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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

manner. But the Goshford sportsmen, as I knew
them, were businesslike and well-behaved; they were
out for a good old-fashioned gallop. In fact, I think
of them as a somewhat serious body of men. And
since the field was mainly composed of farmers, there
was nothing smart or snobbish about the proceedings.

I need hardly say that there was no levity in my
own attitude of mind when I set out for my first
sample of this new experiment in sportsmanship.
In spite of talking big to Dixon the night before, I felt
more frightened than light-hearted. For I went
alone and knew no one when I got there. Dixon had
talked to me about Harry Buckman, who acted as
amateur huntsman and was well known as a rider at
hunt races all over the country. That was about all
Fd got to go on, and I gazed at Buckman with interest
and admiration when he tit-tupped stylishly past me
at the meet with his velvet cap cocked slightly over
one ear. Buckman was a mixture of horse dealer and
yeoman farmer* In the summer he rode jumpers in
the show ring. His father had hunted a pack of
harriers, and it was said that when times were bad
he would go without his dinner himself rather than
stint his hounds of their oatmeal.

Roughly speaking, young Buckman's task as
huntsman was twofold. Firstly, he was there to
encourage and assist the hounds (a scratch packó
mostly dog-hounds drafted from foxhound kennels
because they were over-sized) in following the trail of
their unnaturally contrived quarry; secondly, he had
to do everything he could to prevent his hounds from
"pulling down*9 the deer. With this paradoxical but
humane object in view he had once jumped a railway
gate; by this feat of horsemanship he arrived in the
nick of time and saved the deer's life. Fast hunts