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By Sarah Hapgood

"I dunno Bengo, there must be easier ways to earn a living, surely?" said Hillyard.

Bengo was lying face-down on a bunk in one of the wagons, whilst Hillyard rubbed candle-grease into his naked body, in order to ease some of the soreness and stiffness caused by Bardin's attentions. It was dawn, half-past three in the morning. The show was still going, but at a much slower tempo and to a half-asleep skeletal crew of an audience. The nights were short and sultry in Toondor Lanpin at this time of year, and didn't give way much to frenzied jollity. People were mellow at this hour and in this heat.

"It's low self-esteem that does it", said Bengo, mumbling sleepily into his pillow "All clowns have a lousy opinion of themselves really. We hope that by making pratts of ourselves in the ring we'll make people love us. And they do, at least until we leave the ring and then they forget all about us".

Julian climbed into the wagon, looking exhausted. He flung his riding-crop onto the other bunk, and ran his fingers through his hair tiredly.

"One day down", he sighed "Only another six to go, by which time we'll all be raving mad I suspect".

Bengo had fallen asleep and was now snoring softly. Julian took off his shirt and shied it at Hillyard.

"Can you give that a rinse-through sometime?" he said, and put on a clean one which had been hanging from the closet door.

"Sure", Hillyard yawned.

"And tomorrow can you do one of the peddlar's jobs?" said Julian "The condom-seller's laid up, must be the heat I think. I suggested you doing it, as you're such an expert on all that. And with your strapping, beefy looks you could sell Kieran an abattoir!"

"When do you want me to start?"

"The eight o'clock breakfast show. Some of our keenest punters might be up and around by then".

"Where are you going?" said Hillyard, as Julian moved to the door.

"Out to see Ransey, to find out how the takings are".

"Have some kip first!" said Hillyard "You look bushed. Anyway, Ransey might be getting his head down, he won't be too pleased if you go waking him up".

"I suppose it can keep for a couple of hours", said Julian.

"Of course it can. You push yourself too hard. It's not right at your age".

"Oh don't start wittering on about my age", said Julian "You're worse than Toppy. I'll have you know that my family were renowned for their good health and longevity, and I don't intend to be any exception to that rule".

"Yeah but from what I've heard about your family from Adam they didn't do very much", said Hillyard "Certainly didn't lead the life you've led. Anyone can live long and be healthy if they do bugger all and have no worries".

"You're probably right", Julian smiled "Astonishing to think I was the black sheep isn't it?"

"You actually did something you mean?"

"Yes, strictly letting the side down that was!"

Adam walked across the compound at the back of the ring, where the freak show and the wagons were situated. He wanted to get some sleep but he needed to find out where Lonts was first. He found Toppy asleep under one of the wagons, using his vest as a pillow. With his long girlish eyelashes fluttering against his cheeks he looked angelic, like the perfect illustration of a choirboy.

Adam left him sleeping and eventually located Lonts sitting on a straw bale at the edge of the compound, looking out across the marshes, which were bathed in early morning mist, heralding another hot day ahead. Next to Lonts sat Snowy, who was looking decidedly worse for wear after his dunking in the water-butt.

"Lo-Lo", said Adam, sitting down next to him "I wondered where you were. You had me worried".

"I don't see why", Lonts mumbled "As I haven't been forgiven".

"Of course you have, what nonsense! The others forgot about all that hours ago".

"Then why didn't anyone tell me?" said Lonts, screwing up his face angrily "I thought they were all still annoyed with me".

"No, I was momentarily annoyed because I wish you wouldn't let Toppy anger you so".

"Toppy never gets punished though does he?"

"Julian and I realise we have to do something about Toppy and we will, we're just not sure what yet", said Adam "It did cross my mind that perhaps we should send him to the City. Young people with his aptitude for domestic service are very much in demand there. A lot of wealthy people in the big merchant town-houses are always looking for stewards, and Toppy has plenty of experience. But don't worry, we'll make sure he goes into good hands, and isn't exploited or anything, and he can come back to us anytime he wants ..."

"NO!" Lonts bellowed "You can't send Toppy away! Adam, that's really mean! The Indigo's his home. He's one of us now, you said so when he joined us".

"And he always will be, but I sometimes think it would do him good to see something of life on his own".

"NO!" Lonts yelled again "Toppy stays with us, Adam. He'd never survive in the City on his own, you know what he's like. I'll put up with him, I'll ignore him, do anything, but you can't send him away!"

