"Well, you are funny!" said the boy.
"Shouldn't have laughed at me—won't be laughed at!" came a voice with a hint of tears.
"I didn't mean to make you angry."
"Then you mustn't never laugh at me again. Promise you won't!"
Hugh pondered. To him a promise was a serious matter.
"Well, I'll try not to. But I won't promise, 'cause I might forget."
"Oh, all right." She beamed on him suddenly, and tucked a hand into his arm. " 'S a mercy Mummy didn't see me—she said she'd whack me next time I got wild! Don't you teil her, will you, Hughie?"
"Not me." Hugh feit that this mixture of lion-tamer and guilty urchin was rather beyond him. "Come and show me the horses."
They ran down the field hand in hand. From a window of the house John Iiussell, looking out wearily, saw the little, happy figures, and sighed. It seemed to him a long while since Hugh had played with any one. Once, he knew, he would have recoiled angrily from the idea of his boy's playing with a Circus child. Today he was conscious only of relief at hearing him laugh.
The horses, picketed in a long line, had almost emptied their canvas troughs. Nita went straight to a pony that whinnied eagerly as she came. He was snow-white; a beautifully-shaped little fellow, long mane and tail: and he carried himself proudly, arching his neck and beating on the ground with one dainty forefoot.