"Thank you," said Hugh's parent, hastily: "I hope he won't try!"
"We won't suggest it," said Big Dan, chuckling. "But he'd be all right. There he comes, now!"
Ram Singh offered his trunk, at a word from the keeper. Hugh found a more or less unsteady footing on what looked rather like a smoke-gray cable, and George swung him to the ground. The game was over. The elephants were foot-picketed and Hugh flung himself into the work of feeding them, staggering from the wagon near with bundies of hay that hid his small form. He divided his attentions equally between the trio, and the elephants looked at him benevolently.
"Tiger for a job, ain't he?" commented Big Dan. "Mightn't last, though, if he had it every day. Ah, here's my girl!"
His heavy face lit up as his little daughter flung open the caravan door and raced down the steps.
"Daddy! Can that boy come to breakfast?"
"Mind your manners, Nita," said Big Dan, ceremoniously. "Say how-do nicely to Mr. Russell."
Nita flashed a smile and offered a hand with the ease of a public favorite. But it was clear that her interest did not lie with Hugh's father.
"Can he, Daddy? Mummy says so."
"Why, you've got to ask Mr. Russell about that. He may want Hugh himself. We'd like to have him, if he can spare him." It was on the tip of Dan's tongue to extend the invitation to the father, but something held