where to go, lacking a father. But the thing that made his heart sink was the sudden unfriendliness that had surrounded him. Yesterday he had feit like a prince: Big Dan and Mrs. Dan had been wonderful to him, Nita had been his shadow; all the people of the Circus seemed to take him to their hearts. Today he feit an outcast, although he was just the same Hugh Russell. He wondered miserably why he seemed so different in their eyes since Father had gone away: and could find no answer.
Then a small brown hand slipped into his, and Nita drew close to him.
"I'll be nice to you, Hughie," she whispered. "Even if I do get castor-oil. An' Jeff's nice. You work hard, an' Daddy won't be wild with you."
It was a very comforting little whisper. Hugh squeezed the brown paw gratefully, and began to feel better. He put his face near her ear.
"D'you think I'll ever be let ride Tinker?"
"Not yet. But there's never no knowing."
Mrs. Dan's brisk voice cut in.
"Come and wash potatoes, Hugh."
He was beside her in a moment. The potatoes were in a basket: she gave him a small stiff brush and a tin bowl of water.
"Make them clean, mind. Put them into this pot when they're done."
"Won't I peel them?" he asked.
"Oh, we know better than to peel potatoes when we