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Title: Baily's Magazine of Sports and Pastimes, Volume 85 - January to June, 1906
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                            BAILY’S MAGAZINE
                                   OF
                          Sports and Pastimes


[Illustration:

  _George H. Hirst._
]

                              VOL. LXXXV.

                        LONDON, VINTON & C^{o.}
                                 1906.



                            BAILY’S MAGAZINE
                                   OF
                           SPORTS & PASTIMES.

                       _VOLUME THE EIGHTY-FIFTH._
                                 BEING
                  NOS. 551–556. JANUARY TO JUNE, 1906.


                                LONDON:
                        VINTON AND CO., LIMITED,
               9, NEW BRIDGE STREET, LUDGATE CIRCUS E.C.

                                 1906.

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                             ILLUSTRATIONS.


                               ENGRAVINGS.
                                                                    PAGE
 Biddulph, Mr. Assheton, M.F.H.                                      343
 Cardwell, Colonel W. A., M.F.H.                                      91
 Hawkins, Mr. Henry                                                  259
 Helmsley, Viscount, M.F.H.                                          427
 Hirst, George H.                                                  Title
 Huntingdon, The Earl of, M.F.H.                                       1
 Mashiter, Mr. Edward, M.F.H.                                        175


                             MISCELLANEOUS.

 Ascetic’s Silver                                                    406
 Beech, The                                                          374
 Broadland Sportsman with his Punt and Dog                           118
 Borzoi Puilai                                                       290
 Borzoi Sandringham Moscow                                           288
 Casting a Net for Small Line Bait                                   116
 Clumber Spaniel                                                     481
 Cocker Spaniels                                                     480
 Country Fair in 1819, A                                             444
 “Dick”                                                               24
 Diplomatist, Mr. Ramsay’s                                           308
 Famous Liverpool Riders                                             210
 Flair                                                               490
 Foxhounds                                                             8
 Gorgos                                                              488
 Gubbins, The late Mr. John R.                                       364
 Hot on the Trail                                                    396
 Jack Shepherd on Whitethorn                                         356
 Kerry Beagles                                                       318
 King Edward, Mr. Drage’s                                            316
 Leicestershire Runners                                              110
 Menella, Mr. W. Scott’s                                             310
 Mother, The                                                         188
 Oxford and Cheltenham Coach                                         114
 Pheasants, Koklass                                                   64
 Pheasants, Monaul                                                    64
 Pinderfields Horace, Mr. T. Smith’s                                 312
 Present King II., Messrs. Forshaw’s                                 306
 Proportions of the Horse                                            220
 Puckeridge Colonist and Cardinal                                    104
 Punt Gunning                                                        464
 Red Prince II.                                                      438
 Returning from Market                                                44
 Ridgway, Mr. C. Henry                                               384
 “Sent to Walks”                                                     190
 Sixth Viscount Galway                                               200
 Swinton, David                                                       20
 Vanguard Running a Fox to Ground                                    198
 Wales (Stallion), Lord Middleton’s                                  314
 “When all is Quiet”                                                 400
 With the North Cotswold                                             275
 Worry, The                                                          396



                               CONTENTS.


                                                                    PAGE
 Advent of the Otter-hunting Season (Illustrated)                    397
 Becking: The Last Shot at the Grouse                                 15
 Beech as a Commercial Tree (Illustrated)                            375
 Billiard-Cue, The (Illustrated)                                     442
 Biographies:—
     Biddulph, Mr. Assheton, M.F.H.                                  343
     Cardwell, Colonel W. A., M.F.H.                                  91
     Hawkins, Mr. Henry                                              259
     Helmsley, Viscount, M.F.H.                                      427
     Hirst, George H.                                                485
     Huntingdon, The Earl of, M.F.H.                                   1
     Mashiter, Mr. Edward, M.F.H.                                    175
 Borzoi, The (Illustrated)                                           289
 Breeds of British Salmon                                            195
 Broads as a Sporting Centre, The (Illustrated)                      115
 Christmas Dream on Sport, A                                           3
 Clever Shot, A                                                      465
 Cocks and Some Rabbits, A Few                                       192
 Collection of Indian Weapons                                         92
 Country Fair, A (Illustrated)                                       443
 Cricket Notions                                                     467
 Cricket Topics                                                       37
 Development of the Modern Motor, The                                 13
 Distemper in Hounds                                                 176
 Dressing Flies                                                      367
 Education at the Public Schools                                     433
 Education of the Puppy (Illustrated)                                187
 Englishman’s Sport in Future Years                                  346
 Famous Grand National Riders (Illustrated)                          211
 Farewell to a Hunter, A (Verses)                                    128
 Foxhounds (Illustrated)                                             103
 Foxhounds of Great Britain, The (Illustrated)                       199
 Foxhounds: Their Ancestry (Illustrated)                               7
 Foxhunting in France (Illustrated)                                  385
 Goose Shooting in Manitoba                                          230
 Gossip on Hunting Men, A                                             56
 Gubbins, The Late Mr. John (Illustrated)                            362
 Half a Century’s Hunting Recollections—IV.-V.                   31, 138
 Hermit Family, The                                                  377
 Herod Blood                                                         300
 Hind-hunting                                                        204
 Hound Sales, Past and Present                                       456
 Hundred Years Ago, A                                      36, 127, 217,
                                                           287, 398, 477
 Hunt “Runners”—II., III., IV. (Illustrated)                19, 109, 272
 Hunting Ladies                                                      234
 In Memoriam: The late Captain J. T. R. Lane Fox                     265
 Is Foxhunting Doomed?                                                40
 Jack Shepherd (Illustrated)                                         357
 Judging of Polo Ponies                                              447
 Last of the Bitterns, The                                           303
 Navicular Disease (Illustrated)                                     369
 New Year at the Theatres, The                                       129
 Notes and Sport of a Dry-fly Purist                            120, 452
 Old Horse, The                                                      276
 Olympic Games, The                                                  462
 “Our Van” (Illustrated)                                   67, 155, 241,
                                                           320, 405, 487
 Oxford and Cheltenham Coach (Illustrated)                           113
 Pelota                                                              353
 Plea for the Hare, A                                                350
 Pheasant Shooting in the Himalayas                                   65
 Polo in 1906                                                        402
 Preparatory School, The                                             358
 Pursuit of the Pike, In                                              47
 Racing at Gibraltar in 1905                                         133
 Recollections of Seventy-five Years’ Sport—I.-II.              183, 260
 Rugby Football                                                      143
 Salmon’s Visual Apparatus, The (Illustrated)                        469
 Some Fables on Horses                                               391
 Some Novelties in the Laws of Croquet                               279
 Some Sport in the Transvaal in 1878                                 292
 Some Theories on Acquiring a Seat                                   237
 Song of Homage, A (Verses)                                          299
 South African Policy of the Marylebone Cricket Ministry             387
 Sport at the Universities                                           381
 Sport at Westminster                                                429
 Sport and Animal Life at the Royal Academy                          449
 Sporting Intelligence                                     85, 171, 254,
                                                           339, 420, 500
 Sport in the City: The Old Year and the New                          26
 Sportsman’s Library, The (Illustrated)                    45, 218, 317,
                                                                399, 478
 Spring Horse Shows, The (Illustrated)                               305
 Spring Trout and Spring Weather                                     266
 Successful Steeplechase Sires (Illustrated)                         437
 Thoroughbred, The                                                   147
 Towered Bird, The                                                   268
 True Fishing Stories                                                283
 Two Noted Hunting Sires                                             223
 University Boat Race, The                                           228
 Walker, Mr. Vyell Edward                                            151
 What Next?                                                          100

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                            BAILY’S MAGAZINE

                                   OF

                          SPORTS AND PASTIMES.


 ┌─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐
 │                      DIARY FOR JANUARY, 1906.                       │
 ├──────┬─────┬────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┤
 │Day of│ Day │                      OCCURRENCES.                      │
 │Month.│ of  │                                                        │
 │      │Week.│                                                        │
 ├──────┼─────┼────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┤
 │     1│  M  │Manchester and Hamilton Park Races and Steeplechases.   │
 │     2│ TU  │Manchester and Hamilton Park Races and Steeplechases.   │
 │      │     │  Essex Club Coursing Meeting.                          │
 │     3│  W  │Gatwick Races and Steeplechases.                        │
 │     4│ TH  │Gatwick Races and Steeplechases.                        │
 │     5│  F  │Windsor Races and Steeplechases.                        │
 │     6│  S  │Windsor Races and Steeplechases.                        │
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │     7│ =S= │=First Sunday after Epiphany.=                          │
 │     8│  M  │Birmingham Races and Steeplechases.                     │
 │     9│ TU  │Birmingham Races and Steeplechases. Tendering Hundred   │
 │      │     │  Coursing Meeting.                                     │
 │    10│  W  │Haydock Park Races and Steeplechases. Altcar Club       │
 │      │     │  Coursing Meeting.                                     │
 │    11│ TH  │Haydock Park Races and Steeplechases.                   │
 │    12│  F  │Plumpton Races and Steeplechases.                       │
 │    13│  S  │Plumpton Races and Steeplechases.                       │
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │    14│ =S= │=Second Sunday after Epiphany.=                         │
 │    15│  M  │Wolverhampton Races and Steeplechases.                  │
 │    16│ TU  │Wolverhampton Races and Steeplechases.                  │
 │    17│  W  │Manchester Races and Steeplechases. Gravesend and Cliffe│
 │      │     │  Coursing Meeting.                                     │
 │    18│ TH  │Manchester and Wye Races and Steeplechases.             │
 │    19│  F  │Hurst Park Races and Steeplechases.                     │
 │    20│  S  │Hurst Park Races and Steeplechases.                     │
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │    21│ =S= │=Third Sunday after Epiphany.=                          │
 │    22│  M  │                                                        │
 │    23│ TU  │Windsor Races and Steeplechases.                        │
 │    24│  W  │Windsor and Tenby Races and Steeplechases.              │
 │    25│ TH  │Tenby Races and Steeplechases.                          │
 │    26│  F  │Lingfield Races and Steeplechases.                      │
 │    27│  S  │Lingfield Races and Steeplechases.                      │
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │    28│ =S= │=Fourth Sunday after Epiphany.=                         │
 │    29│  M  │Nottingham Races and Steeplechases.                     │
 │    30│ TU  │Nottingham Races and Steeplechases. Rochford Hundred    │
 │      │     │  Coursing Club.                                        │
 │    31│  W  │Gatwick Races and Steeplechases.                        │
 └──────┴─────┴────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘



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                  Published by =VINTON & Co.=, London.

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[Illustration:

  _Huntingdon_

  _Vinton & Co., Ltd., 9, New Bridge St., London, January, 1906._

  Lafayette, Photo.       Howard & Jones. Coll.
]



                            BAILY’S MAGAZINE
                                   OF
                          SPORTS AND PASTIMES
            NO. 551.       JANUARY, 1906.       VOL. LXXXV.



                               CONTENTS.


                                                                    PAGE
 Sporting Diary for the Month                                         v.
 The Earl of Huntingdon, M.F.H.                                        1
 A Christmas Dream on Sport                                            3
 Foxhounds—Their Ancestry (Illustrated)                                7
 The Development of the Modern Motor                                  13
 Becking—The Last Shot at the Grouse                                  15
 Hunt “Runners”—II. (Illustrated)                                     19
 Sport in the City—The Old Year and the New                           26
 Half a Century’s Hunting Recollections—IV.                           31
 A Hundred Years Ago                                                  36
 Cricket Topics                                                       37
 Is Foxhunting Doomed?                                                40
 The Sportsman’s Library (Illustrated)                                45
 In Pursuit of the Pike                                               47
 A Gossip on Hunting Men                                              56
 Pheasant Shooting in the Himalayas (Illustrated)                     65
 “Our Van”:—
     Racing                                                           67
     Staghounds                                                       71
     Hunting in Yorkshire—a Capital Suggestion                        75
     Spaniel Trials in the Vale of Neath                              76
     The Christmas Shows                                              77
     Sport at the Universities                                        80
     Golf                                                             82
     The London Playing Fields’ Society                               83
     “The Mountain Climber” at the Comedy Theatre                     83
     “Mr. Popple (of Ippleton)” at the Apollo Theatre                 84
 Sporting Intelligence                                                85

        WITH ENGRAVED PORTRAIT OF THE EARL OF HUNTINGDON, M.F.H.



                     The Earl of Huntingdon, M.F.H.


Warner Francis John Plantagenet Hastings, fourteenth Earl of Huntingdon,
was born in the year 1868. His career as a sportsman dawned three years
later, for at that, we trust appreciative, age he was blooded with the
old “H. H.” in the County Waterford, where his father, then Lord
Hastings, hunted a part of the old Curraghmore country, and what is now
the territory of the Coshmore and Coshbride Hunt. The late Earl, it may
be observed, in 1872 became Master of the Ormond and King’s County, and
held office until 1882.

The subject of our portrait was reared in the atmosphere of sport which
is so peculiarly strong in Ireland; indeed, so intimate have been his
relations with hounds and hunting from his earliest days, that he says
he was “reared in the kennels.” He lost no time in mastering the art of
handling a pack, having owned and hunted beagles at the age of fourteen.
He kept a regular pack of harriers in 1886, and showed good sport with
them. In 1897, being then twenty-nine years old, he was asked to accept
the mastership of the Ormond, in succession to Mr. Asheton Biddulph,
which he did, carrying the horn himself, and hunting the country to the
great satisfaction of field and farmers alike until 1904. During the
season 1900–1901 the Earl hunted the East Galway twice a week in
addition to the Ormond, bringing his hounds over from Sharavogue by van.
Though a veritable “glutton for work” where hunting is concerned, he
confesses that this was a very arduous season. On one occasion he had to
get home forty Irish miles (which is about fifty Statute miles) after
hunting: this, we imagine, must be the record back home. He was
frequently out from 7 a.m. till ten at night; and when it is remembered
that he was hunting hounds five days a week, we think it will be
admitted that to continue such work long would have killed Squire
Osbaldeston himself.

During his first (1897–98) season of mastership in the Ormond country he
also kept (and of course hunted) a pack of harriers. These, with the
foxhounds, gave him enough to do. One day he had the bitch pack out
cubbing in the early morning; came home to breakfast; took the dog pack
out cubbing till lunch time; came home to lunch; had out the harriers in
the afternoon, and enjoyed sport with all three. Had there been light
and another pack of hounds convenient, we make no doubt the
indefatigable master would have gone out again after dinner; but the
day’s work as it stands probably occupies a unique position in the
annals of hunting.

In 1903, Lieut.-Colonel Harrison acting deputy master for him in the
Ormond country, he came over to England and acted as huntsman of the
North Staffordshire, Messrs. Phillips and Dobson being masters; and in
1904 he assumed the mastership of the Hunt. We may here remark that this
is the twentieth season he has carried the horn with beagles, harriers,
and foxhounds, having hunted as well deer and otter. As he has hunted
with no fewer than fifty-eight different packs of all sorts in his time,
Lord Huntingdon’s experience is probably about as varied as that of any
man now living. He hunted much in Leicestershire while still keeping his
harriers, Somerby being his centre. Of good runs he has borne part in
many; he thinks one of the best he ever saw was that with the Belvoir
from Harley to Staunton on December 14th, 1892, one hour and thirty
minutes.

Lord Huntingdon has played polo for many years. He is President of the
King’s County Club, also the Crystal Palace Polo Club, and is a member
of the Roehampton, Ranelagh, and other clubs; for many seasons he played
back in the King’s County Irish team for the County Cup.

A first-class rabbit and rifle shot, he is fond of the gun, and since he
took Madeley Manor from Lord Crewe has begun preserving there; this,
however, is his first season at Madeley, and a few years later will no
doubt see a much larger head of game there than now exists. He used to
do a little racing and also a little race-riding; in 1898 he won the
private sweepstakes at Croxton Park, on Captain Herbert Wilson’s Sailor,
in a good field of sixteen starters.

He has twice visited the United States, and has been in Canada, Japan,
and China, but has not done much big game shooting. Interested in
yachting, he is Commodore of the Lough Dearg Corinthian Club. He fishes
when he has nothing else to do, principally in the Shannon and Lough
Dearg; but with his numerous occupations we gather that the occasions
when he has leisure to use the salmon rod are somewhat rare. He is a
keen motorist, and drives a great deal; the machine he now uses is a
24–40 h.p. Fiat.

For some years he kept a stud in Ireland and bred horses of various
breeds; he has now given this up, but still breeds a few half-breds at
Sharavogue.

Lord Huntingdon, who is a Deputy-Lieutenant of the King’s County,
retired last year as Lieut.-Colonel of the 3rd Batt. Prince of Wales’
Leinster Regiment. He was unable to go to South Africa, owing to an
accident. He succeeded his father in the earldom in 1885. In 1892 he
married Maud Margaret, second daughter of Sir Samuel Wilson, late M.P.
for Portsmouth, by whom he has a son, Francis, born 1901, and three
daughters, who are very keen sportswomen, and never so happy as when
riding to hounds. Lord Huntingdon is also very fond of driving four
horses, and until motoring started made many driving tours with his
yellow coach and team of greys. Lady Huntingdon is also very fond of
hunting, and is out regularly with the North Staffordshire. One of Lord
Huntingdon’s brothers is the well-known gentleman rider, the Hon. A.
Hastings.

The family of Hastings is a very old one. John of Hastings was Seneschal
of Aquitaine, and a claimant to the throne of Scotland. Sir William, who
became first Baron Hastings, was Master of the Mint under King Edward
IV., and first coined the piece known as a “noble.” The first Baron
became very powerful, and was eventually beheaded by Richard Duke of
Gloucester. The third Baron attended Henry VIII. in his French wars, and
was present at the capture of Tournay in 1513; it was this ancestor who
became the first Earl.



                      A Christmas Dream on Sport.


In our school-boy days there were very few of us who could resist the
opportunity of having a good stuffing, especially at Christmas, when the
mince pies and plum puddings were an extra attraction, and when even the
most austere of mothers did not gainsay our desires, although knowing
full well that our penalty would follow in the shape of a black dose, or
something worse.

It is not, however, to boyhood alone that Christmas has its temptations,
and its feasts have their unpleasant accompaniments of dyspepsia and
derangement, and we as in our boyhood lie down only to indulge in dreams
and nightmares. The remembrance of these phantasies of a disordered
stomach have a knack of being difficult to shake off, so much so, that I
have determined for this once to chalk down some of the ideas that seem
this Christmas indelibly written on my brain, and thus to rid myself of
them.

I was carried sometimes into the near future, and then again into
remoter times, yet ever onwards, wondering that there was no finality,
no halting place, no respite from the excitement which relentless time
casts upon our little world of sport.

I was bent on hunting, but I looked in vain at my front door for my
hunter or hack. Instead, I found a horseless machine, which whirled me
dizzily away against my will, and landed me amongst a throng of people
with like machines, and clad like Laplanders, so much so that I turned
over in bed, and shouted vainly for the sight of a horse and hound. The
scene changed, and I was in a throng of gay horsemen and women at the
covert side, and the odour of violets and nosegays was not wanting.
Positions were continually shifting, chiefly through the threatening
heels of ill-tempered horses, when on a sudden a whistle sounded,
followed by one shrill blast of a horn, and away went the throng,
blindly as it seemed, jostling and pushing, each one thinking only of
himself or herself. Carried away as I was, only a unit in this surging
crowd, I had little time to collect my thoughts—all I know was that I
saw no hounds, only just indistinctly heard them at starting. Yes,
before us were white flags at regular intervals, and here and there a
red one, from which the ever lengthening cavalcade in their gallop
turned aside, and I heard the words “wheat,” “beans,” or “seeds” growled
out by our leaders. Where the white flags predominated in front of us
the hedges had been cut down and levelled, as if for a steeplechase.
There were visions of that demon barbed wire on either hand, but I
learnt that those white flags meant safety. The jostling soon ceased,
but loose horses came as a fresh trial to my troubled brain, and, oh,
the shaves I experienced to keep clear of them. Then we crossed a road,
where a liveried hunt servant stood sentinel over the motor brigade,
that but for him would have barred our way. After this all was confused
galloping and jumping, until the horn sounded in a wooded hollow, and
there was a baying of hounds at a hole, which betokened the end of a
twenty-five minutes’ gallop after this supposed fox (if, indeed, it was
one), but it was several more minutes before that strung-out array of
riders drew together again, mopping and mud-stained, yet masterful in
their happiness. They had had their gallop, the motors were near at
hand, grooms were requisitioned from them, and thus away went the
majority of that gay throng, back to their cities and suburbs, leaving
but a few to work out the rest of the day in the woodlands, when I can
distinctly swear that they found a fox, for I saw him cross a ride—a
mangy little beggar was he—and we revelled in no more green fields that
day. But, ah, I forgot to say that before starting a hat was thrust in
front of me, whose owner whispered, “For the farmers’ field fund, please
sir.” Only gold was taken!

And I awoke finding myself in a train, whose engine neither puffed nor
smoked—all went by electricity.

And soliloquising, as I rubbed my eyes, the interpretation meant hunting
in A.D. 1925. Again I dreamt. I was on a racecourse on a June day, when
all was bright and beautiful. Such gorgeous stands, such crowds of
fashionable and unfashionable people, such an array of motoring machines
lining the course opposite the stands, such order and regularity, no
hoarsely-shouting crowd of betting men, no Tattersall’s Enclosure. What
did it all mean? The numbers were up in blazing letters of the runners
for the first race. Was racing to be carried on in dumb show? I looked
again, and beheld people like bees clustering round some low buildings,
pigeonholed like enlarged telegraph offices, and numbers and names of
horses figured here. There the money flowed in with startling rapidity.
In some places only cheques and notes were received, in others gold, in
others silver, and all payers had a diminutive numbered receipt. Then
came the race. Each horse accurately numbered, and silence no longer
reigned. An electric gong proclaimed the start, and thousands of eyes
and thousands of voices bore witness to their excitement as the horses
swept towards the winning post. What has won? The judge has touched one
of a set of electric buttons that are in his box, and the winner’s
number is simultaneously shown in half-a-dozen conspicuous places. Soon
tinkles a bell on the top of the low building, and thither fly the bees
to gather the honey that they have won. But this time they find their
gains on the opposite side of the building from which their money was
deposited. All the takings have been counted like magic, the winning
number sweeps the pool, after due deduction made by way of percentage
for much that the country stands in need of.

I noticed, too, that bright liveried messengers plied amongst the stalls
and boxes of the stands, doing the work of payment and receipt for the
brilliant company sitting there. All this was repeated again and again,
until my brain became accustomed to it. Presently, as if to cast a
shadow on the gay scene, a red disc appeared on the number-board.
“Objection.” The paying-out pigeonholes were closed for that race, and
we held our breath; but not for long, since the tribunal of stewards had
been chosen beforehand, and unless the subject of the objection had to
be adjourned unavoidably, the disc soon proclaimed “Over-ruled” or
“Sustained,” and the pay-boxes for that race were opened after the last
race of the day.

Here ready money ruled the day. The welsher had been forgotten; the
bookmaker had turned backer; the plunger could not find himself below
the bottom of his purse; and roguery was worsted.

The Jockey Club at that time was no longer wholly self elective. There
was a certain proportion of its members affiliated by election to it, as
representing the racecourse interests and owners, outside mere
aristocratic connections. It was to them that the reforms in turf
management were mainly due. Can all this really come to pass? It is but
a dream, and I am awake. Nevertheless, that the totalizer or tote, as it
is called in Australia, or the _pari mutuel_, as it is termed in France,
or the pool, as it is more likely to find its name in this country, is
destined ere long to become here also the rule of betting is my firm
conviction, and with it will come aids to agriculture and assistance to
poverty, as well as in alleviation of bodily suffering, such as will
recommend it to peer and peasant alike.

Once again I dreamt, and my dream was of the future. It was shooting
that filled my troubled brain. A letter was before me inviting me to a
great battue, and yet it could not be intended for me, as a high
rocketting pheasant requires to be of haystack proportions in order to
suffer death at my hands. Nevertheless, it ran thus: “Dear ——, Will you
do me the honour of joining our party for shooting my coverts during the
week beginning the —— day of November? We hope to kill at least 3,000
pheasants. My land steward will send you full particulars of the rules
which regulate my sport, to which I hope you will find no objection.”
And this was what the steward said: “Dear Sir,—I am directed by Mr. ——
to inform you that the following are the regulations which dominate his
shooting, and which it is my duty to see carried out. No tips are
allowed.

“Shooting will commence at 10.30 each day.

“A map will be furnished each day to you showing the beats and stands
for the guns numbered in the usual way. Everything will be supplied you,
except a loader, and any excess above 1,000 cartridges. Low flying birds
may be passed by. A whistle will sound at the commencement of each beat.

“Lunch will be at 1 p.m., and will be announced by a gong. In case of
rain, canvas covering will be provided over the shooting stands. A
motor-car will meet you on Monday on the arrival of the train, and
convey you to the Hall, and a like conveyance on Saturday will convey
you back to the station.

“Enclosed is a banker’s order, which you will kindly fill up for the sum
of £5, and return same, which goes to form the keepers’ fund.”

He might have added, but it was not on the circular, that a light dose
of sal volatile will be provided to allay the headache which each day’s
battue was likely to cause. Yet the method and completeness of
arrangement impressed me.

I turned in my bed thinking of my spaniels and retrievers, and the many
enjoyable raids I had had with them, when there appeared before me an
autograph circular from a well-known London sporting agent, and thus it
ran. “The Earl of ——— has arranged for the coming season to invite five
approved guns to shoot over his extensive Norfolk estate in company with
three guns of his own choice. The sport will extend over eleven days,
six of which will be partridge drives, and five pheasant shoots. The bag
should amount to at least 3,000 partridges and 4,000 pheasants. The
appointed days for shooting will be fixed by the Earl. Terms, 300
guineas for each gun, to include all expenses, to be paid me in advance.
All applications for this exceptional offer must be made to me on or
before the —— day of ——— next, and guns will be accepted in their order
of merit.”

I awoke. And so this was the shooting sport of A.D. 1925! Well, perhaps
by that time the people of this country will for the most part have
become Daniel Lamberts, and sitting or standing behind butts, and having
all the more or less tame creatures for their slaughter brought to them,
will be their only means of enjoyment. Thank heaven that your scribe
will not survive to see these days, although we are already becoming
very luxurious in our pursuit of shooting. Perhaps our middle-aged and
older men will tell you that they are able to get this exercise in the
enjoyment of golf, and that this is a set-off against the limited
exercise that shooting now exhibits, and this may save them from falling
a prey to fatty degeneration of the heart.

These dreams are horrible phantasies that we have to indulge in whether
we like them or not, and seldom are they pleasant, nor will they come at
call. I tried to dream into the future of fishing, a sport I love so
well. But, alas! the spirit moved me not. Those lusty trout and
grayling, and those sportive salmon, refused to be allured by any new
means; their ways were just the same, and no newly-defined artifices
sufficed to bring them to hand more easily or with less practical skill.
Only the ranks of their enemies seemed to have increased. More and more
fishermen came on the scene, who sought them out farther and wider
throughout remote countries, and more money and greater artifice was
employed to effect their capture, so that their preservation became a
question of the day, as it has, indeed, become so to-day.

Your younger readers will perhaps hail with delight these halcyon days
of sport, which, if my dreams have any portent, are destined to come
upon us all the more swiftly, seeing that riches as they accumulate
bring in their train luxury and indulgence, and that it is to wealth
that our landed estates must come, unless they are destined to be swept
away by the flood of social democracy, which, thank God, does not come
within the scope of my dreams, for if so, “I had,” as Shakespeare says,
“passed a miserable night, so full of ghastly dreams.”

If perchance, however, my dreams should prove ominous, let me implore
you who in the radiance of youth have the opportunity of guiding and
shaping the destiny of sport, to hold fast by the truer principles which
have hitherto held sport so high in this country, casting aside its
meretricious aids and surroundings, which only sap its true vitality,
and would fain emasculate its worth to us as a nation. Stand fast by
“the horse and hound,” and maintain a deaf ear to the tempter that
whispers of the gorgeous trappings and luxurious surroundings, which are
the death role of genuine sport.

Shakespeare once more comes to my mind when in “Troilus and Cressida” he
exclaims, “My dreams will sure prove ominous to-day.”

                                                               BORDERER.

_P.S._—Since writing the above article, I read with pleasure that the
first blow has been struck at the Gimcrack Dinner by Mr. Hall Walker in
favour of the Totalisator. He is not only an extensive owner of
racehorses and a successful breeder, but also a man who has had ample
opportunity of thinking out this subject from a national standpoint.
This freely expressed opinion of Mr. Hall Walker’s on betting reform
will, let us hope, bear fruit, even if it is after many days.



                               Foxhounds.

                            THEIR ANCESTRY.


It might raise a considerable amount of discussion to assert that the
foxhound had a longer line of ancestry than other breeds brought under
the fostering care of Englishmen, but this much can be said, that when
public opinion was turning towards the correct methods for the
attainment of animal perfection, interest was taken in foxhounds similar
to that taken in the racehorse, the shorthorn, or the red Devon. Could
such a date be accepted at about 1730?—which was nearly a quarter of a
century before Eclipse was foaled. The newly formed Ormesby stock of
shorthorns was then about to be removed to Ketton, near Darlington, and
the Davys and Quartlys had not commenced their improvements on the
Devons. But there is evidence that foxhounds were beginning to be
thought of at the time, and by 1750 a great many noblemen and gentlemen
were very intent on hound breeding.

[Illustration:

  FOXHOUNDS

  _From the Painting by P. Reinagle._]
]

The Dukes of Beaufort had hounds, bred and walked at Badminton; the
Pelhams had already formed the Brocklesby; Mr. Hugo Meynell had friends
enough to apply to for hounds to hunt Leicestershire three or four days
a week; and there were North country packs of fairly large dimensions.
It was, indeed, a very interesting subject, and it is not a little
singular that the idea of breeding hounds on scientific principles
commenced at almost the same time as a change was taking place in regard
to the animal to be hunted. Nearly half the eighteenth century had
passed away before our forefathers had given up the custom of hunting
the wild stag and the hare as almost the only quarries to be hunted on a
line of scent. Just as the story of the Silk Wood run relates that the
fifth Duke of Beaufort changed from stag to fox, because the latter gave
the better burst, and laid himself out for a more open country, there
was a general consensus of opinion that the time had come for a great
breed of hounds to be carefully bred and trained for this special
running. The bold onward style and cunning of the fox wanted something
with more dash than was required for the short-running deer, or the hare
always wanting to retrace her own foil. The fox taught that exquisite
forward cast that almost sums up the pleasure of hunting; and the faster
hounds will throw themselves on a line that is always well ahead of
them, the more exhilarating is the sport. That is what the old pioneers
of foxhunting lived for, and one may suppose it was brought about by
selecting the hounds of the day that possessed the particular dash
required. At any rate, old letters and manuscripts show that a vast
number of sportsmen became very keen in regard to breeding such hounds.
Long journeys were taken to secure their blood, and as one of the
pleasantest of sporting writers has curtly put it, “the love of
foxhunting was well in the air.”

It is almost incredible what the sportsmen of 1750 did do. As Mr.
Pelham, the ancestor of the Earls of Yarborough lent a hound called
Jimper to Lord Percival in 1760, and as he was stated to be by one
called Rockwood, there is a suggestion of a back pedigree at that time.
In fact, there was another of Mr. Pelham’s of 1760 called Marquis, by
Rockwood a son of Rattler, by Lord Monson’s Mischief. Again, there is
another of Mr. Pelham’s in 1766, by Tickler son of Ferrymann by Twister
out of Careful, a daughter of Lord Granby’s Danger. Sir Walter Vavasour
appears to have been in the thick of the hound furore of the time, and
so does Sir Roland Winnes, Mr. Hassell, Mr. Watson of Old Malton, Mr.
Lane Fox, Lord Middleton, and the then Duke of Devonshire.

But for the fact that lists were not generally kept in these early days,
there is every reason to think that present hound pedigrees could be
traced from the hounds of 1730 or 1740, but the registration departments
of many of the great kennels could not have been very perfect as
although Brocklesby can boast of records to 1713, there must have been
some breaks up to 1745, when Mr. Pelham—afterwards the first Lord
Yarborough—saw the necessity of keeping such accounts of breeding
clearly and regularly, and so kept his stud books in his own
handwriting. Whether this practice lapsed or not is not recorded, but
when Mr. Tongue (Cecil) formulated his stud book, he could not go much
further back than 1787; or at least that was the last date he gave to a
hound called Dover, by Lord Monson’s Driver out of Whimsey. Cecil was a
most industrious investigator, and he would have gone back to the Ark
with sufficient evidence for the undertaking. As a matter of fact, my
old friend, who gave me most of his hound lists, pulled up at something
like the years referred to, his very latest date being 1779, when
mentioning a bitch called Rosamond, by Mr. Meynell’s Roister out of Lord
Ludlow’s Tasty. Of course, in making such researches, the difficulties
to overcome are that many packs have been dispersed, and so records have
ended. That really happened to Mr. Meynell’s, Lord Ludlow’s, Mr. John
Muster’s, and Lord Monson’s, to the detriment of perhaps the hereditary
packs that had been indebted to them for blood.

Considering that several changes have taken place in its history during
the past hundred and fifty years, it is remarkable that so much
hereditary material is forthcoming from Lord Middleton’s pack, but this
is partially due to the fact that one man and his son after him were the
huntsmen to it for nearly eighty years. These were William Carter and
Tom Carter, the former being in office when Sir Tatton Sykes took on the
country (with his brother, Sir Mark Masterman Sykes), that is now
occupied by Lord Middleton. That was in 1804, but William Carter, who
must have been an intelligent fellow, and particularly fond of dates and
pedigrees, knew all the hounds from 1764. The book he compiled—and which
is at the present time in the possession of Lord Middleton—was really
perfectly kept, and through its pages some of the entries can be most
certainly traced up to Cecil’s Stud Book, published in 1864, and so on
to occupants of the kennel benches to-day.

