ART OF MONEY GETTING
"What is there so wonderful about your statuary?" I asked.
"I beg you not to speak so satirically," he replied, "Sir, these are not Madam Tussaud's wax figures, all covered with gilt and tinsel and imitation diamonds, and copied from engravings and photographs. Mine, sir, were taken from life. Whenever you look upon one of those figures, you may consider that you are looking upon the living individual."
Glancing casually at them, I saw one labelled "Henry VIII," and feeling a little curious upon seeing that it looked like Calvin Edson, the living skeleton, I said:
"Do you call that `Henry the Eighth?'"
He replied, "Certainly, sir; it was taken from life at Hampton Court, by special order of his majesty, on such a day."
He would have given the hour of the day if I had insisted; I said, "Everybody knows that `Henry VIII.' was a great stout old king, and that figure is lean and lank; what do you say to that?"
"Why," he replied, "you would be lean and lank yourself, if you sat there as long as he has."
There was no resisting such arguments. I said to my English friend, "Let us go out; do not tell him who I am; I show the white feather; he beats me."
He followed us to the door, and seeing the rabble in the street, he called out, "ladies and gentlemen, I beg to draw your attention to the respectable character of my visitors," pointing to us as we walked away. I called upon him a couple of days afterwards; told him who I was, and said:
"My friend, you are an excellent showman, but you have selected a bad location."
He replied, "This is true, sir; I feel that all my talents are thrown away; but what can I do?"
"You can go to America," I replied. "You can give full play to your faculties over there; you will find plenty of elbow-room in America; I will engage you for two years; after that you will be able to go on your own account."
He accepted my offer and remained two years in my New York Museum. He then went to New Orleans and carried on a traveling show business during the summer. To-day he is worth sixty thousand dollars, simply because he selected the right vocation and also secured the proper location. The old proverb says, "Three removes are as bad as a fire," but when a man is in the fire, it matters but little how soon or how often he removes.