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silent and preferred to munch a large brown biscuit
which he produced from his pocket in a twist of paper.
Later on, however, he turned to me and asked if I'd
got far to go. When he heard that I lived thirty
miles away in the next country he said I "must be
desperate keen, to come all that way", and my heart
glowed with gratitude. But this was nothing com-
pared with what I felt when he continued, "I tell
you what, I can put you up at the Kennels any time
you like, when you're having a day with us. It's
terrible quiet there of an evening, and I'd be glad of
someone to talk to. Just drop me a card die day
before, and bring your horse as well if you like; or
you can find your way out from Downficld somehow
if you're on one of Whatman's screws." He tickled
my hireling's neck with the end of his crop, "They
earn their keep all right, don't they? That poor old
sod was out the day before yesterday, I know, for
some silly blighter from the barracks landed slap in
the middle of my hounds on him. I wish some of
those soldiers weren't quite so mad on jumping. It's
the only thing they come out for!"

We got to Clumpton crossroads and he said good-
night. Buzzaway and I trotted briskly on toward
Downfield in a drizzle of rain. I could scarcely believe
that I had been invited to stay at the Kennels, and I
listened absent-mindedly to my companion's account
of a day he'd had with the Cotswold last season when
staying with his brother. Ordinarily I should have
found this interesting, but the only information I
gathered was that though the Cotswold was a niceish
country for watching hounds work, the Ringwell
needed brains as well as boldness and he asked for
nothing better. I then parted from him and clattered
into Whatman's cobbled yard.