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dialogue between the coppers and the puppets tickled the people silly, and continued until reinforcements arrived and the puppets were busted along with their maker and the puppeteers. The cops had a difficult time placing the dolls in custody because of their size. In fact, they were almost too large to fit into the paddy wagon, but were somehow squeezed inside after much effort.

Brooks got enthusiastically fanciful and tried to incite the crowd to "free the prisoners!" They began to rock the patrol wagon, and for a moment it seemed about to go over, but the people retreated when Brooks was popped and thrown in with his comrades. The cops drove the wagon away to the park police station, leaving Billy to dismantle the frame and carry it back to the Free Frame of Reference on Page Street with John-John, Gary and Richie. The rest of the Diggers, mostly women, scattered to raise bail money from the community.

At the station house, Captain Keily tongue-lashed Butcher but didn't charge him for attempting to incite a riot. Both puppets stood against a side wall, and cops entering and leaving the station would make startled comments like, "Will ya look how fuckin' big they are! Jesus, if one of 'em fell on somebody, it'd probably kill the son of a bitch! Why the hell does somebody make something so fuckin' big in the first place? They gotta want to hurt people! Look at how big those fuckers are!"

All five puppet showmen were charged with violating penal code 370, creating a public nuisance and were booked and locked up together in the same back cell. Emmett, like the rest, felt it was a "fun bust," the only time being arrested has ever been a fun thing in his life. It was fun when you consider that arrest was the moment he feared most during his career as a thief. This bust was just a goof--a misdemeanor punishable by a small fine, a reprimand and/ or a couple of days in the city jail, not by a term behind bars in some penitentiary.

None of the Haight Independent Proprietors, or HIP merchants, as they were called, came across with even a portion of the $625 needed to bail them out. But, after being transferred downtown to the city prison's misdemeanor tank in the Hall of Justice building, they were able to sweet-talk the head of VISTA's O.R. Project and get themselves released without bail on their own recognizance. They did this by proving to him through a series of telephone calls to the Mime Troupe and a signed affidavit from Ronnie Davis that they all lived in and had roots in San Francisco. [end page 251]


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