As the boy stumbled away he heard the angry voice shouting furiously at a groom, telling him to hurry up with his work. The brief episode of Hugh was over.
It seemed a long way back to the empty house. Hugh feit as if all eyes were upon him as he slipped between the wagons and through the wire fence. He would not cry while they were looking at him, though the ache in his throat grew worse and worse, so that he could scarcely breathe. Through the orchard trees he ran wildly, knoeking into one or two in his blind bewilderment: across the veranda, the desolate living-room, until he gained his own room. He flung himself face-downward upon his bed, shaking with sobs.
For a time he could think of nothing but the shattering of his dream. There would be no Circus; no gay life on the roads, seeing new places, new people, living among the horses he loved. It had been so beautiful a dream, even though so short-lived, that it hurt terribly to let it go. It was dreadful, too, to think that Mr. Peterson, who had been so kind, so friendly, had turned into somé one black and savage—some one who all of a sudden hated him. Hugh had never before seen a man's anger. He shivered at the memory.
Then, drifting across the broken dream, came the reahzation of what it meant to him. He was alone. Father had gone, quite believing that he would be cared for by the Circus. It never occurred to him to blame Father. But—what did a boy do who hadn't anybody?
He did not know. Neighbors were few and far-off; and