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THE sun was well up when Hugh opened his eyes.

He jumped out of bed in a hurry, annoyed with himself, for he had meant to be out before the Circus was astir. There was no sound in the house. Father must be still asleep. He hurried over his dressing and ran out.

"I'd better call him," he thought.

Father's door stood open, and Hugh noticed, mildly surprised, that he had already made his bed. Then, looking more closely, he realized that he had not gone to bed at all. The blue quilt was dented, the pillow crumpled beneath it: he seemed to have thrown himself down on it, just as it was.

"Queer," commented Hugh. "Must have been jolly cold."

He was too anxious to get out to the Circus to think twice about Father's peculiar conduct. So he hurried into the living-room, hoping that the fire was alight.

But there were only gray ashes on the hearth, and the room seemed strangely desolate. Heaps of ashes. Father