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"He's not so raw. Those two fellows he's with have been training him all along. Joey has put him up to a lot of tricks; he's a wiry little chap, an' they've exercised him well—you saw for yourself last night how supple he is. Jeff's had him every night watching the show, studyin' the ring-work."

The Boss stared blankly.

"I've always seen him," he admitted. "Thought he must be mighty struck on it, to turn up every night, but it didn't worry me. But what's Jeff's idea?"

Crowe grinned.

"I've an idea Jeff's got ambitions of his own. He's a good lad, by the way, Boss: not a more reliable fellow in the whole crowd. He can ride too. He's worth keeping your eye on. Micky and he are a cut above the rest; they're keen on the Circus for its own sake. Anyhow, it's amused them to give young Hugh a bit of training in more ways than one. That was a cute idea, you know; to send him into the seats to study just what a man did an' why he did it: footwork an' stance, an' all the rest of it. I've heard he's spent whole evenings never taking his eyes off Joey an' Toby, watching their methods. And he's a sharp kid."

"H'm," grunted Big Dan, turning these revelations over in his mind.

"It's my idea," said Crowe, "that you could use him in a dozen ways. There's his appearance: good-looking kid, an' a perfect contrast to Nita, as fair as she's dark. They say he can ride: think how they'd take the crowd, him