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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

me so nicely while Miss Masterful was being hauled
out of the pond!

I have analysed the orthodox entry in my diary
more fully than I had intended. But how lifelessly
I recover the breathing reality of which those words
are the only relics. The night before hunting: the
anxious wonderings about the weather; lying awake
for a while with busy thoughts about to-morrow that
grow blurred with the beginning of an untroubled
sleep. And then Miriam battering on the door with
"it's twenty to seven, sir", and the first look at the
quiet morning greyness, and the undefinable feeling
produced by the yellow candlelight and the wintry
smelling air from the misty garden. Such was the
impermanent fabric as it unfolded: memory enchants
even the dilatory little train journey which carried my
expectant simplicity into the freshness of a country
seen for the first time. All the sanguine guesswork
of youth is there, and the silliness; all the novelty of
being alive and impressed by the urgency of tremend-
ous trivialities.

II

THE END of February became the beginning of
March, and this unavoidable progression in-
tensified my anticipations of the date in April which
meant so much to me. Gockbird had done his eight
qualifying days without the slightest mishap or the
least sign of unsoundness. He was so delightfully
easy to handle that my assurance as a rider had
increased rapidly. But in the period of preparation
Dixon and I, between us, carried a large invisible
load of solicitude and suspense. Our conversational

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