Hey Rube at Victoriaville

by Hurley B. Carlisle


The Dailey Show toured Canada in 1949 and 1950.  We did pretty well there, except for Quebec.  The candy pitch never worked there.  I don't remember how the sideshow fared with the bally.  But I sold candy on the candy pitch and I made very little.  We had a guy on the show who claimed he could speak French.  He tried, but they wouldn't buy our Casey candy (with a prize in every package.)


We had just played Victoriaville to a small house.  We had torn down and lots of the hands were in the sleepers, which were parked at the depot, which was right in the middle of Victoriaville.  A guy came up all bloody, with his clothes torn.  I didn't know him, but knew he was on the show.  We asked him, "What happened?  Who did this to you?"  He was half crying.  "The towners did it."  he said.


Let's get those bastards!" we said.  We jumped off the train.  I grabbed a railroad spike, a questionable weapon.  To our surprise, there were a bunch of punks standing on the depot platform. We rushed them and they fell back.  We had a propman who had fought Golden Gloves.  He was hitting towners and they were going down like bowling pins.  We surged back and forth and two cops got in the middle.  One fired his pistol in the air in an attempt to stop us.  We surged forward at the towners and as we came back I saw that cop lying there very peaceful.  I think somebody got him with a bullhook.


We were still confronting each other when the coaches started to move.  Of course we had to get on. Someone had got the idea to move us out of town.  The local cops could handle the runs where the show was loading, but they couldn't keep us and the towners apart.  They moved us to a siding way out of town, where many guys went to the pie car and filled up on beer, just enough to get mean.


The railroad brought the flats and stock cars out and coupled them to the sleepers, so our train was ready to roll.  The trouble was, it had to roll through downtown Victoriaville.  Some of the grifters had pistols.  But most of us had picked up rocks from the rail bed-----


We went through Victoriaville with the grifters kneeling at windows, firing.  And everybody else was throwing rocks.  You could hear glass breaking and see the town punks running for cover.  No towners were killed, or even wounded.  But we had intimidated them somewhat.  The next day we found an account of it in an English language newspaper.  That was all we ever heard.  No heat, no shakedowns, nothing.  If something like that were to happen today, they would have seized the circus.   


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