The F. H. H. Again

GENTLEMEN UNACCUSTOMED to public hunting often make queer figures of themselves when they go out. We have seen them in all sorts of odd dresses, half fox-hunters, half fishermen, half fox-hunters, half sailors, with now and then a good sturdy cross of the farmer.

Mr Jawleyford was a cross between a military dandy and a squire. The green-and-gold Bumperkin foraging- cap, with the letters B. Y. C., in front, was cocked jauntily on one side of his badger-pyed head, while he played sportively with the patent leather strap -- now toying with it on his lip, now dropping it below his chin, now hitching it up on to the peak. He had a tremendously stiff stock on -- so hard that no pressure made wrinkle, and so high that his pointed gills could hardly peer above it. His coat was a bright green cut-away -- made when collars were worn very high and very hollow, and when waists were supposed to be about the middle of a man’s back, Jawleyford’s back buttons occupying that remarkable position. These, which were of dead gold with a bright rim, represented a hare full stretch for her life, and were the buttons of the old Muggeridge hunt -- a hunt that had died many years ago from want of the necessary funds (£80) to carry it on. The coat, which was single-breasted and velvet-collared, was extremely swallow- tailed, presenting a remarkable contrast to the barge-built, roomy roundabouts of the members of the Flat Hat Hunt; the collar rising behind, in the shape of a Gothic arch, exhibited all the stitchings and threadings incident to that department of the garment.

But if Mr Jawleyford’s coat went to ‘hare,’ his waistcoat was fox and all ‘fox.’ On a bright blue ground he sported such an infinity of ‘heads,’ that there is no saying that he would have been safe in a kennel of unsteady hounds. One thing, to be sure, was in his favour -- namely, that they were just as much like cats’ heads as foxes’. The coat and waistcoat were old stagers, but his nether man was encased in rhubarb-coloured tweed pantaloons of the newest make -- a species of material extremely soft and comfortable to wear, but not so well adapted for roughing it across country. These had a broad brown stripe down the sides, and were shaped out over the foot of his fine French-polished paper boots, the heels of which were decorated with long-necked, ringing spurs. Thus attired; with a little silver-mounted whip which he kept flourishing about, he encountered Mr Sponge in the entrancehall, after breakfast. Mr Sponge, like all men who are ‘extremely natty’ themselves, men who wouldn’t have a button out of place if it was ever so, hardly knew what to think of Jawleyford’s costume. It was clear he was no sportsman; and then came the question, whether he was of the privileged few who may do what they like, and who can carry off any kind of absurdity. Whatever uneasiness Sponge felt on that score, Jawleyford, however, was quite at his ease, and swaggered about like an aide-de-camp at a review.

‘Well, we should be going, I suppose,’ said he, drawing on a pair of half-dirty, lemon-coloured kid gloves, and sabreing the air with his whip.

‘Is Lord Scamperdale punctual?’ asked Sponge.

‘Tol-lol,’ replied Jawleyford, ‘tol-lol.’

‘He’ll wait for you, I suppose?’ observed Sponge, thinking to try Jawleyford on that infallible criterion of favour.

‘Why, if he knew I was coming, I dare say he would,’ replied Jawleyford slowly and deliberately, feeling it was now no time for flashing. ‘If he knew I was coming I dare say he would,’ repeated he; ‘indeed, I make no doubt he would: but one doesn’t like putting great men out of their way; besides which, it’s just as easy to be punctual as otherwise. When I was in the Bumperkin --’

‘But your horse is on, isn’t it?’ interrupted Sponge; ‘he’ll see your horse there, you know.’

‘Horse on, my dear fellow!’ exclaimed Jawleyford, ‘horse on? No, certainly not. How should I get there myself, if my horse was on?’

‘Hack, to be sure,’ replied Sponge, striking a light for his cigar.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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