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reticent Henry came into my room with a candle and
a jug of warm water. (How Henry managed to get
up was a mystery.) Any old clothes were good
enough for cubbing, and I was very soon downstairs
in the stuffy little living-room, where Denis had an
apparatus for boiling eggs. While they were bubbling
he put the cocoa-powder in the cups, two careful
spoonfuls each, and not a grain more. A third
spoonful was unthinkable.

Not many minutes afterwards we were out by the
range of loose-boxes under the rustling trees, with
quiet stars overhead and scarcely a hint of morning.
In the kennels the two packs were baying at one
another from their separate yards, and as soon as
Denis had got his horse from the gruff white-coated
head-groom, a gate released the hounds—twenty-five
or thirty couple of them, and all very much on their
toes. Out they streamed like a flood of water,
throwing their tongues and spreading away in all
directions with waving sterns, as though they had
never been out in the world before. Even then I used
to feel the strangeness of the scene with its sharp
exuberance of unkennelled energy. Will's hearty
voice and the crack of his whip stood out above the
clamour and commotion which surged around Denis
and his horse. Then, without any apparent lull or
interruption, the whirlpool became a well-regulated
torrent flowing through the gateway into the road,
along which the sound of hoofs receded with a pur-
poseful clip-clopping. Whereupon I hoisted myself
on to an unknown horse—usually an excited one—
and set off higgledy-piggledy along the road to catch
them up. Sometimes we had as many as twelve miles
to go, but more often we were at the meet in less
than an hour.