A joke of a town, a hucksterville of face-painters and log-jam sideshow booths, Shamadu sidles across country, insinuating itself at the edges of county fairs, its denizens frying honey-dew burgers, and offering 'Milk o' Paradise' shakes.
Its Mayor, Professor Rainbow, is tattooed in seven colours, and his wife Esplanardia - the Mayoress - bears the old stigmata of the life-time knife-thrower's assistant. But the town has an identity which lies behind the mask of peeling grease-paint, and which sloughs off the mockery of the few visitors, who pass along its 'Avenue of Booths Of All Nations'
Its trailer homes, are a true caravanserie, and its cargo is wealth beyond the Indus.
The jewels and sequins in the headresses are real and priceless, the faded yellows - cloth of gold, the snake-eye charms emeralds.
Their strongman, who came to earth so long ago from a world with a different gravity, can crush carbon into gems between his fingers. He does this with the abstraction of a collosal child.
Their Swami, is the One incarnation of the True Llama, a muddy birthmark pressed with a podgy fingertip in haste onto the forehead of another infant in his nursery.
He reads minds with ease, calms them, adjusts karma, drinks root beer.
In the tent of the 'Haunted House' live three ghosts in mourning for the lost soul they used to torment, a younger spirit, now gone beyond. In his memory they have vowed only to do good deeds, and make such scares as tingle the body with the numinous, and impart life to the living. Many a timid visitor have they scared to life.
The music man who tinkles on the ivories in 'Prof Prestigio's Pyramid Of Pianos', holds his finger to his lips when asked to sing, and brushes back his greying kiss curl.