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during our exciting half-hour in the Potford Vale
were beyond her powers of response, and her well-
meant but inadequate interjections caused my
narrative to lose a lot of its sporting significance.
Anxiety for my safety overshadowed her enthusiasm,
and when I was telling her how we jumped a brook
(it was only a flooded ditch, really), she uttered an
ill-timed warning against getting wet when I was
hot, which nearly caused my narrative to dry up

Faithful Miriam made things no better by exclaim-
ing, as she handed me a plate with two banana fritters
on it, "You'll break your neck, sir, if you go out with
them hounds much oftener!"

What was the good of trying to make them under-
stand about a hunt like that, I thought, as I blundered
up the dark stairs to the schoolroom to dash off a
highly coloured account of my day for Stephen
Golwood. He, at any rate, was an audience after my
own heart, and the only one I had, except Dixon,
whose appreciation of my exploits was less fanciful
and high-flown. Writing to Stephen, I once
away in a world of make-believe; and the letter, no
doubt, was a good example of what he used to call my
"well-known sprightly insouciance".

Poor Stephen was living in lodgings in London,
and could only get home for a hunt on Saturdays. A
wealthy neighbour had promised Parson Colwood an
opening for his son if he could qualify as a chartered
accountant, and this nauseating task occupied him
five days a week. So my visualization of Stephen,
exiled in a foggy street in Pimlico, made it doubly
easy for me to scribble my lively account of a day
which now seemed so delightfully adventurous.

Stephen's reply was a telegram asking me to stay