miles to the Circus—who would have come twice as far at the mere hint of a Circus—sniffed contemptuously at the idea of carriages that could go without horses; declaring they would believe it when they saw it. Now, a good light buggy with a decent pair—that was ambition high enough for any man. They faced the weary homeward journey light-heartedly, heedless of the drizzling rain that was beginning to patter softly. Rain was welcome at almost any time, even in an uncovered cart: and after a Circus there was enough talk for a dozen journeys. The yellow flicker of lamps and hurricane-lanterns gleamed fitfully among the trees long after the last hoof-beats had died away.
But at the Circus itself there was hurry and activity. No sleep for the folk of the roads, with two full marches ahead before the next township, and grim bush tracks for the heavy caravans. In wagons and lesser tents performers were hurriedly changing into the clothes of every day: here and there a baby cried angrily, disturbed by a father or mother casting aside spangled tights and gaudy jackets of cheap silk, snatching mouthfuls of food during the process. The gay trappings of the big tent, the red carpet that covered the best seats, the flags draping the musicians' box, were rolled up almost before the last spectator was clear of the en trance. Blue poles came down: the benches were carried out, to be stacked in a wagon. Every man had his place and his job; all worked like parts of a machine, under the eye of the Boss—big Dan Peterson, who was known to be able to see in six direc-