Adam had to repress a smug smile and an inner voice which said "nice one, Adam".

"Alright", he said, soothingly "Toppy can stay".

Lonts sighed and sank into his arms. Adam gathered him towards him and picked him up as best he could, cradling him like a child as they walked towards a resting-place.

Joby had fallen asleep in the box-office after putting the kettle onto the portable gas-ring. He was thus jolted out of his short sleep by the whistle going off right next to his ear. He snarled and instinctively reached out to pull it off, burning his hand in the process. He released a volley of expletives, which succeeded in waking up Ransey, who had been asleep with his head lolling against the back of his chair, glasses on his head, and his mouth open.

"That was a stupid thing to do", he said.

"Oh thanks for your fucking sympathy", said Joby "My hand's burnt and all throbbing. Look, I can't do that", he opened and closed his fist to demonstrate.

"Make the tea", said Ransey "It's six o'clock in the morning".

"Oh God is that all?" Joby groaned "And is it still Sunday?"

"Yep", said Ransey.

Natalie appeared in the doorway of the little office, her mascara smudged with tiredness. Behind her, in the ring, a beautiful young coloured girl in a white satin evening gown was singing a gentle, bluesy number, a perfect lullaby for those who had been cat-napping most of the night.

"Cracking good start to the Festival last night", she said, taking the deckchair that Ransey pushed towards her "The clowns' act and then Kieran's went down a storm. If we can keep that up, we're laughing".

"The ticket sales speak for themselves", said Ransey "And everything's gone in here".

He indicated the lead-weight safe which he had had bolted to the floor. The safe was so heavy that Adam had joked that it would be easy to tell when someone had tried pinching it, as they'd find them sprawled on the floor underneath it!

"Do you think we're going to make enough to have us laughing by the end of the week?" said Natalie.

"Wouldn't surprise me", said Ransey "All being well, the town should be alright for buying food this winter".

"Much left over?" said Natalie.

"Why?" said Ransey "Did you have a scheme in mind?"

"The cottage hospital", said Natalie.

"That certainly needs money chucking at it", said Joby "The joke in this town is that people discharge themselves from it because they feel ill!"

"Kieran would certainly approve", said Ransey "He's always coming back from his visiting rounds there with some new tale of horror".

"Yes, particularly the mixed ward", said Natalie "It's not very nice for the women patients, some are in there with very personal problems, and having to put up with some boorish man in the next bed".

"I get your point", said Ransey "It's a good idea, and I'll certainly be allocating funds once the Festival is over".

"She means well", Joby sighed, once Natalie had gone.

"We'll sort the hospital out", said Ransey "It'll give us something to do once the Festival's over. You lot need to be kept working or you just keep bonking each other all the time".

"I'm happy to do good works", said Joby "As long as I don't get lectured whilst I'm doing 'em".

Lonts had his first performance at ten o'clock that morning, and it turned out to be even more successful than he could have imagined. Julian, as director, had voiced reservations about Glynis being killed off at the end of the act and had ordered it to be changed so that Lonts rushed in in time to save her, pushed Bardin out of the way, and then did a dance with her. This would satisfy Lonts's lust for dancing, as well as give the audience a happy ending and a good look at Lonts and Glynis, who were by far both easier on the eye than Bardin.

The clown fumed about the changes, but haughtily said "I am a professional" and went ahead with it, dolloping large amounts of stage make-up on his face to try and conceal his bruise.

"Did you see me?" Lonts exclaimed, rushing out of the ring towards Kieran and Joby, who were both drinking bottled beer on the sidelines "Was I good?"

"A little knockout", said Kieran.

"Me and Glynis only had a very little time for rehearsal", said Lonts.

"It didn't show", said Kieran "Not in the slightest. You were both very professional".

Lonts, enraptured with joy, threw himself at Kieran and planted two huge kisses on both his cheeks.

"I could be a big star!" Lonts exclaimed.

"You already are a big star", said Kieran, breathlessly "Everyone's heard of you".

"They never have a chance to forget", said Joby.

"Here you are", said Hillyard, carrying a tray of dirty crockery into the little makeshift scullery, where Toppy was washing up in a bowl propped up on bricks "That should keep you out of mischief for a while".

"Why do you say it like that?" Toppy exclaimed, much to Hillyard's surprise "Everyone thinks I'm a trouble-maker!"

