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The Pirate Chief swung into his saddle and blew a whistle. At the sound the blue caravan moved off, lurching so that Hugh and Nita bumped their heads together, and Mrs. Dan, still clutching the black kettle, sat down abruptly on the table. They led the way to the road: behind them the other caravans feil into line, keeping a regular interval. Mrs. Dan put the children on the floor near the door, which she hooked back, so that they could see the long procession file out. She herself watched with a critical eye, hoping that no hitch would occur as a further tax upon the patience of her husband. Big Dan's stock of patience was not great—except in training an animal—and it had already been sorely tried that morning. The order of his procession was very dear to him. He knew its value in impressing the inhabitants of the little bush townships on the line of march.

Nothing went wrong, happily. The Circus moved with the precision of long drill. Caravans, wagons, lorries, and last of all the elephants; they were kept to the rear so that the country folk should have a thrill to the very last when Peterson's Circus went by. The wagon immediately behind the last caravan was a big affair with open sides under a high roof: it held the band, the members of which were busily polishing their instruments. Men were asprawl everywhere on the lorry loads, smoking, basking in the morning sunshine. The rays, filtered through the overhanging gum-trees, made chequered patterns on the horses' shining coats and turned the brass harness-mounts to gleaming points of gold. It was so