"It seems this one strayed from the path. She always has a lean and hungry look about her. A sad, sad shame. The Circus is none too kind to her free-loving lifestyle. I picked her precisely because she loved fun times of one kind or another. Trust me when I say she is much improved from her life in Las Vegas. I hate to see such progress wasted. Still, she should know better than to aim so high as you. She really should." The Master side-stepped Orren, picking Darla up like a sack of potatoes and hoisting her over one shoulder. But turning to the side, the Master gives a narrowed glare at Orren.
"I shall have words with her, and see to it Darla does not make advances toward you again. But you should know by now that these things are mine, and what is mine cannot be broken. More, I remember those who foolishly try. Performers like Darla can be mended, annoying as it is, and I will see to it the show goes on. But our guests... if you should do such harm to one of our guests, you will find yourself in a time and place that is not as pleasant as this- where, your hearing restored, you will never see and hear anything but the most terrible sights and noises man can behold- for years and years on end. Perhaps forever, if I forget to bring you back. Knowing I have built this circus and given you all your gifts, do not doubt that such a place exists and that I may send you there with a whispered word." The scowling face of the Master becomes a gleeful smile. "I think you need more practice at your art, Orren dearest. Clowns do not murder people, but only their woes. Be a happy clown and you will make me happy. You want to make me happy, don't you? I think you all should like to considering all I have done." Darla groans and shifts on the Master's shoulder, silently stirring as if in a dream. "The Circus arrives at Istanbul in the morning. Go. Sleep. Wake up. And do not cross me again. Now I am done talking. You may close your ears again, dear Orren."
The Master leaves, carrying Darla to parts of the Circus unknown to all.
In the morning Darla will be at breakfast. Healthy. Whole. And she will perform spectacles of wonder and delight for many days to come. She may return to her old ways with others even. But thereafter, she would never be able to share the same room, the same space, with Orren. Any acts of theirs which overlapped would see her show mysteriously postponed until he had left the scene. It would not be many days until she was given her own separate tent by the Master in which to perform.
Whether this fear sprang from Orren's actions or the Master's "treatment" was the subject of much rumor amongst the performers.
Only Darla and the Master knew the answer to that question.