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ten miles. It was a mild, grey morning, and as I felt
that I had lost control over what was happening,
there was no need to feel nervous about the impending
interview. In response to my tentative inquiries
Dixon displayed a surprisingly intimate knowledge of
everything connected with Harkaway and his present
owner, and when I suggested that the price expected
would be too high for me he went so far as to say
that he had very good reason to believe that he could
be bought for fifty pounds.

When we arrived at Mistley House it soon became
clear even to my unsuspicious mind that the stud
groom had been expecting us. When Harkaway was
led out of his stable my first impression was of a
noticeably narrow animal with a white blaze on his
well-bred and intelligent face. But I felt more im-
pelled to admire than to criticize, and a few minutes
later MX. Gaffikin himself came clattering into the
stable-yard on a jaunty black mare with a plaited
mane. The stud groom explained me as "Mr.
Sherston, sir; come over from Butley to have a look
at Harkaway, sir". Mr. Gaffikin was about thirty-
five and had a rather puffy face and full-sized brown
moustache. He was good-humoured and voluble and
slangy and easy going, and very much the sportsman.
He had nothing but praise for Harkaway, and
seemed to feel the keenest regret at parting with

"But the fact is", he explained confidentially, "the
old horse isn't quite up to my weight and I want to
make room for a young 'chaser. But you're a stone
lighter than I am, and he'd carry you like a bird-
like a bird, wouldn't you, old chap?"—and he pulled
Harkaway's neat little ears affectionately. "Yes,"
he went on, "I don't mind telling you he's the boldest