I have no doubt that several lines can be taken, but I turn, for
example, to a bitch called Jointress, who had quite a large family, in
different litters, numbering about sixteen couples. She was out of
Rosamond, 1775, by Sir William Vavasour’s Twister, out of Doxey, and the
line had still greater extent, as Jointress had a sister called Jessamy,
who was almost as prolific in producing good ones. Amongst the daughters
of Jointress was Magic, and the latter had a daughter called Prudence,
whose descendants came into the pack that was transferred by Mr. C.
Duncombe to Sir Masterman Sykes; but William Carter, in his note to that
effect, declares that most of these hounds were drafted. There is,
however, the strongest evidence that Prudence produced a son called
Pillager, and he was the sire of another Prudence, and in like manner a
dog called Fairplay—from Famous, a daughter of Jointress—was a notable
sire, and a son of his called Fairplay came into the Sykes’ pack at the
above-mentioned date; he was the sire of Brilliant and Blossom, entered
in 1805, and Brilliant was the sire of Boaster and Blue-Cap, and also of
Blossom, Barrister, and Barmaid. Blossom subsequently produced in 1814
three couples, named Bounty, Blue-Cap, Beauty, Barmaid, Boundless and
Bloomy; and Blossom likewise produced in another litter Bachelor,
Barrister, and Blameless. Of these Blue-Cap certainly became a sire of
note, and two and a half couples in two litters were put on by him in
1823, and one couple the year before. Sir Tatton Sykes appears to have
stuck to this line, as Barrister, son of Blue-Cap, was also bred from,
and was the sire of Brusher, Topper, Blue-Cap, Bachelor, and Blossom,
and this last-named Blue-Cap was the sire of Bellman and Barrister of
1834. Then Bonny Lass was by Brusher, and she was the dam of Bellmaid.
However, the very best branch of this family tree became noticeable in
1832, when Blossom, the sister to Blue-Cap, was mated to the Osbaldeston
Flagrant, and the result was three couples of puppies all put on in
1833; they were Furrier, Ferryman, Finder, Famous, Flagrant and
Favorite. Flagrant was possibly the best, as he was bred from in his
second season, and produced Dreadnought, Domo and Desperate for the 1835
entry; but Famous in 1838 had a couple and a half in the entry, and
Desperate had a daughter called Dainty entered in 1841. Primrose, a
daughter of Famous, was by Bondsman, one of the family, and so Primrose
was inbred to it. It may be thought that Bondsman was the sheet anchor
really of the sort, as he must have lived to be a nine-season hunter,
and one of his daughters, Music, and two of her sons, Denmark and
Vulcan, were in the pack that the eighth Lord Middleton took over from
Sir Tatton Sykes in 1853. There is more of the blood besides in the
Birdsall Kennel at the present time, and so with a clear pedigree of a
hundred and thirty years, to the good bitch Jointress of 1778, and her
descent is easily traceable to 1764.

Lord Middleton has another line, though that is quite as certain in
straining through the sixth Lord Middleton’s Vanguard and Darling to the
famous Corbet Trojan; and let it be known that all the Oakley Driver
sort—and there are none better at the present moment—trace to it through
the late Mr. Arkwright’s Cromy by Lord Middleton’s Chanticleer, and so
on to Vanguard, and his dam, Traffic, a great-granddaughter of Trojan’s.
There has been a fortunate dependence on the fame of many noted hounds,
such as Trojan, Vanguard, and, a little later still, to the Osbaldeston
Furrier. The great Squire was so celebrated for everything that
pertained to sport, that his declaration of Furrier being the very best
hound he had ever hunted in his life told immensely with the great
judges who became his successors, Mr. G. S. Foljambe, Sir Richard
Sutton, Lord Henry Bentinck, and Mr. Nicholas Parry. They made Furrier
the corner-stone of all their kennel-breeding operations, and so it is
not difficult to-day to trace the excellence of Lord Galway’s Barrister
blood, the Dorimont blood of the Blankney, all that remains of the
Puckeridge, and the old Quorn Dryden family to Furrier. The most popular
sire of to-day, the Belvoir Stormer, hits, according to my making out,
thirteen times to Furrier, and in Weathergage it was certainly
noticeable eight times. In all the great hounds talked of in the last
quarter of a century, such as the Fitzhardinge Cromwell, the Belvoir
Weathergage, the Croome Rambler, the Grafton Woodman, the Southwold
Freeman, or the Quorn Alfred, there is the line to the little black and
white—some have said shabby-looking hound—Furrier, who was got by the
Belvoir Saladin in 1820, Saladin being by Sultan, by Lord Sefton’s
Sultan by Mr. Hugo Meynell’s Guzman, of 1794, and Guzman was by German,
also belonging to Mr. Meynell. On the female line Furrier was related to
the Badminton Topper, and Sir William Lowther’s Dashwood to a bitch
called Amorous, of 1791. This is as far as “Cecil” thought it advisable
to go.

Mr. G. S. Foljambe, in the year 1835, had got some double hitting to the
Furrier family, as he bred the brothers Herald and Harbinger, by the
Osbaldeston Ranter, son of Furrier, out of Harpy by Herald son of
Hermit, son of Saladin, the sire of Furrier. From the brothers in
question Mr. Foljambe bred almost a pack. His Layman of 1861 was by
Nectar, son of Nectar of 1849, and the latter’s dam was Princess by
Harbinger, whilst the dam of the first-mentioned Nectar was Conquest,
her dam Captive by Herald. Barrister of 1860 hit twice to Layman, and so
again to the memorable brothers, and their blood was also in Sportsman
and Forester, and very much again in Lord Henry Bentinck’s Contest, who
was by Comus, son of Mr. Foljambe’s Herald, out of Sanguine, by the same
gentleman’s Sparkler, by Singer, son of Streamer, by the Vine Pilgrim
out of Sybil, by the Osbaldeston Ranter, son of Furrier. This is all
combined in modern day pedigrees, and especially through Sir Richard
Sutton’s Dryden, son of the Burton Contest, as he was the sire of
Destitute the dam of the famous Belvoir Senator, again through the
Croome Rambler, a descendant of the above Contest on his sire’s side,
and through the Grove Barrister’s on his dam’s. Also to the Belvoir
Weathergage, who was by Warrior, son of Wonder, son of Chanticleer, son
of Chaser, son of Brocklesby Rallywood, who traced three times to
Furrier, and then there was Royalty, the dam of Weathergage, got by
Rambler, brother to the third Rallywood. It may well appear that the
perfection of hound breeding was gained through their ancestry to the
Osbaldeston Furrier, and principally by the means of four hounds
selected to perpetuate the sort by probably two of the greatest masters
of hound breeding ever heard of—Mr. G. S. Foljambe, who relied on
Harbinger and Herald, and Mr. Nicholas Parry, who chose Pilgrim and
Rummager. The last line to old Furrier might have been lost in the
changes of time, but it looks now as if it will be stronger than ever
through the policy that has been pursued of late by the Marquis of
Zetland, Mr. Edward Barclay, the present Master of the Puckeridge, and
Captain Standish, the Master of the Hambledon, through four and a half
couples of whelps purchased in 1894 by the Hon. L. Baring at the
Puckeridge break-up sales. Captain Standish is also breeding from the
present Puckeridge Cardinal, who inherits the old strain from Gulliver.
High breeding and to follow in the steps of the old master’s must do a
great deal, as after all is said and done they must have known much
about it a hundred years ago. The picture which accompanies this paper
is dated 1804, and called “Foxhounds,” by Philip Reinagle, R. A.; Sir
Walter Gilbey in his interesting work on animal painters tells us that
Reinagle was born in 1749, and that he commenced to paint hunting scenes
when about thirty-four years old, in consequence of his intense love of
sport. He must have known all about it by the running of the pack in the
distance, and by the two hounds with their heads at just the right level
for that exquisite pose known as heads up, sterns down, and racing.

                                                             G. S. LOWE.



                  The Development of the Modern Motor.


When the difficulties confronting the introduction and development of
the modern motor-car are taken into consideration, the progress made may
be regarded as remarkable. Although, as usual in mechanical matters,
this country originated the idea, and had steam road carriages in use
nearly a century ago, they succumbed to popular prejudices, were
virtually interdicted, and the act of liberation came only in 1896, when
the success of the internal combustion engine had revived them in a
different form. Before they were again permitted to be used in England,
France and other countries had obtained a decided lead in their design
and construction, and for the last nine years British makers have been
engaged in a keen struggle to regain what they lost by the tardy removal
of their prohibition. That we have at last succeeded in holding our own
in the competition was amply demonstrated by the exhibition held at
Olympia in November last. Here the home productions compared favourably
in every respect with the finest specimens from abroad; indeed, the show
in Paris last month, though its artistic setting was superior, hardly
afforded a better display, and was less international in character.

Automobilism may be regarded as still in its infancy, and although the
late show introduced no revolutionary methods in principle or
construction, it is impossible to foretell what radical changes may be
brought about in course of time. At present the explosion engine carries
all before it, but the use of steam has by no means been abandoned. Its
advantages in flexibility and facility of control stand it in good
stead, and although it costs more in fuel, this has become a matter of
minor importance. The steam car is still engaging the attention of a few
firms, and it may yet become a useful and acceptable type of vehicle.
During the past year there has been a marked advance in every detail of
construction, whilst the upholstering and appointments of the more
pretentious cars have made them most luxurious equipages, the
coachbuilder’s art being combined with the highest mechanical skill.

In the electric car, it is possible that those driven by petrol may, at
some future time, find a serious competitor. The electric broughams used
in towns exhibit the high state-of efficiency obtained by the employment
of this propulsive agent, and the absence of noise and smell. Their
future, however, depends upon the discovery of much more efficient
accumulators or upon the establishment throughout the country of
electrical charging stations, and until such time as one or other of
these conditions is fulfilled their use must be limited to towns or the
neighbourhood of works where their supply of electricity can alone be
replenished.

The most important improvement introduced of late in connection with the
motor is that of the six-cylinder engine. This stands to the credit of
an English firm, and although when it was first brought out little was
thought of it, experience has proved it to be of the greatest value, and
it is being adopted by some of the best firms on the Continent. With
fewer cylinders there are longer intervals between each recurring
explosion, and the severity of each impulse has to be softened by the
use of a heavy fly-wheel, which takes the jar off the driving gear, to
which it communicates the power in a less violent and more protracted
form. By the use of six cylinders a much greater continuity of
propulsive effort is obtained, and to develop the same amount of power
the violence of each explosion is diminished, with the result that there
is greater smoothness in the running and less strain on the mechanism.
Eight cylinders have been used by another firm, but it remains to be
seen whether any advantage will be gained commensurate with the
increased complication involved.

It is satisfactory to note that serious attention is now being given to
the closing in of automobiles, and the latest car built for His Majesty
the King is an instance of the advance made in this direction. No one
would voluntarily ride in an ordinary open carriage in cold and wintry
weather, yet people become so easily wedded to custom that they will
travel long distances in open motor cars and expose themselves to the
rigours of the blast of air that visits them with three times the
severity, by reason of the speed at which they travel, that it would in
a horse-drawn carriage. In the more commodious cars there is no
difficulty in complying with a condition so essential to the comfort of
the occupants; for, as it is, motoring in winter is a trying ordeal to
all but the most robust. The motor car has assumed the form of an open
conveyance owing to the fact that it has been developed on racing rather
than utilitarian lines, and to the diminution of wind resistance being
necessary to the attainment of high speeds. This is a factor of small
account, however, when the pace is kept within legal or reasonable
limits.

The dress of the motorist is fashioned and designed with a view to
protect him from the effects of exposure to the weather, and in the more
or less futile attempt to keep him warm when his journey is a long one
and the day chilly. With the covered-in car the unsightly garments,
masks, and goggles with which he has had perforce to bedeck himself, and
which have brought much ridicule upon him, will be rendered unnecessary,
and ladies and gentlemen when driving will be able to adopt more
rational costumes than those which have distinguished them in the past.

Pneumatic tyres, which constitute the most costly item in the upkeep of
a car, have been greatly improved, and retain their supremacy; for it is
only by their use that high speeds are attainable and endurable. Not
only do they conduce to comfort by their elasticity, but they save the
mechanism from the severe shocks it would otherwise sustain in passing
over rough roads. Metal-studded bands are coming largely into use for
the double purpose of obtaining a better grip on slippery surfaces and
preventing punctures, while at the same time they save the tyres from
much wear and tear. Solid rubber tyres are offered as substitutes for
pneumatics on slower and cheaper cars, and for various commercial
vehicles, and sundry attempts are being made by the provision of springs
to compensate for the elasticity they lack.

Up to the present time there are few signs of any appreciable reduction
in the prices of cars, for, so far, improvements in details and the
additions to their equipment have absorbed whatever may otherwise have
been saved by economies in construction. Some unpretentious but
serviceable little cars of limited capacity may, however, be now
obtained at something over £100, whilst those who are prepared to spend
double this amount will have a wide choice. Not until types become fixed
and standardisation of component parts becomes possible can prices be
materially reduced.

                                                                   E. T.



                                Becking.

                      THE LAST SHOT AT THE GROUSE.


It has been the fashion to say that since grouse driving became a
science the proportion of birds killed and left upon the moors is only a
question of the will of the occupier. This season, in Scotland at any
rate, has proved that this is not the case. Although there were not many
moors perhaps where more grouse ought to have been killed, there were a
good many where it was attempted to slay more than proved to be
possible. The fact is, when the grouse take to the tops they are
practically safe; especially is this the case when these tops are the
“march” between two shootings. Then the grouse see the flankers as King
Louis of France saw the figures of men in Tenier’s pictures. They look
“like maggots,” and grouse are not afraid of those immature insects,
although they do not eat them. It is the height and the angle that make
all the difference in driving grouse that have become wild enough to
take to the “tops,” for the very object of resorting to these altitudes
seems to be the better to keep watch and ward against the arrival of the
enemy.

As the season advances in the Highlands, bags quickly sink from hundreds
of brace per day to tens, and very soon after this they would sink to
units were it thought worth while to organise driving parties for the
units; but it is not, and consequently the Highland grouse are growing
to be almost as difficult to regulate in point of numbers, and more
difficult in point of sex, than they were before driving came in. For
the latter practice has everywhere increased the wild habit; it has not
merely taught existing birds wildness for the time being, but the habit
of standing up to look for danger instead of crouching in the heather to
hide from it, has become hereditary and instinctive where driving has
been the longest practised. Unless moors are very hilly this habit does
not much matter, because, provided grouse can be properly flanked and
flagged, they can also be driven, but on the tops in Scotland this is
not possible, and the outcome is unfortunately that too many of the hens
and the young males get killed on the flat ground. The old cocks are the
first to take possession of their fastnesses, the tops, and there they
remain until, in the breeding season, they take possession of the best
breeding sites and drive away all the younger and more healthy birds.
The worst feature of this is that these old cocks are like master swans,
and think they require a kingdom for themselves, a kingdom without
subjects, for none of their kind are permitted to live near them.
Consequently the birds left to breed may be numerous, and yet be of no
use. They have to move off at breeding time because of the persecution
of the old birds. There is no much employed method of getting rid of
these old cocks when driving them fails in the hills. There was one
before the days of driving, but it is almost a lost art. This was called
“becking.”

The practice of becking was very simple and easy to learn, indeed the
grouse themselves teach it better than any schoolmaster. Any time in
August, when the shooting lodge is really on the moor and not under it,
one has but to sleep with an open window, and the first sound of the
coming day to greet the awakening sleeper will be object lessons in
becking. It is a habit of the proud old cock grouse to challenge each
other in the morning. This they do by fluttering up into the air
vertically some ten or a dozen feet and crowing. Rarely is the challenge
accepted in the autumn, probably because these old grouse have long ago
settled their differences, and one no longer trespasses on the ground of
the other. Each is king of his brood and ready to defend his castle, but
neither will enter willingly into the domain of another bird. Nature is
at peace with herself. But when the moorland keeper arises before light
and gets upon the moor before the grouse are awake, when he hides in
some peat hag, or other shelter, and starts to crow, every old cock
grouse within earshot becomes angry at the unknown voice of an intruder,
and instantly the challenge is accepted. The intruder not being in a
position to go out in search of mortal combat the oldest inhabitant
comes to seek him, but instead meets a charge of shot, which
unceremoniously, and in revolt of sporting feeling, knocks him over on
the ground without giving him the proverbial chance for his life.

Before driving game came in, this was the only way to find grouse for
the table, after the spirit of winter wildness had entered into the
birds. Nobody thought of it as sport, but the keepers knew of it as a
necessity in preserving, for the reason that it killed off the old cocks
and none besides. It was an automatic selection of the most unfit, and
had it been practised beyond the necessity of the table of the owner,
would have done much more for the stock than any other thing could. But
it was confined and limited by the state of the larder. Now even this
demand has stopped, because cold storage supplies the table with better
birds, that is young ones, killed perhaps on August 12th in one year,
and eaten on August 11th upon the next, and admirable birds they are,
too.

But not only has the necessity of the table ceased to operate for the
good of the grouse stock, but driving the birds has rendered “becking” a
lost labour in many places.

It is no good going out to beck on ground where the broods once were,
after they have all united as one vast pack and gone somewhere else.
That is too obvious almost to name, but suppose the neighbourhood of a
big pack is found, and the “becking” keeper attempts to call up the old
grouse, he soon finds out that the voice of the charmer has ceased to
charm. What is the reason? Well, when there are practically one hundred
challenges issued at the same time from every direction, and in voices
unfamiliar to the hearers, the grouse become so used to the call to
battle, that they take no notice of the battle-cry. If they did the
attempt to find the offender by his challenge, would be like the attempt
to flush a land-rail by following his “croak.” Voices resound on every
side, and an angry bird soon finds that the only outlet to pent-up wrath
is to challenge too, but not to search for challengers that are in as
many directions as echo itself.

Once I read somewhere how a keeper had surprised himself in a morning’s
“becking.” Soon after taking up position he was greeted by a return
challenge, and the proud old cock soon appeared on a little “knowie” not
far off. The keeper shot, but when the smoke had cleared there stood the
bird as proud as ever, he shot again, and the black powder smoke hung in
the still morning air, but it cleared at last, and still the bird was
there to challenge. He shot again, again, and yet again, and at last,
when the smoke cleared, the bird had evidently been killed. So he crept
forth from his hiding place to gather this very refractory old cock. But
instead of finding him, he found five fathers of broods which had each
heard the stranger, and wanted to give him battle. Each in turn had seen
his predecessor strutting on the “knowie,” and thinking the strange
voice belonged to it, had arrived to do battle exactly at the instant
his wished-for antagonist had “bitten the peat.” But, as the keeper
probably knew very well, it would have been quite natural had he missed
each of five birds in turn, for grouse, standing in the heather, require
to be at least ten or fifteen yards nearer the gunner than when they are
flying, and if they are not that much nearer it is just a little more
easy to miss than to kill. Probably the reason is that the heather turns
a good many pellets that might have hit, and also that when wings are
closed, and the birds are facing the gunner, the only vitals are the
head and neck. The wings glance a great many of the pellets.

I do not profess to be able to call grouse, but I have done the shooting
while a keeper has successfully called up grouse after grouse. The
puzzle is, why they do not mind the shooting. Obviously they are not
troubled with “nerves,” and are so much preoccupied in their wish to
make the stranger “leave that,” that they forget to enquire what made
the thunder.

On the occasion referred to, I was provided with a very full choke
twelve bore, which killed at least fifteen yards further away than an
ordinary game gun, so that when a grouse appeared on a little “knowie,”
I was prompt to align him and to pay no attention to the keeper’s advice
that it was “beyont range.” I knew that keepers usually took only very
certain chances, and that the cult of the choke bore was not within my
companion, so I let off and my grouse disappeared. I, too, was evidently
in for great good luck, like the keeper quoted above, for no sooner had
one been knocked over than another was up and seeking for war; but not
for five times, only four. After this there was a pause too long for
patience, and I went forward to gather my game, and end the morning’s
sport. The first grouse I came to was only wounded, he had an injured
eye or head, and sat bunched up with the bad eye towards me. It ought to
have been an easy bird to gather, but over confidence, or want of care,
made him suspicious, and he flew away, and when I pulled trigger at him
I found that I had not cocked my gun. There was no other grouse to be
found, and it became obvious that I had only had one quick change artist
to deal with all the time; he had evidently been knocked off his perch
by shot that had not penetrated, or had made him uncomfortable enough
for him to move at each shot.

I am told that the principal difference between a good shot and a bad
one at driven grouse is, that the former knows how to select the easy
birds. Without going as far as that I can say with certainty that a
grouse, five yards too far off, becomes about twenty times as difficult
as he is five yards nearer.

But although this experience of mine was as far from a brilliant success
as could be thought of, yet I believe that “becking” is absolutely
necessary to the highest possible preservation wherever the grouse do
not pack. I should say it was just as useful where they do pack if it
could be carried out, but it cannot. When hunger begins to harass the
birds in the winter months, they often divide the sexes, like the high
churches, as Sir Fred Millbank observed thirty years ago, and obviously
when the cocks are all in the fellowship of the unemployed they are not
looking out for somebody to have a row with. Nevertheless, there is
often much open weather between the end of grouse driving and the end of
the season, on December 10th, and where it can be practised
successfully, it is well to remember, in the interests of the breeding
stock, that “becking” is the only automatic selection of old cocks that
has ever been practised, and had probably something to do with the fact
that there were more grouse in Scotland in 1872, and before, than there
are in these days of scientific heather management and artistic killing
of grouse. On dog moors it is particularly necessary, and on them can be
easily made successful.

One excellent sportsman of Shropshire, who was not unknown on the Chirk
Castle moors, used to tell me that it was quite wonderful how well
grouse kept, as he often had them in March. He explained that it was
only the cocks that kept so long; and this was before cold storage was
thought of.

                                                                      B.



                            Hunt “Runners.”
                                  II.
                     DAVID SWINTON AND DICK BAKER.


Successive generations of Belvoir Hunt followers will remember the
beaming countenance of old David Swinton, the enthusiastic foot-hunter.
He always dressed in black, with a clerical-looking wideawake, and
carried a stout oak staff. Swinton takes us a long way back into hunting
history, for his first day’s sport with the Duke of Rutland’s hounds was
in the middle ’thirties, when he was a lad at school. To-day, as he sits
by the fireside, approaching his eightieth birthday, he is still hale
and hearty, though not an active pedestrian, and is in the unique
position of one who has enjoyed sport with the Belvoir hounds under the
mastership of two Dukes of Rutland, Lord Forester, and Sir Gilbert
Greenall. Though the classic pack can boast of huntsmen who served long
tenures of office, Swinton has reminiscences of five since 1836, namely,
Thomas Goosey, Will Goodall, James Cooper, Frank Gillard, and Ben
Capell. Generations of sportsmen have come and gone in that time, and
there are not many of Swinton’s early contemporaries left, though
foxhunters are a long-lived race.

Until a season or two ago we still had with us Mr. John Welby, the
Squire of Allington, one of the best that ever crossed a country, Lord
Wilton, and Sir Thomas Whichcote, who were undefeated horsemen in their
day. Another hardy old sportsman who rode up to the last, and only
joined the great majority a few years ago, was Mr. John Nichols, of
Sleaford, who, like Swinton, was entered to sport by Thomas Goosey, and
would hunt with no hounds other than the Duke’s. The old runner had just
the same sentiment, and although he has had a look at other hunts, he
was always loyal in his allegiance to the ducal pack.

The Belvoir, so far as we know, have never had a paid runner, but
Swinton became an institution, and certainly during Frank Gillard’s term
of office was most useful in performing many little duties which help to
keep the internal machinery of a hunt in smooth working order. Though
scarlet-coated runners are to be seen with the Belvoir on the
Leicestershire side, dividing their attentions between the packs that
hunt within distance of Melton, they are never seen so far afield as
Lincolnshire. The reason for this is that the area traversed is very
wide, and the going is so much heavier that a man on foot would have
little chance of keeping in touch with the hunt.

David Swinton dates back to the days when there were active pedestrians
in the land, his keenness to see a hunt carrying him through a day’s
fatigue such as the rising generation would never dream of. He thought
nothing of going on foot ten or twelve miles to a fixture, and would
“shog” home at hound pace with the pack at dusk, cutting corners when
possible, but often arriving at his destination as soon as they did.
Until three seasons ago, when in his seventy-sixth year, he often came
out to get a sight of the sport he loved so well. His last appearance
was at a Caythorpe fixture, where, he relates, our present field master,
Mr. E. W. Griffith, found him out, and noting that he looked tired after
walking, presented him with some money, that he might drive on the next
occasion, and save his energies.

[Illustration:

  DAVID SWINTON.
  (Fifty Years Runner with the Belvoir.)

  _Photo by H. L. Morel._
]

The other day we found old David in his cottage at Ancaster, the
unquenchable fires of the chase burning brightly within him as he
revived memories of many a happy day. “I enjoy hunting as much as ever,
though now I can only read Mr. Tally-ho’s letters in the _Grantham
Journal_; but I follow hounds, for I know every yard of the country,”
said the old man, as he leaned on his famous oak staff. “My first sight
of the Belvoir hounds I remember as well as if it were yesterday. I was
a small boy, standing by Fulbeck Gorse, which was a very thick covert,
and old Thomas Goosey, the huntsman, told one of his whips to go in on
foot and see to the earth. The sharp gorse was not to his liking, and
laughing, I said, ‘Why, he can’t half go through it!’ To which old
Goosey replied, ‘It would fetch the bread and butter out of your fat
legs, you young rascal!’ That was in 1836. After that I never missed a
chance to run with hounds. I was a tailor, and had lots of work to do,
but I planned it to see as much hunting as possible, my wife and I often
being up nearly all night stitching, to get clothes finished off.”

Lord Forester held the mastership of the Belvoir from 1831 to 1857, and
Swinton reminds us that he was “a tall, fine gentleman, and a splendid
horseman, who rode right up to the pack.” He used to stutter when giving
his huntsman orders. Will Goodall carried the horn in those days; he had
been second whip to Goosey, and was promoted over Tom Flint, who had
“developed a thirst.” Those were long days for hunt servants at Belvoir,
for the rule was to draw covert while daylight lasted, no matter what
might be the distance back to kennels.

Swinton in those days had a tailor’s shop at Ropsley, where they had a
half-way kennel for hounds when hunting the wide fixtures on the
Lincolnshire side of the country between twenty and thirty miles distant
from Belvoir. Thus he saw a good deal of Goodall and his whips, for
after making the hounds comfortable for the night, they used to refresh
at the Fox Brush Inn. About eight o’clock at night Goodall used to mount
an old brown hack mare, and gallop the fourteen miles back to Belvoir in
the hour, to be ready to hunt a fresh pack on the Leicestershire side
next morning. He always took a whipper-in with him. Goodall was a very
daring horseman, and he took his fatal fall when only forty-one years of
age off a horse called Rollison; it happened on the first of April, and
he died on the first of May. “I made his last pair of breeches, poor
chap!” says David.

The next huntsman, James Cooper, was a little fellow, sharp as a needle,
and a very fine horseman who loved a good horse, having one of his own
called Turpin. In those days David used to work very hard making
liveries; this gave him the chance to stay at villages on the far side
of the country for a week together, and he managed to see much hunting.
He has been out on foot four days in succession, doing sometimes thirty
miles in the day; but of course that made a hard week’s work. He did not
care how he got out so long as he could go. For a time he had a little
white pony which could go any distance, and he used to lead through gaps
and keep going on the road to make his point, not being very far behind
at the finish.

The most memorable day’s sport he ever had was March 6th, 1871, when the
Prince of Wales, now King Edward VII., hunted with Squire Henry Chaplin
and the Blankney hounds. It was a very rough morning, and David, though
doubtful if they would hunt, walked from Ropsley to Navenby, fifteen
miles, on the chance. He made for Wellingore Gorse, where he met the
Rev. —— Peacock, rector of Caythorpe. A few minutes later a fine old fox
came into the gorse with his tongue hanging out, as if he had been a bit
dusted. So David walked about, wide of the covert to keep him there, and
be sure to see if he left. Not long afterwards Charley Hawtin, the
Blankney huntsman, came up with hounds hunting the line into the gorse.

Well, they got him away, and ran for the best part of three hours,
although he returned to the gorse twice. At last he got to the end of
his tether, and David viewed him crawling into the gorse dead beat. As
Mr. Henry Chaplin rode up with the Prince of Wales and Lord Brownlow,
the smothered worry could be heard going on. The gorse was very thick,
but David crawled in on hands and knees and got the dead fox away from
the hounds, bringing him outside. “You are a rum fellow,” said the
huntsman, “not one in fifty dare do a thing like that, you might have
got killed yourself.” “Its all right,” said David, “naught never in
danger, but I should like one end of the fox now I have rescued him!”
They gave him the mask, which he had set up in memory of the Royal day.
Mr. Chaplin asked him if he intended to eat it.

It was a long spell of fine sport they had during the twenty-six seasons
Frank Gillard was huntsman, 1870 to 1896; he was in touch with all the
country side, and people did all they could to further a day’s sport.
Many is the half sovereign David had from Gillard to see that earths
were stopped or gates shut after hunting. When it came to digging out a
fox it always meant five shillings to distribute amongst those who
worked at the job. “Frank Gillard could always trust me,” said David;
“he used to say when he heard my halloa, ‘There’s old Dave’s voice, true
as a clock!’ You know I never barked false! What long days Gillard did
make to be sure, he was never tired of hunting! I have often spoken to
him in Ancaster Street, as he rode through with his hounds at eight
o’clock at night, and often it was raining hard. He had to get on to
Grantham where the three-horse van was in waiting for the hounds, and
that meant reaching Belvoir kennels at nine o’clock or after.”

After hunting three years on foot without a ride, David was given a
mount by a friend on a nice little horse, and as he rode up to the meet,
old Tom Chambers and the whips shouted: “Hurray, we’ve got old Dave
mounted at last! What are you doing up there old friend, are you
purchasing?” “How the swells did laugh to be sure!” adds David.

One of the hardest days he ever did on foot was a hunt from Barkstone
Gorse. They found at twelve o’clock, and never stopped going until three
o’clock. David thinks he did not stand still five minutes, and for an
hour and a half he had the Rev. —— Andrews, of Carlton, running with
him, till he said, “I can’t stand it any longer. Swinton, you’re killing
me!” Hounds kept running in big circles out to Sparrow Gorse, and David
viewed the fox several times, and never really lost sight of the hunt
for more than ten minutes at a time, as he managed to keep inside the
circle. Well, hounds hunted him right well, getting him very tired, so
that he returned to Barkstone Gorse. He viewed him again coming away,
but before hounds had run two fields they threw up, and David could not
make head or tail of it, no more could the huntsman, though he did all
he knew to help hounds to recover the line. “Well,” I said, “Gillard,
he’s done you!” To which he rejoined, “I think by the looks of you he’s
done you twice over!” “No mistake, I did have a doing that day.”

Times have altered since those days, and since Sir Gilbert Greenall
became master nine years ago. With Ben Capell huntsman, a day’s sport is
very much faster, and David has got very much older. He tells the whips
to-day that they live like gentlemen, compared with what the Belvoir
hunt servants had to do in the past, for everything now is planned to
save wear and tear to horses and men.

The old runner’s experiences give us an outline of two different phases
in the history of foxhunting, which might be termed the ancient and
modern systems of conducting a day’s sport. Though there are some left
to tell us of the great changes that have come over our sport, still
Swinton’s story goes to prove that hunting people are as kind and
generous to-day as they were seventy years ago, for the old runner has
many good friends to help him in his declining days.


                              DICK BAKER.

A man of cheerful, if somewhat rubicund, countenance is Dick Baker. His
outlook upon life is that of one who takes no thought for the morrow,
and can justify this light-hearted attitude of mind by the circumstance
that the world has always treated him well in every sense of the word
“treat”; for Dick acknowledges that he is “very fond of his
refreshment.” There are many people who welcome their acquaintances with
a smile; Dick goes one better, for he generally starts laughing when any
one speaks to him; his risible faculty is so delicately poised, that
“good morning” has been known to provoke a jovial roar. He may be said
to have solved the great problem set by some novelist-philosopher a
generation ago, “How to be Happy on Nothing a Year.”

Dick Baker was born sixty-six years ago. How he came to adopt the career
he has followed since he was twenty-one years of age, he can hardly
explain. He was always fond of horse and hound, and he never took kindly
to discipline; running with hounds therefore appealed to him as the
ideal occupation for an active and hardy young man who liked to be his
own master. Fondness for refreshment, notwithstanding, Dick has reached
a hale and happy old age. He can still “keep going” throughout the
longest day, and thanks to an outdoor life and a sound constitution,
suffers from neither cold nor rain. He dates his career as a runner from
about the year 1860, and probably knows more about the Essex,
Hertfordshire, and Puckeridge countries than any man living, having
spent forty-five seasons running with those packs.

[Illustration:

  “DICK.”

  _From a Painting by G. F. Thompson._]
]

He was for several years under Mr. Parry, when that gentleman was master
of the Puckeridge, and he tells many anecdotes of the various huntsmen
he has known, Dick Simpson, Hedges, Allen, and Will Wells among the
number. Dick’s early ambition was to be a hunt servant, but the Fates
denied him; he is, he now admits, safer on his own legs than in the
saddle. Upon a day it fell that Mr. Rowland Bevan gave Dick his horse to
lead home after a hard gallop. Dick thought it a pity not to try what he
could do as a horseman, and reflecting that, inasmuch as the horse had
had a long day, it would at least be quiet on this occasion, he mounted.
Before he got the horse home he had taken three heavy falls on the
macadam; but seemingly he was born a master of what some one has called
the “inexact science of falling,” for he boasts that he was none the
worse. He has confidence in his lucky star, and expresses it in a
fashion that has the merit of originality.

“Why, Dick, I thought you were dead,” said a member of the Puckeridge on
one occasion.

“No,” replied Dick, calmly; “God never kills good-looking people.”

How far Dick’s appearance justifies his opinion of his personal
attractions our readers are able to judge for themselves.

His master passion is anxiety to be identified with the hunt; to be
recognised as a member of the staff. To this end Dick, through the good
offices of an indulgent member who at the time held office as hon.
secretary, took advantage of the visit of a photographer to the
Puckeridge kennels to get his portrait taken with a couple of hounds; in
character, as it were. It is probable that this was the proudest moment
of his life. That he possesses some business capacity which might have
been profitably directed into other channels, is proved by the way he
turned this opportunity to account. He ordered a dozen copies of the
photograph at the aforesaid member’s expense, and retailed them to
members of the Hunt at two shillings apiece.

Dick acknowledges but one enemy in this world, and for that enemy he
cherishes hate, the deeper because he cannot be avenged of the outrage
it committed upon him. This enemy is the Great Eastern Railway Company,
which, with the heartlessness peculiar to railway companies, once “ran
him in” for travelling without a ticket. It was really not his fault, he
explains; he finished a long day with hounds many miles from home, and
thinking he had a shilling in his pocket jumped into the train intending
to pay at the other end. The fact that he was mistaken as to the
contents of his pocket does not, in his well-considered opinion, justify
the Company in haling him before the Bench, and getting him fined ten
and sixpence and costs. It was the most costly journey he ever made, and
he is unlikely to forget either it or the sequel.

