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"is the chance of me getting hurt. Me, that never was slung off a horse yet!"

"Oh, well " said Big Dan; and became absorbed in

mopping up the last remnant of gravy with a piece of bread. "Anyhow, it's enough on my mind to let Nita take to it. But it stops in a few years, Polly, you mark my words. Off she goes to boarding-school then—one of the real slap-up ones. I'm not going to have my girl grow up in the ring."

"Like her mother did," added Mrs. Dan, wickedly.

"You grew up in it 'cause you had to. And you grew up like—like a flower," said her husband, with a touch of sentiment that would have greatly startled his men. "Nothing could touch you that wasn't clean and good. But just because you and I know what the life is we'11 take Nita out of it, I reckon."

"If she'11 go," said Nita's mother.

"Go? I'll say she'11 go!" thundered the other parent. "What—that kid to think she's got any say in the matter? I'll precious quick teach her if "

"What are you making such a noise for, Daddy?" demanded a sleepy voice from the other side of the curtain.

Big Dan was up with one of the quick, lithe movements that had helped, in his youth, to make him a notable liontamer. He bent over the little bunk.

"There, you drop off again, Daddy's precious," he said, softly. "Don't you worry; we're all on the road, nice and comfortable."

"Well, you roared," said Nita, drowsily.