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his regiment a month ago. The younger one was in
the navy, and was with the Mediterranean Fleet.
"They're both of them as keen as mustard on the
chase. It'll be pretty mouldy at the Rectory without
them when hunting starts again," he remarked.
I asked why his father wasn't there to see him ride.
His face clouded. "The Guv'nor'll be as sick as
muck at missing it. Poor old devil, he had to take a
ruddy funeral. Fancy choosing the day of the point-
to-points to be buried on!" . . *
It was after eight o'clock when I got home and
Aunt Evelyn was beginning to wonder what had
happened to me. I had enjoyed my day far more
than I could possibly have anticipated, but my gentle
and single-minded relative came in for nothing but
my moody and reticent afterthoughts and I was rather
ungracious to poor Miriam when she urged me to
have a second helping of asparagus. Her face expressed
"What, no more asparagus, sir? Why it's the first
we've had this year!" she exclaimed.
But I scowled at the asparagus as if it had done me
an injury. What was asparagus to me when my head
was full of the Colonel and his Cup, and the exhilarat-
ing atmosphere of the Ringwell Hunt? Why on earth
had Aunt Evelyn chosen such a rotten hole as Butley
to live in? Anyhow, Stephen had asked me to go
and stay at Hoadley Rectory for the Polesham Races
next week, so there was that to look forward to. And
Aunt Evelyn, who had relapsed into a tactful silence
(after trying me with the latest news from her bee-
hives), was probably fully aware that I was suffering
from the effects of an over-successful outing.