Clown Hold Up at a Fish Market

"We don't know what got into him," the Bearded Lady said. "One of those cases when the make-up comes off, I guess." After speaking, she took an inordinately long time to grind out her cigarette.

The Ringmaster mentioned that he'd been "despondent," used that exact word, but the Midget said the Ringmaster tended to be overly formal in how he communicated and tossed around psychiatric jargon.

"I knew him a little bit, just enough, I guess," the Midget told me. "He was going along, going along, all those years, traveling with the circus and not remembering, too busy maybe, wrapped up in it all, then, all of a sudden, we hit Sioux City and he remembered."

The clown remembered everything is what they said and remembered it all at once. Most of them who had joined the circus knew all about that. It was suicide by police. None of them believed he had any intention of robbing that fish market. The people who had worked with him over the years just turned away after they were told, got back to work. He hadn't been much of a mingler but was a popular clown with the audiences. The company pretty much let him do his thing while he was out there. That was the only time he would interact with the others, while he was clowning.

"You couldn't talk to him outside the ring," the bearded lady said. "And God knows, I tried."

The Midget piped up at that point: "Whatever happened before he showed up at Ocala, I figure he couldn't take it, whatever that was he remembered. He told me about a week before: 'A man gets to an age when all the hoopla is over with and if he's got a sense of what it all boils down to then he might not be in any kind of mood for desert.'"