"Don't be daft, it was just a saying", said Hillyard, adjusting his bath-robe from where Toppy had tugged on it "You're getting too uptight. You shouldn't be so sensitive. None of us mean you any harm. You'd think after all this time you'd know that by now!"

"Yes I'm sorry", Toppy sniffed "How's your peddling going?"

"It'd be a lot easier if Julian, in his wisdom, hadn't decided I was to do it in me underpants", said Hillyard "But it seems to work, although why I'm selling bags of peanuts as well I don't know".

"B-Because I'm doing this", said Toppy, pointing at the washing-up bowl "If I wasn't doing the washing-up I'd be selling the peanuts. You're not annoyed are you, Hillyard?"

"Course I ent", Hillyard guffawed "You shouldn't take things to heart so much".

Fradie came in, looking slightly seedy and unshaven. He picked up a large spoon and helped himself to the remains of a dish of cold scrambled eggs, which he shovelled down hungrily.

"I'll tell you what this kid needs", he said, licking the spoon vigorously "A sweetheart. You and me should take him to the whorehouse in town one evening and get him fixed up".

"I'm going to collect some more plates", said Toppy, blushing violently as he left the scullery.

"It would sort him out in a wink", said Fradie "If you'll forgive the expression".

"Oh put it away!" Hillyard sighed "You arty lot are all the same".

"You know it makes sense", said Fradie, moving onto the remains of a sherry trifle "It'd knock the inhibitions out of him".

"Or make him worse", said Hillyard.

"What's his persuasion?" Fradie went on, regardless.


"Is he interested in girls, or is he like the rest of you lot?"

"He's not really anything as far as I can see", Hillyard shrugged "He'll show an interest when he's ready. There's plenty of choice in this town, whatever you're like".

"I think we should bear it in mind", said Fradie "Trust me, I know what it's all about".

Hillyard groaned and rolled his eyes.

After three days of continuous performing the Festival participants almost forgot there was a world outside their ring and sideshow, as they were only briefly reminded each time a fresh cargo of punters arrived in an air-buggy. The punters that were staying at the only decent hotel in town all had complaints to make. The rickety lift didn't work, the corridors were too gloomy, the floors sloped, the beds were too large or too small (likewise with the bath-tubs), the staff made too much noise going up and down stairs late at night, and there was too much fish on the menu. It soon became clear to the natives though that these complaints were simply all part of the holiday enjoyment, a chance (if one was needed) to make the City dwellers feel more superior.

The atmosphere inside the Big Top varied greatly from hour to hour. At peak times (lunchtimes and evenings) it was bubbling and noisy. The band wore dinner-suits, apart that is from the female saxophonist, who wore a businesslike linen frock, with her abundant red hair braided and coiled into two ear-muffs (these had a habit of working loose at late hours). At peak times Natalie and Ully took turns to act as ring-masters, and peddlars walked amongst the audience plying their wares.

Peak hours contrasted sharply with the small hours, when thr public benches wre sprinkled lightly with the more adventurous of the punters. At such times the band was reduced to a lady pianist, who tinkled the ivories wearing a lace negligee and slippers, and the ring-masters were replaced by Jonner changing scene-cards at the side of the ring.

At dawn on the fourth day Joby made two cups of tea and took them out of the side entrance. He passed the lady saxist, who was sitting on the grass combing out her long and tangled red hair. Kieran was sitting on a dilapidated bench just round the corner from her, with his bruised and battered feet resting in a bowl of warm water. Joby passed a mug of tea to him, and then knelt down on the ground to shave himself, using a brush, soap and bowl he had set out earlier.

"Me poor old feet", Kieran groaned, feeling it was about time Joby passed a remark on their sad appearance.

"Three performances a day in skates that don't fit you", said Joby, wagging his razor in mild admonishment "What do you expect!"

"Sympathy?" said Kieran, with optimism.

"That's in short supply round here", said Joby "What are Tamaz's feet like?"

"In better shape than mine", said Kieran "The Devil looks after his own you see".

Joby finished shaving and wiped his chin. Then he picked up Kieran's foot and massaged it, gently fondling the battered toes stained with dried blood.

"You should approve of this", he said, lapping water over Kieran's foot "Isn't this choc-full of religious symbolism, me washing your feet?"

"Actually I think it's very erotic", Kieran smiled "A bit like having someone comb your hair for you".

Joby climbed up onto the bench and sat astride Kieran, kissing his face, particularly the closed eyelids which he knew Kieran liked. Suddenly the dulcet tones of the Gnome Woman With Spectacles could be heard approaching, as she wittered on enthusiastically to her husband about seeing the Festival at such an early hour.

