"I am glad to teil you, ladies and gentlemen," the big voice boomed, "that Mr. Toby is only stunned. He will not be able to amuse you again tonight, but his friends Joey and Jimmy will do their best for you." There was a little burst of clapping, and the performance recommenced.
But it was apparent to the keen men of the Circus that the accident had caused a "break" in the enjoyment. They knew well that even one hiss is hard to cover. The acrobat turn feil flat: scarcely a clap was heard as it ended. Joey tried manfully to be funny, but Jimmy, thrown out of his stride, was a poor second. A juggling turn excited little interest.
"Can't you raise a laugh?" Big Dan whispered savagely to Joey. "The whole show'11 be a frost if this goes on!"
Joey found himself bereft of all ideas. He racked his brains, covering his perplexity by waddling round the ring sucking his bottle, trusting that his appearance of complete idiocy would excite at least faint mirth. They were all watching him: he must do something, no matter how foolish—the more foolish, indeed, the better.
Hugh was bursting with anxiety. He knew exactly what was going on—knew that his big friend was faced with inventing new "business" with no support and in a house rapidly growing bored. He leaned forward, his face eager and troubled.
The clown saw him, and his quick wit told him that here was a chance. He left the edging with an ungainly