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Family Virtue 173 Gwenllian. By R. A. Lea 422
Antecedents 180 In Memoriam. By R. A. Lea 160
Fishing - 268 By F. G. Washington 246
34.–Story of Hubert The Theatre, 75, 161, 254, 425, 518
Author of "Romances of the Chivalric Ages," "The Rmg
woods of Ringwood,” &c., &c.
HE MEET at Blatherstone Dun Cow, with the
inevitable draw and sure find in Lentworth great
gorse covert, was looked upon as one of the field days of the E.M.H.
The Squire of Lentworth, though he did not hunt regularly, loved the sport, and any one of his four clever weight-carrying cobs, with his perfect knowledge of the country, would enable him to see as much as he ever cared to see of a day's run. He kept a couple of horses especially for Juliana, fine easy goers, with light mouths, and he had half a dozen hacks of all sorts in his stable. For the Blatherstone meet he had offered Frank a mount on one of them, just to help himself, he said, in taking care of Juliana. They would see the hounds throw off, then canter up to points, through bye lanes, along bridle-paths, and so forth. He flattered himself he knew the country a deal better than most of the old foxes did.
Miles Berrington hunted a little-Lumley less; they kept some high class hunters and a good stable establishment at Westwood; both sported pink, and were numbered among the hunting men of their part of the country.
The great event of the day, as well at Westwood as at Lentworth, was the debut of the Vicomte de Foix, an event which not only is still talked of in local sporting circles, but VOL. XXXVI.
got into Bells' Life" in the account afterwards given, in the columns of that journal, of the day's run.
But this is to anticipate.
Among the first to reach the broad green in front of the little inn which gives the name to the meet, an elevated point at the junction of two cross roads, were the Berringtons and the Vicomte, all on hacks; father and son having united to dissuade their guest from parading before the field his curious equipage. They found, already scattered about, some carriages containing ladies, a few farmers and several lads on ponies, a dozen or so of pedestrians, and several hunters mounted or led by grooms, among which the Vicomte was not slow to recognise Brown Duchess, looking in high fettle. Precisely as the three trotted up one of the roads, the hounds, with the huntsmen, the two whips, and the master's horses, first and second, led by mounted grooms, were seen quietly coming up the opposite road. It was not long before the attention of all present became attracted towards the unknown and foreign looking man arriving with the Berringtons—who were known to everybody—and preparing to mount one of John Speedycut's very best hunters.
“Nice day, Mr. Berrington;" said Will, the huntsman, coming up to the three while the Vicomte's stirrups were being adjusted to their proper length. “Your friend has'nt got half a bad ’un there”-pointing to Brown Duchess—“It's not once nor twice as I've seen this ere mare o' Speedy's lead us all. She's wonderful clever at all sorts o fences, timber particular, and fit to carry our master himself—and that's sayin' a great deal.”
As Will spoke more slowly and less provincially than Speedycut,the Vicomte was able to understand nearly all he said, and although feeling flattered by the notice of such an important functionary as the hunstman of a crack pack of fox-hounds, the foregoing address did undoubtedly occasion a slight shock to his nerves.
He made no attempt to conceal from himself that, although his general get up was as perfect as money could make it, yet he must inevitably prove himself a rank impostor if any serious work in the fencing line was to be done.
From the necessity of giving any expression of his feelings at the moment he was saved by the appearance on the scene