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"It's more than I'd ever dared to hope for," Jeff said. "I was feeling a bit mean about getting ahead of you, Micky, old man."

"Yerra, ye'11 need to harden y'r heart bef ore ye get to own a circus," answered Micky, cheerfully. "Ye'11 not be able to pull every lame dog after ye up the ladder."

"Lame dog, your granny! You made the Boss grin on your first day, an' that's more than Jimmy has done in all the years he's been with the show. You see, you haven't got to act at all, Micky; all you've got to do is to be the blithering ass Nature made you!" He dodged a boot, flung with more vigor than skill.

"It's true, though. Poor old Jimmy works like a carthorse for every laugh he gets, an' Joey relies principally on his height an' his fooi get-up. But you'11 make a game of it, like Hugh does."

"I may—though I've visions of meself groanin' under bushes with me head in me hands, thinkin' how to be funny. Ye never can teil—the things that make simple lads like you grin may only bring sobs from the bored inhabitants of Woop-Woop. 'Twill be hard to play wid that wee fellow, Toby—he'11 not make it easy f'r a new man. Anyhow, he won't be fit f'r the ring this good while, thanks be to the Saints!"

"He's no loss. Wonder where Hugh is. I want to see the kid's face when we teil him."

"I didn't see him anywhere about. He'11 be with Nita, I shouldn't wonder, or playin' with little Crowe. We'11 teil him when the show's over."