"I really must have a chat with Colonel Hesmon
about it. By the way, the dear old boy's asked us both
to lunch to-morrow."
This led to a rhapsody about that absolutely top-
hole performer Jerry, who had been given him by the
Colonel after he'd won the Heavy Weight Race. My
Harkaway, on the other hand, was more a subject for
solicitude, and I reluctantly confessed that he didn't
seem up to my weight. It was a thousand pities, said
Stephen, that I couldn't have bought that six-year-old
of young Lewison's. "Given him for his twenty-first
birthday by his uncle, who'd forked out £ 170 for him.
But young Lewison couldn't ride a hair of the horse,
though he was a nailing fine 'leppcr' and a rare
good sort at that. They sent him up to Tatts last
week, and he went for £90, according to the paper.
Gosh, what a bit of luck for the cove who got him so.
My appetite for horseflesh was stimulated by this
anecdote, but I wondered what Mr. Pennett would
say if I wrote and told him that I'd bought another
ninety pounds' worth! For Mr. Pennett still refused
to allow me more than £450 of my £600. The
balance, he said, must be "invested for a rainy day".
Stephen's visionary contemplations of "being
stationed at the Curragh and riding at Punchestown
Races" were interrupted by our arrival at the Rectory.
I had stayed there more than once in the summer, so
I received a surly but not unfriendly salute from Abel,
the grim little old groom with iron-grey whiskers who
led our conveyance soberly away to the stable-yard.
This groom was an old-fashioned coachman, and he