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so oblivious to anything else. Coming in at the end
of a long day, I would find Dixon giving the horses
their evening feed, or brushing the mud off the horse
I had ridden in the morning. Dixon was entirely in
his element now, and he had the intense satisfaction
of going out as my second horseman. Dignified and
discreet he rode about with the other grooms, catch-
ing an occasional glimpse of me as I popped over a
fence into a lane or cantered across a field toward a
covert. My broken-winded chestnut had turned out
to be a wonderful hunter; I could trot him up to a
high post and rails in absolute assurance that he
would hop over it like a deer, and on such occasions
he made me look a much better rider than I really
was. In spite of all the hard work he had to get
through, Dixon was permanently happy that winter.
He was breathing the same air as the renowned
Peppermores, whose steeplechasing successes made
them heroic in his eyes; and every day he was within
speaking distance of Denis Milden, for whom he had
a corresponding admiration, When Denis came to
my loose-box and told Dixon that the horses were
looking fine, Dixon was more delighted than he knew
how to say; and,, of course, as befitted a "perfect
gentleman's servant", he said almost nothing at all.

This was all very pleasant, but when the afternoons
began to lengthen and I had just paid another bill
for forage I was forced to look ahead and to realize
that the end of the winter would find me in no end
of a fix. Fix wasn't the word for it as I thought of
what Mr. Pennett's face would look like when I told
him that I was 300 in debt. "Outrunning the
constable" was the phrase which would leap to his
lips as sure as eggs were eggs. It was certain that I
should be obliged to sell two of the horses at the end

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