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been rather an old stick—means well, but I suppose his heart's in pigs. Now he'11 have three clowns that'11 work together cheerful an' happy, an' his wage-bill won't be nearly as high—which is very soothin' to the Boss. He's as near bein' gay as I've ever seen him!"

"I say!" Hugh exclaimed. "Do you mean I'll be a regular clown—working out things with Joey and Micky?"

"You will, for a bit, anyhow. But only in one half of the program." Jeff was suddenly serious. "Because you're never to forget, Hugh, that riding's your real job. That's what you're cut out for. You're goin' to be a rider, not a clown, when I get my circus!" Their eyes met: in that moment the Dream-Circus semed very near.

"O—oh!" said Hugh, softly. "I won't forget, Jeff, true. An' you know I'd rather ride than anything."

You 11 ride all right. Oh, things are lookin' up for Micky an' you an' me. We've become too precious to travel on a lorry!"

"How do you mean?"

"We're performers—at least you an' I are, an' Micky nearly is. Performers," stated Jeff with due solemnity, mustn t be allowed to get wet, like ordinary hands. They got to be cared-for, tucked-up in bed at night an' all that—can't be let sleep in a leaky little tent, even. So you an' Micky an' me are to inherit the Pratts' wagon!"

Jeff! Hugh could only stare. This was beyond his dreams.