ALBANIA: The Man Who Was King

In the rough, gaudy amusement quarter of Hamburg known as Sankt Pauli, where anything goes, one of the quieter attractions—but a good one—was white-thatched, bushy-mustached Otto Witte, a lifelong circus performer who made his first public appearance as a lion tamer at the age of eight. All Otto had to offer was stories, but it was a blase man indeed who could walk away from Otto's tales of how his skill at magic won him the honorary chieftainship of an African Pygmy tribe, or of the time that he tried to elope with the Emperor of Ethiopia's daughter.

But sooner...