The American Senator HTML version

11. From Impington Gorse
The fox ran straight from the covert through his well-known haunts to Impington
Park, and as the hounds were astray there for two or three minutes there was a
general idea that he too had got up into a tree,--which would have amused the
Senator very much had the Senator been there. But neither had the country nor
the pace been adapted to wheels, and the Senator and the Paragon were now
returning along the road towards Bragton. The fox had tried his old earths at
Impington High wood, and had then skulked back along the outside of the covert.
Had not one of the whips seen him he would have been troubled no further on
that day, a fact, which if it could have been explained to the Senator in all its
bearings, would greatly have added to his delight. But Dick viewed him; and with
many holloas and much blowing of horns, and prayers from Captain Glomax that
gentlemen would only be so good as to hold their tongues, and a full-tongued
volley of abuse from half the field against an unfortunate gentleman who rode
after the escaping fox before a hound was out of the covert, they settled again to
their business. It was pretty to see the quiet ease and apparent nonchalance and
almost affected absence of bustle of those who knew their work,--among whom
were especially to be named young Hampton, and the elder Botsey, and Lord
Rufford, and, above all, a dark-visaged, long-whiskered, sombre, military man
who had been in the carriage with Lord Rufford, and who had hardly spoken a
word to any one the whole day. This was the celebrated Major Caneback, known
to all the world as one of the dullest men and best riders across country that
England had ever produced. But he was not so dull but that he knew how to
make use of his accomplishment, so as always to be able to get a mount on a
friend's horses. If a man wanted to make a horse, or to try a horse, or to sell a
horse, or to buy a horse, he delighted to put Major Caneback up. The Major was
sympathetic and made his friend's horses, and tried them, and sold them. Then
he would take his two bottles of wine,--of course from his friend's cellar,--and
when asked about the day's sport would be oracular in two words, "Rather slow,"
"Quick spurt," "Goodish thing," "Regularly mulled," and such like. Nevertheless it
was a great thing to have Major Caneback with you. To the list of those who rode
well and quietly must in justice be added our friend Larry Twentyman, who was in
truth a good horseman. And he had three things to do which it was difficult
enough to combine. He had a young horse which he would have liked to sell; he
had to coach Kate Masters on his pony; and he desired to ride like Major
From Impington Park they went in a straight line to Littleton Gorse skirting certain
small woods which the fox disdained to enter. Here the pace was very good, and
the country was all grass. It was the very cream of the U.R.U; and could the
Senator have read the feelings of the dozen leading men in the run, he would
have owned that they were for the time satisfied with their amusement. Could he
have read Kate Master's feelings he would have had to own that she was in an