was quick to cover his mistakes. The performance went on calmly for a time.
Disaster came when Toby had to do some clowning with a pony, rushing forward when its rider was on the ground, mounting, and galloping out with his face towards its tail, pursued with shouts of wrath by the rider and with wailing by Joey. He made his run, but stumbled heavily as he leaped, landing across the pony. There he balanced precariously during the gallop round the ring, clawing feebly at the pony's side, while the crowd rocked with laughter.
There was no laughter for the Circus folk, for they knew it could end in only one way. Their sole hope was that the pony might carry him out of sight; but this was denied them. At the exit from the ring Toby's head went down: he feil heavily, his head striking the wooden edging. The pony fled, and he lay still.
There was a rush of hands to the spot, hiding the dwarf as they carried him out. Big Dan signaled the next turn into the ring: the band played louder. But the crowd was thrilled and interested. There was something of an uproar. men shouted Is he hurt?"—there were even a few hisses at the acrobats who were doing their best to secure attention. Big Dan slipped out of the tent quickly: the uproar grew, and the acrobats paused in their turn. Joey stood uncertainly, his weeping-baby face for once expressing his feelings.
Big Dan was back in a moment, holding up a hand. The band ceased playing.