Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

See other formats

make a fool of myself. Other people have felt the
same, but this fact would have been no consolation
to me at the time, even if I could have realized it.

My first period of suspense ended when with much
bobbing up and down of hats the cavalcade moved
off along the road. I looked round for Dixon, but he
allowed me to be carried on with the procession; he
kept close behind me, however. He had been sensible
enough to refrain from confusing me with advice be-
fore we started, and I can see now that his demeanour
continued to be full of intuitive tactfulness. But he
was talking to another groom, and I felt that I was
being scrutinized and discussed. I was riding along-
side of a large, lolloping lady in a blue habit; she did
not speak to me; she confined herself to a series of
expostulatory remarks to her horse which seemed too
lively and went bouncing along sideways with its ears
back, several times bumping into Sheila, whose be-
haviour was sedately alert.

Soon we turned in at some lodge gates, crossed the
corner of an undulating park, and then everyone
pulled up outside a belt of brown woodland. The
hounds had disappeared, but I could hear the hunts-
man's voice a little way off. He was making noises
which I identified as not altogether unlike those I had
read about in Surtees. After a time the chattering
crowd of riders moved slowly into the wood which
appeared to be a large one.

My first reaction to the "field" was one of mute
astonishment. I had taken it for granted that there
would be people "in pink", but these enormous
confident strangers overwhelmed my mind with the