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"Clerkin', are you? Like your job?"

"Oh, yes—it suits me well enough. I've had a good business training; and I like the sea. But I'm not going to stick to it a moment longer than I need. I'm trying to get something that will enable me to have the boy with me."

"H'm," said Big Dan, and scratched his chin. "Wouldn't care for a job with the show, I suppose?"

"The Circus?" Russell's tone was startled.

"Yes—I'm needin' a business man. Mine's just leavin' me. Not a very swell job, but you'd have Hugh's pay as well as your own."

"He'11 have to go to school."

"Oh, give him a year or two. He's young enough, an' he's gettin' trainin' in responsibility that'11 stick to him all his life. Growin' strong too. I daresay you could give him a bit of schoolin' yourself, like my wife gives Nita— you could teach both of 'em, for that matter, odd times," said the Boss, whose ideas on education were vague. "Think it over." He lit his pipe, making a lengthy job of the process. Russell sat at the table, his head in his hands.

"I'd do it," he said at length. "It's good of you, and I'm grateful. But I can't let the ship down: they rely on me for the next voyage."

"Well, I don't think the worse of you for that. When do you come back?"

"In six or seven weeks."

The Boss considered.