Entertaining, as already mentioned, strong objections to anything like
discipline, a master of hounds being, in his judgment, the one mortal
being who is entitled to command his fellow-creatures, Dick has rarely
attempted permanent work: and when he has done so it has always proved
temporary after all; for what reason it seems unnecessary to enquire. In
summer he is usually to be found in attendance at cricket matches, and
in less exalted cricket spheres rather fancies himself as a bowler. He
possesses quite a remarkable instinct for discovering occasions, show,
celebration, athletic meeting, or what not, which will yield an odd
shilling; and will put in much more and harder work to earn the odd
shilling than he could ever be persuaded to do to earn the certain
half-crown. He has a family; and it is in no spirit of reflection upon a
hard-working spouse that he responds to enquiries with the
cheerful—always cheerful—assurance that “the cubs are all right.”



                           Sport in the City.
                       THE OLD YEAR AND THE NEW.


There are times when the tented field is as still as death, times when
even the hub of the universe is as dull as any Little Pedlington in the
Kingdom. We usually make up for it, however, by a great bustle of
company meetings in the concluding month of the year, and these
functions have been characterised during the past few weeks by a quite
unwonted show of animation. The shareholder, as a rule, is a very
patient and long-suffering kind of animal. He pockets his grievances,
passes the resolutions submitted for his acceptance, and goes away
thankful, in most cases, for very small mercies indeed. When he does
break out, however, he is apt to be a very ugly customer, and the lot of
the proverbial policeman is quite a happy one in comparison with that of
the luckless wight whom duty compels to face the music in his capacity
as a director. I do not know whether it is the contagion of heated
political assemblies that is spreading its virus in the City, or whether
we have come under some malign planetary influence; but certain it is
that there is a nasty spirit abroad, and the shareholder goes to his
meeting prepossessed with the idea that it is enough to be a director to
be either a fool or a knave. For several years in succession it was the
fate of the Westralian companies to furnish occasion for these angry
gatherings. They, however, are at length vouchsafed a well-earned rest,
and the miserable wretches who pull the labouring oar in South African
ventures are being given their turn.

That, perhaps, is not altogether surprising. Eldorado has become, in the
popular imagination, a veritable Nazareth, out of which no good can
come, and since shareholders cannot get out to Johannesburg to vent
their wrath upon the heads on which it might with some propriety
descend, they are with one accord taking it out of the English companies
operating in South Africa which lie within their reach. This is not in
consonance with strict justice, no doubt; but it will serve its purpose
all the same, for it can hardly fail to convey a hint to quarters in
which hints are greatly needed that the time has come for setting their
houses in order, lest a worse thing befal. It is probably the case, as I
have seen it stated, that the noise is made in inverse proportion to the
stake. The big shareholder is intelligent enough to know something of
the difficulties which follow upon the heels of a war and broad-minded
enough to make allowances. The man with ten shares or twenty, who gets
no dividend, and sees the market go steadily or unsteadily against him,
loses all patience, and is fired with an ardent longing to break
somebody’s head. What the small man voices, however, the big man feels,
and the moral which these merry meetings should convey to Johannesburg
is that shareholders have not put their money into South African
ventures as an erratic form of recreation, but with the reasonable
expectation of getting in their own lifetime a reasonable return. It is
too much the fashion out there to regard the shareholder as a negligible
quantity. Everybody seems to be bitten with the idea that the thing to
aim at is bigness of aggregate return, bigness of mills, bigness of
expenditure, bigness of everything except of the dividend declared.
Megalomania of this description spells ruin to the proprietorial
interest, and it is not compensated for by all the booby-talk about
prolonging the lives of the mines. It is easy to understand the
advantage of this prolongation to directors and managers and secretaries
and engineers, and all the other hangers-on of the industry; but where
the shareholder benefits from a division of his dividend by two and
doubling the terms of years in which it is paid, is more than the
average arithmetician can understand. The wrong turn was given to
everything by Lord Milner, who saw with his mind’s eye a population of
several millions on the Rand, and laid his lines accordingly. Lord
Selborne, who is apparently a man of sense and moderation, is doing his
best to curb and correct the extravagant ideas that had their genesis in
the time of his predecessor, and there is much reliable information to
warrant the belief that 1906 will be attended with very different
results from 1905. It need be, for only another such year as the last is
required, and South Africa will be for ever and a day undone so far as
the British public is concerned.

The change of Government made no more difference in the markets than if
it had been a change of footmen. The event had, in City parlance, been
already discounted. To men who had imagined to themselves the vain thing
that their exit would shake the financial spheres, as some of them
doubtless did, it must have been gall and wormwood to see quotations
actually rise on the day when their resignation became an accomplished
fact. This could only be due to a sense of general relief, and to the
feeling that the Liberal bark would prove far worse than its bite, so
far as the interests dear to the City are concerned. It certainly was
not owing to the new team being conspicuously strong either in business
or finance. It is an anomaly, to say the least, that the transformation
should result in a barrister being enthroned as the Chancellor of the
Exchequer and a solicitor installed as the President of the Board of
Trade; but Mr. Asquith has shown himself quite at home with figures and
fiscal questions during the past two years, and Mr. Lloyd-George has the
reputation in the House of knowing a thing or two besides the wickedness
of Mr. Chamberlain and the clauses of the Education Act.

Until the elections are over and done with, it is not probable that we
shall witness anything very theatrical in Throgmorton Street; but the
knowing ones are counting upon a marked improvement of gilt-edged
securities when things have settled down. Just as Nature abhors a
vacuum, so does the Stock Exchange abhor stagnation, and the one
question on everybody’s lips is what to go for in the New Year. Yankees,
too dangerous; Home Rails, not to be touched with a barge-pole; Foreign
Rails, quite high enough already; Foreigners, not another eighth to be
squeezed out of them; Breweries, wait a bit; Copper stocks, a gamble for
lunatics. Such is the rough-and-ready pronouncement of three out of four
of the old hands one meets. What all are agreed upon is that gilt-edged
descriptions must advance and that Kaffirs cannot, the one owing to the
plethora of money they see looming in the near distance, the other to
the alleged but scarcely demonstrated fact that the public have spewed
out their mining stocks and will not have them back at any price. I
always like to note these confident predictions. They are so often made
and so seldom borne out by the event. How easy it would be to make
fortunes if they were! Except for the puff palpable—the price of which
is as well known as that of a postage stamp—the financial press is
shrewd enough for the most part to refrain from prognostications after
the manner of the vaticinators in the sporting journals; but how much it
would add to the gaiety of nations if they made selections for the rise
and fall after the fashion of their compeers in Fleet Street! The only
thing that may always be predicted with certainty of markets is that
what will happen will be the unforeseen, and this is intelligible
enough. The calculable influences are few in comparison with the
incalculable—something occurs to upset the best-laid schemes of mice and
men—and you will meet a dozen men who have made their little pile out of
the short view for one who has staked his fortune without regret upon
the long one.

I will not emulate, therefore, the fame of Zadkiel. I shall not prophesy
because I do not know; but it scarcely needs a prophet to perceive that
much in the coming year, if not everything, turns upon the course of
events in the Empire of the Czar. It is easy to see how pregnant with
possibilities is the situation if one takes into account that big
dominating factor, and rules out all the rest as of minor account or of
no account at all; and it is equally easy to perceive that we are at the
mercy of a chapter of accidents. None will undertake to say what the
outcome will be, least of all a Russian himself who knows his people and
the subtle influences by which they are or may be moved. I have had the
advantage during the past few weeks of coming into contact with several
recent arrivals from that unhappy country, and the accounts they give
are so confused and so contradictory as to leave one in a more
impenetrable fog than if one had never taken any pains to learn the
truth at all. On some things, however, they are all agreed. Russian news
in the newspapers, so they say, must be taken with a liberal quantum of
salt. The Jews, not without reason, hate Russia, or rather the
established order in Russia; they control, directly or indirectly, the
bulk of the leading journals of all countries, and the news agencies as
well; their mission is to set down things in malice, to paint everything
in the blackest colours, to ruin Russian credit abroad, and to bring
down upon the Russian people the execration of the civilised world. The
fires of revolution are alight, it is true, but the conflagration is not
so widespread nor so all-consuming as the enemies of Russia would have
the world believe, and a free and purified Russia will emerge. What will
happen then is the problem; and all my Russian friends are at one in
saying that any representative Government that may be established will
set before itself two objects of policy—a better understanding with
England, based upon a solemn renunciation of any designs against India,
and development of the resources of the Empire by the aid of foreign
capital.

So far as the former of these objects is concerned, it goes almost
without saying that any English Government in power would go more than
half-way to meet amicable and sincere advances; and as to the
latter—with another _entente cordiale_ once established—the chances are
that British capital will flow into Russia as it has flowed in turn into
America, North and South, into Africa, into Australasia, into India, and
into every quarter of the globe in which capital can be freely and
safely employed. It is premature, perhaps, to say that Russian ventures
will be the outstanding feature of 1906; but the event is on the cards,
and the pioneer enterprises are already on the stocks. The world has not
been standing still while the nations have been at war and the heathen
have been raging furiously. During the past year or two, no end of
little expeditions have been poking their noses into the recesses of the
Ural region and the vast areas of the Siberian provinces, sending back
reports of riches, mineral and agricultural, beyond the dreams of
avarice. It is difficult to believe that resources of this description
still exist in their virgin state so near comparatively to the Western
capitals; but the evidence, coming as it does from so many capable and
unimpeachable sources, is quite irresistible, and the inference appears
to be inevitable that the exploitation of Russia is the next big task to
which the world of finance and industry will direct its attention. The
exploitation of China may wait, or be relegated to our friends and
allies, the Japanese.

It must not be presumed from our readiness to settle the affairs of the
nations that we have lapsed into indifference in the City as regards
various little matters of domestic concern with respect to which
agitation has been simmering for some time past. The relations of the
House and the public are being canvassed more freely now than I have
ever known, from within as well as from without. There is a consensus of
opinion that things are not quite what they ought to be, as indeed they
never have been and never will be even in this best of all possible
worlds; but the insiders are afraid of pulling bricks about lest they
should bring the entire edifice about their ears, while the outsiders
are wanting in the organisation to give the old walls such a shove as
would be felt by those within. It will not be long, however, before
events compel the general overhaul which is recognised as a prime
essential to the revival of business on such a scale as will enable the
Stock Exchange man to live without sapping the very vitals of his
clients. The complaints of the latter go to the very foundations of
business as it is carried on to-day. Why should one pay brokerage when
he buys? In every other business, it is the seller alone who pays. The
answer is that the buyer must pay, or the broker, who deals with a
jobber, would get no benefit from the transaction; to which comes the
rejoinder that the jobber is the fifth wheel on the coach, and should
not be privileged if he wishes to dispose of his wares. The force of the
argument for dispensing with the middleman is perceived by all who are
not hide-bound by tradition, use and custom, while practical recognition
is being given to it in much of the business that is being transacted
outside.

Then it is perceived that no sort of logical justification exists for
the enormous difference made in brokerage between one class of goods and
another, and between one client and another. For example, bonds are
bought and sold on a commission of 1/16 per cent., mining shares on
varying scales which work out at an average of ¾ per cent., which is
enough to kill the finest business in the world. This excessive charge
is not defended; but it is explained. When mining shares were first
introduced, the public were very shy of them—and the House, too, for
that matter—and promoting firms were ready to pay liberal commissions in
order to get them placed, an operation often attended with difficulty
and risk. Thus there came to be established a standard of expectation,
the public paying whatever charge the broker chose to exact, and the
mining market became the happy hunting-ground of new recruits by the
thousand, who perceived in it the opportunity of quickly getting rich.
Short cuts of this kind, however, generally prove the long way round in
the end. Brokers as a class cannot thrive by bleeding their clients
white by excessive commissions and contangoes. Either they make losses,
which wipe out their gains, and more, or they kill the goose that lays
the golden eggs. They cannot acquit themselves altogether of some share
in the collapse by which speculation of this character has been
overtaken. Commonsense and competition point with unerring finger the
direction of amendment and reform, and I expect to see established at no
distant date an almost universal charge of ¼ per cent. upon the money,
whether shares are bought or sold, or ½ per cent. if commission be
charged on sales alone. Pending this concession, it is not probable that
speculation will revive upon any considerable scale in the market which
has been in the past the most attractive of all markets, and may be
again if things are well and wisely handled. The loss of it would not be
compensated for by rubber trash and cab companies, over which there will
be some burning of fingers before long. “Trash,” did I say? Well, of
course, that is much too sweeping a generalisation. As a fact, the great
majority of the rubber concerns are moderately capitalised, and the
demand for their product is going up with such leaps and bounds that
they can only be regarded as sound and stable concerns. That, however,
is where the trouble comes in. On the back of every successful form of
enterprise kindred ventures are too often floated without much regard to
the question whether they contain the elements of success or not. Like
the razors that were made to sell, and not to shave, these undertakings
are launched for the sake of the promotion, and for no other reason
apparent to the wit of man. Promotion in the miscellaneous market has
seldom much behind it. The shares once placed, those who are in may
whistle for the day they will get out. There is but one fitting
inscription for that section, regarded as a whole—“Abandon hope all ye
who enter here.” Mining descriptions, with all their drawbacks and all
their dangers, have as a rule at least the inestimable advantage of a
“shop.” Mining promotions, I am given to understand, are likely to be
almost nominal in the coming year; but there are miscellaneous things
enough to stagger humanity awaiting a favourable moment to be launched.

                                                                G. P. F.



                Half a Century’s Hunting Recollections.
                                  IV.


The mention of red deer reminds me of roe. As all the sporting world
knows, Mr. Seymour Dubourg, before he took the South Berks country, was
master of the Ripley and Knaphill Harriers. With these, at the end of
the season, he used to hunt an occasional carted stag, but more
frequently the wild roe deer, which were at that time to be found (they
were never plentiful) between Windlesham, Bagshot, and Easthampstead,
also in the heath and pinewood country south-west of the River
Blackwater. It was a most interesting sport, and none the less
attractive as coming at a time when foxhunting is practically over. The
hounds were small foxhound bitches, I should say rather under than over
twenty inches. With so accomplished a huntsman as Mr. Dubourg, I make no
doubt that they did their work, as harriers, as it ought to the done.
However that may be, they were the best pack of staghounds I ever saw.
They went the pace, and were not big enough to kill a deer, bar
accidents. With roe they drove like furies, but, I suppose from their
harrier training, hardly ever over-ran it.

It is the manner of a roe, when first found, to make a point of 2 or 3
miles; then he returns almost to the starting place, or anyhow to its
neighbourhood, and begins “making work.” In the straight part of his
flight he is seldom far in front of hounds. But having begun his dodges,
if he gets half a chance he will steal away, and, as likely at not, run
the pack out of scent. His resources are legion. He can squat like a
hare, swim like a fish, meuse through a fence like a rabbit, and jump
over any ordinary park palings. He is most difficult to view, as he will
crawl up a ditch or drain, and utilises every depression in the ground,
and of course every bit of covert. He has the cunning of fox and hare
combined, but not _very much_ more stoutness than the last named. In
France, roe-hunting packs are not uncommon, and a friend of my own has
one in Belgium, which, however, hunts hare as well. And a French friend
of mine once asked me to stay with him for roe-hunting, promising to
mount me, and doubtless I should have had a most enjoyable visit, but I
preferred to stay at Melton. By the way, this gentleman valued Belvoir
blood above all else.

The objections to the roe as a beast of chase may be gathered from the
above. It is pretty hunting, but almost all in covert. The advantages
are that you can hunt him all through the winter as you do the fox, and
also that you can draw for him without any bother of “tufting,” as you
never find more than a brace, or at most three together. When the latter
is the case, it is a family party—buck, doe, and kid. The latter would
stand but a poor chance were it not for its squatting, when the hounds
dash away and settle to the moving scent. When roe are carefully
preserved the woods will be full of them, as the young trees will soon
tell you. I know nowhere at present, even in Scotland, where they are
too numerous, and in the country I have described I should say that they
are all but extinct, although some three years ago I saw a brace when
Mr. Garth was drawing St. Leonard’s Forest.

With Mr. Dubourg’s hounds one had to ride up to them, if one wanted the
venison. If he happens to read this, he will doubtless remember what
happened once near Black Bushes Farm. Hounds had been running some time,
and we thought “catching time” could not be far off. They came to (for
that country at least) a very small wood. We each took one side of the
covert (only the master and writer being there), but to our surprise saw
no hounds away. To dive into the wood was, for Mr. Dubourg, “the work of
an instant.” Arrived at his pack, he found that in those very few
minutes they had not only killed the buck but (not bad judges!) had
eaten the haunches, &c., and left only the head, neck, and forequarters.
Unlike our other deer, the roe is at his best as venison, from the
middle or end of October to the end of the hunting season. He sheds his
horns late in the autumn. Roe venison has an undeservedly bad name, as
lessees of Highland shootings often kill them in the grouse season.

As July and August are the months in which most of them pair, August for
choice, _côtelette de chevreuil_ is best avoided until after the
stalking season. By the way, the “stags” mentioned in the late Colonel
Anstruther Thomson’s most interesting book were roe. My kind old friend
wrote to me shortly before his death, to explain that his South Country
hunt servants would call them stags, hence he got in the way of it. Of
course, no red deer have been wild in Fife since almost prehistoric
times. But some folks never can learn the proper names of deer. Once, in
forest-hunting with our late Queen’s hounds, I saw an “instructor” from
Sandhurst, who told me that the deer had just passed him, and that it
was a fallow deer! “Are you sure of that?” said I (I never yet saw one
there, unless he had been put there). “Oh, yes, it had no horns!” was
the startling reply.

A short time ago there was a discussion in the _Field_ as to whether the
progeny of hounds hunting deer, or hares, should be elegible for the
Foxhound Stud book. I think it was decided against them, the theory
being that staghounds do not carry a head. Now this is merely a question
of their quarry. After a few days roehunting, Mr. Dubourg, (by
invitation), uncarted a stag near Bracknell. Comins, at that time the
Royal huntsman (or acting huntsman?), had been roehunting, and we both
remarked the head these hounds carried then. We had a good run and took
our stag safely, but from the moment the hounds were laid on, they went
stringing along (I do not mean “tailing,” a very different thing) “just
exactly like my hounds,” as Comins said to me. I saw the Queen’s hounds
once run a cub in Swinley Forest, on a steaming, warm, wet October
morning, and as they crossed a ride, close to the said cub, which was
dead beat, they carried a head that neither Belvoir, Quorn, nor
Pytchley, could have beaten. They were stopped just in time to save
young Reynard. It was in October, as aforesaid, by which time a cub
should be pretty well able to take his own part. Strange blunders have
found their way into sporting history and been accepted as facts merely
for want of contradiction, _e.g._, how often have we read that, in the
spring, Mr. Meynell entered his young hounds to hare, for want of
woodlands.

The absurdity of entering young hounds just in from walks, and with all
their troubles before them, is obvious to any one who has ever been
within measurable distance of a kennel. And as for no cubhunting ground,
what was wrong with Charnwood Forest, the best cubhunting district in
the world, and even better then than now, in the days preceding the
Enclosure Act? Then, also, foxes were not much outnumbered by pheasants.
Another victim of misstatement is Mr. (“Flying”) Childe, of Kinlet. I
lately read that he hunted the Ludlow country _after_ he left
Leicestershire. It was the other way about. He and the first Lord
Forester went to Loughborough for the Quorn together, Melton not being
invented when he gave up the Ludlow country, and set the fashion of
pressing on hounds. In fact, Mr. Meynell describes Mr. Cecil Forester as
coming out of cover between the fox and the pack! Again, the name of Mr.
Childe’s Arab was not “Skim,” as we are told, but Selim, corrupted into
Slim. His tail (grey) is still at Kinlet. He left some good hunting
stock behind him, and I know where a portrait of a chestnut son of his
is to be seen. Of Mr. Meynell “Nimrod” says, “In chase no man rode
harder.” But he gave his hounds room, which from all accounts the
immigrants from Salop did not. Yet I have read that he and his field
merely crawled over a country. Also quite lately I have seen Mr. Edge,
the welter weight Nottingham Squire, who refused a thousand guineas for
his two horses, Banker and Remus, described as the “humble, silent
friend” of Mr. Assheton Smith! Why on earth will people write on
subjects of which they are ignorant? An outsider, writing on sport, or
soldiering, is sure to make a spectacle of himself. Though this is a
hunting subject, I cannot but call attention to a masterpiece of this
kind in “Charles O’Malley,” by the late Mr. Charles Lever. In one of the
Peninsula battles, he tells us that a general officer galloped up and
gave the word, “14th, threes about, charge!” As this involved their
charging tail foremost, no wonder that the French fled precipitately!

I am often asked whether hunting has altered during my time. I answer,
“In the Shires little, if at all, but provincial sport has, I fancy,
deteriorated. In bad scenting countries nose should be more thought of
than looks, but is it so? We hear a lot more about bad scenting weather
than we used to do. No one would keep a throaty hound, though no less an
authority than “the other Tom Smith,” uncle, by-the-by, of my dear
friend “Doggie,” of that ilk, has said that he never knew a throaty
hound without a good nose. The greatest enemy to hunting, in these days,
is the shooting tenant. He destroys the breed of good wild foxes, and
can only be disposed of by the hunt renting shootings. But for the
railways, the Quorn country would be more easily crossed now than when I
first knew it. “Oxers” have nearly all vanished, hand-gates and bridges
have replaced yawning sepulchres—notably so at John O’Gaunt, the bottom
below Wartnaby Pond, and at Sherbroke’s covert, over the Smite, which is
the “march” ’twixt Quorn and Belvoir. Also the Twyford brook need no
longer be ridden at, unless one chooses. The Whissendine brook, however,
retains its old fame. “Lady Stamford’s Bridge,” over the South Croxton
and Queniboro’ brook, was just made in the earliest of the sixties. As
regards dress, we are not very different from the heroes depicted by old
H. Alken, in Nimrod’s “The Chase.” “Snob, the tip-top provincial,”
appeared then in a frock coat, and so he would now. But I have always
wondered why the artist should have made the fence which stopped “the
little bay horse” a high bank, suggestive of Shropshire, or Essex, but
of a pattern non-existent in any part of the county of Leicester, and
especially as the letterpress so carefully describes the obstacle—ditch
from you, but the lower part of the fence bristling towards you after
the fashion of the old “Prepare to receive cavalry” of an infantry
square. In the old days the master was dressed like other people. He
often wore a hat, and so did many more. Mr. Tailby always wore a cap.
Lord Gifford dressed like a hunt servant, ditto Captain Percy Williams
and Colonel Thomson; but they did not spoil the effect with a moustache.
One very dear friend of mine, who dressed the character, though “with a
beard on him like Robinson Crusoe,” was tipped a sovereign by a
stranger, who had been impressed by the masterly way in which he hunted
and killed his fox. I regret to say that it did not profit him, as, on
his return, the predominant partner nailed it, to keep as a curiosity,
as (she said) the only money that “Charlie” had ever in his life
honestly earned! A master’s, as indeed a huntsman’s and first whip’s
second horseman, used to be dressed like yours or mine. Now most hunts
have, in servants alone, six “scarlet and leathers” men. This hardly
makes for economy, and we hear too much of expense. Up to the end of the
late Duke of Rutland’s reign, the hunt servants wore brown cords, “drab
shags,” as Mr. Jorrocks called them. I think white cords look better,
but looks are not everything. No men ever went better to hounds than his
late Grace’s servants, and what do the breeks matter if their wearer
can, and will, give you a lead over the Smite?”

As regards horses, I think, speaking under correction, that we have got
them too high on the leg; the result is that “boots” form a predominant
item in the saddler’s bill. I have before remarked that, in my young
days, there was about one roarer in a hunt. Now, if there be only one in
a stud the owner is lucky. As we breed our racehorses from roarers, and
as they are the sires of our hunters, this is not wonderful.

In talking of dress, I ought to have mentioned that, as a small boy,
visiting a schoolfellow in Cornwall, I saw a pack of harriers belonging
to the last Lord Vivian but one, with which every one was in red coats,
officials and all. A similarly attired Yorkshire huntsman of harriers
told me that he and his whip wore pink, as being more easily
distinguished on the moors. This is a good reason. I have omitted to
mention a pack of staghounds which, for some seasons, showed excellent
sport—I mean the Collinedale. Mr. George Nourse was master, and hunted
them himself. A better staghound huntsman I never saw. This was lucky,
as he was not well whipped in to.

The first time I ever saw these hounds is worthy of mention. A friend of
mine asked me at the club whether I should like a mount with staghounds
next day. I gratefully accepted the offer, and asked at what station I
should meet him. “Oh,” said he, “come to my house to breakfast and we’ll
ride on to the meet.” I asked no questions, but duly appeared at my
friend’s very charming house; a little beyond the Swiss Cottage station,
and then nearly in the country. We rode on to the meet, which was at the
Welsh Harp, Hendon. We had two stags, but they had hardly got over their
autumn dissipation. One turned round and charged the hounds, and the
other went over a fine country, the Harrow Weald, but not far enough for
me to get on terms with my mount, a hard-pulling four-year-old, with a
very light bridle. And the Berkhamsted, which are still going, deserve a
word of chronicle. I only saw them once, but thought them a marvellously
clever pack, and not too big. Any possible deficiency of size was made
up for in the person of their master, the late Mr. R. Rawle. He was a
keen sportsman, a capital huntsman, and as polite and kind as any man
could be. I was never impertinent enough to ask him his weight, but,
crushing though it was, he got wonderfully to his hounds. He rode the
right sort to carry weight. None of your seventeen-hand prize-winners in
a show ring, but steeds more on the lines of the baby hippopotamus, with
well-bred heads; hence these triumphs.

An old Suffolk M.F.H. told me, in my youth, that Mr. R. Gurney’s famous
“Sober Robin” was only 15.2. He also remembered the moonlight
steeplechase from Ipswich Barracks. Another fine old sportsman told me
that he recollected the “orange” coats worn with the Atherstone in Lord
Vernon’s time. He described them as looking much like ordinary “pink,”
until you saw one of each together, then the difference was clearly
marked.

                                                        F. J. KING KING.

                          (_To be continued._)



                          A Hundred Years Ago.


                (FROM THE _SPORTING MAGAZINE_ OF 1805.)

A bet was made some time since between Peter Mackenzie, Esq., of South
Molton, and two brother shots, for twenty guineas aside, that the former
gentleman did not kill one brace of partridges every day, Sundays
excepted, for six weeks in succession from the first day of September
last. This was determined on Saturday, October 12th, when Mr. M. having
completed his engagement with apparent ease was consequently declared
winner. This is looked upon by the amateurs as one of the first field
exploits that has been performed for many years.


                      EXTRAORDINARY STEEPLE-RACE.

On the last Wednesday in November came on for decision a match which had
excited much interest in the sporting world, and which amongst that
community is denominated a Steeple-Race, the parties undertaking to
surmount all obstructions and to pursue in their progress as straight a
line as possible. The contest lay between Mr. Bullivant, of Sproxton;
Mr. Day, of Wymondham; and Mr. Frisby, of Waltham; and was for a
sweepstake of 100 guineas staked by each. They started from Womack’s
Lodge at half-past twelve o’clock (the riders attired in handsome jockey
dresses of orange, crimson and sky blue respectively, worn by the
gentlemen in the order we have named them above) to run round Woodal
Head and back again—a distance somewhat exceeding eight miles. They
continued nearly together until they came within a mile and a half of
the goal, when Mr. Bullivant, on his well-known horse Sentinel, took the
lead, and appearances promised a fine race between him and Mr. Day; but
unfortunately in passing through a hand-gate, owing partly to a slip,
Mr. Day’s horse came in full contact with the gate-post; the rider was
thrown with great violence and, as well as the horse, was much hurt.
Nevertheless, Mr. Day remounted in an instant, and continued his course.
Mr. Bullivant, however, during the interruption, made such progress as
enabled him to win the race easily. The contest for a second place now
became extremely severe between Mr. Day and Mr. Frisby: the last half
mile was run neck and neck, and Mr. Day only beat his opponent by half a
neck. The race was performed in 25 min. 35 sec.

                  *       *       *       *       *

NEWMARKET JOCKIES. Court of King’s Bench, December 6th. Irish _v._
Chifney.—The defendant in this case is the celebrated Newmarket jockey,
the plaintiff is a bit-maker. When the cause was called on, Mr. Serjeant
Best asked whether or not the defendant was ready to _start_? and being
answered in the affirmative, the learned Serjeant _led off_ in a
superior stile. The action was brought upon an agreement signed by the
defendant for the payment of £15 which the plaintiff claimed as his due,
for making a certain number of bits for racers which Mr. Chifney
conceived were superior to any others, and the principle of which
originated from his own fertile invention. The agreement was proved by a
very respectable witness, and the defendant’s counsel endeavoured to
_cross_ the witness in order to prove that these bits had been exposed
to sale contrary to the orders of Mr. Chifney; but on this point he
failed, as the witness would not take the _bit_; and although he was
finally _rubbed down_, came in for the _legal plate_ without any
competitor. There was no kind of defence, and the jury found a verdict
for the plaintiff for fifteen pounds.



                            Cricket Topics.


The first two days of the Cattle Show found the delegates of County
Cricket busy at Lord’s, appointing on the Monday their umpires, and on
the Tuesday their matches. In the absence of the Australian team, the
programme has settled down very much on the usual lines of a domestic
English cricket season. Mr. Lacey, the head Secretary of the M.C.C.,
announced that he was arranging fixtures for a West Indian team that is
desirous of playing a series of matches in this country next summer. Mr.
Lacey is reported to have said that as the West Indians were coming for
the purpose of improving the standard of cricket in the West Indies, and
not with the idea of making money, he trusted that he would receive the
assistance of the counties in doing all that was possible to make the
tour a success.

We have not seen an authentic list of the matches arranged, but we
gather that our visitors will play a very mixed card, commencing at the
Crystal Palace on June 11th, against a London County team of Mr. W. G.
Grace’s.

Other fixtures in chronological order are against Essex, Middlesex,
Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Hampshire, South Wales, Kent, M.C.C.,
Derbyshire, “All Scotland” at Edinburgh, and “All England” at that great
centre of gate-money, Blackpool. Then against Yorkshire at Harrogate,
and to finish with a burst of alliteration, Norfolk, Notts, and
Northampton. This seems a fairly good all-round sample of English
cricket, and our visitors ought to get a good look at the game as played
in England; and we hope that they will achieve their purpose, insisted
upon by Mr. Lacey, of improving the standard of the game in the West
Indies.

In 1900, when a team visited us from the West Indies, the Marylebone
Club did what they could to discourage our guests and to lower the
standard of their play by a proclamation that none of the West Indian
matches were to count in the first-class averages. We hope that this
time Mr. Lacey will advise his Committee to join in the general note of
encouragement by permitting at any rate some of their matches—for
instance, those against Surrey, Yorkshire, and Kent, to rank as high as,
say, Somerset _v._ Hants.

There is nothing very interesting about county cricket nowadays, not
even in regard to the arrangement of championship matches.

It is worthy of notice that Northamptonshire, who only just wriggled
into the first-class last season, have had to struggle hard to maintain
their position there, and have only just succeeded in arranging
sufficient matches to again qualify. This came through the agency of
Notts, who have dropped their matches with Kent, and have taken on
Northants instead. For a long time Notts and Kent have been regular
antagonists, and it seems almost a pity that their matches should be
dropped; but even the best friends amongst the counties sometimes drift
apart for a year or so, as has been shown again this year in the coy
conduct of Surrey, who again refuse to play with Somerset, the county
which has done so much to encourage Surrey cricket, originally by
consistently beating her, and then by paying her the compliment of
adopting and developing her most promising young players. _Apropos_ of
Somerset, we read with regret that Mr. S. M. J. Woods has announced his
intention of retiring from the captaincy of the eleven at the end of
next season.

Certainly his twelve years of office are very noticeable. In 1894 Mr.
Woods took over a team of mixed possibilities and impossibilities, and
has kept the concern going up to to-day, with most attractive and
varying vicissitudes, and probably “Great Heart,” as he has been styled
by his friend Mr. C. B. Fry, is about the only man who could have so
long stood the strain of so frequently facing fearful odds. Somerset
have now fifteen years’ experience of first-class cricket and have done
many brilliant things, but for the second year in succession, and
despite the fact that the Australian matches brought them in a nice
profit, the club is confronted with an adverse balance well over four
hundred pounds. It would almost seem as if cricket, the national game,
were a hybrid growth in Somerset, where the natives do not support the
game very conspicuously either by play or pay.

The dates of the big matches at Lord’s are: Oxford and Cambridge, July
5th; Gentlemen and Players, July 9th; and Eton and Harrow, July 13th. It
will be seen that these games follow one another as closely as possible,
so it is to be hoped, for the sake of the Marylebone Club finances, that
the weather for that fortnight may prove favourable. For many years the
match between Oxford University and M.C.C. and Ground has been arranged
at Lord’s as the match to immediately precede the Oxford and Cambridge
match, and in order to give the Oxonians a day of rest before the stress
and strain of the ’Varsity match, the game with the M.C.C. has been
limited to two days’ play, and in an epoch of good wickets this has
taken much of the interest out of the game. Common sense has at length
prevailed in this matter, and now the Oxford _v._ M.C.C. match has been
moved forward to a week before the Oxford and Cambridge match, and the
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday preceding the ’Varsity match are allotted
to Middlesex against Essex at Lord’s.

It seems a pity that the Hastings Cricket Festival should die out, but
such would appear to be the case, as no matches have up to now been
arranged for it. We hear that the last three years have each proved
disastrous financially, and the promoters probably consider that they
will be justified in contenting themselves with the week of Sussex
county cricket which has been allotted to them by the County Committee
at the end of August, when Warwickshire and Essex are to be engaged.

Of benefit matches there are not so many as usual. According to custom,
the Whit-Monday match at Lord’s, between Somerset and Middlesex, is
given as a benefit to a deserving member of the ground staff of the
M.C.C. V. A. Titchmarsh, at one time the mainstay of Herts, and nowadays
one of the most reliable of umpires, takes his turn on June 2nd, 3rd,
4th, and we wish him a bumper.

The great match of the year at Old Trafford, is the August Bank Holiday
battle with Yorkshire, and this is to be for the benefit of John
Tyldesley, who cannot possibly get more from it than he richly deserves,
both from his country and his county.

At the Oval, Walter Lees is to have a benefit, and he too deserves well
at the hands of Surrey cricketers, and was probably very unlucky never
to have actually taken part in a Test Match, after having so often last
season been amongst those selected to play for England.

At Lord’s the programme is no more interesting than is usually the case
at headquarters in the absence of an Australian team. Middlesex, of
course, will play all their home matches there, and, apart from the
three big-gate matches already referred to, there is nothing very
attractive about the fixtures arranged for Lord’s. Yorkshire, Sussex,
Derbyshire, Kent, and Notts play the M.C.C. and Ground, the latter
county, as usual, playing the opening match at Lord’s, beginning on the
first Wednesday in May. They are quite devoid of interest these three
days’ matches between some generally moderate Marylebone amateurs,
pulled through by the professional element, against a county team from
which the most prominent members are for this unimportant occasion
taking a rest.

