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At this moment I can only recall a single instance,
which happened about eighteen months alter the
arrival of Rob Roy. By that time 1 was going for
rides of six or seven miles with Dixon, and the
"leading-rein" was a thing of the past. I was also
having jumping lessons, over a small brush-fence
which he had put up in the paddock. One day, hi-
flated with pride, I petitioned, rather shyly, to be
allowed to go for a ride by myself. Without consulting
my aunt, Dixon gave his permission; he seemed
pleased, and entrusted me with the supreme responsi-
bility of saddling and bridling the pony without his
help. I managed to do this, in my bungling way, and
I have no doubt that I felt extremely important when
I tit-tupped down to the village in that sleepy after-
noon sunshine of thirty years ago. Rob Roy probably
shared my feeling of independence as he shook his
little black head and whisked his long tail at the flics,
I was far too big a man to look back as we turned out
of my aunt's white gate into the dusty high road; but
I can imagine now the keen sensitive face of Dixon,
and his reticent air of amusement as he watched us go
out into the world by ourselves. My legs were then
long enough to give me a pleasant feeling of security
and mastery over my mount,

"Here we are, Rob," I remarked aloud, "of! for a
jolly good day with the Dumborough."

And, in spite of the fact that it was a hot August
afternoon, I allowed my imagination to carry me on
into fox-hunting adventures, during which I dis-
tinguished myself supremely, and received the brush
from the Master after a tremendous gallop over hill
and vale. I must mention that my knowledge of the
chase was derived from two sources: firstly, the things
I had heard in my conversations with Dixon; and