I just wanted to share a story I heard from a research acquaintance of a friend. I haven't had time to verify it but wante to get it down while it was still fresh in my mind.
This man's great--great aunt Simone Simons lived in Baltimore at the time The Humble Reed Family Circus was at its peak. She worked at the show as a popcorn sales person. Those days, they walked the aisle with trays and such. She told this man a story once about a slim, smooth-faced man with shocking red hair who appeared one day out of nowhere. Dale Reed had hired him to mend cages. But Simone swears she saw him whispering in the animals' ears. Birds flocked to his arms. A tiger bowed. Silly stuff to you and me but she swore on her life.
Her whole life, she only referred to him as "that slim man," but on her deathbed, she confessed to her only living son that she had had a relationship with this man. An "almost hypnotic affair" were her exact words. Oh, and she'd called him Mew because of his talents with cats. But he'd left her when he gained the circus. Obviously, this is Bartholomew.
But if this is his great great aunt--how old is he?? And this selling of the circus was some 85 years ago. None of it adds up.