort I'd like to have?"
"No. What kind?"
"Wild West show a regular Buffalo Bill outfit with wild
Indians cowboys bucking ponies and whoop! whoop! Hi-yi-yi!
Teddy's eyes were glowing with excitement while a dull red glow
showed beneath the tan on his face.
"I wouldn't get so excited about it" answered Phil
"How'd you like that kind?"
"Not at all. It's too rough. Give me the circus every time
with its life its color it's--oh pshaw! What's the use
talking about it? Is there anything in the world more attractive
than those tents over there with the flags of every nation
flying from center and quarter poles? Is there Teddy?"
"Well no; I guess that's right."
For a moment the lads were silent. They were sitting beneath a
spreading maple tree off on the circus lot a few rods from
where the tents were being erected. A gentle breeze was stirring
the flags billowing the white canvas of the tents in slow
"And to think that we belong to that! Do you know sometimes I
think it is all a dream and I'm afraid I shall suddenly wake up
to find myself back in Edmeston with Uncle Abner Adams driving me
out of the house with a stick."
Phil's face grew solemn as those unhappy days under his uncle's
roof came back to him in a flood of disquieting memories.
"Don't wake up then" replied Teddy.
"I think perhaps we had better both wake up if we expect to get
any breakfast. The red flag is flying on the cook tent which
means that breakfast is ready--in fact breakfast must be pretty
well over by this time. First thing we know the blue flag will
suddenly appear in its place and you and I will have to hustle
downtown for something to eat. It will be parade time pretty
"Breakfast? Say Phil I'd forgotten all about breakfast."
"There must be something wrong with you then if you forget when
it's meal time. As for myself I have an appetite that would put
the Bengal tiger to shame. Come along."
"I'm with you. I'll show you whether my appetite has a reef in
it or not. I can eat more than the living skeleton can and for
a thin man he's got anything stopped for appetite that I ever
saw" answered Teddy Tucker scrambling to his feet and starting
for the cook tent.
Yes; Teddy Tucker and Phil Forrest are the same boys who two
seasons before began their circus career by joining a road show
each in a humble capacity. It will be remembered how in "THE
CIRCUS BOYS ON THE FLYING RINGS" Teddy and Phil quickly rose to
be performers in the ring; how Phil by his coolness and bravery
saved the life of one of the performers at the imminent risk of
losing his own; how he saved the circus from a great pecuniary
loss as well as distinguishing himself in various other ways.
In "THE CIRCUS BOYS ACROSS THE CONTINENT" the lads won new
laurels in their chosen career when Phil became a bareback
rider scoring a great hit at his first performance. It will be
recalled too how the circus lad proved himself a real hero at
the wreck of the dining car saving the lives of several persons
finally being himself rescued by his companion Teddy Tucker.
The Great Sparling Combined Shows had been on the road a week
and by this time the various departments had gotten down to
fairly good working order for no matter how perfect such an
organization may be it requires several days for the show people
to become used to working together. This extends even to the
canvasmen and roustabouts. After being a few weeks out they are
able to set the tents in from half an hour to an hour less time
than it takes during the first two or three stands of the season.
The next stand was to be Edmeston the home of the two
Circus Boys. The lads were looking forward with keen
expectation to the moment when clad in tights and spangles
they would appear before their old school fellows in a
series of daring aerial flights.
The lads had spent the winter at school and now only one year
more was lacking to complete their course at the high school that
they had been attending between circus seasons practicing in