Jeff was on the ground at the first words. He held up his arms to Hugh.
"Jump! Til catch you. Now you get busy; you're as much use as a man at this job. Piek up all you can—tins or rubbish—and stow it in one corner."
Hugh remembered the "potato races" at school as he fled. The memory helped him to work on a line, without wasting time by useless running here and there, and he made a potato race of his task. Jeff noted with approval the sturdy, purposeful figure, dashing backwards and forwards, his eyes alert for the smallest piece of broken glass. A battered tin can served him as a receptable: he filled and emptied it several times before the pitch was pronounced safe for horses. Even then, just as the first caravan turned in, his sharp eyes caught a gleam of metal in a tuft of short grass: he raced forward and retrieved a wicked-looking nail in a splinter of pine, almost under the horses' forefeet. Dodging backwards with it, he almost collided with Big Dan, who was standing by his horse. Hugh gave one glance of alarm and scuttled like a rabbit.
Big Dan saw, of course, but he gave no sign. Jeff patted Hugh's head.
"Good work. Now you stand by for the lorry."
It came in presently, and he was allowed to help Jeff with the horses while Carl and Micky attacked the load. They placed it on the grass, the tent still folded, the seats stacked in regular sizes so that they could be systematically carried into their places when the Big Top was up.