She retrieved a petticoat and a pair of pantalettes from the steps of the caravan, and then went dejectedly toward the horse-tent.
It was dawn and the moon was pale. One great bar of pearly light streaked the sky. Inside the tent a row of long, serious, equine faces stared at her inquiringly, and there was a sound of munching hay. Paulina began to cry again. Chocolat, the Dancing Horse, thrust out his nose and uttered a soft consoling whinny. She was so much touched by this evidence of sympathy that acting on a sudden impulse she crept furtively into his stall. Here it was warm, and smelled sweet, and the straw was like a nest. Paulina stopped crying and immediately feil asleep, one arm clinging to Chocolat's fetlock. He was wise, and stood still like a rock, only occasionally bending his head to blow through his nostrils with a sound indicative of the greatest possible astonishment.
Once more the circus slept.
She was roused in the morning by the sound of a pail clinking and some one whistling at the far end of the horsetent. She lay for a moment dazed, trying in vain to remember what tremendous upheaval accounted for her presence there in the straw beside the Dancing Horse. Gradually and sorrowfully she recollected the events of the night before. Nurdo, so contemptuous of sacrifices, had finished with her for ever. She sat up, brushed straws from her hair, yawned and climbed to her feet. She feit stiff and hungry. She peeped out of the stall and saw that the groom had disappeared. She now feit rather sorry to be leaving Chocolat, and kissed this excellent horse upon the nose before venturing out into the tent itself. It was still early; beside a pile of plumed harness dangling from a hook she perceived a bucket containing hunches of bread that would later in the day be offered to the horses as bribes for performing their tricks in the ring.