and the procession came to a halt. There was instant activity. Men leaped down, filling nose-bags, unharnessing horses, lighting cooking-fires. Faces appeared at caravan doorways: performers began to stroll about, glad to stretch their legs. Mrs. Dan turned to Hugh swiftly.
"You come along with me," she said. "Stay where you are, Nita."
Hugh had to run to keep up with her. She hurried to a lorry that had been one of the last to cross the bridge. It was laden with neatly-piled planks, the Circus seats, covered with the great mass of tarpaulin that was a sleeping tent. Men were busy with the horses, unfastening the heavy traces. Mrs. Dan waited until they were released before she called aside the man she wanted.
"Jeff, I wish you'd keep your eye on this boy. He's coming with us. Let him bunk near you, an' put him up to things: he's handy an' he'11 learn quick."
"Right-oh, Mrs. Peterson. Is he for the ring?"
"Oh, no. Just an odd-job boy." She dropped her voice so that Hugh could not hear what followed. "Father's cleared out an' left him, an' the Boss isn't too keen on having him with us. But I couldn't leave him alone, so he's on trial. Make him useful, Jeff, an' keep him out of the Boss's sight as much as you can. There's room for him on your lorry, isn't there?"
"Oh, stacks. He don't take up much room," said Jeff cheerfully, glancing at Hugh. "Got his own blankets, hasn't he?"
"Yes, and his clothes are in our wagon. You can get