hall. Wondering what on earth it would be, I asked
her to send him up to the book-room. I was there
before him; a minute or two later the sound of his
deliberate tread was audible in the passage; he
knocked portentously and entered respectfully, intro-
ducing a faint odour of the stables. He had an air
of discreetly subdued excitement and there was a
slight flush about the cheekbones of his keen face.
Without delay he produced a copy of Horse and Hound
from his pocket, unfolded it carefully, and handed it
to me, merely saying, "I want you to have a look at
that, sir," That, as indicated by his thumb, was the
following item in Tattersall's weekly sale list.
"The Property of Cosmo Gaffikin, Esq., Harkaway
III. Chestnut gelding; aged; sixteen hands; a good
hunter; an exceptionally brilliant performer; well
known with the Dumborough Hounds, with whom he
has been regularly hunted to date. Can be seen and
ridden by appointment with Stud Groom, Mistley
I read the advertisement in a stupified way, but
Dixon allowed me no time for hesitation or demur.
"It struck me, sir, that you might do worse than go
over and have a look at him," he remarked, adding,
"I saw him run in the Hunt Cup two years ago; he's
a very fine stamp of hunter."
"Did he win?" I asked.
"No, sir. But he ran well, and I think Mr. Gaffikin
made too much use of him in the first mile or two."
For lack of anything to say I re-read the advertise-
"Well, sir, if you'll excuse my saying so, you don't
get a chance like that every day."
An hour later Dixon had got me into the dogcart
and was driving me over to Wellbrook—a distance of