their turn in the ring; and that was a turn that bored the hands exceedingly, since to them elephants were a commonplace matter of life, and their ring tricks were dull and childish. The crowds might hold their breath in awe as the great beasts waltzed clumsily and rang bells. The hands yawned.
But George loved his bulls. Ram Singh, Gunga and Little Ali were vivid personalities to him. He was the son of an elephant man, brought up from babyhood among them, knowing their ways, almost their thoughts. The twitch of a trunk, the flap of a great ear, every glance of the shrewd little eyes—they all brought messages to George. He knew that—dull mountains of flesh as they seemed—they had their bad times as well as their good: days when the brain hidden in the massive head worked uneasily, perhaps stirred with memories of long ago.
Particularly was this the case with Ram Singh and Gunga. Little Ali had been born in a zoo, so that he knew no life but that of civilization. He had no memories: and therefore, to his keeper he was less interesting than his big companions, who could look back to a youth spent in the jungle, to wild beasts and reptiles, to darkskinned people and the hot, confused smells of Indian cities, blazing with life and color. George would often feel a pang of sympathy for them, condemned now to the dreary routine of a -circus life, plodding from town to town on dull country roads or bush tracks where the gray-green gum-trees screened vast bare pastures, devoid of life. He wondered if they hated it when the people