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Page 11 text:
THE MANZANITA 7
eager boys had met the train early
that morning and had watched the
fascinating performance of unpack-
ing. And now the time for the big
parade was drawing near. On the
corner of Main and Park Streets
Mrs. Domineus stood, holding little
Janet by the hand, but Azalia, not
eontented to wateh from the walk,
had mounted a soap box.
"Oh! Mother, will it never come?
l'm so tired," ealled Janet.
t'Here, Azalia," said the little
mother, Htake Jannie up there with
you. She is too small to see any-
thing from here and the erowd
jostles her so."
Hlndeed, I won't," snapped Aza-
lia. 'Ll found this box and brought
if here for my own use, not for the
whole family. Besides l'm not go-
ing to be bothered with-Oh! here
it eomes-here it comes," she
Yes, it was really coming. The
band, perehed upon a gilded wagon,
burst i11to a spirited n1are'h. The
glossy black horses tossed their be-
ribboned heads and lifted their feet
high in the air with eaeh step. And
sueh a parade! Croftville, gather-
ed on the curbs of Main Street,
eheered and eheered. Wagoli after
wagon passed-a cage of lions-a
den of snakes-a eage of dogs-air
other of lions-a polar bear-seals,
some camels-and-"Oh! Mother-
see the little ponies and look at that
white Teddy bear ! "
"Oh! Oh!" breathed Azalia,
"that beautiful horse-look-see
him pranee-and look at that lovely
lady-all in red-my, ain't she
"Hello! Mary," whined a voiee,
and Azalia looked down to see the
tiniest of clowns, riding on a white
donkey. 'tHello, Mary," he called
again. He was looking at her!
Should she answer? "Hello, Mary
dear!" This time he waved his
hand. The parade was moving
slowly on. He would be gone in a
moment! Quick! he was looking
"Hello," she quavered weakly.
The word seemed to choke her. The
rest of the parade passed slowly by
her but Azalia's mind was still on
Tilly Tad. She decided he was a-
bout ber age, perhaps a little older.
She stood as one in a dream. The
golden rave ehariots-the ele-
phants-the minstrel band-the gi-
raffes-the zebra with its monkey
rider-all reeeived merely a glanee
"Come down, Azalia," urged the
mother, Heome home with us. You
have seen it all-why, what on
earth is the matter, child? You
look so queer-brush that hair out
of your eyes and please don't bite
your finger nails, Azalia!"
"Oh! Mother, let me stay till it
comes back. It won't be long and
l'll hurry home. Oh! please, Mum-
sie! Here-I'll take Jannie up on
my box, if you will.
" Well ' '-she eonvsented-' ' here,
take Janet and do hurry. I want
to set the table." With these words
she left them. The band began to
play again as the parade turned
and started back. Azalia waited
impat-iently till the white donkey
appeared-yes, there it came and
there was Tiny Tad in his cute lit-
tle red and white suit and tasseled
eap. Oh! if he would only look this
way! VVould he wave and call a-
gain? No, he was looking toward
the other side of the street. All at
once Azalia heard him say to Sadie
Page 10 text:
6 THE MANZANITA
lage streets. Then all at once he
disappeared, as suddenly and unex-
pectedly as he had come. But one
week later the train again stopped
to let off some strangers. The
strange gentleman stepped off, then
turned to lift out a tiny girl with
brown hair and red cheeks. Then
came a tall, manly boy with bundles
and boxes, a middle-aged sweet-fae-
ed woman with a parrot cage, and
last, a very plump black-haired girl
of perhaps fourteen summers.
Croftville gave one gasp and then
began to whisper. Straight through
Main Street strode the large man,
the family following, up Park Street
for a block, and then they halted
before a cosy white cottage with an
ivy-covered porch and geranium-
bordered walk. The next day over
the door of a small office on Main
Street this sign met the startled
eyes of all:
"Domincus and Son,"
Gailey Insurance Co."
"An lnsurance Company! Of all
thingslu cried old Miss Jenkins.
No one ever happens to have an ac-
cident here. VVhatever could have
possessed them strangers to lstart
a foolish thing like that?"
Surprises followed in rapid suc-
cession. This extraordinary family
Cfor so it proved to bel persisted in
rising at six o'clock. 'fOhl You
lose the best part of tl1e day if you
don't," explained Mrs. Domincus in
her gentle voice.
