Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

See other formats

alone since the previous winter, and for the time
being my income seemed adequate.

Toward the end of the month Stephen asked me to
stay at the Rectory. He had escaped from Aldershot
and was about to join his new brigade, which was
quartered in the Ringwell country. Both his brothers
were still serving their country in 'foreign parts.

The first morning I was there we got up at four
o'clock, fortified ourselves with boiled eggs and cocoa,
and set off on bicycles to a cubbing meet about eight
miles away. The ground was still as hard as a brick,
and we had decided to save the horses' legs for later
on and see what we could "from our flat feet". Cock-
crowing dimness became daylight; the road was
white and dry, but the air smelt of autumn. I saw
Milden again, in the glinting rays of a quiet scarlet-
orbed sunrise; he was on a compact little roan horse;
among his hounds outside some gryphoned lodge-
gates he leant forward in diplomatic conference with
a communicative keeper. The "field" consisted of a
young lady with a cockaded groom and a farmer
on an undipped and excited four-year-old. A few
more riders turned up later on when the hounds
were chivvying an inexperienced cub up and down
a wide belt of woodland. After the first invigorating
chorus in the early morning air had evoked our
enthusiasm the day soon became sultry: pestered by
gnats and flies we panted to and fro, and then fol-
lowed the hunt to another big covert.

By ten o'clock we had both of us lost our early
ardour; they had killed a cub and now a brace had
gone to ground in a warren. Stephen told me that
the Master was mad keen on digging out foxes,, which
in that and many other parts of the country were too
plentiful for good sport later in the season. While