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performer I've ever been on. Nailing good hunter.
I've never known him to turn his head. Absolute
patent-safety; I can guarantee you that much, Mr.
Whereupon he urged me to jump on the old horse's
back and see how I liked the feel of him. (He used
the adjective "old" as if in the case of Harkaway age
was an immensely valuable quality.) Conscious of
the disparity between my untidy grey flannel trousers
and Mr. Gaffikin's miraculously condensed white
gaiters and perfectly cut brown breeches, I clambered
uncouthly into the saddle. As I jogged out of the
yard I felt myself unworthy of my illustrious convey-
ance. Conscious of the scrutiny of the experts whose
eyes were upon me, I also felt that Mr. Gaffikin was
conferring a privilege on me in affording me this
facility for making up my mind about "the old horse".
When I had been down to the gate and back again
everyone agreed that Harkaway and myself were
admirably suited to one another.
"I'm asking fifty for him—and he'd probably make
a bit more than that at Tatts. But I'm awful keen to
find the old chap a really good home, and I'd be glad
to let you have him for forty-five," Mr. Gaffikin
assured me, adding, "Forty-five guineas: it's very little
for a horse of his class, and he's got many a hard
season in him yet." I agreed that the price was
extremely moderate. "Well, you must come in and
have a bit of lunch, and then we can talk it over."
But it was obvious that the transaction was as good as
concluded, and Dixon had already made up his mind
to put a bit more flesh on the old horse before he was
That evening I composed a mildly defiant letter to
Mr, Pennett, explaining that I had found it necessary