Bass drums were booming, snare drums were rattling, above them sounded the shrill notes of the bugles. There was the rumble of big-wheeled wagons, now and then an elephant trumpeted or a lion gave a hungry roar. Gay banners fluttered, glistening spears flashed with points of light, gaily attired women and men sat on the backs of swaying, ugly camels, or galloped on mettlesome steeds. And looking at it all was a vast throng of eager-eyed men, women and children. It was the opening performance of the circus. Good crowd all right, remarked Joe Strong, as he came back to the dressing tent from a preliminary survey of the audience. He took up one hole in the belt of his acrobatic suit of tights. Full house - is there? asked a dark-complexioned, foreign-looking man, as he rubbed some rosin on the soles of his soft shoes, so they would not slip when he attempted some feat high up on a trapeze bar, or let himself down a rope head first, disdaining the use of his hands. I should say it is a full house! went on Joe as he, too, west over to the rosin box

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