tions at once, and had, when necessary, a tongue that could flay a rhinoceros. Under its lash even the liontamer had been known to quail.
Big Dan did not work. He watched: still resplendent in his ring-master's outfit of dress-clothes and top-hat, a curious contrast to the sweating, panting men in shirts and trousers. No smallest detail escaped his roving, watchful glance. He knew by the sounds just when one laden wagon moved off, another taking its place. His ears, that served him as well as another man's eyes, noted that the restless growls and roarings in the menagerie lines had died down to satisfied murmurs that signified that all the big cats were fed: that the elephants were pushing the great wheeled cages into place, ready to move: that the horses were being watered and rubbed down. Every sound carried its message of well-drilled activity.
But his eyes were for the heart of the Circus—the huge performing tent, known as the Big Top. He watched until it was empty. One flaring torch, all that was left of the many that had seemed an illumination indeed to the bush audience, revealed a trodden expanse of grass, the sawdust-sprinkled ring faintly showing in the gloom. Big Dan walked round it slowly, his glance keen for a chance broken bottle that might cut the precious canvas when it waa lowered. Nothing. The men had scattered to the ropes outside. He took down the torch from the center-pole and followed them.
"All ready?" he thundered.