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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

had ever ridden in, and I knew that he was feeling
that if anything went wrong it would be entirely his
own fault and that he would never be able to look
the Colonel in the face again if he were to make a fool
of himself. And he had probably been suffering
from such apprehensions for several days beforehand.
It was not surprising that he patted Jerry's philo-
sophic profile with a visibly shaking hand. Then he
looked up, and encountering my sympathetic gaze
his face lit up with recognition. It was a time when
he badly needed some such distraction, and he, at
once made me feel that I was an opportune intruder.

"Why, it's old Sherston!" he exclaimed. "Fancy
you turning up like this!" And he gave me a wry
grin which privately conveyed his qualms.

He told me afterwards that there were two things
which he wished at that moment: either that the
race was all over, or that something would happen to
prevent it taking place at all. It is sometimes for-
gotten that without such feelings heroism could not
exist.

He then made me known to the Colonel, who
greeted me with a mixture of formality and heartiness
and insisted that I must come round to his brake and
have a glass of port and a sandwich after the race.

It seemed as though my diffident arrival on the
scene had somehow relieved their anxieties, but a
moment later the stentorian voice of the starter was
heard saying, "Now, gentlemen, I'm going down to
the post/* and I stood back while Stephen was given
a leg up by the groom. Then he bent Ms head to
hear the Colonel's final injunctions about "not
making too much of the running" and "letting him
go at his own pace at the fences", ending with a heart-
felt valediction. Stephen was then turned adrift with

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