brave a sight that little Hugh Russell forgot all his sorrows. It did not even occur to him that he was leaving the only home he knew, never to see it again.
Something of his fear came back to him presently. Big Dan and Crowe, having shepherded the Circus out of the field and put up the slip-rails, came cantering along the side of the track, having no mind to ride in the dust of the vehicles. Their beautiful horses so enchanted Hugh that he forgot altogether that his friend of yesterday had turned into an enemy. He clutched Nita, leaning forward. "Oh, look—aren't they splendid!" he uttered.
Big Dan had begun to smile at his little daughter. Then he saw the eager face beside her in the doorway and the smile turned to a heavy frown. He rode past with no word, and Hugh shrank back under his scowl.
Where Hugh was concerned Big Dan was in an evil temper. He had been worsted that morning, and he knew it: and he was accustomed to boast that no man ever got the better of Dan Peterson. It was rankling sharply. John Russell, whom he had classed from the first moment as a "waster," since he was obviously a beaten man, had managed to beat him: he had vanished, bequeathing his son to him, and he had been forced to accept the legacy. Russell alone could not have managed it: he had been defeated by his own wife and child. Dan knew that Polly had been glad to beat him, with Nita's unlookedfor aid: that she had thought him hard and cruel. That rankled, too. He gave such short answers to his com-