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a smell of oatmeal and boiled horse-flesh, and the
vociferations of the hounds accompany me as I tread
stiffly through the darkness to a wicket-gate,, and so
to the front door of the old wood-built huntsman's
house—"the wooden hutch",, as we used to call it.

Welcomed by barks from an elderly Aberdeen and
a slim white fox-terrier with a black head, I followed
an expressionless young man-servant up the narrow
staircase to my room, which was furnished with the
bleakest necessities. The house creaked in the wind,
and the geyser in the bathroom seemed likely to blow
up at any moment. I was downstairs again and had
finished my tea before Denis came in from the ken-
nels. However late and wet he returned, he always
saw his hounds fed, and it was usually about an hour
before he was inside the house. No professional
huntsman ever worked harder than he did, and he
invariably rode to the meet and home again with his

Sitting in the poky little living-room on the ground
floor, I was surrounded by all his significant personal
belongings. There were a few photographs, mostly
in silver frames, of his contemporaries at Eton and
Oxford, all in hunting or racing clothes; the walls
were hung with monotonously executed portraits of
horses which he had owned, and there was one large
group of four hounds which had won a first prize at
Peterborough Hound Show. There was also a coloured
drawing of himself winning a University Steeplechase.
A few standard sporting books (including Lindsay
Gordon's poems, and the leather-backed volumes of
the Foxhound Kennel Stud-Book) filled a small bookcase.