We wonder if the management at Lord’s will one day be able to devise
some better plan of disposing of their dates and their money. To our
mind the game between Actors and Jockeys played last September might to
advantage be moved forward into the season proper.

It has always been very difficult to gain any reliable information as to
the personal profits made by members of Australian teams touring in this
country. Our enterprising contemporary the _Daily Mail_, has endeavoured
to shed some light upon the profits of the last tour, by the help of
some evidence given in the bankruptcy proceedings of S. E. Gregory.
According to Gregory’s evidence as reported, the members of the team
were to share and share alike in the profits of the tour. That was
tacitly agreed upon. All the members signed an agreement on board the
steamer _Majestic_, between America and London, by which they bound
themselves to keep order, to abstain from writing for the Press, and to
observe minor conditions. There had as yet been no balance-sheet of the
tour prepared, but it was anticipated that the gross proceeds would be
about £800 a man. Out of that the players had to pay their travelling
expenses to and from England, and while in England. The Melbourne
Cricket Club advanced the necessary money to players, and had it
deducted from each man’s share.

The players very seldom saw one another except on the cricket field or
on the boat coming out. One of the team had told him he had about £50
still to come, which would mean about £500 net for the tour. With regard
to his expenses in England, Gregory said: “I had to go very slow not to
spend more than £150. That amount went in cab fares, theatres, return
“shouts,” clothes, and cricket bats, although most of our bats were
presented to us.”

These figures are in a way interesting, and we cannot understand how the
Marylebone Club was able to lose so much money over their tour in
Australia, when Australian visitors are able to carry away a profit of
£800 per head amongst fourteen of them, besides enriching the coffers of
our counties to a very considerable extent.

The English team in South Africa succeeded in winning their first match
at Cape Town, against the Western Province XI., by an innings and 127
runs. Towards the total of 365 compiled by Mr. Warner’s team, the
captain scored 56, Denton 78, Mr. Fane 60, and Relf 61 not out. For the
Western Province Whitehead took six wickets for 160 runs, but Kotze, who
made such an impression in this country with his extra fast deliveries,
proved altogether unsuccessful.

The home team could only accomplish 26 and 142 in their two hands,
Coggings with 20 and 43 being their most successful batsman; whilst of
the English bowlers who were tried Haigh and Mr. J. N. Crawford have the
best figures, getting five wickets each for 31 and 5 runs respectively.

Against the country districts at Worcester in Cape Colony the visitors
won by an innings and 52 runs, and apparently the country districts
batsmen cannot be of any high calibre, since in their first innings Mr.
Hartley took nine wickets for 26 runs, and in their second Mr.
Leveson-Gower had five for 14; Mr. Leveson-Gower also scored 82 runs,
which constituted quite a successful first appearance for him in the
team.

We note from South African Exchanges that Major R. M. Poore, of
Hampshire fame, is again busy playing for his regiment, the 7th Hussars,
at Potchefstroom. His scores of 44 not out, and 115, prove him to be in
good form, so that he is likely to render a good account of himself when
he runs up against the English bowlers; as he did against Lord Hawke’s
team in 1896, when he took more than one century off the late George
Lohmann and some very fair amateur bowlers.



                         Is Foxhunting Doomed?


The above question, though not a very cheerful one to mention near the
commencement of the hunting season, is one which has nevertheless to be
faced by all hunting men, with whom the answer must chiefly rest. The
reply, as to most complex questions, must be both “yes” and “no.”
Geographically and in the very nature of things, hunting is doomed in
the ever-increasing black countries of mines and factories, of bricks
and mortar, of railways and canals, and with the modern innovation of
light railways even crossing our fields.

When even Salisbury Plain has become a military camp, who can say that
Dartmoor and Exmoor will not in another generation re-echo the sound of
bugle and trumpet instead of the horn of the hunter?

Still, where estates are large, the Master of Foxhounds, patient and
realising the changed conditions of modern hunting and fox preserving,
and the farmers long-suffering, as they will still be if properly
treated, foxhunting may yet survive for another century at least.

What hunting men must realise and acknowledge is that, now that the
feudal system is as extinct as the dodo, and scarcely one applicant for
a vacant farm can be found where we used to have twenty, hunting can
only be carried on through the goodwill of the occupier of the land
which is ridden over, whether landowner or tenant farmer. In the good
old times, before the disastrous season of 1879 and the extension of
foreign competition, when farmers were rich and the “fields” were small
and consisted chiefly of his own friends and neighbours, the farmer as
depicted in _Punch_ might be the first to ignore the warning cry of
“’ware wheat!” on his own farm, but now that times are permanently bad
but few farmers can afford to hunt, and railway facilities—and now that
modern Juggernaut the motor car (patronised even by masters of foxhounds
who will probably soon adopt a motor-hound van)—bring strangers by the
hundred who know not wheat from grass nor seeds from bare stubble, and
care less, and spend nothing in the neighbourhood, no wonder the crushed
farmer turns, and some even insist on their undoubted legal right of
warning off the trespasser, and if necessary protecting their own
property _vi et armis_ (with a pitchfork). Hunting, formerly arising out
of the absolute rights of the lord over his serf, continued through the
mutual good feeling between landlord and tenant, but now that many
landlords are absentees and scarcely know a single tenant by sight, they
cannot expect to let their land while still retaining it for sporting
purposes without compensating the tenant or recognising the sacrifices
which he endures for sport. One who was “blooded” by that best of
sportsmen, the late Sir Charles Slingsby, half a century ago, at the
early age of six years, and has had a life-long experience of every
phase of country life both as landowner and farmer, while equally keen
on both hunting and shooting, can see a good deal of both sides of this
question.

To begin at the top, though the Master of Foxhounds, especially
nowadays, has of all men the most need of tact and the patience of Job,
how many are there in possession of those estimable qualities?

Although James Pigg had his prototype, dear old Jorrocks must be
regarded as somewhat of a caricature; but Lord Scamperdale and his
bully, Jack Spraggon, were taken from real characters, and the race, I
fear, is not now altogether extinct. I have known a master, an old
country squire and no ignorant upstart, abuse as a vulpicide another
poor crippled squire in his carriage before the whole field, with the
not unnatural result that he who for fifty years had preserved foxes
throughout his vast extent of coverts solely for the benefit of others,
as he could never hunt himself, went home and ordered every fox on his
estate to be killed for two years as an object lesson; thereby quite
ruining one day in every week. One cannot approve of such wholesale
punishing of the innocent with the guilty, but cannot wonder at it. The
same master, before throwing off, abused publicly on his own doorstep at
a meet another landowner from whose five-acre covert I had myself had
the satisfaction of holloaing away no less than seven foxes while
shooting the week before. Another Master of Foxhounds in my hearing
slanged the best of sportsmen and a keen fox preserver because he
himself in a fit of temper had drawn blank at a hard gallop two hundred
acres of coverts from which, to my own knowledge, five foxes at least
had been halloaed away. My own Master of Foxhounds, a real good sort and
an intimate friend, once received me, until I laughed him out of it
instead of taking offence myself, with unaccountable coolness at
Peterborough Hound Show; though I think he might have guessed that the
unpleasing present which he had that morning received of the pads of a
litter of cubs was scarcely likely to be sent by a keen preserver of
foxes for twenty years with the well-known postmark of his own parish.
Obviously I myself was the most injured as well as insulted party.
Still, happily, these cases are exceptions in an experience of some
scores of masters in every part of England, and I may especially mention
the courtesy shown to a stranger in days of old in the Croome and
Blackmore Vale countries.

It is vain for a Master of Foxhounds, not himself a landowner, to state
that foxes do no harm to game, to me who have counted eighteen nests,
say one hundred brace of partridges, destroyed around a single field;
not that one grudged it, but one likes sometimes to have one’s
sacrifices a little appreciated. We feel well repaid for the hundreds of
rabbits consumed in the summer if only one of the right sort is found in
our coverts when needed, and the master cheerily shouts as he dashes
past, “I knew we could always depend on you, old chap.” Again, masters
and fields, especially non-subscribers from towns, do not recognise the
difficulty of showing foxes when needed. A good fox is not like a
hand-reared pheasant, a tame animal to come when whistled for, but a
wild animal going far afield and lying out in turnips or taking refuge
in the tops of pollard trees; coverts may have been lately shot, timber
may have been felled, a strange dog may have hunted them; worst of all,
a fox may have been chopped there, or a score of things happened of
which the grumblers are ignorant. A reputed millionaire Master of
Foxhounds in a grass country brought his oats, hay and straw from
abroad, losing hundreds of pounds of goodwill from the aggrieved farmers
for every ten pounds saved. And now for the average man, who hunts to
ride, or often only to sport pink at dinners or balls, and actually
seems to believe himself that he confers a favour on the poor farmer by
ruining his crops and breaking his fences and leaving his gates open,
and whom he will sometimes curse incontinently if he is the least slow
in throwing open his gates to the trespasser, to whom in rare cases he
may throw a copper as to a beggar, contemptuously. Such an one buys
everything at a distance, not only clothes, boots, saddlery and horse
clothing, and stable utensils, but hay, corn and straw, while he buys
his horses from the London dealer and not from the farmer. The chief
reason of this is not only thoughtlessness but the fact that too many
masters are morally the slaves of the servants who rob them, and who,
with an ignorant, timid, or indifferent master, will often represent
local goods as inferior, and even make them so to secure the
commissions, as the cook does with eggs, poultry, meat, &c. It always
puzzles me, too, why hunting men will pay two to three hundred guineas
to a London dealer for a pig in a poke rather than buy a hunter from the
breeder and trainer whose animal they can see day after day doing an
excellent performance with hounds, and of which they may have any
reasonable practical trial in the field before buying. The grooms can
make the purchase a failure if they do not get substantial “regulars,”
and their master is a duffer, and many men explain that with dealers
they can swap and change, forgetting that it is the dealer and not
themselves who is sure to benefit by each exchange.

It astonishes me as a practical breeder how valuable studs can be reared
as well as herds of pedigree cattle and flocks of sheep in the Shires,
where on every day in the week, Sundays only excepted, any one of half a
dozen packs may stampede the lot, causing laming, staking and slipping,
or casting their young; for it is trouble and risk enough with horses
alone to have to round up and shut up all one’s brood mares and young
stock rather than have them excited and dispersed over the adjoining
parish through gaps and gates left open. It is not the fliers of the
hunt who do the most damage, as experience teaches them to ride at the
post or stiffest part of a fence that a horse will clear, instead of
blundering through, but the ignoble army of skirters, who will tear down
any fence in their efforts to regain the safety of the hard high road.
Fortunately, the boastful thruster who shows off by turning a somersault
through a new gate when hounds are not running is rare. Much might be
done by reducing the quantity and improving the quality of the second
horsemen, especially in the crowded Shires.

To sum up; the hunting man would do well in his own interest to show
appreciation of the self-denial of the farmer by buying horses, forage
and all that he can in the country which he affects, and avoid as far as
possible all injury to growing crops, especially when hounds are not
running or scent is bad—the days are only too few and choice when one
must go straight and fast or go home—and then little harm results.
Fences need seldom be broken nor gates left open where stock is, and any
man who can afford to hunt can afford to pay a good subscription to
enable the Hunt to compensate the farmer by removing and replacing the
barbed wire, or, better still, supplying timber for fencing instead, and
tactfully recouping Mrs. Farmer for loss of her just perquisite,
poultry, even if, with the privilege of her sex, she sometimes opens her
mouth a little widely and loudly. I have heard masters of hounds
explaining to those who, like myself, have seen “bold Reynard” (see
Sponge) carrying off fowls in broad daylight, that foxes do not injure
poultry. Unfortunately the vulpine instinct is to prepare for a rainy
day, and though we are assured that foxes leave home preserves alone as
a reserve fund, it makes little difference whether neighbours or
“travellers” clear off and bury the feathered contents of our henroost
for future use, whether hungry or not, as the best fed dog will do with
a number of bones.

[Illustration:

  RETURNING FROM MARKET, 1838.
  (From Sir Walter Gilbey’s paper on “Farms and Small Holdings.” _Live
    Stock Journal Almanac 1906._)

  _Photo by W. Shayer, Senr._
]

Still, fortunately, Mr. and Mrs. Farmer are a good sort, the former with
an innate love of sport and the latter not impervious to soft sawder if
laid on judiciously; and if game preservers will unselfishly remember
the lines, even if exaggerated, that

             “One fox upon foot more enjoyment will bring
             Than twice twenty thousand pheasants on wing;”

and if each Master of Foxhounds will spend as much of the needful as he
can locally, and remember that in the twentieth century men do not come
out to be d——d; and those who take part in the pleasures of the chase,
would subscribe to the great and increasing expenses of the packs which
they favour (?) with their presence, observe the courtesy which they
would show when “standing down,” and show some consideration for farmers
and their gates, fences and crops, I have no fear but that the farmer
will do his part as he has hitherto done in the more prosperous past;
and to the question as to whether hunting is doomed to extinction or
not, we may hopefully and confidently respond, in the words of the good
old song:

           Oh, perish the thought, may the day never come
           When the gorse is uprooted, the foxhound is dumb.

                                                             J. J. D. J.



                        The Sportsman’s Library.


The “_Live Stock Journal Almanac_”[1] for 1906 contains a great many
matters of interest. Sir Walter Gilbey’s article on “Farms and Small
Holdings as Affected by Enclosures, Markets and Fairs” is full of
information, and is particularly opportune in respect of the author’s
remarks on small holdings. It is made clear that the oft-urged plea for
the return of the excess urban population to rural pursuits cannot be
acceded to under existing conditions. It was right of common that made
the small holding possible in old days; and now that successive
enclosure acts have removed the facilities the small holder enjoyed for
pasturing his stock, the situation is radically altered.

Mr. G. S. Lowe contributes a very entertaining paper on “Horse Dealers
Past and Present,” a subject full of possibilities, and of which he
makes good use. Mr. C. J. Cornish deals with a topic that appeals to the
naturalist in “Animals’ Foster-Children”; he reviews numerous curious
cases of adoption, the strangest, perhaps, being the appropriation of
chickens by a cat; the reverse, a hen taking possession of kittens, has
also been recorded. All who wish to see betting placed on a sound and
intelligible footing will be glad to see that Sir Walter Gilbey is
heartily in favour of adopting the _pari mutuel_, or totaliser system,
in this country; he makes out a strong case for it in “How Betting
should Aid Agriculture.” The advantages of the system are so manifest
that it is strange we should not have accepted it in England long since.
Mr. C. B. Pitman, as usual, writes on “Thoroughbreds in 1905,” reviewing
the performances of the more conspicuous horses of the season, the sales
at Newmarket and Doncaster, and the show of the Royal Commission. Mr.
Scarth Dixon writes on Cleveland bays and Yorkshire coach horses, and
“E.” considers the Hackney: we notice that he regards the classes of
Hackneys at the Royal this year as much above the average. The
pony-breeding industry continues to make progress. Breeders of ponies
for polo—all interested in the game—should read Mr. John Hill’s
informing article on “Ponies in 1905.” In “Show Hunters of the Year” the
successes of various studs and individual horses are reviewed; a
portrait of Mr. Stokes’ gelding, Whiskey, accompanies the article. Mr.
Vero Shaw deals with “Harness Horses”; old favourites, as he observes,
have been mostly to the fore during the year. Passing over the very
instructive articles on the heavy breeds of horses, we come to an essay
by Mr. Harold Leeney, M.R.C.V.S., on “Brain Diseases in Animals,” an
obscure subject to the lay reader. Mr. Leeney, however, tells us that
the veterinary practitioner has to deal with a good many cases of brain
and spinal cord trouble among domestic animals. Mr. C. Stein contributes
an interesting article on “The Jersey Cow at Home,” while Mr. John
Thornton’s comprehensive review of Shorthorns in 1905 is full of
interest as usual. All the more notable varieties of cattle and sheep
are dealt with in turn by acknowledged experts, but space forbids us to
glance at the contents of these essays. Mr. F. Gresham must be thanked
for his article on the “Working Spaniel,” directly and closely appealing
to sportsmen who have ever used spaniels. Mr. Tegetmeier’s article on
“The Management of Farmyard Poultry” contains many practical and useful
hints.

Admirably illustrated and full of items of information indispensable to
the dweller in the country, the _Almanac_ seems to us to be more
complete than ever this year.

We have received Part V. of “George Fothergill’s Sketch Book,” a work by
this time well known to sportsmen who can appreciate clever drawings of
hunting subjects, as well as to a wider circle of readers and
picture-lovers. A coloured portrait of Mr. George Rimington, eldest
brother of the soldier who made such a reputation in South Africa, forms
the leading feature: it is faced by “Gone Away,” a set of hunting verses
which possess spirit, rhythm and swing, recalling “We’ll all go
a-hunting to-day.” The majority of the pages are occupied by sketches of
Haughton le Skerne in co. Durham and its environs. The career of William
Bewick, the artist-naturalist, furnishes Dr. Fothergill with subject
matter for an interesting biographical sketch.

Thomas’ _Hunting Diary_, edited by Messrs. W. May and A. Coaten, and
published at the _County Gentleman and Land and Water_ office, grows
larger and more complete every season. Mr. A. E. Burnaby contributes a
good article on “The Art of Riding to Hounds.” Mr. Richard Ord has some
very judicious observations to make on “The Duty of the Foxhunter
towards the Farmer.” “Maintop,” the pseudonym adopted by a well-known
Irish sportsman and writer, discusses “Knowledge of Hounds” in a
particularly practical spirit, and incidentally touches lightly but
firmly on the “sins of some ladies” in the hunting field. Then we have
some chapters on hunting clothes and their care, and some informing
pages concerning the packs of foxhounds abroad. It will perhaps surprise
some readers to learn that foxhunting exists in nearly every British
Colony.

_Gale’s Almanac_, published at 12, St. Bride Street, E.C., is full of
information indispensable to racing men and to athletes, containing, as
it does, a mine of facts relating to the turf, to cricket, football,
billiards, athletics, rowing, lawn tennis, boxing and swimming. Racing
occupies the bulk of the _Almanac_, and the information bearing on
horses, their performances, form and prospects, is well worth careful
study. The “Racing Facts” in particular appeal to us. The _Almanac_ is
well illustrated with portraits of owners, trainers, jockeys and horses
of note.

The ever-welcome _Badminton Diary_, published at 43, Dover Street, W.,
makes its appearance this season in a new cover, which makes it look
somewhat larger than the handy friend now so familiar. The new issue
contains several new features, chiefly appealing to the motorist and
polo player: the former will find a “motor trip register,” a list of
motor records, motor road signs and identification marks. The lists of
polo clubs, fixtures and records are also new.

It is interesting to see how fully those to whom is entrusted the
development of our colonies are realising the value of game as an
attraction to settlers of the most desirable stamp. We have received
from the Agent-General of British Columbia a beautifully illustrated
pamphlet which contains full particulars of the game, beast, bird and
fish of that colony, with much helpful advice as to ways and means. The
vast areas of virgin country offer great choice of game to the shooting
man: three species of bear, four species of mountain sheep; also wapiti,
caribou and deer. Various species of grouse, wildfowl and snipe are
abundant, while every stream and lake offers salmon or trout-fishing, or
both.



                        In Pursuit of the Pike.


If anybody had the requisite industry to compile a history of modern
pike-fishing, it would be found that 1905 would stand out very
prominently in at least two respects. In the first place, it has been a
remarkable year for the number of heavy specimen fish caught by honest
angling with rod and line; and in the second place, the year has been
noteworthy for the number of curious stories which have appeared in the
sporting prints dealing with what is commonly called the “voracity” of
the pike. I have no wish to make this article a mere epitome of the
angling reports which appear week by week in the various fishing
journals, but as I have for many years past compiled a diary of all
important catches, I am entitled to say that 1905 was a specially
interesting year in the matter of big pike hooked and landed. This last
reservation is needed, for we all hook, but very rarely land, the
biggest fish in the waters wherein we angle. For instance, it has been
my own ambition for years to catch a 20 lb. pike, and I have spent
months and months at the water side in its vain pursuit; yet nothing
bigger than a ten-pounder has ever fallen to my lot, while I have had
the grim pleasure of seeing comparative novices hook and carry away with
unconcern fish I myself would almost have given an ear to have played on
my own rod. Yet I verily believe _I_ have hooked fish of specimen size.
Thus, I have an old spoon bait which is not merely indented with
numberless teeth marks, but is even jagged and torn as though it had
been placed in a vice and then wrenched. It was no ten-pounder which did
that! But this and all other similar phantom fish are for the moment
excluded from our chronicles. We will deal only with pike whose capture
and weight are completely verified.

To deal with big pike is to open the door for the weaver of fishing
yarns. A good deal of misconception exists as to the weight of pike.
There is a boatman on Windermere Lake who tells you, and possibly
believes it, that he knows of a pike at the southern end of the lake
which must be 50 or 60 lb. weight. He has seen it! He will tell you how
it pulls ducks beneath the water, how it takes a spinning bait and
crumples rod and line ere it breaks everything before it, and he will
solemnly warn novices not to allow themselves to be pulled out of their
boat by this insatiable monster. All this is moonshine. The Lake
district is favourable to the growth of big pike. Lakes ten, eight and
six miles long, swarming with trout and perch, offer exceptional
facilities for pike, yet very big fish are rarely caught. For many years
past I have only heard of one twenty-pounder, though all the lakes are
keenly fished. The record is a pike of 34 lb., caught in Bassenthwaite
in 1861, on a spinning bait. The fact is that only few pike reach 20
lb., and fish over that weight, when caught, should be celebrated by a
dinner and a fitting glass case. No, the modern pike is not the creature
of our youthful imagination. I make it a point to verify all reported
fish of over 20 lb., and it is curious how, after a few letters, these
monster fish dwindle away. Thus, a 39 lb. pike from Ireland, reported in
_The Field_ and _Fishing Gazette_ in 1904, turned out to be a
twenty-eight-pounder when my inquiries were completed. All the apology
offered by the correspondent for this most sinful deception was that it
was a “mistake.” Then what is the biggest pike of which we have any
record caught by angling? The honour belongs to Ireland. A pike was
caught there in 1900, and sent to the _Fishing Gazette_ Office, and it
was made clear beyond doubt that it weighed 40½ lb. But the fish was
caught in the spawning season, was heavy with several pounds of spawn,
and in normal conditions would probably not have weighed more than about
35 lb. The fish next to this should really come before it, for it was
caught in the early part of this year, in the winter, was free from
spawn, and every ounce of it seems to be honest weight. It was caught in
Lough Mask by a water bailiff named Connor, and its weight was verified
by railway officials who saw it weighed, as well as by Williams and Son,
the Dublin naturalists, to whom it was sent for preservation. It weighed
38 lb. Unhappily, we are not so clear as to the method of its capture. I
wrote to Williams and Son, and received a letter back in which they
lamented its inglorious end. They told me it was netted. I published
this letter in the _Fishing Gazette_, when lo, the Rev. Mr. Curran wrote
and denied it, and affirmed most positively that Connor caught it by
fair fishing, on a rod and line, with a Blue Phantom as bait. Coming a
little lower in the scale, there is no doubt at all about the next best
fish to this monster from the Mask. The honour of catching the record
English pike belongs to Mr. Alfred Jardine, who in 1879 caught one in a
private water of the weight of 37 lb. He had already previously captured
one of 36 lb. Since then that record has only twice been beaten by the
two Irish pike mentioned above, and, as I have shown, one of them should
be disqualified by reason of being with spawn, and the other is still
invested with mystery as to the method of its capture. If we admit
gaffed or netted fish into our chronicles we must enlarge our figures,
for netting and gaffing are purposely carried on when the fish work into
the shallows to deposit their spawn, and they naturally reach heavier
weights then than at other times. There are authentic records of fish
over 40 lb. thus caught.

In the early part of 1905, Major Mainwaring verified in _The Field_, two
pike gaffed in Lough Mask—one 42 lb., the other 48 lb.; the latter had
just spawned; otherwise, as the Major wrote, it might very easily have
brought down the scale at 60 lb. Then there is a record of a pike
weighing 61 lb. being caught in the River Bann in Ireland, in 1894,
measuring over four feet, and containing over 7 lb. of spawn; and we
have English records, mainly from the Norfolk Broads and the
Lincolnshire Fens, of pike netted during the spawning period and
weighing full 40 lb. We are face to face with the fact, therefore, that
we can verify the capture of a pike 37 lb. by an English angler, and
that by netting or gaffing, pike up to 60 lb. or thereabouts have been
taken out of Irish waters.

It is necessary that these figures should be stated, because they are
useful as a standard to compare the pike caught in the early months of
1905. The record for the season weighed 33½ lb. Quite a number over 30
lb. were caught, more so than for a number of years past. But, to my
mind, the two facts of greatest importance which emerge from a study of
my pike records are these: first, that February is the very best month
of the year for catching pike; and second, that spinning is the
deadliest method. Take the first of these propositions. In February last
Mr. Oliver Procter and two friends had a day’s pike fishing on a private
water in Nottinghamshire. The name of the place was not given, but
internal evidence in their narrative tells me that it was the private
lake at Clumber, the Duke of Newcastle’s place. In one day these three
rods caught, by spinning, fifty-six pike, weighing 468½ lb. The best
fish weighed 31 lb. and the smallest was actually 6 lb. One rod got 32
fish, weighing 275 lb.; another rod had 17 fish, weighing 119½ lb.; the
other rod, Mr. Procter himself, had seven fish, weighing 74 lb. The
latter average is very high, but it included the best fish of the day,
the 31-pounder. As each rod could only keep three fish, all the rest
were safely returned to the water. I have asked the reader to note that
this was a February catch and that they were caught spinning. A few days
later, in the same month, three Nottingham anglers had a day on this
same water. By spinning they accounted for 52 pike, weighing 425 lb. The
heaviest was 33½ lb., was the record pike of the year, and was caught by
Mr. F. W. K. Wallis, of Nottingham. I have not yet done with February,
nor with spinning. In the same month two Wolverhampton anglers, one of
them a clergyman, fishing a water not named, caught 52 pike between
them, all by spinning. The total weight was not recorded, but they gave
away over 2 cwt. to the deserving poor of Wolverhampton. Another
February case was that of Mr. R. C. H. Corfe and Mr. M. R. L. White, of
the Fly Fishers’ Club. Spinning, they caught 55 pike in a day’s angling.
The largest was only 18½ lb., but they touched bigger fish, for as they
were landing a four-pounder it was wrenched off the hooks and carried
away by a pike which Mr. White estimated at 30 lb. or thereabouts. They
were all caught by spinning dace or sprats on an Abbey Mills spinner.
Again, in that same February, a college student reported to _The Field_
how, in two hours’ spinning, during a snow-storm, using a silver Devon
on the Wye near Hereford, he caught four pike, 27½ lb., 15 lb., 8 lb.
and 6 lb. These records, all from 1905, surely establish February’s
claim to rank as the premier pike month of the year. Going further back,
I find that other years substantiate this claim. Mr. Jardine, in his
book on pike-fishing, gives a list of sixty record fish, and thirty of
them belong to the end of January and the month of February.

There can be no doubt, therefore, that the angler who defers his pike
fishing till the winter is nearing the end has the root of the matter in
him. There are some waters in Lincolnshire, the home of big pike, where
you are not thanked to go a-fishing till near the Christmas holidays.
The old couplet about winter “driving into madness every plunging pike”
was founded upon very close observation. The dying away of weeds and the
consequent loss of shelter to the pike, and the hibernation of the small
fish upon which he preys, added to the frost, give him a keen appetite,
and it is then that the angler has his best chance, for, after all, you
are likelier to catch any fish when he is hungry than when he is lazy
and fat and has no need to bestir himself to find a meal. This very
naturally brings me to the second of my propositions, that spinning is
in winter the deadliest method of capturing pike. In the early autumn
live-baiting and paternostering are, to my thinking, the more effective.
The pike is then in his lair. He is lying up in his weed bed, grimly
watching all that goes on in the watery world outside. You take your
live bait, either on float-tackle or on a paternoster, and you drop it
right in front of his nose; and he is a very sulky pike indeed who
allows it to pass him by without a protest. If you are spinning you may
cover acres of water and never have the luck to get near enough to him
to attract his attention, but in winter the conditions are altogether
different. Cold and hunger have driven him out of his summer fastnesses.
He is roaming hither and thither in search of food. Every faculty is on
the alert, and woe betide the hapless creature that comes within the
range of his vision. It matters not whether it is a rat swimming across
to his hole on the opposite bank, a dab-chick aimlessly swimming about,
a water-hen or a duckling, it is all the same to Master Pike. What more
natural, therefore, that a well-spun bait drawn across his very eyes
should in a moment rouse him to anger? All the records I have already
given were the result of spinning. Now in the Badminton volume on Pike
Mr. Pennell, who is a confirmed pike-spinner, rather suggests that the
biggest pike are generally caught with live-bait and not by spinning.
True, Mr. Jardine’s 37-pounder was on live-bait, but the Irish
38-pounder, according to my clerical correspondent, was on a spinner.
This year’s record, a 33½ pounder, was on a spinner, and so was Mr.
Procter’s best fish, a 31-pounder. The record of 1903, a 34-lb. pike
taken in the Wye, was caught by spinning a dace on Abbey tackle, and in
February, it may be added. That same year Canon Dyke, of Ashford, Kent,
wrote to _The Field_, saying that spinning had always brought him good
results. He instanced several pike up to 28 lb. he himself had caught
while spinning. More conclusive than this, however, was a remarkable
diary published in _The Field_ in 1903. In 204 days’ fishing the diarist
caught 1,665 pike, an average of about eight fish per day. The gross
weight was 2 tons 10 cwt. 62 lb., and it works out at an average of
nearly 3½ lb. per fish; but the most striking thing about the record is
this, that all were caught by spinning. About a dozen were taken on a
spoon, the remainder fell victims to spinning a five-inch dace. The
moral of this is obvious. If you want to catch large pike and many of
them, you must spin. If you merely want an isolated fish, if you set
your mind on some monster whom you know to inhabit a certain hole, you
may adopt the method of the dry-fly man and stalk him with a lively
roach of ½ lb. weight, but if you are in earnest and wish to make a big
bag, you most assuredly will have to arm yourself with plenty of
spinning tackle. I can give instances without end of good pike which
have fallen to the spinner. Here are a recent few at random: a
27-pounder, 1903, from the Irish Blackwater, caught by spinning a trout;
a 34½-pounder, caught with a spoon, by a Bolton angler, in 1903, at
Lochmaben, near Dumfries, and so on. And here are other fine records to
the credit of the spinner. In September, 1903, two members of the
Palmerston Angling Society, fishing two days in a Cambridgeshire water,
landed 127 pike, all of them falling to pickled sprats and dace.

Then there is a remarkable catch by Mr. F. Shroeder, a York angler, who,
fishing Hornsea Mere, near Hull, in 1902, caught 65 pike in a day,
weighing 348 lb. The heaviest was 13½ lb. Another day Mr. Shroeder tells
me he caught ten pike in the same water before breakfast, weighing 110
lb., including a 23-pounder and a 20-pounder. I asked Mr. Shroeder how
he got them, and his reply is, in the morning by spinning a dead bait on
an ordinary flight, and in the afternoon by live-baiting, but
principally by spinning. I have just tracked another remarkable catch to
the credit of the spinner. Mr. Albert Shlor, of Worksop, wrote in
October this year to the fishing papers, stating that he had just caught
twenty-one pike, in a private lake, in five and a half hours, of a total
weight of over 149 lb., the heaviest being 13 lb. 11 oz. I wrote to Mr.
Shlor, and he tells me he caught them all by spinning. Fifteen were
taken on a Colorado spoon. Then he put on a dead gudgeon, on an ordinary
flight made by himself, and having no flanges or spinning arrangement,
the spin being obtained, as in Mr. Shroeder’s case just mentioned, by
bending the tail of the fish. Well, out of seven runs with this tackle
Mr. Shlor, who is only twenty years of age, landed six pike. That is
something like fishing, and it is something like spinning. For, as Mr.
Shlor tells me, his brother, who was fishing with him and using live
bait, only landed two fish, and only had three runs altogether! But if
this is not enough, Mr. White, of the Fly Fishers’ Club, says in a
letter that he has frequently had up to forty-five pike to his own rod
in a single day by spinning, and once, in company with another, they
took seventy-five in a day’s spinning, though they “shook off,” all
under about 10 lb. or so. Had they retained all, their total would have
been fully 100 pike for the day. And while this is in the printer’s
hands, I have a letter from Mr. O. Overbeck, of Grimsby, the champion
carp fisher, who tells me that it was spinning dead roach that he
caught, at Clumber in 1903, thirty-one pike in four hours, of a total
weight of 187½ lb.

Now, if spinning is the deadliest method, it is a fair question to
inquire which particular form of spinner holds the field for the best
results. Every pike angler has his favourite lure. Personally, I find
the spoon the most effective. In an article in _The Field_ once I gave
the tabulated results of my season’s pike fishing. I used two artificial
baits, a Kill-devil Devon and a common spoon, and pickled dace on an
Archer spinner. The spoon easily came first, then the Kill-devil. I
obtained the worst results with the natural bait, but the local
conditions and personal preference count in this vexed question. For
instance, in the Lake district a spoon is always the most effective.
Pike there feed on perch every day of their lives. There is nothing
tempting or novel to them in the sight of a spinning perch. Put a spoon
on, or a Phantom, and you will be into good fish almost immediately.
There is even room for taste in spoons. You may fish half a day on
Esthwaite Lake with a plated spoon and never touch a fish. Change it for
a Norwich spoon, on which is painted the head and eye of a fish, and you
may catch half-a-dozen good pike in the hour. Who shall account for
this? There are other waters where the spoon is never looked at by a
fish. You must have real fish for bait, or you will do nothing at all.
My own observation leads me to this conclusion, that in the North of
England the spoon is the best lure; in the Midlands and the South
natural fish have the advantage as bait. Finally, a word as to size. It
seems to me that in spinning for pike the very reverse holds good to the
ascertained facts of live-baiting. In the latter form of fishing you
must have large baits to catch large fish. Mr. Jardine’s 37-pounder was
caught with a ½-lb. roach. Some anglers—Mr. Pennell is one—use and
recommend jack up to 2 lb. as lively bait for their big brothers and
parents, but in spinning you must use a small bait. If it is a spoon, or
an imitation fish, anything over three inches and a half is a waste of
money and a menace to good results. Pickled dace or roach should never
exceed five inches. Mr. M. R. L. White has often emphasised this point.
He says he has many times turned a bad day into a good one by changing
to the smallest bait he had, and he tells of one occasion where,
obstinately sticking to big bait, he hardly got a fish, while his
friend, fishing the same water with him, but using smaller bait, landed
thirty-five. A correspondent in the _Fishing Gazette_ last year drew
attention to the fact that the three largest pike which had come under
his personal notice were taken on small baits, one of 38 lb. on a spoon
only an inch and a half long; another of 32½ lb. on a roach of three and
a half inches, and a third of 30 lb., also on a very small roach. I am
entitled to claim, therefore, that this rapid survey of some recent
records of pike fishing demonstrates three facts which are worth
remembering: that February or thereabouts is the best time to catch
pike, that spinning is the deadliest method, and that a small spinner,
whether natural or artificial, has undoubtedly all the advantages on its
side.

