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Rev. Colwood, Buzzaway, "Gentleman George", and
all the rest of my Ringwell friends, and successfully
competing with Stephen and his brother officers from
the barracks. But a couple of weeks before Christmas
the continuity of things was abruptly fractured by an
event which caused a terrible to-do among the
supporters of the Ringwell Hounds, myself included.
Just as we had all settled down to a record-breaking
season, the Master handed in his resignation. A lawn-
meet at Rapworth Park was rendered positively
funereal by the announcement, and Mr. McCosh,
the stolid purple-faced Hunt secretary, swallowed a
stiff brandy and soda as if a posset of poison was the
sole solution for the blow which had made him so

It had been a recognized fact that for Denis Milden
the Ringwell country was only a stepping-stone to
higher things. Nobody had hoped that he would
remain with a provincial hunt for ever. But this was
sudden. He had sometimes talked to me about his
prospects of getting a better country, but he could be
as dumb as a post when he had a motive for silence,
and he had given me no inkling of a change before
the morning when he came down to breakfast with
a letter in his hand and informed me that he'd been
elected Master of the Packlestone. He said it with
satisfied sobriety, and I did my best to seem delighted.
Now the Packlestone Hunt, as I knew well enough,
was away up in the Midlands. And the Midlands,
to put it mildly, were a long step from Butley. So
Denis, as I might have expected, was to be translated
to a region which I couldn't even visualize. It meant
that he was going out of my existence as completely
as he had entered it. Every time I returned to the
Kennels I found greater difficulty in making my