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Peck's Bad Boy at the Circus

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The Bad Boy Begins a Diary--Dad Has Become Manager for aCircus--The Bad Boy Expects to Curry the Hyena and Do Stuntson the Trapeze--Ma Says Pa Will Ogle the CircassianBeauty--Pa Buys Some Circus Clothes and Lets His WhiskersGrow.

April 10, 19..--I never thought it would come to this, that I should keep a diary, because I am not a good little boy. Nobody ever keeps a diary except a boy that wants to be an angel, and with the angels stand, or a girl that is in love, or an old maid that can't catch a man unless she writes down her emotions and leaves them around so some man will read them, and swallow the bait and not feel the hook in his gills, or a truly good bank cashier who teaches Sunday school, and skips out for Canada some Saturday night, after the bank closes, and on Monday morning they find the combination of the lock on the safe changed, and when they hire a reformed burglar to open the lock the money is all gone with the cashier. Those are the only people that ever kept a successful diary.

But I had to promise ma that I would keep a diary, so she could read it, or I never could have got her consent for me to go with pa on the road with a circus. All ma asks of me is to tell the truth about everything that happens to me and to pa during the whole summer, and I have consented, and I can see my finish, and pa's finish and ma's finish, and the finish of the circus that is going to take us along.

Gee, but we have had a hot time at our house since pa and I got back from our trip abroad. I brought pa back in better health than he was when he went away, but he has got so accustomed to excitement that I knew something would be doing pretty soon, so I was not surprised when he told us at the breakfast table that he supposed he should have to go and travel with a circus this summer.

Ma looked at pa as though she wanted to call the police and am ambulance to take him to the emergency hospital. He looked at ma and at me, speared another waffle, and said: "I know you will think I am nutty, but for almost ten years I have had a block of stock in a circus and menagerie. I went into it to help some young circus fellows, and put up quite a bunch of money, because they were honest and poor, and for a few years things went wrong, and I thought my money was gone, but for the last six years the circus has paid dividends bigger than Standard Oil, and today it stands away up among the financial successes, and the dividends on my citrus stock is better than any bank stock I have got, and it comes just like finding money. The company decided at its annual meeting to invite me to take the position of one of the managers, and I shall soon go to the winter quarters of the show, to arrange to put it on the road about the 1st of May. Now any remarks may be made, pro or con, in regard to my sanity, see?"

Well, ma swallowed something crosswise down her Sunday throat, and choked, and pa swatted her on the back so she would cough it up, and when she could speak she said: "Pa, do you have to wear tights, and jump through hoops on the back of a horse, and cut up didoes, at your time of life?...