The oldest girl, Azalia, romped
the streets from morn till night with
the boys of the neighborhood. She
hated school and -always received
the poorest marks in her class. No
one in Croftville had ever seen such
a wild, daring creature. The ladies
held up their hands in horror when
her latest deeds were reported, and
even the men shook their heads
doubtfully whenever her name was
mentioned. But the boys soon stood
in awe of this venturesome girl and
there was always a crowd of them
at her heels. She kept the neigh-
borhood in constant suspense. No
one knew what Azalia would do
The merits and peculariti-es of
this astonishing family had been
discussed pro and con for one whole
week when all at once the town's
conversation turned into a different
channel. This topic had not grown
old, there was still volumnes more
to be said concerning the Domincus
group, but something more amazing
than ever happened.
For once in its life Croftville rose
early one morning. The whole town
was a stir at six-thirty and such
bustling and such gaiety as the
sleepy little villagers witnessed.
Main Street was filling rapidly with
people at eight o'clock and still
more were coming at nine. There
was a restless impatient attitude on
the part of almost every one. The
walks were filled to overflowing
and every one was jostling for a
place near the curb. The reason
for all these unusual proceedings
was printed in flaring letters on the
bill-board farther down the street.
The "VVinton-VVesley Animal Cir-
cus" was coming to town. The mar-
velous descriptions of trained ani-
mals came next and at the bottom
the excited village read these words:
HSee Tiny Tad-the mirth pro-
voking Baby Clown-and split your
sides with laughter!"
Croftville had sufficient cause to
be excited for this was the first cir-
cus in eight years. A crowd of
Page 12 text:
8 THE MANZANITA
Jackson, i'Hello, Mary!" and Aza-
lia in her jealous rage, saw Sadie
smile and nod back at him. A tear
started from Azalia's bright eye,
but just then he turned and looked
straight at her.
"Hello, dearyl" his cheery voice
cried, and then to astonished yet
delighted Azalia he threw a
Foolishly blushing, she stood in
confusion, staring after his tiny
"Why, Zaly, that clown frowed
a kiss to you," cried Janet in a
shocked tone. "Who is he, Zaly?"
Azalia walked home slowly-
thinking-wondering. She could
not forget the clown's small face.
How handsome and young he Was!
And he had thrown a kiss-to her!
At the dinner table she was so un-
usually quiet that her father in-
quired, "What's the matter with
Puss today? Didnlt you like the
parade? Don't you want to go this
afternoon tl l guess you do not like
circuses much, eh?"
"Chl yes, she does," spoke up
Janet," hut, Father, today, the pret-
ty little clown boy frowed a kiss to
her! My! l should think she'd he
happy 'stead of mad-l would, if
And how Mr. Domincus did laugh.
Ile laughed till the tears rolled
down his face and still he laughed!
"Threw a kiss to you, did he? Well
Puss, l wouldn't worry about that.
He does that to all the pretty girls.',
As an answer Azalia made a face,
stuck out her tongue, and flung
herself out of the room. ln her own
room she looked in the mirror. The
face she saw was really pretty. Her
long black hair was topped by a
big pink bow, the very tint of her
round cheeks. Her brown eyes
flashed out from under heavy black
lashes and her mouth was curved
t'So he does it to all the pretty
girls, does he?" she said spitefully
to the girl in the mirror. t'Huh!
didn't I see him speak to Sadie
Jackson? And he never threw a
kiss to her-and all the neighbors
thing shc's pretty."
The afternoon was one of excite-
ment to every villager. The big
white tent, spread on a green com-
mon at the edge of town, was
crowded to its utmost capacity. Mr.
and Mrs. Domincus were there with
all the family. Azalia could hardly
wait till the performance began.
Finally the band on the platform
began to play "The Star Spangled
Banner" and the whole audience
rose. Twelve jet black horses came
prancing out, bearing twelve girls.
'lhey tripped daintly to the rings,
where they divided, six going into
each ring. The skill of the beauti-
fully dressed girls in their daring
acts was a source of envy and ad-
miration to Azalia. She watched
their every move, her brown eyes
flashing. Between each act the
Baby Clown would come out, mak-
ing fun for every one. Many peo-
ple afterward declared they had
never laughed so before in all their
lives. Azalia tried to attract his at-
tention by waving her hand or
throwing peanuts at him and twice
or three times she succeeded in get-
ting a grin and a wink from him.
The performance over, Azalia left
the tent with reluctance. She linger-
ed in the menageries as long as she
could and walked oh! so slowly
down the street toward home. Sud-
denly, as she walked along, a bril-
liant idea came to her, so brilliant
in fact that it made her brown eyes
shine like stars. At the same time
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