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troubles was that he'd never learnt how to blow his
horn properly, and his inexpert tootlings afforded an
adequate excuse for those who enjoyed ridiculing him.

Chief among thc<c was Nigel Croplady. When I
first observed him lie was sitting sideways on his
compact short-tailed brown horse; a glossy top-hat
was tilted over his nose. His supercilious, clean-
shaven face was preoccupied with a loose-lipped
inspection of his own left leg; his boot-tops were a
delicate shell-pink, and his well-cleaned white
"leathers'1* certainly justified his self-satisfied scrutiny
of them.

"That blighter's always talking about getting a
flying-start," remarked Stephen in an undertone,
"but when hounds run he's the most chicken-hearted
skirter in Sussex." I was able to verify this later in
the day when I saw him go irresolutely at a small
fence on a bank, pull his horse across it with a shout
of "Ware wire!" and hustle away in search of a gate,
leaving a hard-riding fanner to take it in his stride—
the wire having been an improvisation of Groplady's
over-prudent mind.

The group which I was watching also included two
undemonstrative elderly men (both of whom, said
Stephen, were fifty pound subscribers and important
covert owners) and several weather-beaten ladies,
none of whom looked afraid of a liberal allowance
of mud and water*

The Rev. Gohvood (who was on a one-eyed screw
which his soldier-sou had picked up for seventeen
pounds at a sale of Army remounts) now joined the
group. He was sitting well forward in the saddle
with the constrained look of a man who rather expects
his horse to cross its front legs and pitch him over its
head* Beside hint, on a plump white weight-carrier,