Good-natured Arthur Brandwick came up and
offered me a lift back to Downfield. While he was
patting me on the back I caught sight of a figure
which seemed somehow familiar. A loose-built ruddy
faced young sportsman was talking to a couple of
jovial whiskered farmers; he sat on a shooting-stick
with his thin neatly gaitered legs straightened; a
brown felt hat was tipped well over his blunt nose,
for the five o'clock sun was glaring full in his eyes. I
wondered who it was he reminded me of. Brandwick
answered my unspoken question.
"D'you twig who that is?" I shook my head.
"Well, take another good look at him. It's our new
Master, and a hell of a good lad he is, from all Pve
heard. Up till a month ago everyone thought the
country5 d have to be hunted by a Committee next
season. There was something fishy about every one
of the coves who'd applied for the Mastership. And
then this chap wrote and offered to hunt the hounds
himself and put up fifteen hundred a year if we
guaranteed him another two thousand. Hardly a
soul knew about it till to-day. We're lucky to get him.
He's been hunting a good rough country in Ireland
the last two seasons and showing rare sport. He's
run across for a couple of days to have a look at us."
As we walked away the new Master turned his head
and favoured us with a slow and rather blank
"What did you say his name was?53 I asked, when
we were out of earshot. Brandwick informed me
that his name was MildenóDenis Mildenóand I
knew that I'd known it all the time, though I hadn't
set eyes on him since I was eleven years old.
* * *