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The comparatively mild activities of the morning
had occupied a couple of hours. We now trotted
away from Major Gamble's preserves. It was about
three miles to Hoath Wood; on the way several small
spinneys were drawn blank, but Hoath Wood was a
sure find, so Dixon said, and a rare place to get a
gallop from. This caused a perceptible evaporation
of the courage which I had been accumulating, and
when there was a halt for the hunt-servants to change
on to their second horses I made an attempt to dispel
my qualms by pulling out my packet of sandwiches.

While I was munching away at these I noticed for
the first time another boy of about my own age,
Dixon was watching him approvingly. Evidently this
was a boy to be imitated, and my own unsophisticated
eyes already told me that. He was near enough to us
for me to be able to observe him minutely. A little
aloof from the large riders round him, he sat easily,
but very upright, on a corky chestnut pony with a
trimmed stump of a tail and a neatly "hogged" neck.

Reconstructing that far-off moment, my memory
fixes him in a characteristic attitude. Leaning slightly
. forward from the waist, he straightens his left leg and
scrutinizes it with an air of critical abstraction. He
seems to be satisfied with his smart buff breeches and
natty brown gaiters. Everything he has on is neat
and compact. He carries a small crop with a dark
leather thong, which he flicks at a tuft of dead grass
in a masterly manner. An air of self-possessed effi-
ciency begins with his black bowler hat, continues in
his neatly-tied white stock, and gets its finishing touch
in the short, blunt, shining spurs on his black walking
boots. (I was greatly impressed by the fact that he
wore spurs,) All his movements were controlled and
modest, but there was a suggestion of arrogance in