Showman (1937)

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SHOWMAN of a crowd and the black eyes and bloody noses began to blossom among them like spots on a fawn-colored vest. I think the trouble must have lain in the child- like simplicity of his temperament, which completely belied his gigantic strength and the luxuriance of his shiny black handle-bar mustaches. As I look back on him now, I find it hard to believe he was real. But then the contemplation of Primo Camera has recently shown me again that these freaks of nature do occa- sionally appear. He was certainly grown up in the physical sense- six foot two, with arms so long that his huge hands, which resembled stems of bananas, hung well below his knees—weight round two hundred and seventy pounds, with a considerable corporation accounting for some forty of the total. When he stood up in the ring and made his muscles ripple like snakes under his skin, you'd have sworn he was a cross between a fairy- tale ogre and a sea-elephant. He was over thirty at the time I managed him and, so far as anybody knew, had never taken the slightest precautions about keeping in shape, but no lack of training had ever dented the power of his thews and sinews. It was his great strength that had attracted attention to him as a conscript in the Turkish army. The story was that they'd made him a sergeant for pulling a heavy cannon, that teams of horses had been unable to budge, out of the mud—and in due time he'd been sent to Constantinople where he became the Sultan's fa- 210