want tonight's performance to be the best ever, so we'11 all be on our toes."
"Then I guess I'd better get up and do all my exercises," said Hugh firmly. "I feel as if I'd slept for a year!"
He was taken aback at the warmth of the greetings that came to him as they crossed the pitch. Men slapped him on the shoulders: women performers came out of their caravans to call to him to know if he were better. Mrs. Dan met him, patted his head, and ordered him to come back to the blue caravan in a quarter of an hour to be fed. "No scratchin' round the mess-wagon for you this evening, sonny: soft-boiled eggs are what you want!" Micky and Carl and Joey hailed him joyously; the big clown beamed on hearing he was well enough for the ring. It was all rather embarrassing, if pleasant: he looked at the kindly people shyly, and was glad to dive into the little tent, to strip to the waist and scrub himself. The cool water took away the last heaviness induced by Toby's drug. Jeff rubbed him down thoroughly and he ran back to the blue caravan, fresh and glowing. And was there ever anything so good as Mrs. Dan's brown eggs and fresh bread-and-butter, with Nita chattering like a starling and Mrs. Dan herself gay and motherly?
Big Dan loomed up the steps just as he had finished. Hugh looked at him nervously, but there was only friendliness in the great man's face.
"Well, you look all right, youngster. Joey says you