"Oh God", Joby groaned and moved off from Kieran, nearly sitting in his shaving-bowl as he did so.

"Don't be so English", said Kieran, teasingly "We're entitled to a private life".

"They wouldn't think of it that way", said Joby "If they saw us making out together they'd think it was all part of the show and stand and watch!"

"Don't you people ever sleep?" said the Gnome Woman, appearing at them with a concerned look on her face.

"No", said Joby "It's not on the running-order you see. It wouldn't be very entertaining for you to watch us sleeping".

"Oi!" Ransey yelled out of the box-office window.

"I've got a name you know", said Joby "You'd think after all these years you'd know it!"

"Get back in here and mind the safe, I wanna get some breakfast", said Ransey, before withdrawing like a scowling Cheshire Cat.

"Why does he need you to watch the safe?" said Kieran "The bloody thing's bolted to the floor and you'd need dynamite to get the door off it!"

Joby raised his hands to the skies.

At the end of another long day Adam sat having supper at the back of the Big Top, sharing a trestle table with the twins and Finia. All were eating chicken pies, and the women drank iced beers. Finia was also repairing costumes, something that had become a full-time job, which was hardly surprising considering the huge amount of wear and tear the garments received during the course of one day.

"You'll ruin your eyes, old love", said Adam, looking with concern at Finia, who was holding a taffeta skirt up to his nose as he sewed.

"Hazard of the job", said Finia.

"We'll have to get you some specs", said Adam "We should've done that some time ago. I hadn't realised how bad your eyes had got".

"You can pick up a cheap pair at the market some days", said Gloria "There's an old guy there gets a load of reject wire-framed ones down from the City occasionally".

"I'll look a right old crone then won't I?" said Finia.

"I find it hard to believe you could ever look anything but elegant", said Adam.

"Flattery will get you everywhere", said Finia.

"Adam!" Julian yelled, from a few feet away.

"What is it now?" Adam sighed "You've been hectoring me all day. I've only just sat down".

"Never mind feeding your stomach, we have a crisis on our hands", said Julian "Come over here".

Adam gave another sigh and excused himself from the table.

"You could just try ignoring him", said Finia, snapping the thread between his teeth "That's what I used to do when he kept bellowing for me when we lived at Husgalonghi. I'd go to the top of the house where I couldn't hear him".

"We really should listen to him all the time", said Claudia, the more timid one of the twins "He is the director after all".

"Even if he wasn't, it's very hard to ignore Julian", said Adam, and he walked across the grass to where Julian was standing. Julian was obviously fuming.

"Oh dear", said Adam, facetiously "You're grinding your teeth. Something must be wrong".

"Toppy's disappeared", said Julian, visibly seething.

"Well don't worry old love, he can't be far away".

"I know exactly where he is", Julian snapped "He's at the whorehouse!"

Adam burst out laughing.

"Oh it's amusing is it?" said Julian, testily.

"Of course it is", said Adam "I can't imagine anything less likely than Toppy visiting a tart. You must have made a mistake".

"There is no mistake", said Julian "Jonner overheard Hillyard and that myopic tortoise arranging it all this afternoon".

"Myopic? ... Oh you mean Fradie".

"I give the wretched man a home with us and this is how he repays me, luring little Toppy into bad ways".

"Calm down", Adam grabbed Julian's wrists as though gently restraining him "It was bound to happen sooner or later, and it might be good for him".

"Good for him?" Julian bellowed "Adam, cast your mind back to when Hillyard had that syphilis scare in Krindei. I distinctly remember saying to you at the time that if he turned out to be infected then it would spread round us all like wildfire. Toppy would be the only one to remain immune. Is it so wrong of me to want to save Toppy from things like that?"

"Of course not", said Adam "But Toppy has a right to experience life, and you're trying to stunt his growth. Damnit Jules, I remember it was you all those years back who urged me to bed Lonts because you thought it'd be good for him, and as it turned out it was ... although I must admit that on reflection the thought of someone as shy as Toppy in a brothel does alarm me. He's so young for his age".

"Exactly, and you've said yourself he might be one of life's celibates, which says it all considering you've never believed in celibacy", Julian gave a moan of exasperation "Oh why are we standing here discussing it like two old women?"

"Because we are two old women?"

"Oh you're on form tonight aren't you!" Julian spat "Right, let's get over there".

