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Dixon saw me into the saddle with a quietly satis-
fied air and I rode out of the stable-yard. The first
person I recognized was Bill Jaggett, who was hoisting
himself on to the back of a slim, skittish, and startled-
looking roan marc. He greeted me with a scowl and
then remarked with a grunt, "You've brought your
old skin over here, have you? Don't give him much
rest, do you?" The sneer in his voice made rne hate
him more than ever, but I was too diffident and
confused to reply.

With him was his boon companion, Roger Pomfret,
a ginger-haired, good-for-nothing nephew of Lord
Dumborough who blundered about the country on
a piebald cob and vied with Jaggett in coarseness of
language and general uncouthness. But Pomfret, who
was impecunious and spent his spare time in dubious
transactions connected with the Turf, had a touch
of bumpkin geniality about him, and was an amiable
and polished gentleman when closely compared with
his unprepossessing associate, who, at that moment,
was adjuring him (with the usual epithets) not to
knock the guts out of that horse or he'd never lend
him another (at the same time jogging his own
marc unmercifully in the mouth and kicking her
with one of his long spurs). "Will you stand still,

you-----" but before the last word was out of his

mouth the huntsman had shaken up his hounds with
a defiant toot of the horn and was trotting down
the road.

"The old rat-catcher doesn't allow much law,
does he? It's only six minutes past eleven now!"
remarked Pomfrct, consulting his ticker with an oafish

I dropped behind them, and was at once joined by
Mr. Gaffikin, effusively cheerful, elbows well out, and

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