Title: Untitled [I am glad to note that the Bernarts Theatre]

Periodical: The Belgian News

Date: May 29, 1891

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I am glad to note that the Bernarts Theatre, with Mlle. Rossi [1] in Die Fledermaus and the Bettelstudent, is doing a better business, but for the moment all counter attractions (including an ugly dwarf who parades the streets in the garb of a German General) are totally eclipsed by the presence of Colonel W. F. Cody and his cosmopolitan following of cowboys, Red Indians, Mexican hidalgos, prize marksmen, bucking horses, and real buffaloes. For four entire days, the mighty slayer of "Yellow Hand" (one hardly recognizes our old friend of 1887 as "Gelbe Hand") will reign supreme in the Urbs Aquensis. He has pitched his camp on a strip of waste ground, lying between the brand new barracks in which three battalions of the 53rd, or Kaiser Friederich's Infantry Regiment, jealously guard the frontiers of the Empire, and the recently restored castle of Frankenberg—a tea and beer garden in its green old age, but 1,200 years ago the scene of the romantic enchanted ring episode traditionally ascribed to Frastradas, Charlemagne's fourth wife, and afterwards "the beloved retreat of the Emperor so rich in glory." It is true that the soldiers can look down from their windows on the glories of the "Wild West" quite as conveniently as the paying spectators within the hoardings, but Major Burke only shrugged his broad shoulders good humouredly, and observed that they were heartily welcome to the treat. On Friday afternoon very little was done, and a herd of cows grazed peacefully in the centre of the arena, but by Sunday morning everything was so well arranged that Colonel Cody could carry out his elaborate programme "rain or shine." By 3 o'clock there was not a vacant seat, and the performance was gone through with the precision one might have expected. Those who took part in it had been located for a week previously in the land of baths. The "Wild West" has not lost one iota of its old interest. One missed, it is true, the clarion voice of Orator Richmond and some of the stalwart cowboys we saw at South Kensington, but the show was the same, the Deadwood coach, pretty Miss Annie Oakley, "der kleine Johnny Baker," and all the rest, although the personality of the Araphoes, and the Cheyennes has doubtless been changed, and the fair little "Sure Shot" we were all in love with in the jubilee year may possibly have some difficulty in recognising herself when described by the aid of Teutonic adjectives an inch long. It was not easy to connect even in the imagination such peaceable-looking savages as "Plenty Wolves," "Short Bull" or "Kicking Bear" (I beg his pardon, he was "Ausschlag Baar" at Aachen), with recent stirring events on the other side of the Atlantic, but the youthful needlemakers and cloth-weavers cheered the lassoing business and the mustangs to the echo, while the American "cure-guests" soon forgot their rheumatism and other ailments over their admiration for Miss Oakley or their enthusiasm at hearing ice-creams and sundry other Yankee delicacies cried out by a genuine negro from South Carolina. Colonel Cody looks a trifle older and somewhat greyer than he did four years ago, but his eye is as clear and his aim as true as ever, and he still remains the most picturesque feature in a "combination" which has never yet been rivalled. The "Wild West" bids fair to carry everything before it in spite of the weather, and on Thursday afternoon, the 28th inst. the old Deadwood coach will be careering madly round the once tranquil plains of Tenbosch at Brussels. Colonel Cody will remain ten days in Brussels, from whence he will proceed to Ghent and then to Antwerp and is due at Leeds at the end of June.

Note 1: Mlle. Rossi is possibly Blanche Rossi who sang various operatic roles in the late 19th century. [back]

Title: Untitled [I am glad to note that the Bernarts Theatre]

Periodical: The Belgian News

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, SCR-MS6.3681.404.02 (1887-91 Oakley scrapbook)

Date: May 29, 1891

Topic: European Tours

Keywords: American bison American Indians Arapaho Indians Cattle Cheyenne Indians Cowboys Firearms Indians of North America Mexicans Mustang Sharpshooters Shooters of firearms Shooting Stagecoaches

People: Baker, Lewis H., 1869-1931 Burke, John M., -1917 Kicking Bear, 1853-1904 Short Bull, -1915 Yellow Hand, 1850?-1876

Places: Antwerp (Belgium) Brussels (Belgium) Ghent (Belgium) Leeds (England) South Carolina South Kensington (London, England)

Sponsor: This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Geraldine W. & Robert J. Dellenback Foundation.

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