was easy to exchange a hurried word with the keeper. They kept up the pretense of his wanting to escape. He wriggled unexpectedly from the clown's grip, slid down his back, and fled, wildly pursued by the lamenting Joey; took refuge with the elephants, turning a doublé somersault that landed him in front of Ram Singh. The keeper gave a low whistle, unheard by the benches: the great trunk curved round the boy's body and tossed him up behind the ears. Sitting on Ram Singh's head, shouting defiance at Joey, who leaned on Big Dan's shoulder weeping, Hugh made a triumphant exit from the ring.
The crowd realized that it had been fooled. A shout of laughter rose, followed by a storm of applause that drowned the band. There were cries for him to come back: Big Dan beckoned, and he ran in and bowed at the entrance to the ring. Just as the "stars" did! That astounding thought nerved him to a fresh effort: he turned a back-somersault and left. the ring, walking on his hands.
The liberty horses were coming in, and no clowns were allowed to interfere with the dignity of their turn. Joey joined Hugh in the horse-tent, where several grooms were patting him on the back. The big fellow was beaming.
"Well, you sure saved my life, son. Never thought I'd keep you more than a minute—but you played as if you'd been brought up in the ring. Where'd you learn it?"
I never learned anything," said Hugh, embarrassed. "Jeff told me to watch every night."