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appeared—those dwellers in a sporting Elysium!
Half-conscious of the sense of security and stability
which they inspired, I watched them and listened to
them with a comfortable feeling that here was some-
thing which no political upheaval could interrupt.

There was, however, one discordant element in
life which I vaguely referred to as "those damned
socialists who want to stop us hunting". Curiously
enough, I didn't connect socialists with collieries,
though there had been a long coal strike eighteen
months before. Socialists, for me, began and ended
in Hyde Park, which was quite a harmless place for
them to function in. And I assured Denis that what-
ever the newspapers might say, the Germans would
never be allowed to attack us. Officers at the barracks
were only an ornament; war had become an impossi-
bility. I had sometimes thought with horror of
countries where they had conscription and young
men like myself were forced to serve two years in
the army whether they liked it or not. Two years in
the army! I should have been astonished if I'd been
told that socialists opposed conscription as violently
as many fox-hunting men supported the convention
of soldiering.


THE PACKLESTONE fox-hunters prided them-
selves on being hail-fellow-well-met—quite a
happy family, in fact—though a large one, for there
were always between a hundred and a hundred and
fifty riders at a Monday meet. The Mondays, which
were in the middle of the Hunt, attracted all the
regular followers, whereas on Fridays there was a