awful sick, an' Mummy whacked me. Mummy can whack, too!" She screwed up her face at the memory of the painful moment.
"Where's the bucking bullock?" asked Hugh, cutting short these confidences. He, too, liked Nita: it was pleasant to hear that she preferred him to Eddie. But no girl had a chance in his mind beside a Circus.
"Oh, he died on us. I think he bucked too hard, an' it didn't agree with him. Daddy's looking out for another, 'cause they always make the crowd laugh. There's Jeff. H'lo, Jeff!" She waved vigorously to a lad some distance away, who responded gravely.
"He's pretty new. He's only a tent-man, but Mr. Crowe's teaching him ring work. I like Jeff. He always grooms Merrylegs if he can, an' he does things for Mummy. There's the dinner-bell!"
The cook had come to the door of his wagon, beating with an iron spoon on a tin dish. At the sound all the Circus people turned and drifted to the wagon, where the cook's mates served out food in enamel plates to the rank and file, while lads carried covered tins to the caravans. Each man filled his own mug with tea from a great boiler on the ground. A table on trestles had been set up near the wagon: Hugh beheld enormous loaves of bread cut up with a swiftness that amazed him.
"Nita! Hugh! Come along!"
"There's Mummy calling." Nita dashed off. Hugh