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Juggler and Drowner

"W.C. Fields was engaged to work at Fortescue's Pier, in Atlantic City, for ten dollars a week and cakes. There was no admission charge to the performances of Fields and his fellow artistes at Fortescue's. The management made its profit by selling sandwiches and beer. Fields, who was still in his teens, was engaged as a juggler and drowner. When business was good, he juggled. When it was bad he drowned. He would get into a bathing suit, wade out until the water was neck deep, and cry for help. Saved, he would be carried to Fortescue's and rolled on a barrel. Barkers urged beer and sandwiches on the excited people who had seen the rescue and come in to watch the stirring resuscitation act. Fields sometimes drowned three or four times a day..."
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