"To the tart-shop?" Adam quailed at the prospect.

"Don't tell me you're getting prudish in your old age!"

"No, but we can't just go bursting in there".

"Oh can't we? Just watch us!"

Toppy slowly walked round the perimeter of the room and came to rest at the sofa from where he had started. Strangely, he didn't feel intimidated or daunted, merely rather bored in fact. The room was packed to the rafters with naked human flesh, of both sexes. Lady Lucasta's house catered to all tastes and orientations. The proprietress had served her apprenticeship in the far-off days when the brothel had been staffed strictly with women, catering only for women. Those were the days when the women of Toondor Lanpin had lived in daily fear of being discovered by the Ministry, and the brothel had served as a sanctuary for them. Strictly no men admitted. Now that Toondor Lanpin was open the world, and its secret exposed and accepted, the brothel had relaxed its rules. And when Lady Lucasta had taken over, she had willingly endorsed the added use of male whores to service both the men and women of the town. The previous style had all been very well occasionally, she thought, but it had been very very boring at times!

At first Toppy had taken an objective look at all the different shapes and sizes of form on display, but he was too used to the daily sight of nudity on the Indigo and on the waterfront to be overly fascinated. As soon as they had arrived Fradie had singled out a slim young female for his delectation and taken her into another room.

"You can have whatever you want", Hillyard had said "Fradie's paying".

Toppy had simply stared at him, bewildered. Hillyard realised what a mistake he had made in agreeing to bring the boy here. Toppy had no more use for a prostitute than Finia had for a jockstrap! But Hillyard had been so taken by the thought of a chance of visiting a brothel (at someone else's expense) that he had gone along with Fradie's suggestion.

"I've made a right mess of this haven't I?" said Hillyard, standing in front of Toppy starkers "I'm never gonna hear the end of this back home".

"I'm o.k", Toppy sighed "It's comfortable in here, I can always have a little sleep".

Hillyard was distracted by the sight of two nude men preparing to wrestle in the middle of the room.

"Don't leave until I'm ready to go", he said to the boy "Have something to eat, drink, sleep".

"I'll be fine", said Toppy, sounding more like an old man than a young boy. He leant against the silk cushions in the corner of the sofa. A fat woman next to him smiled suggestively and fondled her breast. Toppy was disgusted to see a driblet of milk come out of her nipple. He closed his eyes to shut out this abhorrent scene and tried to sleep.

"You might be a big noise on the Indigo and at the Festival", said Lady Lucasta, angrily "But I can assure you that you count for nothing here".

"On the contrary, Madam", Julian replied "My prowess in the bedchamber is legendary! But that is not why I'm here. Adam, find the boy".

Adam picked his way across the supine bodies on the floor, muttering polite excuse me's as he did so. He had no trouble finding Toppy, simply because amongst all the morass of naked flesh, Toppy had his vest on.

"A-A-Adam", the boy stammered, waking up slowly "Julian's not here is he?"

Adam nodded.

"B-b-but it was Fradie", Toppy protested "He kept on and on ..."

"Ssh", said Adam, soothingly "You're not to blame. I know you don't want to be here. We've come to take you back to the Festival".

Toppy rose from the sofa as gratefully as the survivor of an earthquake victim being dug out of the wreckage of a building.

Meanwhile Julian had disinterred Hillyard from a heap of male bodies and cuffed him roughly round the ears.

"Pack it in!" Hillyard roared "Don't pick a fight with me Julian, because I'll win hands down".

"I wouldn't be so sure of that if I was you", said Julian "After all, sex is all you damn well know, nothing else".

"Oh no it isn't", said Hillyard, trying not to laugh at the absurdity of it all "I can also walk round a Big Top with only my pants on shouting 'peanuts'!"

"That child could be scarred for life thanks to you", said Julian, angrily.

"Not half as scarred as me", said Hillyard "That old Gnome Woman's been following me around all day. Everytime she gets near me she puts her specs on and peers intently at me jockstrap! It's worrying the shit out of me! She probably wants to take me back to the City as her house-boy!"

"The way I feel now I'd you to her!" said Julian "On special offer! Economy pack Hillyard!"

"No please", Toppy tiptoed amongst the bodies "It's not Hillyard's fault".

"Of course it is", said Julian.

"No it was Fradie. Hillyard was just ..."

"Being greedy", said Julian.

