Chapter 9 Summary
Back on the circus train, Jacob wakes when the train reaches Joliet. Kinko and Queenie jump out of the car, and Jacob soon follows. The scene is quiet; it is unusual that the tents are not being put up and nothing is happening. Instead, the men are staring at the tents of another circus. Uncle Al goes up to two men wearing suits who have just arrived in their roadster. August appears and tells Jacob that they are going into town to have breakfast because there likely will not be any food on site until the next day. August, Jacob, and Marlena go to a diner, but Marlena only orders coffee. She is still angry that August used Silver Star as feed. She storms out.
When Jacob and August return to the site, a few Benzini Brothers tents have been erected: the menagerie, the stable, and the cookhouse. The former employees of the Fox Brothers circus are lined up, hoping to be taken on by Uncle Al. But many emerge looking hopeless and defeated. Jacob looks around for the “famous freak,” but he is nowhere to be seen. After Uncle Al makes his decisions, the workers take down the all the Fox Brothers tents except their stable and menagerie. Uncle Al then orders that the Fox Brothers horses be claimed because the officials have not yet itemized the Fox Brothers inventory.
Trucks carrying food and provisions soon arrive, and the cookhouse crew gets to work preparing the meal. The workmen feed the animals in the menagerie, and the animals happily snort, grunt, and pace in anticipation of eating. Jacob feeds the orangutan; she puts out her hand to thank Jacob. When Jacob is done, he asks August if the animals in the Fox Brothers tents have been fed and watered. August says that they will be fed and watered...eventually. Jacob argues that it is quite hot outside, and he thinks the animals are suffering. August says Uncle Al needs to get the best price for the animals and that they are not to be cared for yet. When the blue and orange flag goes up over the cookhouse, everyone, including the new employees, goes to eat. A hungry man from...
(The entire section is 559 words.)