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watch me learn to find my way about the fox-hunting
world, supplementing my Ignorance from his own
experience in an unobtrusive manner. He invariably
allowed me to pretend that I knew much more than
I really did. It was a delicately adjusted, mutual
understanding. I seldom asked him a straight ques-
tion or admitted any Ignorance, and'he taught me by
referring to things as though I already knew them.
I can remember' no instance when he failed In this
tactful behaviour and his silences were beyond praise.

Meanwhile I am still reading Mr. Sponge in the
schoolroom. But it must not be supposed that I
launched myself in the hunting-field with unpre-
meditative temerity. Far from it. It was all very
well to be reading about how Mr. Sponge bought' a
new pair of top-boots In Oxford Street sixty years ago.
But the notion of my Inexpert self acquiring such
unfamiliar accoutrements seemed problematic and
audacious. My trepidation blinded me to the obvious
fact that bootmakers were willing, and even eager, to
do their best for me. Nevertheless, I enjoyed dressing
up as a sportsman, and the box-cloth gaiters which I
had bought in Ashbrldge were a source of consider-
able satisfaction when they encased my calves, and
Miriam's long-suffering face looked in at the book-
room door with "Your horse, sir"—for Dixon liked
to bring the horse round to the front door when I was
going out for a ride.

I always went out alone, for the driving horse was
a nonentity and seldom appeared without the dog-
cart. Also, as I have already explained, I was
making my equestrian experiment without active
interference or supervision. When I got home again
Dixon would ask, "Did he go all right?" and I
would .hang about the loose-box while Harkaway was