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him you'11 be on with him in the ring tonight. Same act as last night."

The boy's eyes widened. "Me, sir?"

"Yes, you. Think you can do it again?"

Hugh could only nod, for he was speechless. A slow smile twitched the corners of his mouth. Big Dan watched him.

"Like the Circus?"

"Love it," said Hugh, with his whole soul.

"H'm. Well, you an' Joey come to the Big Top in half an hour. I want to see what you can do. Bring Jeff along too. That's all."

All! Hugh stood open-mouthed, staring after the retreating giant. All! Why, it was the world! He was to be in the ring. The Boss wanted to try him out. And—oh, best of all, Jeff was to be in it too! Jeff, who had been so decent to him, would get something out of it. It was beyond belief—only the Boss had said it, and he hadn't scowled once. If it hadn't been so incredible one might almost have thought he looked friendly.

"Oh, where's Jeff?" he uttered. "Hang this bucket!" He seized it and carried it off at a rate that splashed half of it over his legs. Pazo's back was turned: he put it down and ran like a hare, cheeks scarlet, curls flying, to find his friend.

"Wants me?" Jeff uttered, amazed. "What on earth for? I'm no clown."

"I don't know. But he isn't wild, Jeff. He was decent. Not a bit like last night."