ed. As he had no voice in the matter, it is as well to agree with him. Mrs. Dove鈥檚 attention is a little distracted by the 鏉窞鐢峰＋spa hamper
with the luncheon; and Cissy hopes fervently that 鈥渘obody will be hurt.鈥?
Let us count the starters. One, two, three, four, five, six. Mr. Crasher鈥檚 Chance, blue, and white sleeves (owner); Major Brush鈥檚 Down-upon-鈥檈m, 鈥済orge de pigeon,鈥?crimson cap (owner); Mr. Savage鈥檚 Luxury, scarlet, and black cap (Mr. Stripes); 鏉窞鎸夋懇浼戦棽浼氭墍 Mr. Brown鈥檚 Egg-Flip, white (owner); Mr. Green鈥檚 Comedy, by Comus, black and all black (Mr. Snooks); and lastly, Mr. Sawyer鈥檚 Wood-Pigeon, plum-colour, and blue cap (owner).
The latter鈥檚 appearance excites considerable admiration, as he takes his breathing canter. Wood-Pigeon is a remarkably handsome animal; and Mr. Sawyer, at a little distance, looks more like a jockey than any of them, with the exception of the redoubtable Stripes.
Old Isaac goes up to his master for a few last words before the flag drops. 鈥滄澀宸炶冻娴翠笂闂?You mind the double comin鈥?in,鈥?says the wary old dodger. 鈥淐lose under the tree鈥檚 the best place, 鈥檆ause there鈥檚 no holes in the bank; and, pray ye now, do ye sit still!鈥?
A faint exclamation from Miss Dove proclaims they are off. Out with the double-glasses! From the carriage, we can see them the whole way round.
One, two, 鏉窞spa鍝噷鍙互鍙hree! They fly the first fence in a string, Chance leading. The Honourable means to make running all through. Wood-Pigeon is a little rash; but Mr. Sawyer handles him to admiration. He goes in 鐖辨澀宸為緳鍑ら榿璁哄潧and out of the double posts and rails like a pony.
This difficulty disposes of Mr. Snooks, who lets Comedy by Comus out of his hand, falls, and never appears again.
The others increase the pace, as the lie of the ground takes them a little downhill towards the brook. As they near it, you might cover them with a sheet;鏉窞鐢峰＋鍏ㄨ韩绮炬补鎸夋懇 but, while the whole increase their velocity, Chance and Wood-Pigeon, the latter followed closely by Mr. Stripes on Luxury, single themselves out from the rest. All three get over in their stride; and a faint shout rises from the crowd on the distant hill. Egg-Flip jumps short, and remains on the further bank with his back broken, the centre of a knot of foot-people, who congregate round him in a moment, from no one knows where. Down-upon-鈥檈m struggles in and out again, striding over the adjacent water meadow as 鏉窞瓒崇枟鎸夋懇涓嶆瑙勭殑 if full of running;
but Brush is far more blown than his horse. His cap is off, his reins are entangled, he has lost a stirrup, and it is obvious that the Major鈥檚 chance is out.
The race now lies between the leading three; and Crasher, who has great confidence in Chance鈥檚 pedigree and stoutness, forces the running 鏉窞娲楁荡鍦烘墍 tremendously. He and Sawyer take their leaps abreast, the latter riding very quietly and carefully, mindful of old Isaac鈥檚 advice, to 鈥渟it still.鈥?Luxury is waiting close upon them.
鈥淭hat fellow has been at the game before,鈥?remarks Parson Dove, eyeing Mr. Stripes through his glasses, and struck with admiration at the artistic manner in which that gentleman pulls his horse together for the ridge