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acclimatization to the new conditions was made easier
by the fact that not many people came out cubbing
before the middle of October. We clattered out in
the misty mornings to disturb the important fox
coverts and the demesnes of influential personages in
the Hunt, and I learned to recognize the new faces
in more or less segregated instalments.

On one occasion we went to a place about twenty
miles from the Kennels, had two days' routing up the
cubs, and spent two nights in a large country house*
The owner was away, probably at some German spa:
the furniture was draptkd in dust-sheets, and I remem-
ber that we had our dinner in a little housekeeper's
room. To be there with Denis and his hounds gave
me an agreeable feeling of having got into a modern-
ized Surtees novel (though there was little evidence of
modernity in what we did and saw). Less agreeable,
I remember, was our sixteen-mile ride home on a
grilling September afternoon, with the famous
Packlestone dog-hounds, who found the dust and
heat rather more than they could manage after a
long morning.

Life at the Kennels appeared to me almost perfect,
especially when I was sitting with Denis in the little
room in the huntsman's house and discussing the new
country in all its aspects* My approach to the country
had been uncritical and eagerly expectant. Once I
was settled there I saw it entirely through the eyes of
Denis. If he found anything amiss I at once assumed
that I had already taken the imperfection into
account. For instance, several of the artificial gorse
coverts, he said, were very thin; and no right-minded
fox would remain in some of the small woods when
once the leaves were off and the vegetation had died
down. I shook my head and agreed that a lot of the