Joey joins Tim during the show and notes that they've been packed ever since Tim hired a wirewalker, Dozetti. Tim wishes Dozetti got along better with his co-workers. He then goes out and presents the Death-Defying Dozetti. As Corky comes over to watch Dozetti, he and Joey overhear Dozetti telling his wife Muriel to avoid blocking the crowd's view of him. Muriel tells her husband to remember that he's the greatest, and they climb up to the highwire while Joey clowns around beneath him.
Dozetti performs his routine and comes down. When Tim congratulates him on a great show, Dozetti says that he always does a great show. Corky asks Tim what's wrong with Dozetti, and Tim says that Dozetti needs something to bring him down to earth.
Later, Corky visits Muriel at the couple's wagon and says that he wants to talk to Dozetti. While she goes to get him, Corky tells Bimbo that he has to make the first move. When Dozetti comes out, Corky congratulates him on his performance and mentions that sometimes Joey gets almost as big a round of applause. Dozetti dismisses Joey as a clown, and Corky suggests that they be friends since his parents the Flying Falcons were also highwire performers. Dozetti abruptly goes back inside, and tells Muriel that the Falcons fell and it's bad luck to talk about such things. Muriel disagrees but Dozetti tells her to repair the seam in his shoes.
Tim asks Pete why everyone is on edge, and Pete says that it's Dozetti. Maestro Bono comes in to complain about Dozetti and his many complains. Tim says that he'll fix it, and Colonel Merriweather comes in. He says that he's moving the ponies because Dozetti has complained that they disturb his rest. Once the colonel leaves, Pete tells Tim that Dozetti is causing more trouble than he's worth. Tim agrees and figures that he's the one to set Dozetti straight.
Dozetti paces back and forth in his wagon and says that everyone should realize that he's the star of the show. Tim arrives and tells Dozetti to get along better with the other acts. He explains about the friction and Dozetti says that they're jealous. Tim says that they have equally big attractions, and he wants to keep the workers a happy family. Dozetti refuses to cooperate and demands that Joey stay away from him when he performs. He refuses to share his show with anyone, but Tim warns him that it's his show. Muriel goes after Tim and insists that Dozetti is a good man, and says that she'll see what she can do to straighten things out.
Tim goes to where Joey is putting on his makeup and complains about Dozetti. He explains that Dozetti told Tim to keep Joey out of the wring during his act, and Dozetti explains that he wears a collar even though it hurts, for the good of the show. Tim concedes the point and agrees to cool off.
Later, Dozetti is performing and Joey is clowning below him again. The performer loses his attention and slips, falling on Joey. Later, Tim and Corky check on Joey, who says that it's just a sprain and he'll be back on his feet in a couple of days. Tim points out that if Joey hadn't broken Dozetti's fall, Dozetti would probably be dead. Dozetti's leg is broken and Tim assures Joey that he'll be fine as well. Once Tim leaves, Joey tells Corky that he just happened to be in the right place in the right time. When Corky tells him that people are saying that Dozetti deserved what happened, Joey admits that Dozetti has been nasty to everyone. He suggests that Dozetti is afraid of dealing with a problem so he builds his own little world. He tells Corky to keep on trying to be friends with Dozetti.
Dozetti is in bed and tells Muriel that when they get to the next town, the people will be disappointed that he's not performing and Tim will realize how important Dozetti is to the show. He hopes that Tim goes broken, and Muriel warns him that if the show went broke, it would ruin their friends. Dozetti insists that they all despise him. Corky arrives with presents that the circus workers sent to Dozetti. Dozetti is touched despite himself and Corky offers to do any chores for him. Once he leaves, Dozetti complains about the presents to Muriel, but says that he'll accept them and Muriel hugs him.
A few days later, Tim tells Corky that most of the people are coming to see Dozetti and they'll be disappointed if he doesn't appear. Joey suggests that Tim give them Muriel instead of Dozetti. Tim sends Corky to bring Muriel, and asks her to go on in Dozetti's place. Muriel had a highwire act of her own before she married Dozetti, and she taught him part of her routine. Joey has seen her practicing, and Tim explains that they're in real trouble without a highwire act.
Muriel tells them that Dozetti had a fear of the highwire when she first married him. She flattered him until he became the great performer that he now is. Muriel worries that if she gets as much applause, she's destroy everything that she's built up. Tim asks her if it's worth the price, pointing out that Dozetti doesn't have any friends. Muriel says that everyone sent Dozetti gifts when he was hurt, and Joey tells her that it was all Corky's idea. He was trying to make a human being out of Dozetti and soften him up a little. Joey says that Dozetti won't be a great man until he learns a little humility, and right now he's a selfish egotist. Muriel considers and then agrees.
Muriel soon performs and Dozetti hears the audience applauding. The circus continues on and they arrive at the halfway mark in the tour. Muriel tells Tim and the others that Dozetti's pride hasn't healed and he's leaving the show. She says that she's argued with Dozetti but he won't change his mind, and admits that she's going with her husband. Muriel has watched Dozetti shrink up inside himself every time she's gone on for him, and now she's going to buy train tickets.
Corky goes to see Dozetti and finds him packing. He says that Dozetti is running away and won't be happy if he does, and his friends will miss him. Corky says that everyone is waiting for Dozetti to come back, and the way to be a big man is to think of others and forgive himself.
Soon, the circus workers are putting up a new poster: for the Death-Defying Dozettis, plural. Husband and wife perform on the highwire with Joey clowning below them. Tim points out that now it's a great act, and Joey figures that it took a kick in the pants to make a human being out of Dozetti.
Written by Gadfly on Jun 6, 2017