Corky is practicing on the trampoline as Joey, Pete, and Bimbo look on. Tim comes over and tells them that he just cinched a week's booking at the Lincoln County Fair. They figure that it will make up money for what they've been losing, and can't make Colonel Jack Bixby's payment. Corky figures that Jack won't mind, and Tim is heading east to pick up a couple of new acts. He wants Pete and Joey to handle things while he's away. Once they go, Corky tells Bimbo that they should write to Jack.
Soon, Jack is in a conference room cutting up paper dolls of elephants and yawning as he sits through a board meeting. His accountant, Mr. Meeker, reads off the business. He hides a letter but when Jack sees him, he demands to see Corky's letter. Jack insists that the circus is more important to him, but then reads the letter saying that Tim is going to get new acts and business is better. He figures that they need him at the circus but Meeker disagrees. Jack tells him that he should read between the lines, and they need him to run the circus. When Meeker objects, Jack figures that the other business will wait until he gets back and adjourns the meeting.
Soon, Jack sends the circus boxes of snakes and squids, and a carriage. Corky receives a telegram that Jack is coming and it says that he's taking over in Tim's absence. They realize that he's arriving that day, and Joey warns Pete that there's not much they can do if Jack wants to run the circus. He figures that Jack can't get too wrong if they're there to help him, and wonders how he found out that Tim was gone. Corky hastily excuses himself just as Jack arrives in a carriage drawn by an ostrich. He greets everyone and introduces the ostrich, Emma, as the only racing ostrich in the U.S. Jack takes Corky with him to town to put up handbills to challenge the fastest horse in town to a race.
That night, Jack introduces the race. He offers refunds for anyone that isn't satisfied, and gets into the carriage. Pete starts the race and the ostrich doesn't move at first, and then takes off the wrong way.
The next morning, Jack wonders to Corky why he falls flat when he's running a circus. He points out that everyone demanded their money back, and goes to the mess tent to fix everyone shark's liver soup. The workers are less than thrilled, and Cookie explains that Jack prepared the meal. Pete is ready to quit, and wonders why Jack doesn't go to run one of his other businesses. Joey says that Jack went to get them a great new attraction.
Jack checks out a local trained Brahma bull and takes Corky with him.
buys it and brings it back, and introduces the cow and its owner, Joe. Joe puts the bull through its paces, just as Cookie comes over and complains that Emma ate a whole box of food. The bull panics and wrecks the midway, and Jack realizes that he messed up again. He builds a new midway, but tells Corky that buying things out of his own pocket isn't answer. Jack admits that he's a flop at running the circus, but gets an idea and tells Pete and Joey that they should head to Coaltown instead of Carbon City. Joey points out that they're meeting Tim at Carbon City, but Jack says that they can send him a message. He owns Coaltown and figures that they can't meet, and Joey suggests that they play it safe. Jack refuses and presents all of his arguments. Pete disagrees, noting that they haven't played Coaltown before. Joey and Pete vote for Carbon City, and Jack, Corky, and Bimbo vote for Coaltown. once Jack leaves, Joey heads out to find Tim.
Later, the circus arrives in Coaltown. There's a big crowd, and Pete and Tim arrive. Even Tim is impressed, but Pete figures that Jack is still a jinx. A whistle goes off at the mine and Jack figures that it's a disaster. He takes a carriage over and Corky goes with him. When they arrive, the foreman tells them that eight men are trapped in an old shaft. He didn't put in any new supports because he wrote to Jack three times and never got an answer. The miners went in because they thought Jack thought it was safe. Jack blames himself for not sticking to his own job, and Mike warns that there's a lot of rock to be moved. It's too dangerous to blast, and they need more men to dig. Jack grabs a shovel and goes to work, and Corky gets an idea.
Later, all of the circus workers arrive to help dig. They go to work and have Bimbo move the big rocks. They finally open a hole and Jack insists on going in. A few minutes later he climbs out and says that the trapped miners are okay, and admits to Corky that he had good friends to help him get back on his feet.
Back at the circus, Jack tells the others that he's going back to what he knows how to do. They assure him that they can get along with him, but they'll all miss him. Jack promises to come back but just as a visitor, and Pete tells Emma to behave.
Written by Gadfly on Oct 8, 2017