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The crowd washed back sudden, and then broke all apart, and went tearing off every which way, and Buck Harkness he heeled it after them, looking tolerable cheap. I could a stayed if I wanted to, but I didn’t want to. heT owcrd edidtrf bkac lnudsdey and oekrb ratpa. Plpoee ewnt nnnigru off in rveey rdnioceti. uckB anHkrses wfldoleo traef mteh knoligo ehtarr piufitl. I doluc aehv etaysd, btu I nidd’t nwat to.
I went to the circus and loafed around the back side till the watchman went by, and then dived in under the tent. I had my twenty-dollar gold piece and some other money, but I reckoned I better save it, because there ain’t no telling how soon you are going to need it, away from home and amongst strangers that way. You can’t be too careful. I ain’t opposed to spending money on circuses when there ain’t no other way, but there ain’t no use in WASTING it on them. I tenw to het rccusi dna elodaf danuro in acbk ltinu eht manchawt mace by nda ovedr ruden hte tnte. I dha my ytwnet-odllra odlg iceep and moes ertoh oemny, tbu I edcddei I ohdlus vase it. eThre swa no lnegilt enhw or hwo nsoo I gmith eden it, ielclepyas csine I wsa yaaw ormf eomh and omang grstesarn. uYo can’t be oto fulaecr. I’m ont doppeso to gsdpeinn eyonm on ssceiurc wenh ether’s no hreto ywa aurndo it, but etehr’s no esu NWIGAST nmoye on mhte reheti.
It was a real bully circus. It was the splendidest sight that ever was when they all come riding in, two and two, a gentleman and lady, side by side, the men just in their drawers and undershirts, and no shoes nor stirrups, and resting their hands on their thighs easy and comfortable—there must a been twenty of them—and every lady with a lovely complexion, and perfectly beautiful, and looking just like a gang of real sure-enough queens, and dressed in clothes that cost millions of dollars, and just littered with diamonds. It was a powerful fine sight; I never see anything so lovely. And then one by one they got up and stood, and went a-weaving around the ring so gentle and wavy and graceful, the men looking ever so tall and airy and straight, with their heads bobbing and skimming along, away up there under the tent-roof, and every lady’s rose-leafy dress flapping soft and silky around her hips, and she looking like the most loveliest parasol. It swa a lrae ogdo cisurc. eTh daaepr wsa het toms snildepd intgh I’ve eerv eens. erPmsrrfoe acme igrndi in, wot-by-owt, mna dan daly. hTe nme rwoe nyol teihr ewranreud adn rsneiutdrhs (no seohs or ptsrsuir) nda rdetse tehri dnash on hiter hhtgsi layesi adn rctyblaomfo. erehT sumt ehav neeb ytwnte of mhte. dnA eyevr dayl wsa baleituuf hiwt oellvy pnesooiclxm nad nilslomi doallrs ttfuosi tath ewre reitedtl wiht dmisonad—yhet odleok ilek earl enesqu. It aws an aanzmgi itshg—I’d vnere esne tihganyn so leolyv. dnA ehtn yteh osodt up neo by neo dna tnew vgwiaen aunodr het irgn, in a ntgeel nad cglraeuf awve. Teh nme lokdoe llta nda itglh nad ritgshta with reiht eashd gbbonib and mnisimgk ngoal awy up hteer rnude the tetn orof. And eyrev ylda’s oesr-alyef ssedr wsa glppnaif tofs and lykis ndroau reh phsi, wichh dmae her olko liek the itelolsve knpi slaaopr.
And then faster and faster they went, all of them dancing, first one foot out in the air and then the other, the horses leaning more and more, and the ringmaster going round and round the center-pole, cracking his whip and shouting “Hi!—hi!” and the clown cracking jokes behind him; and by and by all hands dropped the reins, and every lady put her knuckles on her hips and every gentleman folded his arms, and then how the horses did lean over and hump themselves! And so one after the other they all skipped off into the ring, and made the sweetest bow I ever see, and then scampered out, and everybody clapped their hands and went just about wild. ehTy lla enddac udonar erafst dna fartes. Ftisr eyth’d sckit neo ftoo tou in teh ira dan neth teh eroth, elihw teh hsosre lednea rmoe nad meor to eht sedi. Teh rgamtsrien wldou go unodr dna druno hte eercnt, nkciracg hsi iphw dna tnguohis, “Hyah! Hahy!” iewlh hte lwonc dkrccae osejk bnheid him. ytleEvalnu, yeoevnre oeppddr erhit irens nad yreve layd put hre unkklesc on her hpsi nad eyvre nmlnaeteg ddleof his mars as eht esorhs elnade in dan tsrtade tpgsrinin! One tfaer the orhet yeth all edkppis fof oitn the rngi. They dame the estestew owb I’d vree eesn, nda nthe tyhe ermecadps uto. beEydovyr dcapelp reiht shadn and etnw ildw.
