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CHAPTER X THE NEW LIFE

IN the weeks that followed Hugh Russell had ample opportunity to revise all his ideas of the romance of Circus life. He buried most of them, indeed, in the first twenty-four hours.

On his father's farm his chief trouble had been loneliness. Now he was to learn what it meant to be never alone; to live every moment, day and night, in the crowded companionship of people of different types and nationalities, people who had among themselves a hundred private grudges and quarrels and jealousies that were put aside only when they became the People of the Show.

It was only natural. They lived under a strict discipline that chafed them, although they knew it could never relax. Performers might have to be coaxed and persuaded when they were difficult, but with the rank and file of the Circus there could be only the short way of the iron hand. Both Big Dan and Crowe were well fitted to use it. If a man were slack, or drank, or "answered back,"

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