he ran the risk of being knocked down: if he did not care for that, he could go. There were always plenty to fill his place, among the country lads bitten with the glamour of the Circus. They submitted; working out their grievances upon each other. Only a man with a very even temper and rigid self-control could keep from quarreling.
The performers—the highly-paid "artists"—helped to jangle nerves always frayed by constant traveling, work done against time, and lack of sleep. Those who were riders burdened the lives of the grooms in a hundred ways. Pazo's men suffered constantly under his ill-temper. They declared him a good match for old Nabob. Trapeze artists, acrobats, slack-wire performers, all demanded rehearsals when the men who attended them hoped to be off duty. All the complex parts of the Circus fitted into each other so closely that the actions of one person necessarily affected those of many.
It was surely a watchful guardian angel who had thrown Hugh into the company of Jeff and Micky—to say nothing of big Carl. Among all the other men they stood out by reason of cheerful good nature and avoidance of disputes. They went their way unconcernedly, always ready to do a good turn for any one who needed it, taking life with a light-heartedness that might often be assumed, but which rarely failed. They did not drink; and all three loved the animals, and lost no opportunity of being with them. Also, they liked children, so that they did not regard as an unmitigated nuisance the small boy who had been thrust upon them.