either in skill or courage, I resented my uncle’s insinuation accordingly, and assured him he would find me up with the hounds.

“I doubtna, lad,” was his reply; “thou’rt a rank rider, I’se warrant thee—but take heed. Thy father sent thee here to me to be bitted, and I doubt I must ride thee on the curb, or we’ll hae some one to ride thee on the halter, if I takena the better heed.”

As this speech was totally unintelligible to me; as, besides, it did not seem to be delivered for my use, or benefit, but was spoken as it were aside, and as if expressing aloud something which was passing through the mind of my much-honoured uncle, I concluded it must either refer to my desertion of the bottle on the preceding evening, or that my uncle’s morning hours being a little discomposed by the revels of the night before, his temper had suffered in proportion. I only made the passing reflection, that if he played the ungracious landlord, I would remain the shorter while his guest, and then hastened to salute Miss Vernon, who advanced cordially to meet me. Some show of greeting also passed between my cousins and me; but as I saw them maliciously bent upon criticising my dress and accoutrements, from the cap to the stirrup-irons, and sneering at whatever had a new or foreign appearance, I exempted myself from the task of paying them much attention; and assuming, in requital of their grins and whispers, an air of the utmost indifference and contempt, I attached myself to Miss Vernon as the only person in the party whom I could regard as a suitable companion. By her side, therefore, we sallied forth to the destined cover, which was a dingle or copse on the side of an extensive common. As we rode thither, I observed to Diana, that I did not see my cousin Rashleigh in the field; to which she replied,—“Oh no—he’s a mighty hunter, but it’s after the fashion of Nimrod, and his game is man.”

The dogs now brushed into the cover, with the appropriate encouragement from the hunters—all was business, bustle, and activity. My cousins were soon too much interested in the business of the morning to take any further notice of me, unless that I overheard Dickon the horse-jockey whisper to Wilfred the fool—“Look thou, an our French cousin be nat off a’ first burst.”

To which Wilfred answered, “Like enow, for he has a queer outlandish binding on’s castor.”

Thorncliff, however, who, in his rude way, seemed not absolutely insensible to the beauty of his kinswoman, appeared determined to keep us company more closely than his brothers, perhaps to watch what passed betwixt Miss Vernon and me—perhaps to enjoy my expected mishaps in the chase. In the last particular he was disappointed. After beating in vain for the greater part of the morning, a fox was at length found, who led us a chase of two hours, in the course of which, notwithstanding the ill-omened French binding upon my hat, I sustained my character as a horseman to the admiration of my uncle and Miss Vernon, and the secret disappointment of those who expected me to disgrace it. Reynard, however, proved too wily for his pursuers, and the hounds were at fault. I could at this time observe in Miss Vernon’s manner an impatience of the close attendance which we received from Thorncliff Osbaldistone; and, as that active- spirited young lady never hesitated at taking the readiest means to gratify any wish of the moment, she said to him, in a tone of reproach—“I wonder, Thornie, what keeps you dangling at my horse’s crupper all this morning, when you know the earths above Woolverton mill are not stopt.”

“I know no such an thing then, Miss Die, for the miller swore himself as black as night, that he stopt them at twelve o’clock, midnight that was.”

“Oh, fie upon you, Thornie, would you trust to a miller’s word?—and these earths, too, where we lost the fox three times this season, and you on your grey mare that can gallop there and back in ten minutes!”

“Well, Miss Die, I’se go to Woolverton then, and if the earths are not stopt, I’se raddle Dick the miller’s bones for him.”

“Do, my dear Thornie; horsewhip the rascal to purpose—via—fly away, and about it;”—Thorncliff went off at the gallop—“or get horsewhipt yourself, which will serve my purpose just as well.—I must teach them all discipline and obedience to the word of command. I am raising a regiment, you must know. Thornie

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