By Esther Burr Reynolds
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
"The profession has all gone to
pieces!" mourned oicFZekiel Brown.
"Where is genius? Where is talent?
Where is the dashing bareback rider
who thrilled the thousands, and that
big laugh of the universe, the clown
who made merriment for the mil
lions?" "Where, indeed?" murmured his
petite and pretty daughter, Iola, sor
rowfully, as she stitched away at a
tinseled dress which she wore as a
supernumerary in a cheap theatrical
"The day of the clown is over,"
mourned old Zekiel anew. "It's the
day of 'the entertainer now! As to
the child equestrienne act, I might
as well have trained you for the
opera. Poor child! Our glory is de
parted and they pay you, a star of
the arena, six paltry dollars a week
for standing on the stage with a doz
en others in a village maiden scene!"
"Do I complain of it, father, dear?"
cried Iola cheerily. "That keeps the
pot boiling and times have got to
change, for Merrill says so, and he is
a rock of strength and dependence,
"Yes, poor Merrill!" continued the
old circus favorite, determined to
grumble out all his manifold trou
bles. "Look at that boy, the best
triple comersault man in America
once. Now why, the new-fangled
'equilibrist' has to invest two or three
thousand dollars in his act outfit be
fore he get a vaudeville engagement.
And the wedding! Here Merrill
thought he had a settled position as
advance agent for a show, and what
does the show do? Bust! And the
wedding put off until he sees his way
clear to support you!"
Iola looked a little grave. Yes,
there was to have been a wedding,
and she was disappointed. Merrill.
Boyd had been a close friend of her
father and a lover of her own for sev
eral years. Humble people, and hon
est, they were; the sawdust grime
and the tinsel glase never having
hurt them one bit, for the circus ring
was a family proclivity on both sides.
"There he is now,!" suddenly cried
Iola, and sprang to her feet, all aglow
with delight and suspense. The door
opened, succeeding to the quick,
nervous tramp of sturdy footsteps.
Shook His Fist Aloft
Handsome, alert, kindly-eyed and
manly looking, Merrill Boyd burst in
upon the homely little room, brisk,
stimulating and quite excited.
"Wei, old friend," he cried to Ze
kiel, "I've made it!"
"You don't say so another en
gagement?" queried the old clown
"Not in the old line, though," re
plied Merrill "You see, we are des-
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