The circus is heading cross-country through Arkansas and Joey tells Corky about the Ozarks. Two brothers, Lem and his younger brother Jody Clemens, shoot at a possum and miss, hitting a branch and bringing it down on Joey's head. Tim rides up and one of the circus lions roars. Lem offers to protect them until Tim explains that they're a circus. He tells the boys that they have the works and they have a show to put on. The circus moves on, and Jody wonders if they're going to keep hunting. Lem tells his brother that he isn't interested in hunting anymore.
Back at home, Jody realizes that Lem is planning to sneak off. Lem finally says that he's going off to join the circus, and he'll send for Jody as soon as he makes his fortune. He gives Jody his possum gun but Jody isn't interested in hunting possum alone. Lem wants to see the world and says that he has his dog Chester for an act. Jody grabs Lem's arm and says that he doesn't love him anymore, but Lem pulls free and climbs out the window.
The circus sets up and Lem walks through the displays. He finds Corky, who remembers him from the road. Lem explains that he's going to join the circus and asks to see Tim. He puts on his walking feet and Corky points out that he's putting them on the wrong feet but Lem figures that it doesn't make any difference.
Corky takes Lem to the main tent where Tim is working as ringmaster. Once the matinee is over, Corky calls Tim over and Lem explains that Chester is his act. Tim tries to beg off but Corky suggests that they see what Chester can do. Lem plays the harmonica--badly--and Chester does nothing. The dog falls over and Lem says that the trip might have tuckered him out. Joey suggests that they could hire Lem as a roustabout until he sharpens up his act. Lem agrees as long as he's with the circus.
Lem is giving Bimbo water when Jody comes over and explains that he ran away to be with him. Corky joins them and Lem says that Jody is just visiting. Lem suggests that Corky show Jody what Bimbo can do while he fetches water. Corky puts Bimbo through his paces and warns that the elephant only takes commands from him. Jody wants to get an act or Lem will make him go home, and says that he'll find one.
Later, Lem tries to warm up Chester without success. Tim comes over and says that he wants Lem to make arrangements to send him home before they leave the last night. The owner figures that Jody belongs with his folks and he's too young to travel with the circus. Lem agrees to speak with him.
Corky shows Jody the lions and feeds Princess' cub. Jody takes over as Lem comes over, and Lem leads Jody away so that they can talk. He tells his younger brother what Tim said, but Jody insists on coming with Lem once he gets an act. He then says that they should both go home because the circus isn't for mountain folk, and tells Lem that he doesn't look like a circus star.
That night, Corky shows Jody the lion-taming act. Corky tells Jody that he should start with a young cub. Soon, he's working with Princess' cub. Princess is in the nearby cage and getting upset. Tim comes over and tells Jody that he shouldn't have taken the cub out of the cage. Jody leaves with the cub instead, and when the handler Gus comes over to check on Princess, she breaks free and runs off. Gus yells a warning, and Corky confirms that the cub is gone. Tim figures that if Princess gets to Jody before they do, she'll kill him. Lem says that Chester can track them down, and Tim agrees.
Jody runs through the forest with the cub, and Princess goes after him. Chester trails the boy and leads the others to a cabin where Jody has taken refuge. Princess is outside, and Tim figures that their only option is to shoot Princess. Lem offers to calm her down with his harmonica like he does with the animals on the farm and points out that if he doesn't risk his life then Princess could kill someone else. They call to Jody to come out when Princess calms down and leave the cub behind.
Lem starts playing while Tim covers him. Princess calms down and Jody runs out. His brother runs out and Princess goes in after him. After a moment, Lem yelps and runs out, closing the door behind him. Everyone congratulates Lem, and Jody says that he borrowed the cub so he could learn to be a lion-tamer. Lem tells Tim that he and Chester are going home with Jody, and Tim tells him that there's always been a place for him if he wants it.
Written by Gadfly on Sep 10, 2017