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prayed that she might be strong enough to plead successfully for Hugh.

The shrieks that came from the blue caravan after Big Dan had disappeared within it made his heart sink lower. To him it was evident that Nita had required chastisement and was getting it with a severity that gave little hope that Nita's father had experienced any change of heart. He reflected anxiously that Peterson must indeed be in a furious mood to bring such cries from the child whom he evidently worshiped. Hugh's chances became more and more remote: they vanished in his mind altogether when he saw the Circus-owner fling angrily out of the caravan and stride away with a lowering face.

"Oh, Lord—I wish they'd all clear out!" he muttered.

Then his heart leaped again as Mrs. Dan came out and hurried across to the house. The brisk figure disappeared: he peered anxiously through the leaves, shaking with suspense. Would she never end it? What was she saying to Hugh?

A great sigh of relief broke from him when at length he saw her again, and Hugh with her. She was holding his hand: his straining eyes took in every line of the boy's dejected figure—but he could bear that now. The heaviest part of his burden feil from him when the blue caravan received his child.

He watched the work of dismantling the cottage. That in itself was reassuring. They must be going to keep Hugh with them: had they intended to hand him over