Showman (1937)

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SHOWMAN fast asleep at home. But I was to play the juvenile to father's lead in his next big scene, which would have been billed on the old programs as: "The Kidnaper's Plot Torn From His Nurse's Arms The Flight With The $10,000!!!" You have to take the consequences of having parents named Brady and O'Keefe. There had been family troubles, ending in divorce with me in the custody of my mother. But father did things about that as soon as he collected $10,000 damages from the local gov- ernment for the wrecked printing-plant. My Chinese nurseboy and I had stopped into a drug-store one afternoon—father suddenly rushed in, snatched me into a horse-cab without giving the China-boy a chance to raise a rumpus, and in twenty minutes we were on the Panama boat, bound for New York, well-heeled and regardless. Kidnaped, fleeing the wrath of the law with what was a tremendous sum of money in those days—"The Corsican Brothers" would never seem im- probable to a kid who had been through that at the age of six. Father had struck San Francisco in 1856—a young Dubliner drawn half-way round the world by Califor- nia gold, which brought so many pioneers so far across the plains and round the Horn. He was a scholar and a gentleman, one of the finest I ever knew—spoke three 13