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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

and well up in the hunt"; and I spurt along the
sound turf of a green park and past the front of a
square pink Queen Anne house with blank windows
and smokeless chimneys, and a formal garden with
lawns and clipped yew hedges sloping to a sunk fence.
A stone statue stares at me, and I wonder who lived
there when the house was first built. "I am riding
past the past/' I think, never dreaming that I shall
one day write that moment down on paper; never
dreaming that I shall be clarifying and condensing
that chronicle of simple things through which I
blundered so diffidently.

But the day's hunting is ended, and I must watch
myself jogging back to the Kennels, soaked to the skin
but quietly satisfied in my temporary embodiment
with the Hunt establishment; beneath a clean-swept
sky, too, for the rain-clouds have gone on with the
wind behind them. Soon we are passing the village
green; a quarter of a mile from the Kennels, Denis
Milden blows a long wavering blast to warn the
kennelman and the head-groom that we are almost
home. When we turn in at a gate under some trees
there are men waiting with swinging stable-lanterns,
which flicker on their red jerseys, outside the long
range of portable loose-boxes which Denis has put
up. He and his whips are quickly off their horses and
into the kennel-yard among the jostling hounds. He
has told me to find my way indoors and get my tea
and a bath. Cockbird is led into a loose-box under
the superior eye of Meeston, the head-groom, a gruff,
uncommunicative man in a long, dirty white kennel-
coat. Cockbird gives his head a shake, glad to be
rid of his bridle. Then he lowers it, and I pull his
ears for a while—an operation which most horses
enjoy when they are tired. The place is pervaded by

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