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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

We then escorted Cockbird to the paddock; by
the time we were there and I'd fetched my weight-
cloth, the Open Race was over and the spectators
were trooping back again. Among them was Mr.
Gaffikin, who hailed me companionably with "Hullo,
old chap; jolly sporting of you to be having a ride!"
and thereafter took complete charge of me in a most
considerate manner, going with me to the weighing
tent with the weight-cloth over his arm, while I, of
course, carried my saddle.

The winner of the Open Race was weighing in
when we arrived, and I stepped diffidently on to the
machine immediately after his glorified and perspiring
vacation of the seat. Mr. Gaffikin doled out a few
leads for me to slip into the leather pouches on the
dark blue cloth until I tipped the scale at fourteen
stone. The Clerk of the Scales, an unsmiling person
with a large sallow face—he was a corn-merchant—
verified my name on the card and handed me my
number-cloth and armlet; my number was seven;
under less exacting conditions I might have wondered
whether it was a lucky number, but I was pushed out
of the way by Pomfret. Arthur Brandwick (in a grey
bowler) was at his elbow, talking nineteen to the
dozen; I caught a glimpse of Stephen's serious
face; Colonel Hesmon was with him, behaving
exactly the same as last year, except that, having
already "given the boy the horse", he could no longer
say that he was going to do so if he won the race.

While Dixon was putting the last testing touches to
Cockbird's straps and buckles, the little Colonel came
across to assure me that if Jerry didn't win there
was no one he'd rather see first past the judge's
wagon than me. He added that he'd taken a lot of
trouble in choosing the Cup—"very nice goblet

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