It is with some diffidence that I approach the second half of my
subject. For years the angling humorist has poked fun at what the
newspapers all agree in terming the “voracity” of the pike. Let me say
at the outset that the reader will find nothing here of that pike which
chased an angler round a three-acre field in a snow-storm; nor of that
other pike which leaped out of the water, seized the angler’s pannier
and made off with its contents; nor of that other which, when an
unfortunate rodsman fell into the river, kindly took him in his mouth
and gently conveyed him to the bank again. The recital of these yarns
must be sought for elsewhere. Still, I cannot help recalling the capital
story told by Lord Claud Hamilton at the last dinner of the Fly Fishers’
Club. An Irishman had caught a big pike. Noting a lump in its stomach,
he cut it open. “As I cut it open there was a mighty rush and a flapping
of wings, and away flew a wild duck; and, begorra, when I looked inside,
there was a nest with four eggs, and she had been after sitting on that
nest.” The pike has always been fair game for the yarn-spinner, and some
of the very best of his products have naturally come from Ireland. The
most curious story of 1905 hailed from Pickering, in Yorkshire. Dr.
Robertson, of that town, is its author. He tells how he was sent for by
a farmer friend to see his son, who, so ran the message, had been bitten
by a fish. On arrival, the doctor found that the lad’s foot bore
unmistakable marks of teeth, and the wound was so severe it required
stitching. The lad’s story was that he had been bathing. After leaving
the river he sat on the edge of the bank, with his foot near the water,
and while there a pike jumped up and bit him. His cries attracted a
woman, who bound his foot up and assisted him home. To complete the
story, a local angler was shown the spot, and on casting over it with a
spinning bait he hooked and caught a 6 lb. pike. Now, there is nothing
improbable in this, though a good deal of unkind fun was poked at Dr.
Robertson. But the doctor was responsible for nothing beyond telling the
tale; and remember, he had seen the lad and stitched up the wound, he
had seen the woman who had carried him home, and he had seen the angler
who subsequently caught a pike at the very spot. What we know of the
propensities of the pike is sufficient to make us believe anything which
throws light upon the ferocity of his nature. Most anglers have had
their hands gashed by the snapping brutes during the operation of
releasing tackle on waters where most of the fish have to be returned. I
have seen an oar deeply bitten by a 10 lb. pike; and one of my heavy
fishing boots has marks on the heel where a small pike once caught on
like grim death. Indeed, my companion had to kick him loose. For my own
part, I believe Dr. Robertson’s story. He had no motive to embellish it,
and there were so many parties to it that exaggeration would sooner or
later have been discovered. As it is, the incident is a striking
corroboration of the remarkable stories collected by Mr. Pennell in the
Badminton volume on Pike.

Now, the orthodox stories of pike “voracity” divide themselves into two
clearly-defined sections. The first of these is concerned with its
gluttonous appetite—its onslaught on smaller fish, its appetite for
rats, ducks and kindred morsels. I have collected some thousands of
these incidents. But why reproduce them? We all know that the pike has a
fearful appetite, that his swallowing powers are enormous, and that
sometimes, to use an expressive Americanism, he bites off more than he
can chew. Thus, we read of a 3½ lb. pike choked trying to swallow a 1¼
lb. trout; of a 9 lb. pike containing a 1½ lb. perch; of a 28 lb. pike
containing a 6 lb. grilse; of a 2 lb. pike taking a spoon when he was so
full that the tail of a pound trout was protruding from his mouth; of an
Irish pike of 3½ lb. containing a trout of 1¼ lb.; and of others
containing ducks, rats, waterhens, and even stoats. The plain fact is,
of course, that the pike is a creature of prey, and like all creatures
of prey, he is savage and implacable. He eats till he is full, and even
then he takes good care not to refuse any tempting morsel which comes
within range of his fearful jaws. His destructiveness can hardly be
estimated in figures. If he eats his own weight per week, which is
surely under the estimate, he requires a fish colony for his own table
purposes alone.

A pike of 25 lb. was this season netted in the Lune, a first-class
northern trout-stream. By his look he was an old fish, and he was well
fed. How many tons of trout had he got through in his long lifetime? It
is bad enough when they confine themselves to big fish, but when they
get among the fry it is even worse, for they are destroying the very
sources of a stream’s productiveness. And, alas, they have a liking for
young and tender fish, as the keepers of our best waters know to their
cost. Last year a pike of 4 lb. 11 oz. was caught by a Birmingham
angler, and on opening it at the clubhouse its stomach was found to
contain no fewer than 274 small fish of an inch to an inch and a half
long, the fry of roach and bream. No wonder that in trout and salmon
waters the pike is regarded as a pest and is kept down by every method
the wit of the harassed keeper can devise.

To my mind, the most interesting pike stories are those which centre
round its capture. What must Mr. White’s feelings have been like when
his 4 lb. pike was snatched off the hooks and carried away by a
30-pounder just as he was about to gaff it? Or that of the angler in
Tyrone, who, reeling in an 8 lb. pike, had it attacked by a much larger
pike, which, though it could not pull the fish off the hooks, scored it
with wounds five inches long, and half an inch deep.

Most of us have had similar experiences, if on a small scale. In a trout
stream where pike abound, it is a common thing to lose your trout just
at the supreme moment through a pike thinking he has a greater right to
him than you have. But it is not often that the angler is so fortunate
as was a correspondent who wrote to the _Fishing Gazette_. His 2 lb.
trout was seized by a 5 lb. pike. The pike held on while the angler
reeled in towards the boat; then the attendant slipped his net beneath
them and landed the pair. Thus was piracy adequately punished.
Sometimes, ignoring the bait, a pike will seize the float or the lead,
and his teeth becoming entangled in the line he will be landed.

Once an account appeared in _The Field_ of a good-sized pike caught in a
most remarkable fashion. A net of fish as bait was hanging over the side
of a boat. A pike attacked these fish, and becoming involved in the mesh
was drawn aboard and killed. I think there can be no reasonable doubt
about the fact that pike do not feel pain. Else why do they repeatedly
go for the same bait? I was once minnowing for trout and hooked a big
pike. He broke me and sailed away with a yard of gut, to say nothing of
three triangles somewhere about his jaws. I put on another minnow and
resumed fishing. Two or three times that pike followed my bait to a yard
of the side, irresolute. At last he took it. He was more than I could
manage, and again he broke me, and again he sailed off with minnow,
hooks, and half my cast. He had now two minnow tackles about him,
representing six triangles, or eighteen hooks in all, and if they caused
no pain they at least must have produced discomfort. But note what
happened. In my bag I found by accident I had put in an old spoon on
gimp. I put this on my trout line and cast again. Would it be believed,
that pike came once more and took my spoon. Surely, thought I, he is
mine this time. I played him ten minutes and then drew him to the side,
but somehow, my line fouled and we parted company, myself minus a spoon
and triangles. Altogether that pike had twenty-four hooks of mine in his
possession. I returned next day with a pike rod and tackle, but he had
had enough. Now, although this is an extreme case, it is almost
paralleled by other experiences. An angler last season on Frensham Pond,
Surrey, using two rods, hooked a pike and lost it on one tackle, the
line breaking. Within five minutes the same pike took the other bait and
was landed on the other rod, with the first tackle securely fixed in his
jaws. A very curious instance was reported from the Thames. In March,
1903, a Mr. Wilton hooked a pike which broke away and took his Archer
spinner with him. On February 28th, 1904, eleven months later, Mr.
Wilton and his nephew were fishing in the same spot. The nephew hooked a
pike, and, on taking it out of the water, Mr. Wilton’s spinner was found
in his lower jaw. There was no doubt about it being the same spinner, as
Brookes, the fisherman to the Guards Club at Maidenhead, supplied it and
was there when it was recovered, and identified it by his wrappings. The
lapse of a year had dulled the pike’s memory of the earlier encounter,
but there are innumerable instances of pike going for bait twice within
a few minutes. Thus a Thames reporter tells how a trout spinner, in
March, 1905, saw his bait taken and his line broken by a pike. He put on
another bait and tackle. At the very first cast he hooked and landed the
same pike, and thus recovered intact his first flight. Obviously the
fish had felt neither pain nor discomfort from his first experience,
otherwise he would never have been rash enough to repeat it five minutes
later. One other similar instance out of many. In August of this year an
angler caught a pike of about a pound in the Medway. He put it back, but
first cut off part of one of its fins to test its rate of growth if ever
it were caught again. Then he baited again, and in less than a quarter
of an hour caught that identical pike a second time. So I might go on
telling of pike that have gone for two baits at once and been hauled in
by a couple of rods simultaneously; of pike that—but hold, enough!
Surely I have fulfilled the purpose with which I set out, and that was
to demonstrate the interest and excitement of winter pike-fishing, and
to show that no branch of the angler’s art is more surrounded by
incident and anecdote than the quest and capture of the king of all the
coarse fish.

                                                        ERNEST PHILLIPS.



                        A Gossip on Hunting Men.


I do not suppose that William Somerville, the poet of “The Chase,” is
much read nowadays, though, doubtless, musty and dust-covered, his poems
lie among the neglected classics in the libraries of most country
houses. Yet he can lay better claim than any other bard to the title of
“Laureate of the Hunting Field” and he was a royal good sportsman to
boot. “A squire, well-born and six foot high,” is his own description of
himself to his brother poet, Allan Ramsay; and among the squires of his
native Warwickshire he held a foremost place. For his estates brought
him in £1,500 a year—a rental equivalent to at least £4,000 in the
present day. A jovial soul he was, too, with a heart as big as his body.
Generous to a fault, and freehanded in his spending of money, William
Somerville, like many good sportsmen of the same type before and since,
ran through his patrimony before he was forty. His friend, William
Shenstone, another almost forgotten poet, gives us a melancholy picture
of the latter days of the sporting squire, whose verses won the high
commendation of Johnson and Addison. “Plagued and threatened by wretches
that are low in every sense, he was forced to drink himself into pains
of the body, to get rid of the pains of the mind.” He died in 1742, and
was buried at Wotton, near Henley-in-Arden. In the churchyard there is a
monumental urn erected to his memory by Shenstone, but “_Tempus edax
rerum_” has made the inscription almost indecipherable.

I am reminded of Somerville in writing this rambling gossip on hunting
men, because no one has depicted with more animation and spirit than he
the opening of the hunting season; and there are at any rate three lines
of his which are familiar to all educated sportsmen, if only through Mr.
Jorrocks’s emendation:

                 “My hoarse-sounding horn
             Invites thee to the Chase, the Sport of Kings,
             Image of war without its guilt.”

It is to Somerville, then, that we owe the phrase, “the sport of Kings,”
more often, with better reason, nowadays, applied to the Turf.

Indeed, the Chase no longer merits the designation in its literal sense,
for Royalty is conspicuous by its absence from the hunting field. I
note, too, that English statesmen are no longer so keen to ride with
hounds as they once were. Golf seems to have more charms for Ministers
than hunting. Time was when Premiers and Secretaries of State were as
familiar figures at a meet of hounds as at a meeting of the Cabinet. Sir
Robert Walpole, the Duke of Grafton, Lord Althorp, Lord Palmerston, Earl
Granville, were all hard riders to hounds and loved no sport better than
the Chase. Even Mr. Gladstone, though not much of a sportsman in his
later life, was, I am told, in his earlier days sometimes to be seen in
Nottinghamshire, mounted on his old white mare, galloping after hounds
with his friend and Parliamentary patron, the Duke of Newcastle. And I
have met those who remember seeing the “Grand Old Man” at a still
earlier period of his career, in Berwickshire, keeping close up to
Willie Hay, of Dunse Castle, during a hard run.

And this, let me tell you, was no mean feat, for Willie Hay, when
mounted on his famous hunter, Crafty, despite his welter weight, was
hard to beat. In fact, he nearly always led the field with Crafty under
him; and after a bursting hour and twenty minutes the horse seemed as
little the worse for the going as his master, for both were thoroughbred
ones. Willie, to distinguish him from others of his numerous clan, was
known as “Hay of Drumelzier.” He came of an old Border stock—for he was
of the Tweeddale blood on his mother’s side—and there was a touch of the
ancestral reiver about him—the lawlessness, the recklessness, the
boldness of the Border cattle-lifter, were latent in Willie and found
vent in the hunting field. He was present at Waterloo as a spectator,
like the Duke of Richmond, but tradition has it that, unable to control
himself at the sight and sound of battle, he dashed incontinently into
the fray and rode right through one of the cavalry charges unhurt, more
fortunate than his younger brother, an officer in a Highland regiment,
who was slain on the slopes of Mont St. Jean.

The late Earl of Wemyss, then Lord Elcho, was another Scotsman of that
time who had a reputation for dare-devil riding. Indeed, he was known
all over the country, not only as a splendid horseman, but as one of the
finest all-round sportsmen of his day. As a youngster he had gone the
pace and “made things hum” to such a tune that his father found it
necessary to screw him up tightly.

But this did not prevent him from getting a pack of hounds together in
1830. He had the misfortune to lose his huntsman at the commencement of
his first season—the man broke his leg and died from the effects of the
accident—and Lord Elcho hunted the hounds himself. In this capacity he
showed that he could combine with hard riding a creditable amount of
Scottish canniness and caution.

In Joe Hogg, moreover, he had a capable first whip, a man who would
follow wherever the master or the hounds led. One day the fox made for a
bog and crossed it, the hounds, of course, following in pursuit, while
behind them came Lord Elcho and Joe Hogg, the latter entering as keenly
into the spirit of the adventure as his master. Next day some one said,
“Joe, how did you feel when you were following his Lordship over the
bog?” “Lord, sir,” he replied, “I did expect to be swallowed fairly up
alive every time my horse jumped, but nothing else could be done, for
the hounds were running right into him.” The bog was a mile and a half
across, and the frost was just enough to make firm the driest parts,
which admitted of the horses jumping from one tussock of grass to
another.

Lord Saltoun, again, was an excellent rider, and with pluck enough to
ride down the jagged steep of Berwick Law. He shone, too, with equal
light at the festive board, where his rendering of the “Man with the
Wooden Leg,” and other comic songs of the day, always “brought down the
house.” He fought with his regiment at Waterloo, where he greatly
distinguished himself in the defence of Hougomont, and afterwards
remained in France with the army of occupation. And thereby hangs a
tale.

While in quarters at St. Denis, Lord Saltoun, Lord William Lennox, Sim
Fairfield, and one or two more, when they got to their billets in an
hotel one night, found all their beds occupied. A French cavalry
regiment had ridden up, and the officers had taken possession of every
bedroom and locked themselves in. What was to be done? The Britishers
were by no means disposed to submit tamely to this unceremonious
invasion. They held a council of war. A bright idea suggested itself to
Lord Saltoun, he propounded it to his comrades; it met with their
enthusiastic approval, and they forthwith proceeded to carry it into
execution. First, the waiter and ostler were bribed to secrecy. Then the
conspirators went softly to work and changed all the boots which stood
outside each door. When this was done, Sim Fairfield, who could play any
instrument from a Jew’s harp to a trombone, got hold of a trumpet and
sounded the French “Boot and Saddle.” In an instant every Frenchman was
out of bed—doors were opened, boots eagerly snatched, and _then_—the
band began to play! Never was there heard such scrambling and swearing:
the air reeked with blasphemy. Men with large feet had got hold of small
boots, men with small feet found themselves lost in “jacks” a world too
wide for their shrunk shanks. Some tugged and cursed, others stumbled
and swore, till they all got outside and finally galloped off. Then Lord
Saltoun and his brother-plotters quickly took possession of the vacant
beds, barricaded their doors, and slept the sleep of the just.

Another great Scottish foxhunter was brought to my mind not long since
when I was skirting the coast along the Sound of Kilbrannan. About four
miles from Campbeltown, in the Mull of Kintire, I passed the beautiful
bay of Saddell, the graceful sweep of which attracted my attention, and
as I let my eye wander upwards over the strip of creamy white beach I
was struck by the singular charm of the landscape. Right up into the
heart of the wooded hillside runs a lovely glen—in the foreground among
its trim lawns, stands Saddell House; close by are the ruins of a grim
old castle-keep, and one can trace the venerable avenue of stately
beeches which leads to the ancient Abbey, where the old monks of Saddell
enjoyed themselves six hundred years ago. It is a place which has a
peculiar interest for sportsmen, for it was the home of John Campbell of
Saddell, one of the greatest foxhunters of his day, whose hunting songs
have won for him in Scotland a reputation as great as that of Whyte
Melville or Egerton Warburton in England. A man, too, who could not only
write good songs, but sing them as no one else could.

“Johnny” Campbell was a welter-weight, scaling something like sixteen
stone, yet he was always in the first flight. He chose his horses more
for strength than appearance, and was seldom seen on one over fifteen
hands, but they were all short-legged, well-bred, steady and strong. He
thought a good deal more of the safety of his horses than of his own.
When he was at Melton Mowbray in 1832 English foxhunters looked upon him
as the maddest of Scotchmen, because, in trying to save his horses, he
would jump _into_ the hedges instead of _over_ them, quite regardless of
the consequences to himself; for, like Assheton Smith, the Laird of
Saddell did not mind how many falls he got. He was a tall, fine,
handsome man, and when dressed at night in his scarlet coat with green
facings and buff breeches (the uniform of the Buccleuch Hunt), his equal
would have been hard to find in the three kingdoms.

It is not often that the qualities of poet, singer, _bon vivant_ and
sportsman are found combined in one personality as they were in “Johnny”
Campbell, and, consequently, it is not surprising that the Laird of
Saddell was immensely popular. Both in England and Scotland he was voted
the best of good fellows, and was the life and soul of the convivial
parties to which every host was eager to invite him. He would sometimes
astonish and delight the company by improvising a song, setting it to an
air and singing it the same evening. One memorable feat of this kind he
achieved when he was a guest at Rossie Priory, the seat of Lord
Kinnaird, in Perthshire, in 1831. They had had a famous run that morning
with Mr. Dalzell’s hounds, and, taking that for his theme, he rattled
off a parody of “We have been friends together.” Beginning with “We have
seen a run together,” he described the run throughout, and concluded
with:

                 “By Auchter House we hied him
                   Still haunted by their cry;
                 Till in Belmont Park we spied him,
                   When we knew that he must die.
                 Through the hedge he made one double,
                   As his sinking soul did droop;
                 ’Twas the end of all his trouble
                   When we gave the shrill _Who-whoop_!
                     Oh, now then let us rally;
                     Let us toast the joyous tally,
                     And a bumper to our ally,
                     The gallant John Dalzell.”

But there were times when “Johnny” Campbell was not altogether a
desirable companion to those who valued their lives and limbs, for he
had a strong smack of Jack Mytton’s devilry in him, and when the demon
of mischief possessed him he did not care a rap for his own skin or that
of any of his companions. One night—or rather dark morning—a party of
four gentlemen, including “Johnny” Campbell and Sir David Baird, who had
been dining at Marchmont House, started to drive home to Dunse in a
post-chaise. After passing through the park gates the post-boy got down
to close them. Campbell thereupon leaned out of the window, and with a
terrific “Who-oo-op awa’,” set the horses off in a panic. There was an
open drain in front of them, a big mound of earth to the left, and a
lake to the right. What the fate of the chaise and its occupants would
have been had not the post-boy, who was a particularly smart young
fellow, sprinted to the horses’ heads and stopped them just in time, one
shudders to conjecture. Campbell laughed heartily, and thought it was an
excellent joke. Sir David, who was a dare-devil himself of a different
kind, preserved a saturnine indifference; but the other two were scared
almost out of their senses. Never again would either of them trust
himself in anything on wheels with Campbell of Saddell, for, as one of
them remarked, “Johnny Campbell is one of the most agreeable
companions—_anywhere but in a post-chaise_.”

Lord Eglinton, who for five-and-twenty years was, I suppose, the most
popular man in the United Kingdom, was another notable hunting
contemporary of Campbell of Saddell and Lords Elcho and Saltoun. He was
then only twenty-four years of age, and the classic triumphs of Blue
Bonnet, Van Tromp, and the immortal Flying Dutchman were yet in the
future. But he had already proved himself an exceptionally bold and
skilful horseman, both across country and on the flat. His half-brother,
Charlie Lamb, too, was another of the right sort, who could hold his own
with the best on the racecourse or with hounds. But Charlie had, what
Lord Eglinton lacked, a dry humour, which gave a racy flavour to his
personality. An anecdote of his earlier years will suffice for a
sample:—

“Why don’t you send Charlie to sea?” an old friend and a right
honourable old maid one day said to the Countess, his mother. “It is
very bad for a young man to be idling away his time at home.”

After a short pause, Charlie, who was present, furnished the answer
himself.

“Do you not think,” said he, “the stomach pump would answer as well?”

But enough of Scottish sportsmen for the present; let me turn to England
and her foxhunters. The name of John Warde is, of course, familiar as a
household word to every one who takes the slightest interest in
hunting-lore, for was he not one of the greatest among the “Fathers of
Foxhunting”?

Well, there are some stories of John Warde which will, I dare say, be
new to many readers of BAILY. Richard Tattersall, the then head of the
famous house, always gave a “Derby Dinner” late in the week preceding
Epsom, to which some of the most distinguished men of the day were
invited. John Warde never missed this function; indeed, the festive
occasion would have been nothing without him to represent foxhunting.
Sure as the dial to the sun, a few minutes before six his portly form
would issue from his yellow chariot, in his silver knee and shoe
buckles. The pipe of port which the host and his brother Edmund laid
down annually had to pay a heavy tax laid on it, for each man had to
drink “John Warde and the noble Science” in a silver fox’s head, which
held nearly a pint, and admitted of no heel taps. None stood the ordeal
better than “glorious John” himself; he would rise from the table steady
as a rock, and before he left always made a point of going up to the
drawing-room in the small hours to bid Mrs. Tattersall good-bye, for
that good lady never went to bed till she had seen her husband precede
her.

His mother lived to a great age, and became very deaf, but she always
had her page-boy in every Sunday to say his Collect and Catechism, and
although she could not hear a word he said, yet from the earnest
expression of his face, and his never hesitating, she took it for
granted that he repeated them properly, and invariably gave him a
shilling. John, however, getting a hint that the young rascal imposed
upon the good-natured lady, one Sunday morning hid himself in the room.
As usual, young Buttons was called up, and requested to commence his
religious exercise; then, with a perfectly solemn face, he began, “Hey
diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon,”
and so on to the end of the old nursery rhyme.

“There’s a good boy,” said the old lady, putting into his hand a
shilling. But just as Master Hopeful was departing, jubilant, whack came
a whip, with which John had provided himself on spec, down upon his
shoulders. The welting he got made him remember Collect and Catechism
for many a day.

Warde attained the patriarchal age of eighty-five. Like all sportsmen of
the “golden time,” he was a _bon vivant_, but in his last days he had to
give up wine.

By a strange irony of fate, he died of water on the chest.

“This is a pretty business,” he said. “Here is a man dying of water, who
never drank but one glassful of that nauseous liquid in his life.”

Hunting has its enthusiasts—its almost fanatical enthusiasts, I may
say—and probably most readers of BAILY have met with one or more of
them. For my part I have come across many, but neither in my experience
nor my reading have I encountered a more thorough hunting enthusiast
than the hero of the following anecdote.

Many years ago a Mr. Osbaldiston, younger son of a gentleman in the
North of England, was foolish enough to fall in love with one of his
father’s maid-servants, and quixotic enough to marry her. As soon as the
news came to the parental ears the imprudent Benedict was turned out of
doors, his only worldly possessions being a Southern hound in pup. He
and his partner in disgrace started for London, and after a while the
young man succeeded in obtaining a clerk’s situation in an attorney’s
office at £60 a year. As time went on olive branches gathered about him
to the tune of half-a-dozen, from which it may be supposed he had enough
to do with his small pittance to keep eight pairs of grinders in work.
Yet he not only discharged these onerous domestic duties as beseemed a
good husband and father, but he also enjoyed his favourite sport, and
kept a couple of horses and two couples of hounds!

But how in the name of wonder could a young man with an income of five
and twenty shillings a week and with a wife and family to provide for,
afford to keep horses and hounds? Of course he neglected his home and
his business, and ended his days in the workhouse. Nothing of the kind!
His wife and children were well fed and comfortably clothed, he never
ran into debt, and always had a decent coat on his back. And the way Mr.
Osbaldiston managed it was this:—

After office hours he acted as accountant for certain butchers in Clare
Market, who paid him in kind. The best of the meat provided the daily
dinner for himself and his family, and the scraps and offal fed the
hounds which he kept in his garret. Having saved up sufficient to buy
his horses, he stabled them in a cellar, fed them on grains from a brew
house close by and damaged corn from a chandler’s—writing letters,
correcting bills, keeping books, and assisting with legal information
the proprietors, and so saving all expenditure of coin. Down in the
country where he hunted in the season he gained the good-will of the
farmers by giving them a hare now and then and tipping them a legal
hint, while the gentlemen over whose manors he rode were so delighted
with his enthusiasm for sport that he could go almost where he pleased.
If any poor hunting enthusiast of to-day were to keep hounds in a garret
and horses in a cellar, he would meet with a very different fate; he
would promptly be indicted as a nuisance and summarily be suppressed by
the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Times are indeed
changed!

The poet of “The Chase,” whom I have already quoted, describes hunting
as the “image of war without its guilt.” It is not only the “image of
war,” but it is the finest possible training for facing the perils and
confronting the crises of actual warfare. The following anecdote of a
once famous Leicestershire hunting-man, “Tommy” Yule, is one of the best
illustrations of this truth that I have ever come across.

On the night of December 5th, 1857, the 11th Native Cavalry, stationed
at Jalpaiguri, 650 strong, mutinied during the night, slew their English
officers, and galloped off to meet the other portion of the regiment,
then encamped some thirty miles off. Next day, having effected a
junction with their comrades, they started to join the revolted Sepoys
at Dacca. They rode in the direction of Purneah, with the intention of
plundering that station on their way to the North-West. But they left
out of their calculations a little man who was John Company’s
Commissioner at Bhagalpur. Mr. Yule was an old Leicestershire hunting
man, and was one of the most daring riders to hounds ever seen even in
the Shires. He had ridden at both Newmarket and Liverpool as a gentleman
jockey; he could box, shoot, fence, and play cricket in brilliant
style—in fact, was a first-rate all-round man. He knew very little about
soldiering, but he knew too much for the Pandies.

Well, to “Tommy” Yule the news was brought that the mutineers were “on
the rampage.” At Bhagalpur he had with him fifty of Her Majesty’s 5th
Regiment, 100 sailors, and two guns. As Commissioner of the district he
was in command. Off he started without a moment’s delay to stop the game
of murder, plunder, and ravishment. He came up with the rebels just
outside Purneah, and dashed at them at once. They, however, had no heart
for fighting, bolted, got round the station and made off for Dacca. But
Yule’s blood was up. He had brought his stud of hunting elephants with
him. He mounted fifty sailors and forty soldiers on them, and pounded
after the flying foe. The little party marched all day and night, and
got in front of their quarry the following morning. Then the rascals
_had_ to fight; ten Pandies to one Englishman, these were odds that even
a modern Greek would face. They could not charge; their horses were
fagged out. But Yule charged _them_, with some of his men on the
elephants and some on foot, and killed 111 _without losing a man_. And
the nerve, the pluck, the dash which achieved that brilliant success had
been fostered and trained by hard riding over the pastures and
bullfinches of Leicestershire.

I remember hearing Lord Wolseley tell the following story, which is a
further proof of my assertion that hunting develops a man’s pluck and
confidence.

“I once saw,” he said, “a Staff officer, a man well known in the hunting
field, gallop with an order to a column of cavalry which had been drawn
up in a sheltered position behind the village to be screened from the
enemy’s fire. As he drew near the column, a round shot struck the ground
under his horse’s belly. The horse made an effort to swerve, which was
checked by its rider, without taking the cigar out of his mouth. He
galloped up to the column, coolly gave his orders, and cantered back
over the open ground, where the round shot were striking pretty thickly,
still smoking his cigar as if he were taking his morning exercise. A few
shots had previously plunged into the column, causing some excitement,
which always happens when horses get knocked over; but the jolly
indifference of this officer, and the manner in which he appeared
altogether to ignore the existence of danger, had a capital effect upon
the men.”

Lord Wolseley did not give the name of the officer, but I have been told
that it was “Bob” Wood, sometime Colonel of the 8th Hussars.

Lord Roberts, too, paid a high tribute to a noted foxhunter when he
declared, after his great campaign in Afghanistan, that one of the most
valuable Staff officers in the British Army was Lord Melgund (the
present Earl of Minto) who had few equals in those days as a
cross-country rider.

The late Earl of Wilton, himself one of the finest horsemen and most
enthusiastic followers of the chase the Shires have ever seen, used to
say that he “had often heard the great Duke of Wellington remark that
England would rue the day when her field sports were abandoned,” and
that “amongst his best Peninsular officers were those who had most
distinguished themselves in the hunting field,” courage and decision
being the necessary attributes of success in the chase.

The “Iron Duke” himself was a keen lover of the sport. Mr. Larpent, who
was Judge-Advocate of the British forces during the Peninsular War,
relates, in his private journal, some anecdotes which prove how hard a
rider and good a sportsman the conqueror of Napoleon was. For his own
personal service Wellington kept fifteen horses, and paid high prices
for them; and when one reads of such galloping to and fro as Mr. Larpent
records, one is not surprised at the number of the Duke’s stud.

Here is an extract from the journal which illustrates both the tireless
energy and the keen sportsmanship of the Duke:—

“Lord Wellington is quite well again; was out hunting on Thursday, and
being kept in by rain all yesterday, is making up for it to-day by
persisting in his expedition to the Fourth Division. He was to set out
at seven this morning for the review of General Cole’s division, on a
plain beyond Castel Rodriques, about twenty-eight miles from hence; was
to be on the ground about ten, and was to be back to dinner to-day by
four or five o’clock. This is something like vigour, and yet I think he
overdoes it a little; he has, however, a notion that it is exercise
makes headquarters more healthy than the rest of the Army generally is,
and that the hounds are one great cause of this.”

Of these hounds Mr. Larpent gives the following details: “We have three
odd sorts of packs of hounds here, and the men hunt desperately.
Firstly, Lord Wellington’s, or as he is called here, ‘the Peer’s’; these
are foxhounds, about sixteen couples; they have only killed one fox this
year, and that was what is called mobbed. These hounds, from want of a
huntsman, straggle about and run very ill, and the foxes run off to
their holes in the rocks on the Coa. Captain Wright goes out, stops the
holes overnight, halloes, and rides away violently. From a hard rock
sometimes the horse gets up to his belly in wet gravelly sand; thus we
have many horses lamed and some bad falls. The next set of hounds are
numerous. The Commissary-General, Sir R. Kennedy, is a great man in this
way, and several others. And thirdly, Captain Morherre, that is, the
principal man of this place, has an old poacher in his establishment,
with a dozen terriers, mongrels and ferrets, and he goes out with the
officers to get rabbits. Lord Wellington has a good stud of about eight
hunters. He rides hard, and only wants a good gallop, but I understand
knows nothing of the sport, though very fond of it in his own way.”

[Illustration:

  MONAUL PHEASANTS.
]

[Illustration:

  KOKLASS PHEASANTS.
]

The Duke, as most readers of BAILY are no doubt aware, was a warm friend
and admirer of that great king of the hunting field, Thomas Assheton
Smith, whom Napoleon introduced to his officers as “le premier chasseur
d’Angleterre.” And it was always a subject of regret to the hero of
Waterloo that Assheton Smith had not joined the Army; “For,” said the
Duke, “he would have made one of the best cavalry officers in Europe,”
and he frequently remarked that many of his own distinguished cavalry
officers in the Peninsular War owed their horsemanship to the example of
Assheton Smith.

I have said that the Duke took a keen interest in hunting, and I may add
that he gave practical proof of his genuine love of the sport; for when
he was once asked to subscribe to a pack which was in financial
difficulties, he said, “Get what you can and put my name down for the
difference.” The “difference” was £600 a year, which the Duke cheerfully
paid for many years.

                                                              THORMANBY.



                  Pheasant Shooting in the Himalayas.


There is grand sport to be had in certain parts of the Himalayas in the
glorious autumn weather peculiar to those mountain ranges.

For beauty of plumage and dashing flight few game-birds can compare to
the monaul (_Lophophorus impeyanus_), and his haunts are among the
wildest and most magnificent scenery.

In the Himalayan districts I am acquainted with, Kumaon and Garhwal,
monaul are seldom found much below 8,000 feet altitude, but from that
elevation up to about 12,000 feet are fairly plentiful. On the southern
and western sides of the mountains, the forests monaul inhabit are
usually evergreen oak, with a few spruce and cypress trees scattered
about. On the northern and eastern slopes, which are clothed with
forests to higher altitudes, monaul are found in woods of pine, deodar,
spruce and birch. From the middle of October till end of December the
weather is nearly always bright and clear in the Himalayas. The sun is
not too powerful, and the nights cold and frosty. The best way to have
sport with monaul is for two shooters, who know each other well, to go
together, and beaters from six to a dozen, according to the nature of
the ground. The beaters should be in charge of an experienced shikari,
who is also a “master in language.” A local shikari will point out the
best places for monaul, and the guns, one behind the other, about fifty
yards apart, will walk slowly along the hillside, on a path if possible.
One gun should be about sixty yards ahead of the beaters, and the other
in line with them. The foremost gun, in most cases, will get the
greatest number of shots.

The tactics of the beat, however, must vary according to the nature of
the country, as ravines are usually beaten straight downwards, but in
some cases, where a path leads zigzag up a long ravine, the beaters
should get well ahead of the guns, and beat upwards. Monaul are
exceptionally strong fliers, and about the toughest birds I know. If not
hit well forward they will not come down, and the gun to use is a
12-bore cylinder with a charge of 1–3/16 oz. of No. 5, or 1¼ oz. No. 4
shot. I always use Ballistite powder and have never had a bad cartridge,
always finding this powder equally good, whether in hot valleys at low
elevations, or up in the cold at over 12,000 feet above sea level.

