and Father a remote person belonging to another life altogether. Mother was much nearer—but not even to Jeff could he talk about that dear unseen presence who never failed him as he drifted into sleep. No other person, he knew, could possibly understand.
He was not unhappy. Life was hard and rough, but it was never dull, and he had good friends. He grew stronger in the open-air existence: muscles that had been flabby became tough. Jeff and Micky taught him "physical jerks" in odd moments, and from the tumblers and clowns he picked up such accomplishments as back somersaults, "flip-flaps," and hand-walking—his old gymnastics in the trees had been a good preparation. Jeff made him realize his body as his only stock-in-trade —a possession to be kept in hard training and discipline, supple and strong and—so far as was possible—clean. It was, indeed, one of his few complaints against Jeff that he made him wash his shirt every Sunday!