There was an answering shout, rippling round the tent—"Ay, ay, sir!"
At the "go" every man gripped his rope. The heavy central ring slid earthwards: and slowly the great mass of canvas shuddered down until it lay on the grass, a vast blot. The men flung themselves upon it, casting it off from the pole, wrestling with the weight of its mighty folds; their fingers slipping on the wet surf ace: a big task for giants, it seemed, in the darkness, but each could have worked blindfold. Big Dan muttered angrily at the rain, and went with long strides to his caravan, returning in an old coat and hat. The canvas was loaded on a lorry: then the mighty center-pole was lowered and disjointed there was a moment when The Boss had to leap forward to a rope that threatened danger when a man slid helplessly on the wet grass. The man, a lightly-built fellow, glanced nervously at his master as he regained his footing.
Big Dan, however, was in good humor. He said, "Better learn to dig y'r heels in, Jeff; can't afford to slip when we're playin' about with the big stick." Jeff breathed freely again. He had seen a man knocked down for a less
It was all done at last: the ground searched for stray tent-pegs, the litter cleared up and burned—Big Dan was proud of his reputation for leaving a camping-ground neat. Already the caravans and cages were on the road, strung out behind a man who waited to lead them, carry-