Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

See other formats

The letters and papers on his writing-table were very
tidily arranged. On the sideboard were racing-cups
and a huge silver tray "presented by the members of
the Kilcurran Hunt as a testimony of their apprecia-
tion of the sport he had shown them during his
Mastership". There were several foxes' masks among
the pictures, with place and date of death in small
white lettering: one or two brushes were tucked
behind picture frames, and a fox's pad was mounted
as the handle of a paper knife. Finally (and there was
only just enough room for it) an upright piano with a
pianola apparatus attached to it, demonstrated that
he was fond of a bit of music. A record of Dvorak's
"New World" Symphony appeared to be his only
link with Europe. But he had the advantage of me
as regards foreign travel, since he had once been to
Budapest to play in a polo tournament. (He told
me this at dinner, when we were saying how superior
the English were to all foreigners.)

It was after half-past six when he came in. He
seemed to take me for granted already, but he assured
me once again that he was "terrible pleased to have
someone to talk to". He threw off his wet hunting
coat and slipped into a ragged tweed jacket which
the silent servant Henry held out for him. As soon
as he had swallowed a cup of tea he lit his pipe and
sat down at his writing-table to open a pile of letters.
He handed me one, with a grimy envelope addressed
to "Mr. Milden, The Dog Kennels, RingwelT. The
writer complained that a fox had been the night
before and killed three more of his pullets, and unless
he could bring the dogs there soon there wouldn't
be one left and they'd really have to start shooting
the foxes, and respectfully begging to state that he
was owed fifteen shillings by the Hunt for compensa-