Saturday, September 6, 2014

What He Wanted It For

Those who attended the sale of animals from Barnum's hippodrome in Bridgeport report the following occurrence. A tiger was being offered. The bid run up to forty-five hundred dollars. This was made by a man who was a stranger.
Barnum, who had been eyeing the stranger uneasily during the bidding, now went up to him and said:
"Pardon me for asking the question; but will you tell me where you are from?"
"Down south a 'bit," responded the man.
“Are you connected with any show?"
“And are you buying this animal for yourself?"
Barnum shifted about uneasily for a moment, looking alternately at the man and at the tiger and evidently trying his best to reconcile the two together.
"Now, young man,"" he finally said, "you need not take this animal unless you want to, for there are those here who will take it off your hands."
"I don't want to sell'" was the stranger's reply.
Then Barnam said, in his desperation: “What on earth are you going to do with such an ugly beast, if you have no show of your own and are not buying for some one who is a showman?"
"Well, I'll tell you," said the purchaser. "My wife died about three weeks ago. We had lived together for ten years, and-and I miss her." He paused to wipe his eyes and steady his voice, and then added, "So I've bought this tiger."
“I understand you," said the great showman, in a husky voice.


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