A mature cock monaul, with his plumage glistening in the sun, is a grand
sight, and sometimes, especially early in the morning, he will fly with
a kind of soaring motion, wings extended, as if to show himself off, and
come sailing proudly overhead; at these times they are comparatively
easy to shoot. Generally, however, they give really good rocketting
shots, but at times will fly at a terrific pace straight down the
hillside, keeping about the same distance from the ground all the way.
These are difficult shots. A good dog is required to retrieve—a big
dog—as monaul are heavy birds, full-grown cocks often weighing 5 pounds
and more.

Another grand bird is the koklass (_Pucrasia macrolopha_), a
beautifully-marked, gamey-looking bird, with a very quick flight. I
believe the koklass to be the fastest game-birds that fly, and they get
into their flight as quickly as partridges. Like monaul, too, they often
dash straight down a hillside, keeping a few feet from the ground, and
with a curve in their flight. They are found in the same forests as
monaul, but also at lower elevations. In size they are about half the
weight of monaul and much the same in shape. They are the best of all
birds for the table.

The cheer (_Phasianus wallichii_) is, I believe, the only true pheasant
found in India. They do not give as good sport as monaul and koklass,
but I have often enjoyed myself with them. They frequent very steep
pine-covered slopes, landslips, rocky scrub near precipices, and
uninviting-looking places. Cheer shooting is about the hardest work I
know, toiling about the steep hillsides among long grass and scrub.
These birds lie very close, and after being flushed and marked down,
often take a long time to rouse again. Wounded birds are extremely
difficult to find, and your dog should be a steady and persevering
retriever. Cheer are not found at very high elevations, from about 4,000
to 7,000 feet being their usual haunt, but occasionally, when the grass
on the pine-covered slopes has been burnt, they will go into the oak
forests above, where there is a thick undergrowth of ringalls. At these
times they are harder to find than ever, and unless the beaters keep
well in line, or you have a bustling spaniel to make them get up, it is
almost impossible to bring any to bag.

Other so-called pheasants are the hubwaul or snow-cock (_Tetrogallus
himalayensis_), the white-crested kalij (_Euplocamus albocristatus_),
and the crimson tragopan (_Ceriornis satyra_).

The hubwaul is a fine bird, in shape like a gigantic partridge, found in
coveys on the higher ranges above the forest limit. They are very wary
and hard to circumvent, as they run long distances, and when put up
often fly in a different direction to that expected. I have, however,
often got at them in big ravines by sending a man to out-flank them on
each side, myself keeping well out of sight behind boulders. I have also
defeated them with the aid of a good bustling dog, and when they do come
over one’s head give as good shots as any birds I know. In the winter
they will come into wooded crags and precipitous ground, when the higher
ranges are covered with deep snow.

The kalij pheasants are really more like jungle fowl than pheasants,
frequenting thick scrub and undergrowth, near villages and in the
vicinity of cattle sheds. They are great runners and fond of flying up
into trees when bustled by dogs, but when they do fly put on a good pace
and nearly always fly down hill. Plenty of beaters are required to put
them up. Their flight is not high and bold like that of the monaul and
koklass, and they are not found at high altitudes; from 4,000 feet to
8,000 feet being about the elevations at which they occur.

The tragopan is a very handsome bird, and rare, few being shot. He is
the hardest bird of all to bring to bag, being a tremendous runner and
keeping to the densest thickets, usually in ringalls and creeping
rhododendrons, which are almost impenetrable to man. A good dog will
flush them, when they will fly downwards a few feet over the
undergrowth, taking long flights and running again immediately they
alight.

In the autumn a varied bag can be made, either singly or with a boon
companion. There is the friendly rivalry, the jolly fellowship of
sportsmen, the chaff, the mid-day lunch by some brawling stream, the
laze and smoke in the sunshine and clear mountain air, and the beat back
to camp again in the evening. _Scolopax rusticola_ is often to be found
when beating for pheasants, also a solitary snipe or two; and two
sportsmen who pull well together can have a rare time in the mountains,
as besides shooting birds together they can often find room to separate
and go after big game in different directions. Then there are the yarns
to be told round the campfire after dinner, “sublime tobacco” to refresh
the memory, and just “a dash” of good old Scotch to lubricate the throat
and loosen the tongue.

                                                            A. P. DAVIS.



                               “Our Van.”


RACING.

Reading about the Derby autumn meeting in mid-winter is not so
inappropriate as it might appear to be, for with sleet and snow falling
on the first day the elements were more wintry than autumnal. I have
seen this meeting celebrated with much more go than on the present
occasion. It is essentially a meeting for hunting folk, so far as the
county stand is concerned, and one seemed to miss far too many of the
familiar faces. The impression conveyed by the gathering was of the
lack-lustre order. Large fields of nurseries have long been a feature of
the meeting, but of course the winning or losing of them conveys little
merit or demerit. The fields for them have been larger; but I am not a
worshipper of large fields, not being a clerk of the course or a holder
of racecourse shares. From one point of view the field of twenty for the
Gold Cup was very satisfactory, for it meant that twenty horses were
thought to have a chance in a race of a mile and three-quarters. Fields
for distance races undoubtedly have been looking up of late years. Yet
few of our courses are less suitable for a race over such a distance as
that at Derby—a parallelogram with rounded corners. So soon as horses
have begun to stretch out along either of the longer sides—long only in
comparison with the extreme shortness of the other two—than they have to
steady for a corner. In such circumstances a mare like Hammerkop, who
was carrying 9st. 3lb., could stand but little chance. At Newmarket she
would have been well fancied. Yet there are people who grumble at those
fine, straightaway stretches of turf, because the horses start so far
away. These prefer courses of the circus order, for the sake of the
spectacle. Although the regulation straight mile has by no means met
with universal approbation, its introduction has more method than
madness about it. In the formation of a new course the laying out of a
straight mile must be associated with a good deal of luck, for, run in
one direction, it might prove popular and the reverse if run the other
way. At Gatwick there is a rise of some 6 ft. from start to finish of
the straight mile, and at Newbury, I understand, the rise is much more
than this. Experience has taught us that rising straight miles are not
so popular as falling ones, which may be argued to show a tendency to
weakness in horse-flesh, the qualities which take horses successfully up
the long hill at Sandown being not often met with. Here we have a hint
at a clashing of interests between such as like to have things made easy
for them and those which may be regarded as making for the higher
interests of the turf. This clashing of interests we shall always have
with us, so we may take it by way of our daily salt, with equanimity.

The Derby Gold Cup, as a trophy, was a perfectly delightful production,
it being a gold tankard in the 16th century style, and no one would
appreciate it more than the owner, whose sideboard it was destined to
adorn, for the race was won by Lord Rosebery’s Catscradle. Her starting
price of 20 to 1 was justified by her previous running and when she made
the first bend nearly last of all 40 to 1 would not have been taken.
However, it was her day, and she came through her field to win in
comfortable fashion by a couple of lengths from Airship. She ran
practically unbacked by her connections. The race for the King’s Cup of
two miles “did not fill.” Bachelor’s Button, who had acted as a
spoil-sport at Lincoln, by frightening away opposition for the Jockey
Club Plate, and walking over for the £300 given by the Jockey Club for
the express purpose of furthering sport at meetings where such
assistance would be welcome, had not been started for the Gold Cup. He
was in reserve for the King’s Plate, but the race “did not fill,” so the
meeting saved their £200 instead of increasing the winning account of
Bachelor’s Button by that amount.

As season follows season the Manchester meetings attract a diminishing
amount of attention. It is a question of reaping what you have sown.
Large sums of money were spent upon an unsuitable site, much of the
money in the erection of buildings more adapted to municipal purposes
than to racing. Except that the big turn is one of the finest in
England, the course has proved unsatisfactory, in consequence of the
rapidity with which the going goes wrong under wet. In this respect the
course is not much better than the old one, which it will quite resemble
when it has undergone a course of protection from frost by means of hay
for the same number of years. “Disappeared in the main drain, I assure
you,” explained the late Duchess of Montrose on the occasion of one of
her horses coming to grief in the evil going of the old course. People
of the Turf standing of the late Duchess do not find themselves at the
new course. The better classes of Manchester firmly decline to be
attracted by the races, despite the club stand, the contrast with
Liverpool being remarkable. The weather rarely fails to make the
November meeting a ghastly affair. In going back to Castle Irwell the
management deliberately went to the home of fog, and, in consequence,
most of the racing, as a spectacle, is a farce. We are all aware that
the period at which the November meeting is decided is too late for good
weather, but any attempt to move the fixture forward, supposing such a
desire existed, of which I have no knowledge, would scarcely meet with
success. If the Stewards of the Jockey Club regard the meeting as an
unimportant one they can claim to take this impression from evidence
supplied by the meeting itself, the average value of stakes not
entitling it to any standing. Eight of the twenty races provide the
minimum £100 allowed to the winner, for instance. There must be some
significance in the reduction of the Whitsuntide meeting, at which all
the money is made, from four days to three. This year’s November meeting
was treated to continuous wet, the going of each succeeding day being
worse than that preceding it. The November Handicap was run on the last
day, and the field of nineteen included some good handicap horses. As at
Derby, form was knocked into a cocked hat, the 25 to 1 Ferment gaining a
decisive victory. It is a pity that the racing season is each year
brought to a close in this uncomfortable manner, and if one cannot quite
go with those who recognise no racing previous to that taking place at
the Newmarket Craven meeting one can at least see some plausibility in
ending it with the Houghton. If mudlarking is to be done, one may as
well do it personally, to the tune of hound music.

Although racing ends for the year at Manchester, the curtain cannot be
said to fall until the Gimcrack Club dinner has been held. The function
to which custom has given such wholehearted recognition sits well on the
shoulders of the York Race Committee, which, as the Chairman at the
recent dinner very properly pointed out, gives back to the Turf
everything that is earned by the races. There are not many race-meetings
of which this can be said; and what a contrast to money-grabbing
Doncaster! Of course it is not wholly and solely custom that assigns to
the Gimcrack dinner the importance which attaches to it. We have a
trenchant way nowadays of kicking overboard any custom, however hoary,
which has outlived its utility. For the Gimcrack dinner there is much
need, for it is the only occasion of the year upon which Turf topics may
be publicly ventilated. As to the kind of topics touched upon and their
treatment, those depend upon the particular person who may be called
upon to ventilate. When we consider that the guest of the evening, to
whom free rein is given if he wants it, is the owner of the winner of
the Gimcrack Stakes, we realise how very uncertain must be the question
of oratory. It is possible to conceive an owner of a Gimcrack winner
taking but little stock in the higher interests of the Turf. Mr. Hall
Walker, whose filly, Colonia, won him the Gimcrack Stakes of 1905, is,
however, not a man of this sort. How it came about I do not know, but
some people expected Mr. Hall Walker to say “straight things” to the
Jockey Club; but nothing could have been more exemplary than his
references to that body. He was full of anxiety for the welfare of the
Turf as connected with the welfare of the horse, and his enthusiasm led
him to propound schemes some of us, I fear, will be inclined to regard
as Utopian. Taking as his text the statement that, “In all the leading
Continental States the production and development of the horse is made a
subject of governmental care and solicitude,” Mr. Hall Walker proposed
that the British Government should grant, if not funds, at least power
to the Jockey Club, who was to embody amongst its functions that of a
society for the encouragement of horse-breeding. In order to accomplish
the desired ends, the Jockey Club was to have the power to establish
race-meetings over all or any common land free from interference by
local councils and the freedom to acquire by purchase any existing
race-meeting. I do not pause to consider the plausibility of such a
project or the probability of the Jockey Club embarking upon it, for I
have used the word Utopian; Mr. Hall Walker next referred to the means
by which any shortage in funds was to be made good. They were to be
provided by the introduction of the _pari-mutuel_. He added—“The
advantages of the _pari-mutuel_ are clear and decided. In the first
place, it would provide large sums of money for the end we have in view,
and it would practically bring about the abolition of street betting.”
The writer’s views on the subject differ from those advanced by Mr. Hall
Walker, but space does not permit of a discussion of the question
raised.

Lord Downe in a speech, the tone of which charmed every one, maintained
that the only solution to the betting difficulty was to license
bookmakers and making betting debts recoverable. Of course his lordship
does not propose that the Jockey Club should take the initiative,
remembering, as he does, that when the anti-gamblers were last at work,
betting at Newmarket was disavowed. The Club could not well ask to have
that legalised which they claim does not exist. That the licensing of
bookmakers is a desirable thing all sensible men will gladly admit.
Racing would be all the better for it, but unless the trend of thought
takes an entirely new channel, I cannot see any form of Government
legalising gambling in the shape of wagering on horse-races.

Viscount Helmsley, who added to the nice things said by Lord Downe about
the Press, who came in for a rough handling at last year’s dinner,
suggested the institution of races for ponies up to 14.2, for the
encouragement of the breed. Racehorses in the past have not always been
the 16 hands animals that are now so common. Two hundred years ago
Mixbury, by Curwen’s Bay Barb, standing only 13.2, was the most famous
galloway of his day. Pony and galloway racing is no new thing in the
present generation, but it has not taken kindly to the sport. An
experiment was made at Plumpton on Whit Monday, 1903, which resulted in
complete failure, and it is not quite clear what racing under Jockey
Club rules could do. A race here and there would not effect much, and it
is an open question whether enough thoroughbreds of 14.2 and under exist
to fill many races. There are at least a few clerks of the course who
are enterprising enough to welcome any novelty, and if fields could be
assured a first step would be taken. Without such assurance he would be
a bold man to take the step of opening such a race. It might be worth
the while of those interested in pony breeding to provide the stake in
the first instance, and see how the suggestion took with others.
Experience in India teaches us that good sport is to be had out of
ponies.


STAGHOUNDS.

Hind-hunting is at its best in November and December. The hinds are
difficult to kill; they are then stronger than stags. It is for this
reason that I record what must be considered to be a notable performance
of the Devon and Somerset from the Heathpoult on December 3rd. The
fixture was for 10 a.m. You want all the daylight there is to kill a
stout hind. There was a thick fog and they had to wait some time before
it was possible to hunt. At last Mr. Morland Greig gave the word, and
kennelling the pack, tufters were taken to Slowley. The run began almost
at once, and the chase was nearly all over an enclosed country. The pace
was often good, and the hunt lasted for two hours. But the feature of it
was that we never got the pack, and that the whole was carried on by the
huntsman with four or five couples of hounds. The hind escaped, but not
till nearly four o’clock. A week later, in thick fog and driving rain,
Mr. E. A. V. Stanley and the Quantock hounds drove a hind straight and
fast from the same covert, and killed her near the pier-head at
Minehead. Taking the weather into consideration this was a noteworthy
gallop.

Two memorable runs have taken place with foxhounds during the past
month. The week from December 5th to December 10th was perhaps the best
of the season, and there was sport in every country. The Quorn was
stopped by fog and hindered by absence of scent on the two days in the
week—Monday, Friday—they were in the best country, but as we shall see,
made up for it on Saturday. It is not the least remarkable feature of
these waves of sport that they affect, about the same time, countries of
different soils, climate, and contour, often widely separated by
distance.

What I think may be called the two historic hunts of the month took
place in Rutlandshire with the Cottesmore, and in Somersetshire with the
West Somerset, on December 5th and 7th, while on the latter date the
Pytchley had a good run, and on the Friday several packs, including the
North Cotswold, enjoyed sport better than ordinary.

The Cottesmore met at Tilton on the first Tuesday in December. There
were some preliminary chases which came to nothing, but served to show
that there was a scent. The fox of the day was holloa’d away on the side
of Skeffington Wood nearest the road. The hounds, when they hit the
line, swung left-handed over the grass fields between the covert and the
road. At Brown’s Wood, Thatcher, no doubt fearing a change, held the
pack round outside. He was right, his fox had gone on across the road,
but there was another line, and part of the pack were away. However, the
huntsman and his division worked out the line over the road and into the
fields beyond, the hounds clearly gaining confidence as they went. The
whipper-in, having stopped the main body smartly, arrived in the nick of
time with the rest of the pack. The hounds now settled to work, and
improving the pace as they went, ran to Rolleston and on to Noseley,
held on still to Glooston. At this, point the fox began to turn, and the
Ram’s Head covert was reached and left behind. Thence they dipped down
to the East Norton road, which the fox ran for some distance, and then
turned left-handed as though for Launde Park Wood. By this time many
good horses were stopping, for the pace and the severity of the country,
which is all up and down—some of the hills are very steep—told on them.
In the early part of the run the followers had been favoured by
convenient gates, but now the pace improved, and it was not easy to
skirt and keep one’s place, yet the fences, though fairly practicable,
took much of the remaining steel out of the horses. When hounds turned
up to Prior’s Coppice they began to run for blood. Bending towards
Owston Wood the field thinned down, and horses began to stop everywhere.
In the meantime hounds ran from scent to view, and rolled their fox over
in the open close to Cheseldyne Copse. The run lasted one hour and forty
minutes, covered fourteen miles as hounds ran, but as the course was a
wide curve the point is of course not a long one. The run is remarkable
for the wise tactics of the huntsman at the beginning, for extraordinary
excellence of the country crossed, as well as for the steadiness of
hounds in a well-foxed country, and the condition they showed in hunting
for so long a time, and fairly running into their fox at last. That the
pace was fast is shown by the number of horses in the best-mounted field
in England that stopped by the way.

Into close connection with this run we may bring the other great hunt of
the month. Although the country was very different the chase was not
dissimilar. Indeed, before we can admit a run to the list of great
chases it must fulfil certain conditions, of which the principal is that
it must be fast and continuous. If hounds are merely hunting more or
less for two or three hours at a slow pace, we often have an interesting
day’s sport, but we have not had a great run. I should like to add that
it must be after a single fox, but that would exclude so many famous
hunts, but if the fox that started is the fox killed, then, no doubt,
the triumph is all the greater. The West Somerset run was after one fox,
the time was an hour and thirty-five minutes, the pace was good, the
distance covered as hounds ran was fifteen miles, and the point rather
over seven.

The fox was found on Sir Walter Trevelyan’s property and on the shooting
in the occupation of Mr. Townsend Marryat, of Treborough Lodge, who had
been keeping the Roadwater coverts quiet for the Hunt.

The fixture was the “Valiant Soldier,” Roadwater—a well-known anglers’
house—on Wednesday, December 7th. The fox was afoot in ten minutes after
the start, and it was about twenty minutes more before he was fairly
away. Once he was headed, but he resolutely swung round to make his
point. Then the pace was very fast, and indeed there was need to gallop
to keep on terms with the pack in this rather difficult country. The
fox’s point was up wind for a certain well-known covert, but this he
failed to reach, turning away within sight. Judging from the pace hounds
had brought him along he had no choice but to turn or die. This move
saved him for the time, for he gained ground and reached Sir John
Ferguson Davie’s covert at Bittescombe Manor, within the borders of the
Tiverton Hunt. Finding, however, no refuge there the fox turned back and
made for Clatworthy Wood. Hounds were now gaining. He was too hot to
stay in the covert and he broke again. The pack turned him in a big
field, and catching a view rolled him over. The fox was easily
identified as the one that started, as he was curiously marked.

As a run it was a hound chase, for the pack were not touched from find
to finish. They cast themselves when necessary and twice picked up the
line on the roads. They killed him unaided, as although the Master saw
the kill he could not get to them, nor could the huntsman. Every hound
was up—a great performance in a rough country. The mask was given to
Miss Luttrell and will find a place at Dunster Castle, rightly enough,
since the hounds are lent to the country by Mr. G. F. Luttrell.

While on the subject of historic runs news reaches me of a run with Sir
John Amory’s staghounds which is in every respect a record, at all
events, since the days of the Rev. Jack Russell. The distance, the pace
and the line of country taken by the deer were all alike remarkable and
interesting. This wonderful stag-hunt took place on Saturday, December
9th. The fixture was Chawleigh, in the Eggesford country, so long known
to foxhunters as Lord Portsmouth’s. Seven deer were roused; a young stag
was chosen. The hounds were laid on and the stag began by making a wide
ring. He then ran by rather devious ways to the River Taw, which stag
and hounds crossed. Those who have seen this river in flood will know
that the ordinary fords are then impassable. Some miles had to be
covered to reach a bridge and return towards the place where hounds were
last seen. Luckily the stag and hounds had not vanished into space. The
stag probably meant to return to the moors, but on reaching the railway
he was blanched by a passing train, and this gave the field time to come
up. The quarry was now driven clean out of his country, and he ran
straight forward, heading for Torrington, near to which place they took
him at 4.15, having been running for four hours and a half. The hounds
were left at Eggesford, and the Master, Mr. Ian Amory, his brother, and
Mr. de Las Casas made their way back to Tiverton which they reached
about midnight.

In illustration of the fact that hounds can run in distant countries on
the same day, the Quorn and Cottesmore both had a scent on the 9th,
though the latter were hindered by fog. The Quorn were in that section
of their country in which Bunny Park is a favourite covert. This part of
the country has some plough, but grass and arable alike often carry a
good scent, and on Saturday, 9th, hounds ran brilliantly over both
alike. Scent held all day, but the fox was saved in the first run by a
timely rabbit-hole, in the second by the darkening twilight of a short
winter day. The Cottesmore, again, had a run on Tuesday, 12th, which
would have been noteworthy had it been possible to see it, but fog
caused many of the best followers to miss the fun. I think a great run
should, especially in the grass countries, have its glory and pleasure
divided between the hounds and the horses. In that most delightful
country, Lord Bathurst’s division of the V.W.H., a very noteworthy
gallop came off on November 24th. The point was the best I have to
record this month, being nine miles in a straight line, with a deviation
making up three more perhaps. Thus it will be observed that the run was
unusually straight. This country is somewhat heavy going in wet weather,
when it holds the best scent. Somerford Common supplied the fox. The
pack started at once and settled to run. There was thenceforth small
opportunity to make up a bad start. There was a short hesitation at
Flisbridge, then they went on through Oaksey Wood, crossed into the Duke
of Beaufort’s country, and arrived at Redmorton, where few saw the end.
The fox saved his life here, as the covert was full of foxes.

The North Cotswold bitches are giving their master a brilliant season to
finish with. Nor can we imagine a greater pleasure to any one than to
see a pack one has built up one’s self gaining triumph after triumph. I
cannot help thinking that the fact that this pack kill their foxes is
one reason for their success.

Hounds that are successful become so full of confidence in their
huntsman and in themselves, that they make light of difficulties that
would daunt others. It looks as if Belvoir blood needed a quick huntsman
to bring out its best qualities, for I have heard people say that they
were not so fond of the strains in provincial countries. But facts are
stubborn things, and the Duke’s kennel seems to be the true foundation
on which to build a fast and killing pack.

Of the other packs hunting in fashionable countries, Mr. Fernie’s, the
Atherstone and the Pytchley have all enjoyed good sport during December
without, so far, any run above their usual level, which, be it
remembered, is very high. It takes a very excellent gallop indeed to be
considered out of the usual run of these countries.

Sometimes I think it possible that farmers may wonder whether the deeds
of hunting people are in proportion to their professions of gratitude.
At all events, the Warwickshire Hunt are doing their best to manifest
the reality of their regard. They have voluntarily taxed themselves 10s.
or £1 a-piece, according to their means, one-half of the fund so
collected going to the “Royal Agricultural Benevolent Society,” and the
other half to the relief of farmers in distress within the limits of the
Warwickshire Hunt country. This scheme will, it may be hoped, find
imitators in other countries. This and the Hunt Servants’ Benevolent
Fund are the charities which no hunting people ought to neglect.

Rumours die hard, and the report that Mr. Hubert Wilson is going to
resign the Cheshire is still going about. The fact is that he is willing
to go on, and the country most anxious to keep him. The sport he has
shown and his popularity, together with that of his huntsman Champion,
should promise and secure a long reign. Frequent changes of mastership
are a disadvantage not only to the individual country, but to hunting at
large. So far there are but two countries likely to be vacant, and I
hear that there are many applications for the North Cotswold, the chance
of possessing that incomparable pack of bitches being no doubt a great
attraction. The other pack is the Ledbury, which it is expected Mr.
Carnaby Forster will resign before long, and I fear that the state of
his health makes the report more than probable. He will leave a fine
pack and a tradition of good sport behind.


HUNTING IN YORKSHIRE—A CAPITAL SUGGESTION.

The most important event in connection with hunting which has taken
place in Yorkshire since the season begun—perhaps the most important
event in the hunting history of the century so far—was the cap which was
taken at the Habton fixture of the Sinnington Hunt on December 7th for
the Hunt Servants’ Benefit Society; for if Lord Helmsley’s example is
followed, as followed no doubt it will be and should be, that deserving
Society will receive such an access of income as will enable it to
fulfil all the duties of a benefit society in a manner which its
founders in their most sanguine moments never dreamed of. Lord
Helmsley’s happy inspiration met with a cordial response from those who
threw in their lot with his hounds on the 7th, and, as many anticipated,
annual subscribers to the Society answered cheerily to the courteous
appeal of Mr. Alfred Pearson, who stood at the gate with the cap; the
result was that a sum of £21 was collected. Ever prompt in anything
which furthers the interests of hunting and those who hunt, Captain Lane
Fox announced that a cap would be taken at Tockwith for the same purpose
on the 15th, and though at the time of writing no account is to hand of
what took place, there is no doubt that the response from the Bramham
Moor field will be found as generous as that of their Sinnington
friends. If this happy idea of Lord Helmsley’s is taken up all over the
country and becomes an annual institution, as there is no reason that it
should not, it would mean an access of income to the Hunt Servants’
Benefit Society of something between £4,000 and £5,000, and yet none
would feel one penny the worse for the trifle he had given, whilst he
would enjoy his sport all the better for knowing that he had done
something to assist a deserving body of men to whom he owed so much.

The Bramham Moor have had a succession of good sport. On November 18th
they had a capital day from Hutton Hall. They did little with their
first fox, but with number two they had a brilliant forty-five minutes
over the cream of the Ainsty country. He was an outlying fox, found in a
turnip field outside Robin Hood’s Wood, and they raced him by Healaugh,
Duce Wood, Askham Grange, and Ainsty Spring, and rolled him over in
Bilbrough Park. A travelling fox was viewed as they were breaking this
one up, and they ran him hard by Catterton, and then round by Askham
Richard, and on to Healaugh, where they rolled him over.

On the 24th they had another good day. Finding a fox in White Syke Whin
they ran him by Hutton Thorns, Rufforth and Rufforth Whin, and a ring
round by the Harrogate railway, nearly to Hutton Thorns again, and up to
Rufforth Village, where they checked. Hitting off the line they hunted
on over the Boroughbridge road and into Red House Wood, where they
marked their fox to ground.

They had another good Friday on December 8th, when they met at Wighill
Village. Curiously enough, like the Hutton Hall day, it was a day of
outlying foxes. A fox was viewed as hounds were moving off to try Shire
Oaks, and for an hour hounds ran him very cheerily by Duce Wood, New
Buildings and Wighill Avenue, over the Thorp Arch road, and on to the
Carrs, below Esedike. Thence they ran a very similar ring by Shire Oaks
and back by Wighill Avenue and Village, to the banks of the Wharfe,
where they marked him to ground. Then came a fine burst of twenty
minutes from Shire Oaks, by Tadcaster and Catterton Spring to Healaugh
Church, near which the fox got to ground just in front of hounds. The
day was brought to a conclusion by a gallop with another outlying fox,
who jumped up in front of hounds at Angram, and they hunted him cheerily
by Askham Whin, Collier Hagg, Healaugh and Normans to Askham Whin, where
he beat them.

The Sinnington had a capital day from Habton Village on December 7th.
They found their first fox in Skelton Whin, and had a good hour’s run
with him by Riseborough and back through Skelton Whin up to Little
Barugh, whence they ran a ring back to the whin and killed. They had
barely eaten their fox when another went away, and they ran him at a
good pace by Riseborough Hill and Normanby, and past Hobground House to
Brawby Bridge, where a check took place. The fox was thought to have
gone to ground, but he had gone through, and it was probably him that
they killed when they went back to Riseborough.


SPANIEL TRIALS IN THE VALE OF NEATH.

Wales seems to be popular ground for the decision of spaniel trials, for
since the Sporting Spaniel Society instituted working tests for “the
handy man” of the varieties of dogs which are used in field sports in
the autumn of 1898 the Principality has been visited some four or five
times. In 1904 Sir Watkin Wynn’s unrivalled coverts in Wynnstay Park
were placed at the service of the Club, and a very successful meeting
was the result, but for the gathering which was held early in December
the Vale of Neath was revisited, Mr. A. T. Williams, the President of
the promoting Society, having invited the Committee to decide the
competitions on his shooting at Gilfach, only a little over a mile from
the flourishing town of Neath. It was to be regretted that the entry was
so meagre, only half-a-dozen owners supporting the stakes; for not since
the trials were started in Mr. Arkwright’s park near Chesterfield had
better ground been visited, although no fault could be found with that
at Ynisy Gerwn, on the other side of the valley, when the Welsh spaniels
of Mr. A. T. Williams, Mr. W. H. David, and other local breeders, made
so bold a show at one of the largest supported meetings of the series.
The poor entry, by the way, was not caused by lack of interest in the
work of the Club, but, for one reason and another, such men as Mr.
Winton Smith, Mr. J. Alexander, Mr. Charles Watts, and Mr. J. P.
Gardiner, whose spaniels had gained high honours at other trials, were
prevented from sending dogs which had been broken and thoroughly trained
with a view to competing. Then Mrs. H. D. Greene, the wife of the member
for Shrewsbury, who is a great admirer of the Welsh spaniel, had to
withdraw her entries because one of her brace was shot only the day
before the trials when being put through her final facings. That was a
great disappointment to the Shropshire lady, who had hoped to do well
with the representatives of the Longmynd kennel. The conditions of the
competitions were the same as usual, the spaniels being shot over in the
customary sporting manner, while the principal points which were
considered by the judges were scenting power, keenness, perseverance,
obedience, freedom from chase, dropping to shot, style, method of
beating and working to the gun, whether in covert, hedgerow, or in the
open. In the single stakes the spaniels were also expected to retrieve
at command, tenderly, quickly, and right up to the hand. Additional
points, of course, were given for dropping to hand and shot, standing to
game and flushing it at command.

The trials were worked on very sporting lines, and Mr. Williams and his
keeper had certainly spared no trouble in preparing the shoot for the
meeting, rides having been cut through gorse and bracken, while on the
low-lying ground—which could not be worked because of the heavy rain on
the first day—the earths had been stopped. The coverts swarmed with
rabbits, and at the top of the hill on open fields a few hares were
started from their forms and gave the shooters employment as well as
providing capital tests for the spaniels.

As had been the case at all recent meetings, the chief honours were
taken by the spaniels of Mr. C. C. Eversfield, a Sussex owner, and the
best dog at the trials was Velox Powder, a liver-and-white dog of the
old-fashioned English springer type, bred by Sir Thomas Boughey, and
about as useful a dog in the field as any man could have. He took a
positive delight in working rough ground to his owner’s command; he was
absolutely steady to both shot and wing, while as to chasing a legged or
running rabbit, nothing seemed to be further from his thoughts. He quite
outshone all his kennel mates, and in addition to winning the chief
single dog stake, he was awarded the dog championship, that which was
offered for bitches being taken by Denne Ballistite, a daughter of Velox
Powder. Brace and novice honours also went to Mr. Eversfield’s spaniels;
in fact, the only other single dog at the meeting which showed anything
like form was Mr. Arkwright’s Beni Hassan, an alert young spaniel of the
Sussex type, which had been bred by Lord Tredegar. She was very nicely
handled by Gaunt, who is so well known in connection with the Sutton
pointers at the spring and autumn trials. The pick of the teams were the
Welsh spaniels of Mr. A. T. Williams, and no finer work was seen during
the meeting than that which they put in on the second day, when set the
task of beating a patch of young gorse. They faced it unflinchingly, the
English team sent from Hampshire by Mr. Warwick having to be almost
forced into it, and even then it was all too evident that their task was
distasteful. In rough covert it was once more shown that Welsh spaniels
are unrivalled.

Further trials were held under the management of the Spaniel Club on Mr.
Fydell Rowley’s estate near St. Neots in Christmas week. They promised
to be a great success, judged by the good entry which was received by
Mr. John Cowell.


THE CHRISTMAS SHOWS.

The brief series of Christmas Shows which begin at Norwich, are
continued at Birmingham and Edinburgh, and terminate at Islington, have
not presented any feature of very special importance, but the interest
in them has been well maintained and the quality of the exhibits up to
the average. The Norwich Show has for many years been the first, and it
is always a very pleasant one, though it would be still more so if the
final phase of the judging, when the champion prizes are awarded, was
not unduly prolonged, a number of visitors being obliged to leave the
Hall to catch their trains before the prizes have been allotted. The
exhibitors included, as usual, His Majesty the King, who sent several
entries of cattle from Sandringham with which he was moderately
successful, and two or three pens of Southdowns, with one of which he
won the championship for the best pen of sheep in the Show. This same
pen of Southdowns, it may be added, went on to Birmingham, and, after
winning first prize in its class, was given the reserve number for the
championship, the actual winners being a pen of Hampshire Down lambs
from the flock of Mr. James Flower, who is almost invincible with this
breed. But the rubber game had to be played at Islington, and the King’s
Southdowns came victorious out of the contest, for they were first in
their class, first for the cup given to the best of the breed, first for
the champion plate given to the best pen of short-woolled sheep, and
finally took the Prince of Wales’ challenge cup for the best pen of
sheep in the whole Show. As His Majesty won this cup last year with
another pen of Southdowns, it has now become his absolute property.

To revert to the Norwich Show, in the contest for the champion prize for
cattle the issue was narrowed down to Mr. E. T. Learner’s cross-bred
(Shorthorn and Aberdeen Angus) heifer Luxury and one of the many good
animals which Mr. R. W. Hudson sent from Danesfield. The verdict was
given in favour of Mr. Learner’s cross-bred. Mr. Learner’s heifer and
Mr. Hudson’s exhibit both went on to Birmingham, where, by the way, the
Norwich judgment was reversed, Mr. Hudson’s beast being greatly admired
for its admirable quality. The Norwich Show always has three or four
classes for the red-polled breeds, and the competition is not altogether
confined to the Eastern counties, for Sir Walter Corbet generally sends
some of his Shropshire herd, and he did so with marked success on the
present occasion, his principal opponent being Lord Amherst of Hackney.

