Jimmie did not know about the circus when he asked his father if he might wait for him at the court-house square. His father did not know about the circus when he gave Jimmie a nickel to buy a sack of popcorn, and told him to amuse himself until five o'clock.
Webster was a small place, but there were always people passing along the street by the court-house, and Jimmie thought it much more fun to watch them than to do the errands with his father. Today there seemed to be more people passing than ever before and they were all going in one direction. This seemed strange to Jimmie. There were people in automobiles and people on foot, all hurrying along.
Two boys passed and Jimmie heard one of them say, "I worked all week to get enough money to see the circus."
The circus! Jimmie had never seen a circus, for he lived far back in the Ozark hills of Arkansas, but he knew what a circus was. He jumped up, clutching the nickel in his hand, and went along with the crowd. Not until he came in sight of the big tent did he stop to think that a nickel was not a great deal of money. One could not see a circus for a nickel.
People were hurrying into the big tent. The flap whipped back in the wind and Jimmie caught sight of a large elephant. He knew what it was because he had looked at pictures of elephants and had thought and thought about them. His mother had told him about the trained elephants of the circus. How he did wish he could see them perform! But there was no use crying about it.
"Right this way, ladies and gents! See the fat lady. See the walking skeleton. The fattest woman on earth--the thinnest man."
A few people turned to the small tent and Jimmie went with them. The pictures of the fat lady and the thin gentleman were very interesting. Perhaps he could see them.
"Come one, come all! 'Twill cost you one thin dime, only--one thin dime or two round nickels."