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said Micky, as Russell did not speak. " 'Tis the way his mind was onaisy about him. We've been tryin' to set him at rest."

"Better come over to the office, and we'11 have a word," said the Boss sharply. He led the way into the tent, and waved Russell into a chair. They faced each other across the table with its flickering hurricane-lamp.

"Well—are you thinkin' of takin' him with you? An' what sort of a trick did you play me?"

Russell told his brief story again.

"I knew you had taken him," he ended. "I watched you from the bush. But I knew I'd done an unfair thing to you. A man only does such a thing when he is desperate. I couldn't know how you would treat him."

"We've treated him all right. An' what now?"

"I've got my job—clerking cargo on a coastal boat. It's not much, but I'm saving every penny. I thought if he were well and happy I would leave him for a while: only ... I had to find out." There was pain in the eyes that met Big Dan's. "I suppose you think I played you a lowdown trick, but I can teil you I've paid for it. He's all I've got."

"An' he's a good kid," said the Boss, his tone more gentle. "Made for a circus, he is. You trained him well— I'll say that for you. He's worth money to us: you'd guess that from seein' him in the ring."

"He may be—but I want my boy!"

Big Dan's brain worked swiftly.