Showman (1937)

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SHOWMAN was out of the theater and halfway to the Capitol, pick- ing up speed all the time, when the cops arrested him for indecent exposure. That started the first riot I ever saw in connection with Yousouf. It took a good hour for the house to get cleared—and for me to stop laughing. As soon as I got my breath back, I called a forecastle council in the Turk's dressing-room and made my deal as aforesaid. Yousouf saw money changing hands and me and the Frenchman shaking hands to bind the bargain, but he didn't seem to understand that he'd been sold down the river. The first portent of a change in his circum- stances that leaked through the fog and into his brain came when I marched the party out to a big restaurant —with a crowd following, of course—crowds always followed him on the street for the same reason that they'd follow a three-headed horse—and set him up to the first square meal he'd had since the Frenchman had taken him in charge. That meal was something to see. He ate that restaurant as clean as if he'd been a flock of locusts, about six full dinners at once, and then he got up from his chair and came over and threw his arms round me and tried to kiss me, right there in public. Public or private, I was going to have none of that, and I was always having to fight him off to keep him from kissing me out of sheer gratitude. From then on he'd do absolutely anything I told him to. That came in very handy. The Frenchman had had a bad time with him. In fact, he'd been able to manage 213