It was, he asserted, the most alarming experience he'd
ever had since he was run away with down a steep
hill in a dogcart years ago in Surrey; he recalled his
vivid emotions on that appalling occasion. "Shall I
jump out, I thought, or shall I remain where I am?
I jumped out! I shall never forget those awful
Embarrassed by his effusive acknowledgments I did
my best to avoid him during the rest of the day, but
he was constantly attaching himself to me, and every-
body who happened to be near us had to hear all
about my marvellous feat of horsemanship.
"Not a second to spare! I really think Mr. Shcrston
saved my life!" he ejaculated to Sir John Ruddimore,
a stolid and rather exclusive landowner who followed
the hounds very sedately with an elderly daughter.
The local big-wig listened politely to the story; but I
felt a fool, and was much relieved when I saw the
back of Mr. Bellerby as he tit-tupped away to Cows-
lake Manor after pressing me to accept a cheroot
about eight inches long out of a crocodile-skin case.
I returned to Butley without having exchanged a
word with Milden. Whenever I saw him his face was
expressionless and he seemed to be unaware of any-
thing except his hounds and what they were doing.
Nigel Groplady, however, referred to him by his
Christian name and led one to suppose that he had
been indispensable to him since he had taken the
country. But Groplady, I am afraid, was just a little
bit of a snob.
For several weeks Milden remained eminently un-
approachable, although I diligently went out with
his hounds, enlarging rny equestrian experience by
taking a full thirty-five bobs' worth out of Whatman's
hard-legged hirelings. My moneysworth included