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Eddie recoiled, trembling. Toby was very terrible when he chose.

"Oh, I won't funk it, Tobe—true as life, I won't."

"You'd hadn't better. Now you clear out—the less we're seen together the safer we are." Again his face grew threatening. "I'll be watchin' you tonight—remember!"

Jeff and Micky were hurried in their dressing that evening. They had had a long trial and conference in the ring with Big Dan; so long, indeed, that it left them little time to obtain what food they could from the messwagon and to eat it while they dressed.

Had they been forced to go without food altogether it would not have troubled them that evening. They were in the highest spirits. Not only had the great man deigned to approve of Jeff's riding, ending by offering him enough work in the ring to release him from any tent-work—but he had tried Micky out in clowning with Joey, and had actually been moved to laughter more than once at the Irishman's drollness. Big Dan was quick to recognize anything that made a difference to ordinary performances; it was clear to him that an Irish clown, with his rich brogue and his quaint turns of speech would provide that "something different" for which he was always looking.

"Well, you can have Jimmy's job when he goes," he said finally. "I'll take you on at it for a month on trial. But I reckon you'11 hold it down."

The two friends went over the afternoon happily as they dressed.