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visible authenticity of their brick-red coats. It all felt
quite different to reading Surtees by the schoolroom

But I was too shy to stare about me, and every
moment I was expecting an outburst of mad excite-
ment in which I should find myself galloping wildly
out of the wood. When the outbreak of activity came
I had no time to think about it. For no apparent
reason the people around me (we were moving slowly
along a narrow path in the wood) suddenly set off
at a gallop and for several minutes I was aware of
nothing but the breathless flurry of being carried
along, plentifully spattered with mud by the sports-
man in front of me. Suddenly, without any warning,,
he pulled up. Sheila automatically followed suit,
shooting me well up her neck. The next moment
everyone turned round and we all went tearing back
by the way we had come. I found Dixon in front of
me now, and he turned his head with a grin of

Soon afterwards the hunt came to a standstill in an
open space in the middle of the wood: the excitement
m seemed to be abating, and I felt that fox-hunting
wasn't so difficult as Pd expected it to be. A little
way below I could hear a confused baying of the
hounds among the trees. Then, quite close to where
I had halted, a tall man in a blue velvet cap and
vermilion coat came riding out from among the
undergrowth with one arm up to shield his face from
the branches. His face was very red and he seemed
ups*et about something. Turning in iny direction he
bawled out in an angry voice, "What the bloody hell
do you think you're here for?"

For a moment I sat petrified with terror and amaze-
ment. He was riding straight at me, and I had no