Not a few of the Norwich exhibits went on to Birmingham, where the Show
opened, as usual, on the Saturday week following Norwich, that is to
say, on November 25th, and there was a notable gathering of Midland
agriculturists, though Lord Bradford, the President for the year, was
not well enough to attend, while by a melancholy coincidence the late
President, Sir Henry Wiggin, had died a few days before the Show. The
most salient feature of the Birmingham Show was the unbroken success of
His Majesty the King, who sent from Windsor ten entries of Herefords,
Shorthorns, and Devons, and won with them four first prizes, a second,
and two thirds, while in addition to this he was awarded three special
prizes for the best of each breed, and the President’s prize of £25 for
the best of the exhibits in the cattle classes. After all these awards
had been made the contest for the three challenge cups began, being
presented by Messrs. Elkington, Thorley, and Webb, for the best animal
in the Show; but while the Elkington challenge up has no restriction as
to breeder, it is stipulated in the conditions of the two others that
they shall be given to animals which have not passed out of their
breeders’ hands. This did not prove any obstacle to the King winning all
three, for he makes it a rule to exhibit only home-bred stock, so that
the Hereford steer, the Shorthorn heifer, and the Devon steer, which had
each been proclaimed the best of its breed, were all three in the ring
to compete for these valued trophies. They had to meet two or three very
fine specimens of the Aberdeen Angus and Shorthorn cross-breds,
exhibited by Mr. R. W. Hudson and by Mr. Learner, to which reference has
already been made in connection with the Norwich Show. The judges,
however, gave the preference to the King’s trio, and, after eliminating
the Devon, they dwelt for a long time between the two others, their
ultimate decision being in favour of the Hereford steer, which scaled
nearly 18 cwt., and was preferred to the Shorthorn heifer. Thus the King
won all that was possible in the cattle section at Bingley Hall.

While it was in progress the Scottish National Show was being held in
Edinburgh, and the principal winner there was a heifer of the
Aberdeen-Angus breed, which, as will be seen below, not only carried all
before her at Edinburgh, but followed up this by winning the
Championship at Islington. This heifer, bred, and still owned, by
Colonel McInroy, C.B., of the Burn, Edzell, has a remarkable record, and
at the age of two years nine months her live weight was just over 16
cwt., which for an Aberdeen-Angus is very good. Burn Bellona, as this
heifer was called, was much admired at Edinburgh, but it was scarcely to
be expected that she would secure so complete a triumph at Islington,
especially with such a strong opposition to face as she had in the
Norwich and Birmingham champions, to say nothing of the King’s other
representatives. His Majesty, strongly as he has been represented on
previous occasions, has never had so many entries at Islington as this
winter, he having sent nineteen head of cattle, sheep, and pigs from
Sandringham, several cattle from Windsor, two of Aberdeen-Angus from
Ballater. It was generally expected that His Majesty would follow up his
Bingley Hall triumph, an impression which was strengthened when it was
seen that the Hereford and the Shorthorn had won the Cup as the best of
their breeds. These prizes had been won before the arrival of the King,
who had, at considerable personal inconvenience, arranged, upon the eve
of a political crisis, to come up and see the Show. His Majesty was
received on his arrival from Sandringham, shortly before three o’clock,
by Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, Lord Tredegar, the President
of the Smithfield Club, Sir Walter Gilbey, Chairman of the Royal
Agricultural Hall Company, the Earl of Coventry, Sir R. Nigel Kingscote,
and Sir John Swinburne, and he paid a visit to the avenues in which the
Devons, Herefords, and Shorthorns were placed, these being the classes
in which his most successful exhibits were located. After he had
inspected them, his pens of Southdown sheep, one of which had already
been awarded the Championship, were brought out for the King to see, and
not the least interesting feature of his visit was the presentation of
some of the New Zealand football players, who had been invited to lunch
by the Council of the Smithfield Club, and who could scarcely have
anticipated being accorded such an honour. His Majesty’s engagements did
not admit of his remaining to see the championship for cattle decided,
the judges having been so much retarded by the even quality of the
competitors, and had he been able to stay, he would not have had the
satisfaction of witnessing a repetition of the Birmingham triumph, as
the Hereford steer and the Shorthorn heifer were both beaten by Colonel
McInroy’s Aberdeen-Angus heifer referred to above. Moreover, the
Hereford steer, which had been placed in front of the Shorthorn heifer,
had lost flesh a trifle since Birmingham, and their respective positions
were reversed, the Shorthorn heifer being the “runner up.”

There was a general meeting of the Club on Tuesday, when Lord Tredegar,
whose elevation in the peerage will give general satisfaction, took the
chair for the last time, and will be succeeded by the Prince of Wales,
whose term of office now begins, so that all bodes well for the
Smithfield Club Show in 1906.


SPORT AT THE UNIVERSITIES.

Unlike wild partridges after their flight, it does not take Light and
Dark Blue athletes long to settle down. Reinforced by an exceptionally
smart lot of all-round Freshmen, they got to work betimes this year, and
with admirable results. Rarely, if ever, have the respective prospects
been so rosy in most departments of sport at this stage. And October
Term, 1905, will long be remembered for the many fresh records
accomplished during the preliminary and (so to speak) educational period
of preparation and practice. “Wet-bobs” on both rivers have been very
busy. Magdalen (Oxford) and Third Trinity (Cambridge) carried off the
Coxwainless Fours, the last-named “for the sixth successive year”—a
record, by the way. They won with great ease, but Magdalen only just
snatched the Oxford race from New College, after a magnificent finish.
Racing on the Cam for the Colquhoun Sculls was of the sensational order.
In heat 1, President R. V. Powell (Eton and Third Trinity) won with
great ease in the grand time of 7 min. 49 sec., or eight seconds better
than R. H. Nelson’s 1902 record. D. C. Stuart (Cheltenham and Trinity
Hall) qualified to meet him in the final, and the well-known L. R. C.
man only succumbed by one second in the truly marvellous time of 7 min.
46 sec. This record is likely to stand for many a long year. Both the
Trial Eights races were rowed on December 3rd, the Dark Blues’ at
Moulsford, and the Light Blues’ at Ely. H. C. Bucknall’s crew had an
easy victory on the Thames, and Lewis’s crew even an easier on the Ouse,
but, individually, some promising work was shown. It is probable that
Messrs. Kirby, Illingworth, Wilson, Arbuthnot (Oxford), and Cochrane,
Donaldson, Lewis, Shimwell (Cambridge), will receive ample trial for the
representative eights early in the new year. As several Old Blues and
Seniors otherwise are also available this year, a stubborn fight is thus
early anticipated for either March 31st or April 7th.

Athletes proper have been equally busy. The Oxford Freshmen’s Sports
unearthed some promising talent in Messrs. Lloyd (Ramsgate), Stevens (an
American Rhodes Scholar), Hallowes (a distance runner above the
average), Doorly (another Rhodes Scholar, high jumper), and Darling (the
Old Winchester quarter-miler). On the whole the performances were fully
average, as proved later by the L.A.C. _v._ O.U.A.C. meeting result. The
Dark Blues won by the odd event, despite the fact that they were mainly
represented by junior men. As President Cornwallis will be assisted by
numerous Old Blues in the spring, he ought to put a strong team against
Cambridge on March 30th or April 6th. The Cambridge Freshmens’
performances _in toto_ were hardly so good, but Messrs. Halliday
(Harrow), K. G. Macleod (Fettes), Horfield (Harrow), and Just (St.
Paul’s), all shone out individually. Some of the Old Blues have already
been giving a foretaste of later quality. R. P. Crabbe (Corpus) created
a new half-mile record for Fenner’s ground by running that distance in
the splendid time of 1 min. 56½ sec. on November 15th. Other fine
performances have been done with the hammer, at long-jumping and
distance running. On November 29th, F. M. Edwards (Queen’s) won the
Sidney College Strangers’ Three Miles Race in 14 min. 42⅖ sec., or only
four seconds outside H. W. Gregson’s record. The Trinity College _v._
Racing Club de France International meeting at Fenner’s was won by the
Light Blues by 6 events to 3. For the Collegians, Messrs. Welsh, Just,
Ryle, and the Hon. G. W. Lyttelton did best. The latter’s “put” of 38
ft. 5½ in. was exceptional for this early stage of the season. Messrs.
Soalhat, Molinie, and De Fleurac showed fine form for the Frenchmen,
who, by the way, were not at full strength.

Two Inter-’Varsity contests have been decided before Christmas, as
usual, _i.e._, the cross-country race at Roehampton on December 9th, and
the Rugby football match at Queen’s Club three days later. As generally
expected, the Cantabs excelled at hare and hounds work, winning by 23
points to 32. A. H. Pearson (Westminster and Cambridge) finished first,
and in the grand time of 41 min. 11 sec., which creates another record.
The previous best was A. R. Churchill’s 42 min. 17⅕ sec. last year.
Although beaten, the Oxonians made a big fight of it, and F. O. Huyshe,
their captain, gets his full Blue for finishing in the first three, an
honour also attained by Pearson (Cambridge). The cross-country records
now read: Cambridge, 16 wins; Oxford, 10 wins. Cambridge were very
strong favourites for the Rugby football match, many critics
anticipating a record score for them. In the result, however, Oxford put
their detractors to the blush by holding their own splendidly from start
to finish. The Light Blues won by 15 points (3 goals) to 13 points (2
goals and 1 try)—merely a matter of place-kicking as will be seen. It
was a most interesting game, full of incident, surprise, and fluctuating
fortune, in which the Oxford forwards were always in evidence. They beat
their heavier Cambridge rivals fairly and squarely, and at half-back,
too, the Oxonians were the smarter. The Cantab “threes” line was vastly
superior, but rarely did they get the upper hand, thanks to excellent
generalship by “Captain” Munro (Oxford) who, personally, was a class by
himself. So far, Oxford claim 13 wins in these matches, Cambridge 12,
and there have been 8 drawn games. The records of the two clubs after
the match read:—

            │                       │      For.       │    Against.
 ───────────┼───────────────────────┼─────────────────┼─────────────────
            │ P.    W.    L.    D.  │ G.    T.    P.  │ G.    T.    P.
 Oxford     │ 14     5     9     0  │ 24    18    179 │ 30    27    229
 Cambridge  │ 15     8     7     0  │ 40    23    271 │ 20    17    150

These emphatically show that records of any sort are “a slender plank to
lean upon”—as Sterne has it.

Appreciable progress has also been made at Association football, golf,
hockey, boxing and fencing, billiards, lacrosse, &c. Space will not
permit detailed comment, but, so far, Oxford appear stronger at “Soccer”
football, billiards and fencing. Both Universities are strong in boxers
this year, and Cambridge appear smarter at golf, in particular, and
lacrosse. As at present arranged, the dates of next term’s
Inter-’Varsity contests read thus: Association football, at Queen’s
Club, February 17th; Hockey match, at Surbiton, February 21st; Lacrosse
match, at Lord’s, March 3rd; Sports, at Queen’s Club, March 30th or
April 6th; and Boat Race, from Putney to Mortlake, March 31st or April
7th. Of all-round progress I hope to chat with readers of Baily later.
As in the last, so in the present ministry, many ex-’Varsity athletes of
renown find place, notably Sir Robert Reid, the new Lord Chancellor.
Other prominent University athletes have been honoured by the King in
various ways, and everybody congratulates Mr. W. H. Grenfell, M.P.—the
modern Admirable Crichton of Sport—upon his accession to the peerage.
Alas! that it should be so, one has also to extend the hearty sympathy
of all University sportsmen to that fine old English gentleman and
prince of good fellows, Mr. Albert Brassey, M.P., M.F.H., of the
Heythrop Hounds, upon the death of his son. He was _persona grata_ at
Oxford and Cambridge alike, and played polo _v._ the Light Blues at
Hurlingham only last year. His death at Huntingdon came as a shock to
hundreds of his friends who will mourn him long.


GOLF.

The course of the Royal St. George’s Club at Sandwich has been
reconstructed on lines calculated to meet the new conditions brought
about by the rubber-cored ball. Large tracts of new ground have been
brought into requisition, and several of the holes have been greatly
changed, though the first and last remain as of yore. It is expected
that when next a championship meeting is held at Sandwich the scores
will be higher than heretofore.

The congestion on the golf course at North Berwick is to be relieved by
the creation of new links at the East end of the town. The ground has
been gone over by James Braid and Bernard Sayers, who have laid out a
course nearly 3½ miles in length. At present the ground is rough, but
experts are agreed that it can be put into excellent condition for golf.
If the new links prove a success, they will increase the popularity of
North Berwick vastly, for at present there is great difficulty in
getting a comfortable game.

The Batty Tuke Cup has been won this season by Edinburgh University, who
playing at North Berwick defeated somewhat easily St. Andrew’s
University. Each University has now won the Cup twice.

Andrew and Jack Kirkaldy, of St. Andrew’s, played a match over the old
course at Gullane against Bernard and George Sayers, of North Berwick,
and won by 8 up and 7 to play on the two rounds.


THE LONDON PLAYING FIELDS’ SOCIETY.

The London Playing Fields’ Society, which already possess permanent
playing fields in the south-west, north-west and south-east of London,
is endeavouring to secure a permanent playing field in the east, so that
each district of London may have its own field. An opportunity now
presents itself of acquiring forty acres of suitable land close to
Fairlop Station, on the Great Eastern Railway. The sum of £6,000 is
required for the purchase and laying out of the field, towards which the
M.C.C. have promised £200 and a member of the Society has offered
£1,000. An appeal is now being issued for the balance of the sum
required. The scheme is being warmly supported by many influential men,
and the G.E.R. has already consented to make a reduction in fares for
cricketers and football players using the ground when it is completed.


“THE MOUNTAIN CLIMBER” AT THE COMEDY THEATRE.

Mr. Huntley Wright has so often made us happy and merry in his studies
of musical comedy, under the banner of Mr. George Edwardes, that it was
with feelings of deep interest that we went to see him play unmusically
at the Comedy Theatre.

“The Little Father of the Wilderness,” a comedy in one act by Messrs.
Lloyd Osbourne and Austin Strong, presents Mr. Huntley Wright as Père
Marlotte, a Jesuit priest of the period of Louis Quinze. He has done
enormously good work as a missionary in North America, and has been
summoned to the Court of the flippant monarch in connection, as he
presumes, with the work of his life. It turned out otherwise, however,
and to his sorrowful amazement, the Little Father finds that his
presence at Court is only commanded in order that he may decide a bet of
the merry monarch as to the height of the Falls of Niagara. The
heart-broken little priest is disappearing from the Court for ever, but
for the sudden appearance of a most important Canadian dignitary, who
recognises in the priest “The Little Father of the Wilderness,” and
explains to the King some of the wonderful services that Père Marlotte
has rendered to the world.

The sketch closes with Père Marlotte, momentarily translated to the See
of Toulouse, blessing the entire company, including the King. Mr.
Huntley Wright is extremely good as the Little Father, and it would be
very difficult to find another part less like those in which we have
been accustomed to see him at Daly’s Theatre.

Of “The Mountain Climber” we have not much to say, but all that we have
to say is in praise of the performance. Any one in search of a hearty
laugh should go to the Comedy Theatre “again and again and again”; for
Miss Lottie Venne is playing there, and she is always worth taking a lot
of pains to see, and in this production she has much to answer for. Mr.
Huntley Wright as the spurious “Mountain Climber” is most actively
amusing, and a great source of laughter throughout the play; but to some
of us his acrobatic antics, expressive of mental distress, become
somewhat upsetting, and one could have half wished that a rest-cure
could have been instituted for this too highly strung hero. Mr. Wright
is always funny, and we have no doubt but that a short experience of
what we suppose we must style _un_musical comedy will bring him to a
stage of less restlessness. At any rate, even if the entertainment is
now just the same as it was upon the first night, we can confidently
recommend it to readers of BAILY as a most amusing entertainment. And we
have been told it is better than that!


“MR. POPPLE (OF IPPLETON)” AT THE APOLLO THEATRE.

Mr. Paul Rubens is a young gentleman of proved ability, and he has
accomplished a feat of exceptional difficulty: he has produced a new and
original comedy with music, in three acts, written and composed entirely
by himself. That is a feat, but it need not be exceptional—the
exceptional part of Mr. Paul Ruben’s performance is that his comedy is
drawing crowded houses at every performance, and competition for stalls
is quite fierce.

Mr. Popple is none other than our valued friend Mr. G. P. Huntley, very
much at home in clothes of country cut and material, with fine pocket
accommodation for apples and such country produce; in fact, at the
finish of the play we are disappointed that he has not produced a ferret
from some pocket. Mr. Popple is at home in his ulster and travelling
cap, but he is certainly not at home either at the Hotel Blitz,
Piccadilly, nor at the flat in Fount Street, kindly lent to him by an
eminent actress, La Bolero, played by the charming Miss Ethel Irving.

And here is another important factor which makes for success, and much
of the popularity of the production could be traced to the personality
and charming singing of Miss Irving. Moreover, Miss Marie Illington is
here with that artistic method of hers which gives point to any lines
she has to speak. Miss Coralie Blythe also is good as the maid to La
Bolero, and in the scene at the Motor Carnival scores a success with a
song about “Bah! said the Black Sheep.”

There is a definite story running through the piece, and there are some
tuneful musical numbers of the Rubens school. Probably the majority of
the admirers of the author-composer would prefer more of his
composition, without there being less of his authorship, if such a
consummation could be arrived at. But at all events, so long as Freddy
Popple is none other than Mr. G. P. Huntley, we fancy that his stay in
town is likely to be a prolonged one. And probably by the time he is
able to return to Ippleton he will find an improved train service, which
will do away with that tiresome change of trains at East Wobsley.

Well done, Mr. Huntley, and well done, Mr. Rubens.



                         Sporting Intelligence.
                   [During November—December, 1905.]


We regret to record the death, from heart disease, of Mr. Harvey Combe,
which occurred on November 27th. On the death of his father, Mr. R. H.
Combe, the deceased took his colours and had since kept some horses in
training. Mr. Combe was only 44 years of age.

The sad accident which happened to Mr. Ralph A. Brassey whilst riding
Carrigdown at the Cambridge University Steeplechases, on November 28th,
we regret to say terminated fatally on the morning of December 4th, at
the Huntingdon Hospital, the unfortunate young gentleman never having
recovered consciousness. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Brassey,
and was only 22 years of age, whilst he had been four years at New
College, Oxford. The deceased was Master of the University Draghounds,
and in other branches of outdoor sports and pastimes was more or less
prominent, indeed, he for the two past years represented his University
against Cambridge in the polo matches.

The Ystrad and Pentyrch Hounds had a marvellous escape on November 28th.
While crossing the Great Western Railway an express train dashed into
the pack, but fortunately only one hound out of seventeen couples was
killed.

As the result of injuries received while riding his horse Wych Elm in
the Open Military Steeplechase at Aldershot, we regret to record that
Captain E. Meyricke died on November 30th. The deceased, who was only 30
years of age, was a good all-round sportsman.

It is reported that Prince Edward and Prince Albert of Wales had their
first experience with hounds during the month of November, meeting the
West Norfolk at Herdman’s Barn, Massingham.

Mr. Charles Seymour died at his residence at Fulham on December 3rd,
aged 73 years. Mr. Seymour, who came of old coaching stock, in his
younger days drove the London and Hatfield coach, and was considered a
fine whip.

The usual December sales were held at Newmarket, by Messrs. Tattersall,
from Monday, the 4th, to Friday, the 8th December. The attendance was
good and business throughout brisk; the total realised during the week
being close upon £110,000.

The highest price obtained, on Tuesday, was 7,500 gs., paid for
Delaunay, who goes to France, being purchased for M. de St. Alary from
Sir James Miller. M. F. Brugmann bought Roquebrune, dam of Rock Sand,
for 4,500 gs., and she goes to Belgium; Mr. Simons Harrison gave 2,500
gs. for La Sagasse from the same owner. Mr. Basil Hanbury’s Desinvolture
made 1,000 gs.; from Mr. R. H. Henning’s lot Sir E. Cassel bought Xeny
for 1,650 gs., and the Marquis of Serramezzana secured Best Light at
1,000 gs.

On Wednesday the Duke of Devonshire purchased the St. Simon mare Grand
Prix at 3,000 gs.; Count Lehndorff took Flor Fina at 1,300 gs., and
Ladyland at 1,000 gs., both from Mr. Simons Harrison’s contingent. Mr.
Cleary gave 1,250 gs. for Refusal, by Bendor; Mr. W. B. Purefoy’s
Nausicaa went to Sir E. Cassel at 1,000 gs. On the following day Mr.
Cheri-Halbroun was a considerable purchaser, and he secured Lord
Clonmell’s Galopin mare Dainty, at 2,000 gs., Sir R. Waldie Griffith’s
Vittel, 850 gs., Mr. J. B. Joel’s Yola, 720 gs., and a number of others.
Lord Clonmell gave 650 gs. for Mr. W. M. G. Singer’s Ladasia, and Sir P.
Walker took Therapia from Mr. J. G. Baird Hay at 650 gs. The best prices
obtained for the Duke of Portland’s were 880 gs. for Flete, Mr. Gurry,
and 710 gs. for Raeburn, Baron Harkanyi. On the concluding day Sir E.
Cassel sold Love Charm, Exchequer, and April Morn, each making 500 gs.;
Mr. James Joicey’s Orpheus obtaining the same figure.

While hunting with the Atherstone from Newbold Revel Park, on December
8th, Colonel Worsley Worswick, of Normanton Hall, Hinckley, had a bad
fall and succumbed to the injuries received on the following morning. It
appears the horse fell at a stiff fence. The deceased was very popular
in the country, and as a tribute of respect hunting was suspended for a
week.

Mr. Alfred A. Stokes, Hon. Secretary to the Ledbury Hunt, died at his
residence, The White House, Pauntley, Newent, on December 10th, at the
age of 67.

The huntsman to the Bexhill Harriers, Carey Witherden, has been the
recipient of a testimonial in recognition of his services with the pack
during a period of nineteen years and under seven masterships.

As a result of injuries received while out hunting with the Essex Union
Hunt six days previously, Mr. Albert E. Clear, of Maldon, died on
December 13th. Mr. Clear was well known as a breeder and exhibitor of
wire-haired fox-terriers.

The list of winning owners during the past season is for the first time
headed by Colonel W. Hall Walker, M.P., whose six horses have secured
stakes to the value of £23,687. Lord Derby occupies second position with
£18,524; the next best being Mr. S. B. Joel with £17,944.

We regret to record the death of Mr. E. D. Brickwood, which occurred in
London on December 14th, in his sixty-eighth year. The deceased
gentleman, who was a brilliant oarsman in the late ’fifties and early
’sixties, was a well-known writer, and for forty years had editorial
charge of the rowing department of the _Field_.

The famous stallion Diamond Jubilee, bred by and the property of H.M.
the King, has been sold to the well-known Argentine breeder, Senor
Ignacio Correas, at a high price, 30,000 guineas being stated as the
figure. Foaled in March, 1897, Diamond Jubilee is by St. Simon, dam
Perdita II.; in 1900 he won the Two Thousand Guineas, Derby, and St.
Leger.

With reference to the several cases reported of hounds being impaled
upon the spiked iron fencing in use in many parts of the country, Mr.
Henry O. Ll. Baker, of Hardwicke Court, Gloucester, writes: “Spiked
railings are much on the increase round new houses in the country. If
owners could see the many cases that I know of, of unfortunate dogs
being impaled on this very un-English kind of fence, they would do
something to lessen the danger. A strip of wood fixed on the top of the
spikes is all that is required. However much any one may object to
hounds or dogs of any sort crossing their gardens, no one, I am sure,
wishes to torture them. What is known as the bow-topped fencing answers
the same purpose, without the risk of such terrible cruelty.”

Mr. R. W. McKergow, the Master of the Southdown Hounds, has called
attention to a deterrent to the pleasure of hunting which has arisen
through the inconsiderate behaviour of motor-car drivers at meets. The
complaint has, of course, been lodged before now by other Masters who
have also suffered from the same trouble, but the thoughtlessness, it is
probably nothing more, still goes on. As Mr. McKergow points out, it is
now a usual thing for several motor-car drivers to run right up to
hounds and horses, continually sounding the “hooter” and keeping the
machinery in motion, with the result that horses are frequently upset,
to the great danger and discomfort of pedestrians, horsemen, and hounds.

The Master of the Southdown, however, has, says the _Field_, still
another charge to bring, for he adds that when hounds move off the cars
make for the most convenient spot to view fox and hounds, and so
considerably interfere with sport by heading the fox, and he suggests as
a remedy that if owners of cars would give instructions to their drivers
not to get within, say, 200 yards of horses and hounds at the meet and
to desist from following they would confer a great favour on all lovers
of hunting. There is, unhappily, too little of the give and take policy
observed nowadays, but it surely is not too much to expect motor-car
owners, who, of course, have every right to attend an appointment, to
observe these “rules and regulations,” and so help to make and not mar
the enjoyment of their mounted fellows.

Mr. Ernest Robinson, who held the mastership of the disbanded West
Surrey Staghounds during the last two years of their existence, was the
recipient of a presentation from the members and farmers at the recent
meet of the Ripley and Knaphill Harriers at Knowle Hill Park. The gift
consisted of an illuminated address and a handsome silver salver, which,
on behalf of the subscribers, were handed to Mr. Robinson by Mr. C. E.
Denny, who said that this was a small expression of the warm thanks and
appreciation of some of those who had enjoyed sport with the West
Surrey. Mr. Denny mentioned that with the wind-up of the Hunt, after
paying other things, he had about £80 in hand, which was to be handed
over to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution in the names of
the farmers over whose land they had hunted, giving them a life
membership of £10 10s. each.

At the recent Smithfield Club Show, London, the St. Pancras Ironwork
Co., Ltd., 171, St. Pancras Road, London, N.W., so well known for their
patent stable fittings, made a new exhibit in the form of a steam motor
wagon and petrol van, showing good design and workmanship of the highest
class.


                                 TURF.

                        LEICESTER AUTUMN MEETING.

 November 13th.—The November Auction Nursery Handicap of
   500 sovs.; five furlongs.
     Sir E. Cassel’s br. g. Goldrock, by Bill of
       Portland—Goldlike, 9st.                               W. Halsey 1
     Mr. J. Perkins’ bl. c. Pescadero, 8st.                E. Wheatley 2
     Mr. B. Gottschalk’s b. filly by Teufel—Ilfracombe,             A.
       7st. 3lb.                                             Templeman 3
                         10 to 1 agst. Goldrock.

 The Atherstone Plate (Handicap) of 200 sovs.; one mile
   and a half.
     Mr. R. J. Hannam’s b. c. North Deighton, by
       Kendal—Lady Liberty, 4 yrs., 6st. 2lb. (car. 6st.
       6lb.)                                               J. Cockeram 1
     Sir E. Cassel’s br. h. Exchequer, 5 yrs., 9st. 1lb.     W. Halsey †
     Lord Ellesmere’s br. c. Winwick, 3 yrs., 8st. 3lb.      W. Griggs †
                      10 to 1 agst. North Deighton.

 November 14th.—The Leicestershire November Selling
   Handicap Plate of 500 sovs.; one mile and a quarter.
     Mr. S. Loates’ b. gelding by Buccaneer—St. Ange, 3
       yrs., 6st. 8lb.                                     C. Heckford 1
     Mr. C. P. B. Wood’s b. h. Prince Royal, 3 yrs., 8st.
       9lb.                                                   H. Jones 2
     Mr. R. J. Hannan’s ch. colt by Ugly—Bramble Jelly, 3
       yrs., 8st. 1lb.                                     E. Wheatley 3
                    100 to 8 agst. St. Ange gelding.


                         DERBY NOVEMBER MEETING.

 November 15th.—The Markeaton Plate (Handicap) of 500
   sovs.; the Straight Mile.
     Mr. W. Dunne’s b. or br. c. Earla Mor, by
       Desmond—Weeping Ash, 4 yrs., 8st. 13lb.                H. Jones 1
     Mr. W. Bass’s b. f. Royal Lass, 3 yrs., 6st. 2lb.       A. Vivian 2
     Mr. Keswick’s b. h. Csardas, 6 yrs., 7st. 12lb.          W. Higgs 3
                         3 to 1 agst. Earla Mor.

 The Chesterfield Nursery Plate (Handicap) of 1,000 sovs.;
   for two-year-olds; five furlongs, straight.
     Mr. F. C. Pratt’s b. g. Sophron, by Janissary—Miss
       Chiffinch, 7st. 9lb.                                  W. Griggs 1
     Mr. L. E. B. Homan’s b. f. Scotch Mistake, 8st. 2lb.     F. Hardy 2
     Mr. W. Bass’s ch. filly by Bend Or—Wasp, 8st. 3lb       O. Madden 3
                         100 to 6 agst. Sophron.

 November 16th.—Chatsworth Plate (Handicap) of 200 sovs.;
   five furlongs, straight.
     Mr. Ned Clark’s b. g. Rising Falcon, by St.
       Issey—Magpie, 5 yrs., 10st. 2lb.                      O. Madden 1
     Lord Marcus Beresford’s ch. c. Rosemarket, 3 yrs.,             A.
       6st. 7lb.                                             Templeman 2
     Mr. C. Hibbert’s b. f. Snowflight, 3 yrs., 7st. 7lb.     C. Trigg 3
                     100 to 12 agst. Rising Falcon.

 The Friary Nursery Plate (Handicap) of 200 sovs. for
   two-year-olds; five furlongs, straight.
     Mr. G. Miller’s b. c. Lamb and Flag, by Wolf’s
       Crag—Royaume, 7st. 5lb.                               A. Vivian 1
     Mr. W. Goodchild’s b. c. Crusader, 7st. (car. 7st.
       1lb.)                                                  C. Trigg 2
     Mr. J. T. Whipp’s ch. colt by Galloping Lad—Evelyn,
       7st. 8lb.                                           E. Wheatley 3
                      10 to 1 agst. Lamb and Flag.

 The Derby Gold Cup (Handicap) of 2,000 sovs.; one mile
   and six furlongs.
     Lord Rosebery’s ch. f. Catscradle, by St.                      A.
       Frusquin—Catriona, 4 yrs., 6st. 7lb.                  Templeman 1
     Mr. R. H. Henning’s br. c. Airship, 4 yrs., 8st. 5lb.   W. Halsey 2
     Lord Brackley’s ch. c. Imari, 4 yrs., 7st. 2lb.          W. Saxby 3
                        20 to 1 agst. Catscradle.


                          NOTTINGHAM DECEMBER.

 December 2nd.—The Midland Handicap Steeplechase Plate of
   400 sovs.; three miles.
     Mr. B. W. Parr’s ch. m. Aunt May, by Ascetic—Mayo,             F.
       aged, 12st. 4lb.                                     Freemantle 1
     Mr. C. Bower Ismay’s b. h. Theodocion, aged, 11st.
       6lb.                                                  W. Morgan 2
     Mr. J. E. Rogerson’s b. g. Wee Busbie, aged, 11st.
       2lb.                                                  D. Phelan 3
                         3 to 1 agst. Aunt May.

 November 17th.—The Allestree Plate of 225 sovs.; one mile
   three furlongs.
     Mr. G. A. Prentice’s br. c. Hong Kong, by Queen’s
       Birthday—Merry Wife, 4 yrs., 7st. 11lb.               O. Madden 1
     Sir E. Cassel’s b. h. Love Charm, 5 yrs., 9st. 2lb.     W. Halsey 2
     Mr. C. P. B. Wood’s b. h. Princess Royal, 5 yrs. 8st.
       4lb.                                                   W. Higgs 3
                         7 to 2 agst. Hong Kong.

 The Osmaston Nursery Plate of 460 sovs.; seven furlongs.
     Mr. A. Stedall’s b. g. Kolo, by Matchmaker—Cloon,
       7st. 1lb.                                              C. Trigg 1
     Mr. J. A. de Rothschild’s br. c. Beppo, 8st. 11lb.      W. Halsey 2
     Mr. L. Neumann’s b. f. Scylla, 7st. 10lb.              Wm. Griggs 3
                          100 to 8 agst. Kolo.

 The Chaddesden Plate of 225 sovs.; six furlongs.
     Lord Dalmeny’s b. m. Caravel, by Pioneer—Kendal
       Belle, 5 yrs., 8st. 11lb.                              W. Higgs 1
     Mr. J. Osborne’s ch. f. Flamston Pin, 4 yrs., 6st.
       2lb.                                                   Flanagan 2
     Major E. Loder’s b. h. Gold Lock, 5 yrs., 8st. 6lb.     W. Halsey 3
                        100 to 12 agst. Caravel.


                              HOOTON PARK.

 November 17th.—The Autumn Hurdle Race of 400 sovs.; two
   miles and a quarter.
     Lord Cholmondeley’s b. h. Salute, by Carbine—Festa, 5
       yrs., 10st. 8lb.                                     Williamson 1
     Mr. Deer’s Booty, 6 yrs., 11st.                            Mr. I.
                                                               Anthony 2
     Mr. J. B. Joel’s His Lordship, 6 yrs., 11st.            Mr. Payne 3
                          10 to 1 agst. Salute.

 November 18th.—The Cheshire Autumn Steeplechase of 400
   sovs.; two miles and a half.
     Mr. F. Bibby’s Wild Boer, by Victor Wild—Tati, 5
       yrs., 10st. 11lb.                                         Mason 1
     Mr. J. Purcell’s Woodsdown, 5 yrs., 10st. 11lb.            Mr. J.
                                                                Manley 2
     Mr. J. Edwards’s Mintstalk, aged, 10st, 10lb.           A. Taylor 3
                         4 to 1 agst. Wild Boer.


                          BIRMINGHAM NOVEMBER.

 November 20th.—November Nursery Plate (Handicap) of 200
   sovs., for two-year-olds; seven furlongs, straight.
     Mr. C. O. Medlock’s br. g. Adversary, by
       Matchmaker—Wayward Aggie, 7st. 2lb.                   W. Griggs 1
     Mr. Wm. Johnston’s br. c. Dundreary, 6st. 10lb.         A. Vivian 2
     Mr. H. S. Gray’s ch. f. Flowerer, 7st. 5lb.                    A.
                                                             Templeman 3
                         7 to 2 agst. Adversary.

 Autumn Plate (High-weight Handicap) of 250 sovs.; one
   mile and five furlongs.
     Mr. C. Mynor’s b. g. Thremhall, by
       Gonsalvo—Oubliette, aged, 8st.                        O. Madden 1
     Mr. C. Lythe’s ch. h. Leviathan, aged, 7st. 1lb.        A. Vivian 2
     Mr. S. Loates’ b. gelding by Buccaneer—St. Ange, 3
       yrs., 6st. 11lb.                                    C. Heckford 3
                         6 to 1 agst. Thremhall.


                        WARWICK NOVEMBER MEETING.

 November 21st.—The November Handicap Plate of 500 sovs.;
   one mile and six furlongs.
     Major Gordon’s br. h. Spinning Minnow, by
       Isinglass—Go Lightly, 5 yrs., 6st. 11lb.              J. Howard 1
     Mr. F. Langstaff’s b. m. Debutante, 5 yrs., 6st. 6lb. J. Cockeram 2
     Lord Penrhyn’s br. g. Haresfield, aged, 8st.           H. Randall 3
                     100 to 7 agst. Spinning Minnow.

