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ceedings by taking his hounds to a distant holloa on
the other side of the brook. A man on a bicycle had
viewed our fox returning to Basset Wood. The
bicyclist (Stephen told me as we passed him in the
lane where he'd been providing the flustered hunts-
man with exact information) was none other than the
genius who reported the doings of the Hunt for the
Southern Daily News. In the summer he umpired in
county cricket matches, which caused me to regard
him as quite a romantic personality.

While they were hunting slowly back to the big
wood on a very stale line, young Lewison reappeared
on my hireling. Looking more doleful than ever, he
asked how i liked Gockbird. Before I had time to
answer Stephen interposed with "He makes a distinct
noise, Tony, arid his wind's bound to get worse. But
my friend Sheraton likes the feel of him and he'll
give you fifty."

I concealed my surprise. Stephen had already
assured me that the whistle was so slight as to be
almost undetectable. He had also examined Cock-
bird's legs and pronounced them perfect. Almost
imperceptible, too, was the wink with which Stephen
put me wise about his strategic utterance, and I met
Lewison's lack-lustre eyes with contrived indifference
as I reiterated my willingness to give him fifty. In-
ternally, however, I was in a tumult of eagerness to
call Cockbird my own at any price, and when my
offer had been definitely accepted nothing would
induce me to get off his back. We soon arranged that
Mr. Whatman's second horseman should call for the
hireling at Lewison's house on his way back to

" We'll send you your saddle and bridle to-morrow,"
shouted Stephen, as Gockbird's ex-owner disappeared