Writing a Run

The first fumes of excitement over, after a run with a kill, the field begin to take things more coolly and veraciously, and ere long some of them begin to pick holes in the affair. The men of the hunt run it up, while those of the next hunt run it down. Added to this there are generally some cavilling, captious fellows in every field, who extol a run to the master’s face, and abuse it behind his back. So it was on the present occasion. The men of the hunt -- Charley Slapp, Lumpleg, Guano, Crane, Washball, and others -- lauded and magnified it into something magnificent; while Fossick, Fyle, Wake, Blossomnose, and others of the ‘flat-hat hunt,’ pronounced it a niceish thing -- a pretty burst; and Mr Vosper, who had hunted for five-and- twenty seasons without ever subscribing one farthing to hounds, always declaring that each season was ‘his last,’ or that he was going to confine himself entirely to some other pack, said it was nothing to make a row about, that he had seen fifty better things with the Tinglebury harriers, and never a word said.

‘Well,’ said Sponge to Spraggon, between the whiffs of a cigar, as they rode together; ‘it wasn’t so bad, was it?’

‘Bad! -- no,’ squinted Jack, ‘devilish good -- for Puff, at least,’ adding, ‘I question he’s had a better this season.’

‘Well, we are in luck,’ observed Tom Washball, riding up and joining them; ‘we are in luck to have a satisfactory thing with you great connoisseurs out.’

‘A pretty thing enough,’ replied Jack, ‘pretty thing enough.’

‘Oh, I don’t mean to say it’s equal to many we’ve had this season,’ replied Washball; ‘nothing like the Boughton Hill day, nor yet the Hembury Forest one; but still, considering the meet and the state of the country --’

‘Hout! the country’s good enough,’ growled Jack, who hated Washball; adding, ‘A good fox makes any country good;’ with which observation he sidled up to Sponge, leaving Washball in the middle of the road.

‘That reminds me,’ said Jack, sotto voce to Sponge, ‘that the crittur wants his run puffed, and he thinks you can do it.’

‘Me!’ exclaimed Sponge, ‘what’s put that in his head?’

‘Why, you see,’ exclaimed Jack, ‘the first time you came out with our hounds at Dundleton Tower, you’ll remember -- or rather, the first time we saw you, when your horse ran away with you -- somebody, Fyle, I think it was, said you were a literary cove; and Puff, catchin’ at the idea, has never been able to get rid of it since: and the fact is, he’d like to be flattered -- he’d be uncommonly pleased if you were to ‘‘soft saudor’’ him handsomely.’

Me!’ exclaimed Sponge; ‘bless your heart, man, I can’t write anything -- nothing fit to print, at least.’

‘Hout, fiddle!’ retorted Spraggon, ‘you can write as well as any other man; see what lots of fellows write, and nobody ever finds fault.’

‘But the spellin’ bothers one,’ replied Sponge, with a shake of his elbow and body, as if the idea was quite out of the question.

‘Hang the spellin’,’ muttered Jack, ‘one can always borrow a dictionary; or let the man of the paper -- the editor, as they call him -- smooth out the spellin’. You say at the end of your letter, that your hands are cold, or your hand aches with holdin’ a pullin’ horse, and you’ll thank him to correct any inadvertencies -- you needn’t call them errors, you know.’

  By PanEris using Melati.

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