"It was very irresponsible, Hillyard", said Adam, sternly "I do wish you'd learn sometimes, but you never do. You treat your body as though it's got divine protection. The worry you've caused me over the years. Even right back at the Winter Palace when you were panicking because you thought you'd caught the Virus off Artuul. I'm tired of it, Hilly. It's time you learnt a bit of sense".

Lady Lucasta asked them to leave in no uncertain terms. She could do without people standing in the middle of the room spouting on about sexually-transmitted diseases. There were leaflets in the downstairs sitting-room if they wanted to know all about that.

"Yes for God's sake let's get out of here", said Julian "It looks like a scene from Hieronymous Bosch".

"Looks like a scene from the Indigo to me", Hillyard muttered.

"We can't leave without Fradie", said Toppy "Can we?"

"Well I've certainly got no intention of scraping him out of a darkened corner", said Julian "Best place for him".

Adam nagged Hillyard all the way back to the Festival site. He enumerated the many, many, many times that Hillyard had worried them all with his wicked, wicked ways. From Stombal, through to Artuul, to losing all his clothes at the whorehouse in Husgalonghi, the countless attacks of gonorrhoea, the endless procession of lame ducks whom he swore to love one minute and had forgotten all about the next, Hirrid's torment over his lack of commitment, and Bengo's sad bewilderment towards it during his early days on the Indigo. Nothing it seemed would ever change Hillyard. NOTHING! Not even the hideous attack by the Whang Man had thwarted him. Where sex was concerned he was an unstoppable force.

"You don't seem to realise how much we care", said Adam "You've promised us time and again to be more careful and you never are. If you were a cat you'd have used up your nine lives years ago. Joby was right when he once described you as a gay Dalek".

"What's a Dalek?" asked Hillyard "Don't tell me, it's something crackpot from your time isn't it?"

"They were machines with a grim determination to destroy", said Adam "And they all had long phallic-shaped wotsits attached to the front which they waved about, intending to exterminate people with. You're just the same, except you want to shove it up anything in sight!"

"Don't waste your breath, Ada", Julian sighed, propelling a frightened Toppy forwards through the darkened but serene summer streets "It's a fruitless exercise where he's concerned. You'd think I'd be enough to satisfy any man wouldn't you!"

"You're enough to drive any man to celibacy", said Adam, grimly.

"Did you really have machines like that in your time?" said Hillyard, perplexed.

Ransey heard a sobbing noise and leant out of the box office window to find Toppy walking past, crying and clutching Julian's jacket round his shoulders.

"Toppy?" he said "Are you alright?"

Toppy lifted a tearstained face towards him.

"I've been sent home", he sobbed "In disgrace!"

"Not back to the Indigo surely? There's no one there".

"No, home here", Toppy sniffed "I've got to keep busy and stay out of mischief".

"I shouldn't think you'd have too much trouble there", said Ransey "Particularly if you stay away from Fradie. What did you think of Lady Lucasta's then?"

"Not much. Why does Hillyard like sex so much?"

"Because he hasn't got the brains to do anything else with his time".

"Oh that's nice isn't it!" said Hillyard, also appearing outside the box-office window "We can't all be dried-up old money-men can we!"

"At least I'm house-trained", said Ransey, sighing heavily "You're a primitive, Hillyard, and that's all there is to it. I shared a room with you for years, I should know. If you had a brain you'd be dangerous".

"Like you, you mean", said Hillyard, quietly.

"Clever!" Ransey conceded, graciously "Must be my influence".

Lonts had been too busy rehearsing new dance-steps with Glynis to witness the mass exodus to Lady Lucasta's place. When he did find out about it he was furious, and his lungs of brass could be heard resounding all over backstage. Fortunately Bengo, Bardin and the other clowns were making a tremendous amount of noise in the ring, otherwise the audience would have heard him too.

"You went to a brothel, Adam", he said, accusingly "You went to a brothel and you didn't take me!"

"At least that means it's still standing", Kieran chuckled.

"I didn't go there for pleasure, Lo-Lo", said Adam.

"That's what they all say", said Joby, drinking water from a dipper.

"Julian and I went to get Toppy", said Adam.

"Well what was Toppy doing in a brothel?" said Lonts.

"Not a lot, I should think", said Joby.

"Toppy went there with Hillyard and Fradie, but nothing happened, I'm relieved to say", said Adam.

"Didn't I always say, didn't I?" said Lonts "Toppy's nothing but a little tease!"

And with that Lonts stamped off to change into his furry drawers.

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