By Gary Jennings
A picaresque novel concerning the adventures of a 19th-century circus, from the embittered post-Civil warfare South to the glittering and decadent capitals and courts of Europe. From the bestselling writer of Aztec and The Journeyer.
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Within the ring, after he had used his carbine to shoot out of the air a gourd tossed up via Clover Lee, he used the revolver to shoot on the different 5 gourds perched at the ring shrink, and disintegrated 4 of them with the general balls, fired from varied positions. Then, turning his again and utilizing the having a look glass to try over his shoulder, he had merely to try nearly on the 5th gourd to demolish it with the spray of poultry shot. eventually, as ordinary, he fired the 6th and uncharged chamber without delay at Clover Lee so she may perhaps "catch the ball" in her tooth. Florian used to be so enthusiastic about Edge's new flourish that he promoted Colonel Ramrod to the coveted "close" of the show—the final act at the software prior to the ultimate walkaround spec. That demoted the previous remaining act, Captain Hotspur and Madame Solitaire, to next-to-close. yet Sarah used to be pleased with part, "her protégé," and Roozeboom used to be stolidly incapable of jealousy, in order that they accredited second-best stardom with out protest. "Tout éclatant! " Florian acknowledged delightedly to Rouleau, as they stood jointly gazing the shut of the ultimate functionality at Strasburg. "We've labored up a greater than good exhibit. Now, if merely we had extra of a halfway outdoors. anything to convey us more cash at intermission. " Rouleau laughed. "And if the yokels may pay the cash. Merde alors, they are paying little sufficient for the most exhibit. " "I'm considering forward, Jules. Up the line. Up north, the place they could pay. within the towns the place the folk do not visit mattress at sunset, and we will be able to wear night performances along with those matinees. And Europe, the place we will rather unfold ourselves. enable the bad imagine us wealthy; allow the wealthy imagine us risque-tout. " "Bien, a balloon ascension will be simply the article for the halfway. If merely i will be able to how one can do it. All alongside the line, i've been inquiring of every person that appears like a soldier-come-home—asking if he ever served wherever close to the Balloon Corps. you could think the type of appears to be like i am getting. Mais, sous serment—somewhere, a few way—I am going to profit how one can get that aérostat into the excessive blue sky. " "Well, until eventually you do, i feel what we want at intermission is a formal sideshow. The Wild guy and the museum are not adequate. we want the true freaks—a Human Skeleton, a fats woman, an Intersex, such things as that. if you are asking round approximately balloons, ask if anyone is familiar with of any creatures of that nature to be had. " notwithstanding, presently after teardown that evening, the circus came across that it now not had any resident freak. Tim Trimm was once the 1st to note. They have been all consuming supper round the fireplace while Tim stated, "Has the idjit eventually received uninterested in his nigger-fiddle? He ain't serenading like ordinary. " all of them checked out one another, then roundabout. Sarah stated, "He was once right here quite a few mins in the past. He bought his supper, okay. not anyone may perhaps pass over noticing while the Wild guy eats. " "Well, he convinced ain't at any place round now," stated Yount, after the troupers had scattered throughout the darkness to the farthest reaches of the lot after which re-gathered on the hearth.