The friendly voices followed him as he walked away from the caravan in the dusk; very tired, but with a kind of inner glow that remained with him even after he was back at the house. Father was in his own room. He came out at the sound of Hugh's step.
"Well—had a good day?"
"Oh, gorgeous!" Just for a moment his heart smote him. Father looked so tired, so anxious. "Did I stay away too long, Father? They asked me."
"No, not a bit. You like Circus people?"
"Oh, they're splendid! They were just awfully good to me."
"Well—I'm glad you made friends," said John Russell, slowly. "Better get off to bed, old chap. I'll come in."
He came when Hugh was in bed, and tucked hun up very carefully. When he kissed him he held hun tightly for a moment; almost too tightly to be comfortable.
"Good night, little son."
"Good night, Father."
Father stood up, looking at him. For a moment Hugh thought he was going to speak again; but he turned with a sharp movement and went out.
The wonderful day was over. Yet not quite. For as Hugh's eyelids drooped there came an unfamiliar sound —it made him start before he remembered. A long coughing roar: Nabob had finished his "long thoughts and was putting his homesickness into his voice. It echoed round the hills. Hugh seemed to carry the sound into his dreams.