"O-oh!" he said. It was the first money he had possessed since he joined the Circus. "Sure you can spare it, Mrs. Crowe?"
"I guess I can. Be off, now—see you next time I go in. Here—your hair's like nothing earthly—let me tidy you." She seized a brush and attacked his curls until they shone. "Now you look something like!"
Hugh kept his hand in the pocket of his jacket, clutching his precious coin, as he ran across to the Big Top. The man at the entrance greeted him in a friendly fashion.
"The cheap seats are full, I believe. You could squeeze into the front row of the shillings: there's room there."
"Think I'd better?" Hugh asked, doubtfully.
"Oh, you're all right. The Boss 'ud rather see no gap there. Slip along—he's not lookin'."
Hugh decided to risk it. He edged into the vacant place, thankful that he had put on a coat. His neighbor was a pleasant-faced woman; she let her attention wander from the acrobats for a moment, glancing at the good-looking boy with the mop of yellow curls. "One of the strangers in for the Show," she thought: and turned back to the ring.
Every performer was keyed up by the full house and the good humor of the crowd. An Agricultural Show brought spectators who were better worth playing to than the ordinary folk of a township. Show exhibitors came from far afield with their cattle and horses • men