where I was; and gathering the horse together, tried to squeeze through the hole. Well, he went shuffling and sliding down to it, as though he were conscious of the difficulty, and poked his head quietly past the tree, when, getting a sight of the ditch on the far side, he rose, and banged my head against the branch above, crushing my hat right over my eyes, and in that position he carried me through blindfold.’

‘Indeed!’ exclaimed Jack turning his spectacles full upon his lordship, and adding, ‘it’s lucky he didn’t crack your crown.’

‘It is,’ assented his lordship, feeling his head to satisfy himself that he had not done so.

‘And how did you lose your tail?’ asked Jack, having got the information about the hat.

‘The tail! ah, the tail!’ replied his lordship, feeling behind, where it wasn’t; ‘I’ll tell you how that was: you see we went away like blazes from Springwheat’s gorse -- nice gorse it is, and nice woman he has for a wife -- but, however, that’s neither here nor there; what I was going to tell you about was the run, and how I lost my tail. Well, we got away like winking; no sooner were the hounds in on one side than away went the fox on the other. Not a soul shouted till he was clean gone; hats in the air was all that told his departure. The fox thus had time to run matters through his mind -- think whether he should go to Ravenscar Craigs, or make for the main earths at Painscastle Grove. He chose the latter, doubtless feeling himself strong and full of running; and if we had chosen his ground for him he could not have taken us a finer line. He went as straight as an arrow through Bramblebrake Wood, and then away down the hill over those great enormous pastures to Haselbury Park, which he skirted, leaving Evercreech Green on the left, pointing as if for Dormston Dean. Here he was chased by a cur, and the hounds were brought to a momentary check. Frosty, however, was well up, and a hat being held up on Hothersell Hill, he clapped for’ard and laid the hounds on beyond. We then viewed the fox sailing away over Eddlethorp Downs, still pointing for Painscastle Grove, with the Hamerton Brook lighting up here and there in the distance.

‘The field, I should tell you, were fairly taken by surprise. There wasn’t a man ready for a start; my horse had only just come down. Fossick was on foot, drawing his girths; Fyle was striking a light to smoke a cigar on his hack; Blossomnose and Capon’s grooms were fistling and wisping their horses; Dribble, as usual, was all behind; and altogether there was such a scene of hurry and confusion as never was seen.

‘As they came to the brook they got somewhat into line, and one saw who was there. Five or six of us charged it together, and two went under. One was Springwheat on his bay, who was somewhat pumped out; the other was said to be Hook. Old Daddy Longlegs skimmed it like a swallow, and, getting his hindlegs well under him, shot over the pastures beyond, as if he was going upon turf. The hounds all this time had been running, or rather racing, nearly mute. They now, however, began to feel for the scent; and, as they got upon the cold, bleak grounds above Somerton Quarries, they were fairly brought to their noses. Uncommon glad I was to see them; for ten minutes more, at the pace they had been going, would have shaken off every man Jack of us. As it was, it was bellows to mend; and Calcott’s roarer roared as surely roarer never roared before. You could hear him half a mile off. We had barely time, however, to turn our horses to the wind, and ease them for a few moments, before the pace began to mend, and from a catching to a holding scent they again poured across Wallingburn pastures, and away to Roughacres Court. It was between these places that I got my head duntled into my hat,’ continued his lordship, knocking the crownless hat against his mud-stained knee. ‘However, I didn’t care a button though I’d not worn it above two years, and it might have lasted me a long time about home; but misfortunes seldom come singly, and I was soon to have another. The few of us that were left were all for the lanes, and very accommodating the one between Newton Bushell and the Forty-foot Bank was, the hounds running parallel within a hundred yards on the left for nearly a mile. When, however, we got to the old water-mill in the fields below, the fox made a bend to the left, as if changing his mind, and making for Newtonbroome Woods, and we were obliged to try the fortunes of war in the fields. The first fence we came to looked like nothing, and there was a weak place right in my line, that I rode at, expecting the horse would easily bore through a few twigs that crossed the upper part of it. These, however, happened to be twisted, to stop the gap, and not having put on enough steam, they checked him as he rose, and brought him

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