intervened, v\dth no sign of surprise, "Damn it,
George, you might do worse than buy him, at that
price. Hop off your hireling and see what he feels like."
I had scarcely settled myself in the new saddle
when there was a shrill halloa from a remote side of
the covert. We galloped away, leaving Lev/ison still
whoaing on one leg round the hireling, who was
eager to be after us.
"Well, I'm jiggered! What an enterprising old
card you are!" ejaculated Stephen, delightedly
slapping his leg with his crop and then leaning for-
ward to listen for the defect in the bay horse's wind.
"Push him along, George," he added; but we were
already galloping freely, and I felt much more like
holding him back. "Dashed if 7 can hear a ghost
of a whistle!" muttered Stephen, as we pulled up at
a hunting-gate out of Basset Wood.
"We're properly left this time, old son." He
trotted down the lane and popped over a low heave-
gate into a grass field. My horse followed him with-
out demur. There wasn't a trace of the hunt in
sight, but we went on, jumping a few easy fences, and
my heart leapt with elation at the way my horse took
them, shortening and then quickening his stride and
slipping over them with an ease and neatness which
were a revelation to me.
"This horse is an absolute dream!" I gasped as
Stephen stopped to unlatch a gate.
But Stephen's face now looked fit for a funeral.
"They must have run like stink and we've probably
missed the hunt of the season," he grumbled.
A moment later his face lit up again. "There's the
hornóright-handedóover by the Binsted covers!"
And away he went across a rushy field as fast as old
Jerry could lay legs to the ground.