"Of course you haven't, you little duffer. The police would only send you to a Boys' Home. It's their job, when a boy's got no belongings. You've got a father, but he don't belong—not at the moment, anyhow."
"Daddy said " broke in Nita excitedly.
"You sit right down on the floor again and hold your tongue, young lady!" snapped Mrs. Dan. "I've had all I want of your tantrums this morning—you're going to find out all about that presently."
Nita sat down promptly. Her lip quivered.
"I don't want any castor-oil, Mummy!"
"Little girls that don't want castor-oil had better learn to behave as such," said Mrs. Dan, darkly. 'Til see to you in good time. Did you hear me, Carmenita?"
Nita heard. She was silent.
"Well, I'm not keen on letting you go to a Home," Mrs. Dan said, turning to Hugh. 'Til do my best to persuade Mr. Peterson. But you mustn't run away with the idea that you're a fine gentleman now. Not here. You're just one of the hands—if we keep you: doin' what you're told, an' doin' it quick. See?"
"Y—yes," said Hugh.
"An' you won't be in our wagon, of course. Hands don't come hanging round the Owner's wagon, an' Mr. Peterson wouldn't allow it for a moment. You'11 get your meals at the mess-wagon, an' I'll arrange some place for you to sleep: it won't be a comfortable bed like you're used to, but you'11 learn to put up with that. You won't find that Circus life is a picnic. It's anything but. You'11