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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Then the ringmaster he see how he had been fooled, and he WAS the sickest ringmaster you ever see, I reckon. Why, it was one of his own men! He had got up that joke all out of his own head, and never let on to nobody. Well, I felt sheepish enough to be took in so, but I wouldn’t a been in that ringmaster’s place, not for a thousand dollars. I don’t know; there may be bullier circuses than what that one was, but I never struck them yet. Anyways, it was plenty good enough for ME; and wherever I run across it, it can have all of MY custom every time. The ringmaster looked sick when he realized he’d been fooled. He was probably the sickest ringmaster you’ve ever seen since he had been tricked by one of his own men! The guy had thought up that whole joke by himself and hadn’t told anyone. Well, I felt pretty foolish for having been taken, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be in the ringmaster’s shoes, not for a thousands dollars. I don’t know—maybe there are better circuses than this one, but I’d never seen one. Anyway, this circus was good enough for ME, and you bet that they’ll be getting my business whenever I come across it again.
Well, that night we had OUR show; but there warn’t only about twelve people there—just enough to pay expenses. And they laughed all the time, and that made the duke mad; and everybody left, anyway, before the show was over, but one boy which was asleep. So the duke said these Arkansaw lunkheads couldn’t come up to Shakespeare; what they wanted was low comedy—and maybe something ruther worse than low comedy, he reckoned. He said he could size their style. So next morning he got some big sheets of wrapping paper and some black paint, and drawed off some handbills, and stuck them up all over the village. The bills said: That night we put on our OWN show, even though there was only about twelve people there—just enough to break even. Everyone laughed throughout the whole show, which made the duke mad. And the entire crowd left before the show was even over, except for one boy who’d fallen asleep. The duke said that these Arkansas lunkheads weren’t good enough for Shakespeare. He said he knew all about their type. He figured that what they wanted was low comedy—and maybe something even worse than that. So, next morning he took some big sheets of wrapping paper and some black paint and drew some new

handbills

posters, usually ones that advertise a show or performance

handbills
. Then he stuck them up all over the village. The handbills said:
AT THE COURT HOUSE! FOR 3 NIGHTS ONLY! AT THE COURTHOUSE! FOR 3 NIGHTS ONLY!
The World-Renowned Tragedians The World Renowned Tragedians
DAVID GARRICK THE YOUNGER! DAVID GARRICK THE YOUNGER!
AND EDMUND KEAN THE ELDER! AND EDMUND KEAN THE ELDER!
Of the London and Of the London and
Continental Theatres, Continental Theatres,
In their Thrilling Tragedy of In their Thrilling Tragedy of
THE KING’S CAMELEOPARD, THE KING’S CAMEL-LEOPARD,
OR THE ROYAL NONESUCH ! ! ! OR, THE ROYAL NOTHINGNESS!!!
Admission 50 cents. Admission 50 cents.
Then at the bottom was the biggest line of all, which said: The biggest line of all was written at the bottom. It said:
LADIES AND CHILDREN NOT ADMITTED. LADIES AND CHILDREN NOT ADMITTED.
“There,” says he, “if that line don’t fetch them, I don’t know Arkansaw!” “There,” he said. “If that last line doesn’t bring them in, then I don’t know a thing about Arkansas!”

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