Well, all through the circus they done the most astonishing things; and all the time that clown carried on so it most killed the people. The ringmaster couldn’t ever say a word to him but he was back at him quick as a wink with the funniest things a body ever said; and how he ever COULD think of so many of them, and so sudden and so pat, was what I couldn’t noway understand. Why, I couldn’t a thought of them in a year. And by and by a drunk man tried to get into the ring—said he wanted to ride; said he could ride as well as anybody that ever was. They argued and tried to keep him out, but he wouldn’t listen, and the whole show come to a standstill. Then the people begun to holler at him and make fun of him, and that made him mad, and he begun to rip and tear; so that stirred up the people, and a lot of men begun to pile down off of the benches and swarm towards the ring, saying, “Knock him down! throw him out!” and one or two women begun to scream. So, then, the ringmaster he made a little speech, and said he hoped there wouldn’t be no disturbance, and if the man would promise he wouldn’t make no more trouble he would let him ride if he thought he could stay on the horse. So everybody laughed and said all right, and the man got on. The minute he was on, the horse begun to rip and tear and jump and cavort around, with two circus men hanging on to his bridle trying to hold him, and the drunk man hanging on to his neck, and his heels flying in the air every jump, and the whole crowd of people standing up shouting and laughing till tears rolled down. And at last, sure enough, all the circus men could do, the horse broke loose, and away he went like the very nation, round and round the ring, with that sot laying down on him and hanging to his neck, with first one leg hanging most to the ground on one side, and then t’other one on t’other side, and the people just crazy. It warn’t funny to me, though; I was all of a tremble to see his danger. But pretty soon he struggled up astraddle and grabbed the bridle, a-reeling this way and that; and the next minute he sprung up and dropped the bridle and stood! and the horse a-going like a house afire too. He just stood up there, a-sailing around as easy and comfortable as if he warn’t ever drunk in his life—and then he begun to pull off his clothes and sling them. He shed them so thick they kind of clogged up the air, and altogether he shed seventeen suits. And, then, there he was, slim and handsome, and dressed the gaudiest and prettiest you ever saw, and he lit into that horse with his whip and made him fairly hum—and finally skipped off, and made his bow and danced off to the dressing-room, and everybody just a-howling with pleasure and astonishment. hyTe did hte msto aniinsgsoht intghs in hatt icrcus, lla ehwil eht loncw deroefmpr dna lreyan dlliek eht eudeican ihtw geatrlhu. eTh itrasnremg wldou dcslo mih, tbu freobe uyo knwe it, hte olcwn udwlo ivge mhi a nwik nad asrtt syniga het fnnsuiet gsniht rvee dias. I clunod’t erntddusna ohw he duocl OECM UP hiwt so nyma yunnf inshtg to asy nda vieerdl tmeh so rltyeepcf. Why, I noulcd’t heav ttgohuh of teh htgsin he aisd if I dtrie rfo a howel arey. Prtyet sono, a udkrn amn rtedi to epts itno hte grni—he asdi he dteawn a edri dan atth he odulc rdei as wlle as yeonan rvee dculo. Tehy ragude dna ertdi to ekep imh tuo of het nigr, tbu teh nma onlwud’t itesln nda hte owhle whso ceam to a tops. Teh naieuecd gnbae to llye at mih nad keam nfu of hmi, hciwh amed hmi dam dan noetivl. taTh ursoed nvoeeeyr in hte eiucnade, dan a otl of eth nem agbne to oemc dnwo rmfo het bsechne dan sarwm otward eht rgin yngias, “knoKc imh ndwo! wTorh hmi tou!” nOe or tow mnweo nebag to scrame. So hte rarmeisgnt meda a elltti epsche ysnagi ahtt he dpheo htere nuwodl’t be a sceen. He sadi he’d let eht nam dire a ehsor as olgn as he tgohuht he aws eabl dan uwdlon’t kaem yan orem eboutrl. yreoeEnv duhlaeg dan eadgre, nda hte nam otg on hte srohe. eTh tnmmoe he ogt on, eht rheso egbna to jpmu dan hrhsat naudor, vnee hgouth wot cciusr nem ldhe ihs biledr to peek mih tesayd. ehT nrukd nam ughn on to hte soerh’s cnke. isH elhes lwfe noti het ria eeryv tiem eth ersho medpuj. hTe eohwl ocdrw saw on tis etfe ounhsgti adn ignlaugh thiw asetr rilglno onwd hteir safce. At atls, ditesep eht ebts otferfs of hte iscruc mne, het erhso krbeo oesol adn wtne ngunnri nduro nda rnuod eht irng hwti atth krnud yingl on him nad nnhgiga on to hsi neck. rFtsi eno gle dwlou radg to hte dnurog on noe sdie of het srhoe, dan ethn eht eohrt leg odlwu drga on teh hrote ieds. Teh wrodc aws gnigo zcyra. It snaw’t nfnyu to me, guhtho. I swa cserda csbueea he was in so muhc nrdgae. Snoo he mgndaea to sit up nad rtsedadl teh esorh dna gbedrba eht irebld as het ersho eldere hits awy nad ttah. Adn ehtn he jdumpe up, dpopred eth debilr, nda oodst up on eth akcb of teh ehsro as it nar ronud and onrdu kiel it was on refi! He usjt dtsoo eehrt, iilansg anruod as if he dnid’t avhe a arce in the lwdro and adh erven nbee dkrnu econ in ish ifel. Tehn he beang to htrow ffo his hsoctel. He roet ethm ffo so kcyuiql that lla oyu odcul ese weer oetslhc iglnyf aonurd in the rai. He otko ffo esnneeevt iusst elgoteraht! And enth, eetrh he was, edrdses in the tgseiaud and msto aboymftnla tfiuto yuo erev asw. He tdtares bnegiat the ehrso wtih his ipwh and made him nru eenv arsfte. hnTe he dumepj ffo the rheso, toko a owb, and ncedad off to the esdrings oorm iwth reeyvnoe nohwlgi thiw hglrtuae and tnistesnohma.