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"Ah, my dear chap, how are you—how are you—
delighted to see you"—followed by a reiteration of
his repertoire about "the boy" and "the old horse".

The fact that this was Lieut.-Col. C. M. F. Hcsmon
was conveyed to me by the arrival of my former
schoolfellow, Stephen Colwood. "Ah, there you are,
my boy—that's capital/' said the Colonel, moderat-
ing his agitation in order to adopt the important
demeanour of an owner giving his final admonitions
to a gallant young gentleman rider.

Stephen, who was wearing a pink silk cap and a
long-skirted black hunting-coat, silently received from
the groom the saddle and weight-cloth and disap-
peared into the weighing tent, accompanied by the
Colonel, who was carrying a cargo of surplus lead.
When they reappeared Stephen looked even more
pale and serious than before. At the best of times he
had a somewhat meditative countenance, but his face
usually had a touch of whimsicality about it, and this
had been banished by the tremendous events in which
he was at present involved.

The combined efforts of Colonel and groom were
now solemnly adjusting the saddle and weight-cloth
(though it is possible that the assistance of the Colonel
might have been dispensed with). Meanwhile the
old hunter was standing as quiet as a carriage horse*

Stephen was holding the bridle, and in the picture
which my memory retains of him at that moment he
is looking downward at the horse's lowered head with
that sensitive and gentle expression which was charac-
teristic of him. It was nearly three years since I had
last set eyes on him, but I had known him fairly well
at school. As I watched him now I felt almost as
nervous as if I were about to ride the Colonel's
horse myself. I assumed that it was the first race he