such self-scrutinies when I clattered into the stable-
yard in the twilight, just as Dixon emerged from the
barn with a sieve of oats and a stable-lantern. His
quick eyes were all over the horse before I was out
of the saddle.
"Going a bit short in front, isn't he?*' was his first
I agreed that he was going a bit queer. Dixon had
seen in a moment what I had failed to notice in twelve
miles. My feeling of importance diminished. I
followed the two of them into the loose-box. Dixon's
lantern at once discovered an over-reach on the heel
of one of Harkaway's front feet. No reference was
made to my having failed to notice it; and as we said,
it was clean cut, which was much better than a
bruise. When asked whether it had been a good day,
I replied "Topping," but Dixon seemed in no hurry
to hear about it, and he went out to get the gruel.
I stood silent while the old horse drank it eagerly—
Dixon remarking with satisfaction that he'd "suck
the bottom out of the bucket if he wasn't careful".
Unable to restrain myself any longer, I blurted out
my news: "They ran slap across the vale for about
twenty-five minutes; a five-mile point without a check.
It must have been seven or eight miles as they ran!"
Dixon, who was already busy brushing the dried
mud off Harkaway's legs, straightened himself with
a whistle. "Did you see it all right?"
"The whole way; there were only ten up at the
"Did they kill him?"
"No, he got into a rabbit-hole just outside Gran-
field Park. The Master said it was no good trying to
get him out as it was such a big place/' Dixon