leap that raised a guffaw, and approached Hugh, his sad face puckered as if about to weep.
"Ain't you sorry me fader's tumbled off his gee-gee?" he demanded in a squeak.
A laugh ran round the house. People craned forward to see the clown taking a rise out of a spectator.
Hugh was dumbfounded for a moment. Only a moment, however. He was Circus hand enough to know he must not let Joey down.
"Yes!" he piped.
"I knew you was," blubbered Joey. "Won't you be a fader to me?"
"I—I'd like to!" It was all he could think to say, and therefore it sounded natural, especially as his nervousness made his voice a high squeak that could be heard all round the tent. There was a roar.
"I knew you looked ki-ind! Well, I always feed my faders when they're kind—come along, Daddy!" The great arms gathered him up. The mouthpiece of the bottle was thrust between his lips. It was the old business they had practiced many a time on the lorry—luckily, not in this town, which they had entered at night. Hugh kicked and struggled manfully as he was borne into the ring, and the crowd shouted itself hoarse.
"Play up, KM!" Joey whispered. "Dodge when I put you down."
That was not hard—and he had watched the ring work so often. He managed to shove the bottle into Joey's mouth and his wriggle to the ground had all the appear-