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revealed the pencil—she exclaimed that he had chosen it to match her wagon. And best of all—to race to Tinker and feel his soft nose nuzzling into the hand that held the lump of sugar.

His own earnings!

Life on the pitch was too busy to allow much playing with Nita; still, there were occasional half-hours, and they brought childhood back into Hugh's heart. Lennie Crowe could not do that, for with Lennie he feit more like a benevolent uncle. Only with Nita, gay, irresponsible, always demanding fun, could he forget that he was a ring-hand with a thousand things to learn. "Sure, it does me heart good to see them two playin' pranks," said Micky. " 'Twas afraid I was that the boy had forgotten how to be naughty. But 'tis not so, please the pigs!"

Another red-letter day came soon. Hugh was sitting at the en trance of their little tent when he saw Jeff emerge from the Big Top. He looked round, saw Hugh, and came striding across to him. There was a light in his eyes that the boy had never seen before.

"What's up, Jeff?" he asked quickly.

Jeff dived into the tent.

"I am," he said. "Let me get where I can grin unseen!"

"Jeff! Teil me!"

"That's what I came to do, only I was afraid I'd burst before I got under cover. I've got a rise, old son. I'm for the ring!"

"Golly!" uttered the delighted Hugh. "What? Riding?"

"Partly. I'm to do attendant work an' take a part in

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