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Hunt; ungovernable as their exploits often were, they
were always forgiven, for they were brilliant riders
and had all the qualities which make a young man
popular in sporting circles. They were reckless, in-
solent, unprincipled, and aggressively competitive;
but they were never dull, frequently amusing, and,
when they chose, had charming manners.   In fact,
they disarmed criticism, as do all people whom one
cannot help admiring. And they were the last people
in the world to expect excuses to be made for them.
To me, at that time, they were the epitome of a
proficiency and prestige to which I could not even
aspire. As I remember them now they were desper-
ately fine specimens of a genuine English traditional
type which has become innocuous since the abolition
of duelling. But if they were to some extent survivals
from a less civilized age, they were also the most
remarkable light-weight sparks I had ever seen, and
as they treated me with amiable tolerance I con-
sidered myself fortunate in knowing them. Nor have
I ever altered that opinion.   For in their peculiar
way the Peppermores were first-rate people, and I
felt genuinely sorry when I read in an evening paper,
a year or two ago, that Charlie Peppermore had fallen
at the first fence in the Grand National when riding
the favourite.

To say that the brothers were competitive is to put
it mildly. Whenever it was a question of getting there
first, they were absolute demons of energy, alertness,
and pugnacious subtlety. In the hunting-field, how-
ever, they had little opposition to compete against,
and in a fast hunt they were undefeatable. Denis
Milden's arrival on the scene of their supremacy re-
minded them that they must look to their laurels;
but Denis showed 110 awareness of the competitive