THE CIRCUS BOYS ON THE MISSISSIPPI
THE CIRCUS BOYS ON THE MISSISSIPPI
EDGAR B. P. DARLINGTON
MAKING A LIVELY START
"Have you had any trouble with Diaz Teddy?"
"The new Spanish clown."
Teddy Tucker's face grew serious.
"What about him Phil?"
"That is what I am asking you. Have you had any
misunderstanding--angry words or anything of the sort with him?"
persisted Phil Forrest with a keen inquiring glance into the
face of his companion.
"Well maybe" admitted the Circus Boy with evident reluctance.
"What made you think I had?"
"From the way he looked at you when you were standing in the
paddock this afternoon waiting for your cue to go on."
"Huh! How did he look at me?"
"As if he had a grudge against you. There was an expression in
his eyes that said more plainly than words 'I'll get even with
you yet young man you see if I do not.'"
"Wonderful!" breathed Teddy.
"What do you mean?"
"You must be a mind reader Phil Forrest" grumbled Teddy
digging his heel into the soft turf of the circus lot. "Can you
read my mind? If you can what am I thinking about now?"
"You are thinking" answered Phil slowly "that you will make me
forget the question I asked you just now. You are thinking you
would rather not answer my question."
Teddy opened his eyes a little wider.
"You ought to go into the business."
"Reading people's minds at so much per read."
"I wish you'd read the mind of that donkey of mine and find
out what he's got up his sleeve or rather his hoofs for me
"Do you know of what else you are thinking?"
"Of course I do. Think I don't know what I am thinking about?
Well! What am I thinking about?"
"At the present moment you are thinking that you will do to Diaz
what he hopes to do to you some of these days--get even with him
for some fancied wrong. Am I right?"
"I'll hand him a good stiff punch one of these fine spring
mornings that's what I'll do" growled Tucker his face
"Teddy Tucker listen to me!"
"You will do nothing of the sort."
"You just wait and see."
"Since we started out on our fourth season with the Sparling
Combined Shows this spring you have behaved yourself
remarkably well. I know it must have pained you to do so.
I give you full credit but don't spoil it all now please."
"Yes. You must remember that this is now a Big show--larger this
season than ever before and you must not expect Mr. Sparling to
excuse your shortcomings as he did in the old days."
"I'm not afraid of Boss Sparling."
"You have no occasion to be as long as you do your duty and
attend to business. We owe him a heavy debt of gratitude
both of us. You know that don't you Teddy?"
"I--I guess so."
"What is the trouble between you and Diaz?" persisted
Phil Forrest returning to his original inquiry.
"Well" drawled Teddy "you know their act?"
"Throwing those peaked hats clear across the arena and catching
the hats on their heads just like a couple of monkeys."
"I didn't know monkeys ever did that" smiled Phil.
"Well maybe they don't. The trained seals do anyhow."
"They--the Spaniards--were doing that the other day when I was
going out after my clown act. I had picked up the ringmaster's
whip and as one of the hats went sailing over my head I just
took a shot at it."
"Took a shot at it?"
"Yes. I fired at it on the wing as it were. Don't you
understand?" demanded the lad somewhat impatiently.
Phil shook his head.
"I hit it a crack with the ringmaster's whip and I hit the mark
the first shot. Down came the hat and it caught me on the nose."
"Then what did you do?"
"Knocked it on the ground then kicked it out of the ring"
"Of course you spoiled their act" commented Phil.
"I--I guess I did."
"That was an ungentlemanly thing to do to say the least.
It is lucky for you that Mr. Sparling did not happen to see you.
Do you know what would have happened to you if he had?"
"He would have fined me I suppose."
"No. You would have closed right there. He would have had you
sent back home by the first train if he had seen you do a thing
"I don't care. I can get a job with the Yankee Robinson show any