keep him a day. A work-shy youngster won't grow into even a good tent-hand. However, if he keeps Toby quiet he can pass muster a bit longer." He went off to see Pratt.
The business manager was quite ready to agree. He knew his son's defects and was anxious about his future. This was an opportunity of pleasing the Owner: he jumped at it. Eddie was summoned to the Presence and commanded to attend Toby at certain hours of every day: to be responsible for taking him his meals and making his purchases. It was strongly hinted to him that on Toby's contentment depended a whole skin for himself.
The boy listened sulkily, but inwardly he had no objection. It meant light work and being less at the beek and call of the men, with chances of loafing about the towns at which the Circus halted. There would be fewer cuffs, since Toby was not in a position to cuff him, even were he big enough. Altogether, Eddie was pleased with his new job.
It proved more entertaining than he had expected. Toby was so glad of any companionship that he welcomed even a twelve-year-old, and chattered to him like a magpie. He had an inexhaustible stock of stories, all of stage and circus life. The dwarf was forty, with the body of a child but the head of a man, wizened of feature. Eddie did not like to look at him and avoided his little cunning eyes; but he enjoyed his stories. Toby offered to teach him to play cards: another attraction, for the manikin was a wizard with cards. There was an awed