merely signified that, for the moment, he had found
nothing worth thinking about. The heavy look lifted
as I approached him with a faltering smile, but he
nodded at me with blunt solemnity, as if what
thoughts he had were elsewhere.
"Morning. So you managed to get here." That
was all I got by way of greeting. Somewhat dis-
couraged, I could think of no conversational continu-
ance. But Dixon gave him the respectful touch of
the hat due to a "proper little sportsman" and, more
enterprising than I, supplemented the salute with
"Bit slow in finding this morning, sir?"
"Won't be much smell to him when they do.
Sun's too bright for that." He had the voice of a boy,
but his manner was severely grown-up.
There was a brief silence, and then his whole body
seemed to stiffen as he stared fixedly at the under-
growth. Something rustled the dead leaves; not
more than ten yards frcm where we stood, a small
russet animal stole out on to the path and stopped for
a photographic instant to take a look at us. It was
the first time I had ever seen a fox, though I have
seen a great many since—both alive and dead. By the
time he had slipped out of sight again I had just
begun to realize what it was that had looked at me
with such human alertness. Why I should have
behaved as I did I will not attempt to explain, but
whea Denis stood up in his stirrups and emitted a
shrill "Huick-holler," I felt spontaneously alarmed
for the future of the fox.
"Don't do that; they'll catch him!" I exclaimed.
The words were no sooner out of my mouth than 1
knew I had made another fool of myself. Denis gave
me one blank look and galloped off to meet the hunts*
man, who could already be heard horn-blowing in