Cassidy slid out the trailer to walk alongside Carlo; he trudged slowly along the dusty path not interested in the lush green grass in the field to his left. Cassius was sat at the front of the wagon, a little seat which allowed him to steer the horse without getting wet if it rained. He jumped off the ledge and landed neatly in front of the wagon, darting to one side just before it ran over his ankles.
“I love it here,” he told Cassidy putting his arm around her shoulders, “the weather, the views, the people…” he trailed off as two faces appeared in the back of Dakota’s wagon just ahead. “Who are they?” he asked, Cassidy raised her eyebrows.
“I recognise them, Dakota found them in the main tent. I know not why they are here.” she whispered, “I should know, Dakota is like a sister… She would have told me, I’m sure of it. She wouldn’t have just taken these children on with the circus,”
“Are you sure they’re the children from the main tent?”
“Fairly sure!” Cassidy said. “But they could merely be urchins off the street who happen to have jumped in Dakota’s wagon. I can’t tell from this far away, I shall go and ask her if she knows they are there.” Cassidy skipped forward and found Dakota walking alongside Apollo; Sky was faithfully pulling the wagon not needing to be guided.
“Those two children you found are in your wagon, most probably hitching a lift,”
“I know they’re there, I rescued them,” Dakota smiled at Cassidy, tucking some of Cassidy’s hair behind her ear in a motherly-fashion.
“Rescued? They didn’t need rescuing, they had a Father…”
“The violent drunken man? Some Father…!” she exclaimed,
“Dakota…” Cassidy spoke condescendingly; Dakota was rash and reckless, never thinking before she acted. It was why she was a good horse-acrobat and whip-artist; she never weighed up the risks.
“It’s for the best,” she explained,
“How do you know? Did you ask them? How do you know they wanted to leave all they had to live a life without a place to call home? How do you know their Father did not love them dearly?” Cassidy’s rage was building up. “You can’t even ask them yourself! You cannot speak the language!” She stood still as the troop continued to walk, Dakota turned to watch as Cassidy shook her head back and forth in disgust. Dakota had not thought about what she had done; now the circus had two extra children to feed in a group which was already struggling to feed itself. Cassius caught up and took Cassidy’s hand,
“Look over there,” he whispered, “Rome.”