 November 22nd.—The Midland Counties’ Handicap Plate of
   500 sovs.; one mile.
     Mr. W. Goodchild’s b. g. Schnapps, by Cherry
       Ripe—Muzzie, 5 yrs., 7st.                             H. Blades 1
     Mr. L. de Rothschild’s ch. h. Kunstler, aged, 6st.
       8lb.                                                  A. Vivian 2
     Lord Dudley’s b. m. Mida, 5 yrs., 8st. 12lb.            O. Madden 3
                        100 to 15 agst. Schnapps.

 The Warwick Nursery Handicap Plate of 300 sovs., for
   two-year-olds; five furlongs.
     Mr. A. Bostock’s b. f. Ignorance, by
       Pride—Spellbound, 7st. 13lb.                          O. Madden 1
     Mr. P. Nelke’s br. f. Winnie K., 7st. 8lb.               W. Saxby 2
     Mr. W. R. Wyndham’s b. or br. f. Nairobi, 8st. 9lb.     A. Vivian 3
                         8 to 1 agst. Ignorance.


                          MANCHESTER NOVEMBER.

 November 23rd.—The Lancashire Nursery Handicap of 500
   sovs., for two-year-olds; six furlongs, straight.
     Mr. B. W. Parr’s ch. f. Naitooma, by
       Winkfield—Elissa, 6st.                              C. Heckford 1
     Mr. J. L. Dugdale’s br. c. Crathorne, 9st.              O. Madden 2
     Mr. B. S. Strauss’s b. c. Zarifer, 6st. 6lb.             J. Plant 3
                        100 to 7 agst. Naitooma.

 November 24th.—The Castle Irwell Handicap of 462 sovs.;
   one mile.
     Mr. L. Robinson’s b. c. Roseate Dawn, by
       Enthusiast—Honeydew, 4 yrs., 8st. 9lb.                W. Halsey 1
     Major E. Loder’s b. h. Gold Luck, 5 yrs., 11st, 9lb.    O. Madden 2
     Lord Ellesmere’s b. or br. f. Koorhaan, 3 yrs., 6st.           A.
       7lb.                                                  Templeman 3
                      100 to 8 agst. Roseate Dawn.

 November 25th.—The Manchester November Handicap of 1,325
   sovs.; one mile and a half.
     Mr. A. Belmont’s b. f. Ferment, by Octagon—Felicia, 3
       yrs., 6st. 2lb.                                     T. Jennings 1
     Lord Brackley’s ch. c. Imari, 4 yrs., 7st. 5lb.          W. Saxby 2
     Mr. G. A. Prentice’s b. h. Spinning Minnow, 5 yrs.,
       6st. 10lb.                                            J. Howard 3
                         25 to 1 agst. Ferment.


                              KEMPTON PARK.

 December 1st.—The Kempton Park Hurdle Handicap of 218
   sovs.; two miles.
     Mr. H. Heasman’s b. h. Stephanas, by St. Serf—Lucky
       Lady, 5 yrs., 11st. 13lb.                             T. Fitton 1
     Col. R. L. Birkin’s b. c. Baron Crofton, 4 yrs.,           Mr. R.
       11st. 4lb.                                                Payne 2
     Mr. R. Campbell’s ch. g. St. Enogat, 6 yrs., 10st.      Mr. H. M.
       10lb.                                                    Ripley 3
                         9 to 1 agst. Stephanas.

 December 2nd.—The Middlesex Steeplechase Handicap of 250
   sovs.; two miles.
     Mr. P. Glesson’s Lord of the Level, by Mocheath—Mome
       d’Amour, 5 yrs., 10st. 7lb.                            F. Mason 1
     Lord Howard de Walden’s b. g. Centre Board, 5 yrs.,
       11st. 6lb.                                             H. Aylin 2
     Mr. O. H. Jones’s b. g. Armature, 5 yrs., 11st. 2lb.  R. Chadwick 3
                    100 to 7 agst. Lord of the Level.


                              HAYDOCK PARK.

 December 1st.—The Garswood Handicap Steeplechase of 200
   sovs.; two miles.
     Mr. T. O.’K. White’s ch. c. Mount Prospect II., by         Mr. J.
       Wildfowler—Gretchen, 4 yrs., 12st. 1lb.                  Widger 1
     Mr. C. Bower Ismay’s b. h. Theodocian, aged, 12st.         Sewell 2
     Mr. F. Straker’s ch. m. Consequence, 5 yrs., 11st.
       6lb.                                                  D. Phelan 3
                     7 to 2 agst. Mount Prospect II.

 December 2nd.—The Haydock Park Steeplechase of 200 sovs.;
   two miles.
     Mr. T. Clyde’s ch. g. Onward, by Red Prince             J. Walsh,
       II.—Cedula, 5 yrs., 10st. 10lb.                            jun. 1
     Sir P. Walker’s ch. g. Flutterer, aged, 11st. 4lb.    E. Sullivan 2
                            6 to 5 on Onward.


                            GATWICK DECEMBER.

 December 6th.—The Croydon Hurdle Race of 200 sovs.; two
   miles.
     Mr. H. Heasman’s b. h. Stephanas, by St. Serf—Lucky
       Lady, 5 yrs., 12st. 4lb.                              T. Fitton 1
     Mr. F. Bibby’s ch. h. Wild Boer, 5 yrs., 11st. 3lb.      F. Mason 2
     Mr. C. J. Habin’s bl. m. Bell Sound, aged, 11st. 6lb.  J. Barnard 3
                         4 to 1 agst. Stephanas.

 December 7th.—The Stayers’ Selling Steeplechase of 200
   sovs.; three miles.
     Mr. R. W. Colling’s b. m. Eahlswith, by                    Mr. R.
       Freemason—Orxema, 5 yrs., 11st. 13lb.                    Walker 1
     Mr. D. J. Cogan’s br. or br. f. High Wind, 4 yrs.,
       10st. 8lb.                                             F. Mason 2
     Captain H. F. Watson’s b. g. George Fordham, aged,
       11st. 9lb.                                             A. Birch 3
                         2 to 1 agst. Eahlswith.


                              SANDOWN PARK.

 December 8th.—The Grand Annual Steeplechase of 269 sovs.;
   two miles.
     Mr. T. Clyde’s br. g. Sachem, by Noble
       Chieftain—Talavera, 4 yrs., 10st. 81b.               J. O’Brien 1
     Mr. R. Jones’s ch. f. Silver Tyne, 4 yrs., 10st.
       13lb.                                                 T. Knight 2
     Mr. R. Campbell’s ch. g. St. Enogat, 6 yrs., 10st.      Mr. H. M.
       4lb.                                                     Ripley 3
                          4 to 1 agst. Sachem.

 December 9th.—The Sandown Handicap Steeplechase of 269
   sovs.; about 3½ miles.
     Mr. T. Clyde’s ch. g. Dathi, by Enthusiast—Freshet,
       aged, 11st. 10lb.                                    J. O’Brien 1
     Mr. E. Christie Miller’s b. g. Witney, 6 yrs., 10st.       Mr. W.
       11lb.                                                   Bulteel 2
     Mr. H. R. Taylor’s b. m. Libertie, aged, 12st. 2lb.    W. Dollery 3
                           4 to 1 agst. Dathi.


                               FOOTBALL.

  November 15th.—At Oxford, the University v. Clapton; former won by 6
    goals to 0.†

  November 18th.—At Cambridge, the University v. Clapton; latter won
    by 3 goals to 1.†

  November 18th.—At Edinburgh, Scotland v. New Zealand; latter won by
    12 points to 7.*

  November 18th.—At Richmond, Richmond v. Oxford University; former
    won by 8 points to 0.*

  November 20th.—At Oxford, the University v. Edinburgh Academicals;
    latter won by 29 points.*

  November 22nd.—At Oxford, the University v. The Army; former won by
    3 goals to 2.†

  November 25th—At Dublin, Ireland v. New Zealand; latter won by 15
    points to 0.*

  November 26th.—At Cambridge, the University v. Dublin University;
    drawn, 10 points each.*

  November 26th.—At Blackheath, Blackheath v. Richmond; former won by
    20 points to 3.*

  November 27th.—At Oxford, the University v. Edinburgh University;
    latter won by 25 points to 13.*

  December 2nd.—At Crystal Palace, England v. New Zealand; latter won
    by 5 tries to 0.*

  December 2nd.—At Leyton, Cambridge University v. The Army; former
    won by 10 goals to 1.†

  December 2nd.—At Blackheath, Blackheath v. Oxford University; latter
    won by 13 points to 3.

  December 9th.—At Queen’s Club, Oxford v. Cambridge; latter won by 15
    points to 13.*

  December 9th.—At Tottenham, Tottenham Hotspurs v. Corinthians;
    former won by 3 goals to 1.†

  December 13th.—At Headingley, Yorkshire v. New Zealand; latter won
    by 40 points to 0.*

  December 16th.—At Cardiff, Wales v. New Zealand; former won by 1 try
    to 0.*

                       * Under Rugby Rules.

                       † Under Association Rules.

-----

Footnote 1:

  “_Live Stock Journal Almanac_,” 1906. Vinton & Co., Ltd., 9, New
  Bridge Street, Ludgate Circus, E.C. Price 1s.

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                            BAILY’S MAGAZINE

                                   OF

                          SPORTS AND PASTIMES.


 ┌─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐
 │                      DIARY FOR FEBRUARY, 1906.                      │
 ├──────┬─────┬────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┤
 │Day of│ Day │                      OCCURRENCES.                      │
 │Month.│ of  │                                                        │
 │      │Week.│                                                        │
 ├──────┼─────┼────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┤
 │     1│ TH  │Gatwick Park Races and Steeplechases. Partridge and     │
 │      │     │  Pheasant Shooting Ends.                               │
 │     2│  F  │Kempton Park Races and Steeplechases.                   │
 │     3│  S  │Kempton Park Races and Steeplechases.                   │
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │     4│ =S= │=Fifth Sunday after Epiphany.=                          │
 │     5│  M  │Doncaster Hunt Meeting.                                 │
 │     6│ TU  │Doncaster Hunt Meeting.                                 │
 │     7│  W  │Leicester Races and Steeplechases.                      │
 │     8│ TH  │Leicester Races and Steeplechases.                      │
 │     9│  F  │Sundown Park Races and Steeplechases.                   │
 │    10│  S  │Sandown Park Races and Steeplechases.                   │
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │    11│ =S= │=Septuagesima Sunday.=                                  │
 │    12│  M  │Manchester Races and Steeplechases.                     │
 │    13│ TU  │Manchester Races and Steeplechases.                     │
 │    14│  W  │Windsor Races and Steeplechases.                        │
 │    15│ TH  │Windsor Races and Steeplechases.                        │
 │    16│  F  │Hurst Park Races and Steeplechases.                     │
 │    17│  S  │Hurst Park Races and Steeplechases.                     │
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │    18│ =S= │=Sexagesima Sunday.=                                    │
 │    19│  M  │Birmingham Races and Steeplechases.                     │
 │    20│ TU  │Birmingham Races and Steeplechases.                     │
 │    21│  W  │Warwick Races and Steeplechases. Waterloo Cup.          │
 │    22│ TH  │Warwick Races and Steeplechases.                        │
 │    23│  F  │Lingfield Park and Haydock Park Races and Steeplechases.│
 │    24│  S  │Lingfield Park and Haydock Park Races and Steeplechases.│
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │    25│ =S= │=Quinquagesima Sunday.=                                 │
 │    26│  M  │Southwell and Plumpton Races and Steeplechases.         │
 │    27│ TU  │Southwell and Ludlow Club Races and Steeplechases. Shire│
 │      │     │  Horse Show at Royal Agricultural Hall (4 days).       │
 │    28│  W  │Ludlow Club Races and Steeplechases.                    │
 └──────┴─────┴────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘



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]



                            BAILY’S MAGAZINE
                                   OF
                          SPORTS AND PASTIMES
            NO. 552.       FEBRUARY, 1906.       VOL. LXXXV.



                               CONTENTS.


                                                                    PAGE
 Sporting Diary for the Month                                         v.
 Colonel W. A. Cardwell, M.F.H.                                       91
 Collection of Indian Weapons                                         92
 What Next?                                                          100
 Foxhounds (Illustrated)                                             103
 Hunt “Runners”—III. (Illustrated)                                   109
 Oxford and Cheltenham Coach (Illustrated)                           113
 The Broads as a Sporting Centre (Illustrated)                       115
 Notes and Sport of a Dry-Fly Purist                                 120
 A Hundred Years Ago                                                 127
 A Farewell to a Hunter (Verses)                                     128
 The New Year at the Theatres                                        129
 Racing at Gibraltar, in 1905                                        133
 Half a Century’s Hunting Recollections—V.                           138
 Rugby Football                                                      143
 The Thoroughbred                                                    147
 Mr. Vyell Edward Walker                                             151
 “Our Van”:—
     Racing                                                          155
     The late Mr. W. G. Craven                                       158
     Hunting                                                         159
     Hunting in Yorkshire                                            163
     American _v._ English Foxhound Match                            166
     The New Army Polo Committee                                     166
     The M.C.C. Cricket Team in South Africa                         167
     Golf                                                            168
     The Winter Exhibition at Burlington House                       168
     Pelota at the Winter Club                                       169
     Fancy Dress Balls at Covent Garden                              169
     “Cinderella” at the Empire                                      170
     Ballet at the Alhambra                                          170
 Sporting Intelligence                                               171

        WITH ENGRAVED PORTRAIT OF COLONEL W. A. CARDWELL, M.F.H.



                     Colonel W. A. Cardwell, M.F.H.


Born in the year 1847, William Alexander Cardwell was entered to
foxhunting when nine years old, having been blooded with the Southdown
in the fifties when Mr. Donovan held office. He made his mark in the
cricket-field among his contemporaries, and when he went to Harrow in
1862, took with him a reputation which gained for him the distinction of
being first choice for his House eleven. Unfortunately his health broke
down while at school, and in 1864 he had to leave and go abroad under
medical orders. After a year or two on the Continent he returned home to
finish his education at Oxford, where he found time and opportunity to
indulge his taste for sport and games. He was a member of the Bullingdon
Club, and in 1869–70 was master of the ’Varsity draghounds. He also
played in his College (St. John’s) cricket eleven, and coxed his college
eight. Colonel Cardwell was a good lightweight in his young days; he
rode in all the College “grinds,” and also in the inter-’Varsity
steeplechases at Aylesbury, with a fair measure of success. He was the
possessor of a mare named “The Kitten,” in those days, and he cherishes
for her memory the affection which is the rightful due of an animal on
which the owner won his first race, for “The Kitten” carried Colonel
Cardwell successfully in a good many steeplechases. He hunted frequently
with the Quorn and the Bicester in his younger days, and has also seen
much sport with the Badminton and Vale of White Horse; but residing, as
he does, on the south coast, he has of late years done most hunting with
the Southdown and East Sussex, after, of course, his own pack, the
Eastbourne, of which he has been master since 1895. In August and
September he usually hunts with the Devon and Somerset and the Quantock
staghounds from Minehead. Sport in Sussex is carried on under very happy
conditions; the farmers are a thoroughly good lot of sportsmen who
always have a welcome for the hounds, and do all they can to further the
interests of the Hunt. Wire, that burning question in so many more
conspicuous countries, is practically unknown in the territory of the
Eastbourne Hunt. As there is a good deal of game preservation in the
country, the Master has considerable difficulty early in the season in
arranging meets to suit the convenience of covert owners, who are also
shooting men, but his experience is that consideration on the one side
is invariably responded to by consideration on the other. Foxes are
fairly plentiful in the Eastbourne country; mange gave trouble at one
time, but the Hunt is now nearly free from it.

Colonel Cardwell has maintained his interest in cricket since his
college days, and for twenty years was captain of the Eastbourne club.
He was also captain of the Eastbourne Polo Club. Love of polo seems to
have been hereditary, for his son, Mr. H. B. Cardwell, was captain of
the Oxford Polo Club, and played in the winning team of the Eden Park
Club for the County Cup in the years 1901 and 1902.

Colonel Cardwell has always taken a great interest in Volunteer
Artillery. He raised the 2nd Sussex R.G. Artillery Volunteers, and
commanded it for twenty-seven years, having retired only in June, 1903;
he has also taken great interest in horsing and training the
sixteen-pounder batteries.

In 1872 he married a daughter of the late Sir B. C. Brodie, Bart., of
Brockham Warren, Betchworth, by whom he has four daughters and two sons,
all of whom inherit their father’s sporting proclivities, and ride very
straight to hounds.



                     Collection of Indian Weapons.


The eyes of the world have been lately turned to the stately progress
which has been made by the Prince and Princess of Wales through the
length and breadth of our Indian Empire. In a sense they may have had
wider and more instructive experiences than fell to the lot of our King
when, thirty years ago, he undertook the same Royal duty, and for the
first time made the peoples of our great dependency personally
acquainted with a _Shahzada_. But in some respects they have probably
found that, since that date, something of the old glamour has passed
away from the East. It has more and more assimilated Western ideas, and
the great princes and feudatories have all been anxious to show to their
future Sovereign how nearly they, their subjects, their armies, and
their various public institutions, have approached English models.
Practical value has been everywhere in evidence as much as possible, and
as the old native picturesqueness has been somewhat dimmed, the ancient
characteristics of the land may have been less sharply accentuated. In
nothing has this been more seen than in the warlike equipment of the
armies of the semi-independent states. All of these, with a view to
taking their share in the defence of the peninsula, according to the
requirements of modern war, are now trained, equipped and armed like
British Sepoys, and the quaint bravery of mediæval sword, spear, shield,
and armour has very generally disappeared. It is worth while, therefore,
to say something about these time-honoured arms before they have become
altogether things of the past.

A quarter of a century ago it was possible to find in India many of the
weapons with which the natives had been provided in the days before the
Pax Britannica secured the personal security of every individual
inhabitant from raid and outrage, before the disarming act had been put
in force in all districts under British rule, and while the military
forces of semi-independent states still preserved their Oriental
character. Now, I am told that, though many weapons may be bought, their
genuineness is in most cases more than doubtful. The stock of old
weapons has been absorbed in various ways, and there is no longer any
production of such things for practical use. The _tulwars_ and daggers
which are sold to the globe trotters who, in their thousands, sweep over
India during every cold season, are “bazaar made,” _i.e._, they are made
by inferior workmen in the bazaar for sale and not for strife, and are
very poor imitations of the real arms once worn by the old fighting men.

When I was serving in India, not long after the King’s visit, the
country was still comparatively free from the tourist, and anybody who
had a taste for Eastern art in any form was able, during his sporting
excursions or in his other peregrinations, to meet men who still owned
genuine old articles and were not indisposed to part with them, and made
acquaintance with English officials and influential natives who were
good-natured enough to assist him in his collections.

Many Europeans did not take advantage of their opportunities, but
fortunately for myself I did not altogether neglect mine, and I now reap
the reward by seeing, hanging in my modest hall, such a representative
display of Indian weapons as it would be very difficult, if not almost
impossible, to procure nowadays without the aid of great influence, much
exertion, and a very considerable expenditure of money. Many of these
weapons have been used by myself and friends in somewhat feeble attempts
to emulate the feats performed with them by natives, and I have
therefore a slight personal knowledge of their qualities and
characteristics, and may at any rate claim that they have always been to
me things of the greatest interest.

First let me notice the fact that it is not every Indian sword that can
be handled and tested by a European. Our Aryan brethren have very small
extremities, and the hilts of their swords do not, as a rule, give space
for the more massive and heavily-jointed hand of an Englishman. It seems
marvellous indeed how the sometimes ponderous weapons can have been
easily wielded by the slight limbs for whose use they were made, but it
must be supposed that well-trained wiry sinews may have as much
executive power and endurance as bulging muscle, and that the proper
method of using the individual weapon may have drawn more upon dexterity
than upon the exertion of strength. And here it must be pointed out
that, in all specially Oriental feats of arms, success is by no means to
be attained by the exertion of great force. It rather depends upon
accuracy of eye, perfect coolness of nerve, and deftness of hand. In the
particular performance which English soldiers have most eagerly adopted
from their Indian comrades and made their own, and has been found such
an admirable exercise for promoting horsemanship and soldierly
efficiency—tent-pegging—no great strength is required. And, in the same
way, the class of swordsmanship for which Indian men-at-arms have been
so remarkable is a matter of perfect mastery in handling a blade rather
than of weightily applied blows. Probably no more graphic description of
the difference which even to-day exists between Eastern and Western
swordsmanship was ever written than in the story, in Sir Walter Scott’s
“Talisman,” of Richard Cœur de Lion and Saladin giving each other proofs
of the powers of their swords. I would fain quote the passage, but it
would take up too much space, and I can only suggest that reference be
made to it, and, if the whole romance has not before been studied, I
congratulate the person who has so much available delight still
untasted.

So many spectators have watched, in England, illustrations of
tent-pegging at military tournaments and other gatherings that it is
unnecessary to describe it, but it may fairly be said that the feat
requires a higher form of skill and more consummate horsemanship than
the old English exercises of a like nature, tilting at the ring or
tilting at the quintain, neither of which appeals either to the
performer or to the spectator as an example of very formidable fighting
qualities.

The Oriental ideas about the use of the sword differ so completely from
those of Western peoples that they may be briefly referred to. In
Europe, the sword has generally been used for a trenchant cut, though
the employment of the point has also been cultivated by some nations,
especially among the higher ranks. About the only army in history that
has used the point alone was that of Rome. The legionaries did little or
no cutting, and this was the more remarkable because the Roman
broadsword was a very short weapon, and all modern experience has seemed
to point out that, if a sword is to be principally used for pointing, it
must be of more than ordinary length. But, in the East, the trenchant
cut, depending for its effect on the weight and power with which it is
delivered, has never found favour, and the use of the point has equally
been of very small consideration. The Oriental swordsman has always made
use of what may be called a drawing cut, placing against the object that
he wishes to sever the edge of his weapon, and either pulling it towards
him or pushing it away from him, preferably the latter. The action is
not, of course, in itself so instantaneous as that of the trenchant cut,
but the whole time consumed by the swordsman is no longer in one case
than the other, and may even possibly be shorter, for there is no
preliminary swing of the arm and the drawing cut can be delivered
without leaving a position of defence. The curved shape of most Oriental
sword blades has been adopted for the purpose of giving the greatest
effect to the drawing cut, as will be apparent to any one who considers
the matter, for the curve naturally follows the action in the most
complete manner, the keen edge being in contact with its object
throughout the whole length of its blade. How deep an Oriental sword
could bite in the hands of a skilful man, when used in the way that has
been described, has been proved from time immemorial. On the battlefield
it was no unfrequent circumstance to see heads and limbs cut clean off,
and the wounds were generally of a terrible character. So well known was
the deadly power of the Indian sword that, in our Eastern wars,
precaution were often taken by our soldiers to protect with chains the
shoulder and forearms (the places at which the enemy most often struck),
and this modified form of armour may still be seen in the shoulder
chains on one of the many patterns of service coat that have been issued
to our cavalry in recent years.

Among the most popular feats of swordsmanship that are to be seen even
to-day in the East are those that Saladin exhibited to Richard Cœur de
Lion, cutting in two a down cushion or severing a floating veil—feats
absolutely impossible of execution with a European sabre—and these are
done, with many variations, not only dismounted but on horseback at full
speed. Then there is the well-known performance of cutting a dead sheep
in two. The sheep is hung by its hind-legs from the arm of a sort of
gallows, and the swordsman, galloping past, delivers a back cut at it,
aiming between the ribs and the haunch, and seldom failing to sever it.
This feat, as it is now generally performed, is not so difficult as it
may appear from description, for the carcase is skinned, and the
backbone, with the slenderest portion of the body, offer really small
resistance to a keen blade. But it is understood that, in olden days, it
was not usual to skin the sheep, and the presence of skin and wool must
then have made the swordsman’s task hard indeed. Many English officers
have, with fair success, tried to cut a sheep in two, but, even though
they used the curved Eastern sword, they always seemed to perform the
feat by main force, and not by the proper use of the drawing cut, and I
have in my possession a tulwar with a notch in the blade, showing where,
in the hands of a very powerful man, it rent a sheep’s backbone. If a
native had handled the weapon no such accident could have happened, for
the drawing cut, depending only on the keen edge and the way in which it
is applied, could not possibly have chipped the blade, no sudden shock
being given by it to the highly-tempered steel. Lemoncutting, which is
now often seen in England, was introduced from India, and here again
neatness of performance is much more likely to be attained by the
drawing cut than by the swashing blow employed by so many of our
cavalrymen. True, the swords generally available for our competitions at
home are hardly ever sharp enough to be used in the best way, and indeed
the clumsy weapon now issued to English soldiers, with its absurd steel
scabbard that quickly blunts a keen edge, is ill adapted for any
practical purpose whatever.

So far, I have only talked about the most common and characteristic
swords of India, which, with many minor distinctions and under the names
of _Tulwar_, _Selappa_, _Tegha_, &c., &c., are found everywhere from
Cape Comorin to the Himalayas, but there are several other swords,
completely different, which are peculiar to individual tribes or nations
among the vast congeries of races united under British rule or
influence. First, the long, straight, double-edged blade, fitted into a
gauntlet hilt which, though found in the north and south of India, is
best known in the Punjab, where the Sikhs, in their sword play, still
practise its use. The generic name of this sword is _Pata_, and it is
said to have been the principal weapon used by the cavalry of the Great
Mogul. To a European eye, it certainly appears a somewhat unwieldy
weapon and ill-adapted to the purposes of a mounted man. Its blade is
over three feet long, and it is fixed in a handle made like a plate mail
gauntlet, which covers the arm nearly as far as the elbow. On account of
its peculiar hilt, this sword is not manipulated like others from the
wrist, but from the elbow; and, as far as I know, it is the only weapon
known in the world which does not in some degree demand flexibility of
wrist. Unlike the curved _Tulwar_, which has a rigid and rather narrow
blade, the blade of the _Pata_ is broad and flexible, and I have one
specimen before me in which the point will almost meet the hilt. The
qualities of steel from which the two kinds of swords are made are in
this respect very different, but they are alike in that both can take
the finest of edges. And all Eastern swords have this also in common,
that all have wooden or leather sheaths, so that no risk is run that the
edge of the blade shall ever be dulled from want of care. To-day, the
_Pata_ is never carried by Indian princes or nobles, even on occasions
of state and ceremony, and it is never seen in the hands of anybody
except the professional swordsmen, who give exhibitions of their skill
at the great fairs and at Mohammedan or Hindoo festivals, such as the
_Mohurrum_ or the _Dussera_. The performances of any one of these men
are wonderful. He will show the keenness of his weapon and his command
of its weight by cutting in two a leaf laid flat on the outstretched
palm of a friend, or by severing a cloth hanging loose in the air. He
will then squat down on his hams and will slice from side to side a
small nut, which is tossed on to the flat ground in front of him. He
will grasp a sword in each hand and, so armed, will spring from his feet
and throw somersaults backwards and forwards. Again, with sword and
shield in his hands, he will leap head foremost through the
stretched-out loop of a rope, held by two men at the height of their
heads, as a circus-rider leaps through a paper hoop, and alight safely
on his feet. These exhibitions are extremely popular, and the harvest of
small change collected by the plucky athlete from the crowd of gaping
spectators must do something to prevent the knowledge of the old
sword-play from dying out. I have never seen or heard of a European
essaying to handle the _Pata_, and, indeed, I have seldom seen a _Pata_
whose gauntlet hilt would admit the grasp of even a small European hand.

Another straight-bladed and double-edged sword is the _Khanda_ of the
Rajput, and as the Rajputs are the most long-descended, chivalrous, and
warlike of all the nations in India, so was the _Khanda_ held in the
highest honour and reverence, so was it worshipped yearly at the
festival of the _Karga S’hapna_ as a symbol of _Heri_, the god of
battle, and so was an oath sworn upon it the most binding of compacts.
Even to-day the _Khanda_, or indeed any sword, is recognised as an
offering showing the profoundest homage and the strictest fidelity, by
the universal Indian custom of presenting the hilt to a superior, who
touches it in acknowledgment of the implied loyalty. The _Khanda_, like
the _Pata_, is made of flexible steel of various degrees of excellence,
though all blades are of the most reliable description. A rough test may
be given, by which the merit of any particular straight blade may be
approximately gauged. If it has one groove running down its length, it
is good; if it has two, it is better, and if it has three, it is of
special worth. Sometimes the _Khanda_ has a long iron spike projecting
from the hilt, and this was probably for the purpose of using the sword
double-handed in case of need, and it could possibly also serve as an
additional weapon in a close _mêlée_. It is to be remarked that, in
using the _Pata_, _Khanda_, and other straight swords, the drawing cut
is still the favourite, though the form of the blade involves that it
must be somewhat modified.

Pass we to a class of swords which demand special remark, on account of
their appropriateness to the districts in which they have originated,
and of these there are two especially which attract our notice as being
essentially the same in character, though they differ somewhat in shape.
The _Kukri_, the national weapon of Nepal, is only eighteen or nineteen
inches in total length, and has a blade of bright steel, incurved,
heavy, and widening towards the point. It has more the qualities of a
good billhook than anything else, and it was no doubt originally devised
to do duty as a billhook as much as for fighting purposes, for the
Gorkha had to clear his way through the thickly growing vegetation of
the Terai forests. I have often lent to my shikaris, when shooting in
the Western Ghauts, a _Kukri_ for use in the jungle, and it always
proved invaluable. What a handy tool it is in the grasp of its true
proprietor, the Gorkha, is well known—how formidable it is as a weapon,
those who have been in action with our Gorkha battalions can
emphatically testify, and this can be the more clearly realised when it
is told that, with his _Kukri_, the Gorkha can strike off the head of a
bullock at one blow.

Like the Gorkha _Kukri_, the _Ayda Katti_, the big knife of the Coorg
mountaineer, derives its shape from the daily requirements of life in
dense jungles. The heavy monsoon clouds which, in their course, first
meet and void their moisture on the hilly west coast of India, nourish
an extraordinarily luxuriant vegetation, and the tribesmen there found
the constant want of an implement to cut a path through the lush bamboos
and creepers. The Coorg knife is about the same size as the _Kukri_, but
is wider and heavier. It has also an incurved blade, and is equally
useful for all the services of peace. The men of Coorg have had no
recent experience of war, but legend tells that, sword in hand, they
were in old days dreaded for their prowess in battle. The army of Hyder
Ali found the Nairs (Coorg tribesmen) the most redoubtable opponents
that it had to deal with before it had the ill-fortune to be marched
against British battalions. The Coorg knife has the peculiarity that it
alone, of all varieties of swords, never has a sheath. It is so
constantly required on the west coast that it is generally carried in
the hand ready for immediate use. When, of necessity, it is put aside,
it is carried, still with the blade uncovered, slung across the owner’s
hips.

No record of Indian swords would be complete without some mention of the
_Salawar Yataghan_, the Khyber or Afghan knife, though perhaps it more
properly belongs to the frontier. This is the weapon that in the hands
of the Ghazis, drunk with bhang and lust of slaughter, has, in the
actions on the North-West Frontier, done such stern work, and has also
been signalised as the terrible instrument with which the wounded, who
fell into Afghan hands, have ever been bloodily dispatched and
mutilated. It has a broad, heavy, single-edged, straight-backed blade
with a sharp point, and is so balanced that its trenchant cut is weighty
indeed.

The Afghan gives no drawing cut with his _Yataghan_, but cuts like a
European and, on occasion, uses the point. The weapon seems to be
especially devised for the use of desperate men who wish to kill,
without any thought of protecting themselves, for its handle being
absolutely plain and unguarded like that of an ordinary carving knife,
it can never be used effectively for warding a blow or parrying a
thrust. The blade is generally about two feet and two or three inches
long, and, made of bright steel, seems to derive its strength from its
proportions and its thickness rather than from high temper. The _Salawar
Yataghan_ cannot be classed as a weapon adapted to any of the scientific
niceties of swordsmanship, but must be thought of rather as a murderous
knife, fit alone for purposes of slaughter.

There are other forms of swords to be found on the frontiers of India,
the Burmese _Dha_, the Malay _Kris_, &c., &c., but none of them have any
special merit as warlike weapons, and they are really almost impotent
for attack or defence when opposed to the more well-considered weapons
of more cultivated peoples. All of them have their limitations of value;
they can inflict injury, but from their form they are essentially feeble
in defence.

It was natural that swords, in their hilts, their blades and their
sheaths, should, from the variety and general elegance of their shapes,
have been the basis of ornament to a very great extent. The Monarch, the
great Prince, or the warlike leader of men has, if he allowed himself
ornament at all (and here be it remarked that the most potent
individuals have almost always been remarkable for their personal
simplicity), generally lavished such ornament upon his sword, the emblem
of his power. And when he sent a gift to a brother potentate, or a man
whom he delighted to honour, it was not infrequently a sword of the most
perfect quality, adorned with jewels and workmanship of notable value.
The ornamentation of swords gives to us a strongly-marked and
trustworthy indication of the religion and often of the nationality of
the men who fashioned them. There is as much difference between the
artistic ideas of the north and south of India as there is between the
delicate and graceful architecture of the great Mohammedan shrines and
palaces, and the heavy, massive and sometimes grotesque construction of
the old Hindoo temples. To enter into all the peculiarities of ornament
would take too long, but it may shortly be said that, bearing in mind
that it is contrary to the Prophets’ law to reproduce the similitude of
any living thing, a sword ornamented with delicate tracery and a floral
pattern may generally be supposed to come from a Mohammedan race in the
North, while one bearing representations of men, beasts or birds, has
probably been made in the Brahminical South.

All kinds of materials have been used in ornamenting swords. Besides
precious jewels, gold and silver, a place has been found for Jaipur
enamel, Koftgari work, Bidri work, &c., &c., and all means have been
taken to add to artistic beauty, contrast of colour and intrinsic value.
If any one would see how rich is the effect thus produced, let him take
an opportunity of visiting one of our great national collections, those
places full of articles worthy to be “stored in some treasure-house of
mighty kings.”

There is one most invaluable quality in which all Eastern swords are
well-nigh perfect. They are all most admirably balanced and can all be
most effectively employed with the minimum of personal exertion. To
appreciate this transcendent quality at its proper value, it is only
necessary to handle an English cavalry sword, which is as much lacking
in true balance as any Indian sword possesses that most essential
character. The West has still some lessons to learn from the immemorial
East.

To talk of the swords only of India has exhausted all my space, and yet
but a very meagre sketch has been accomplished. Perhaps what has been
written may, however, induce some reader to make an exhaustive study of
the subject. He would surely be rewarded by learning much that is of the
highest artistic, historical and practical value.

The other weapons of India, and there are many, are of nearly, if not
quite, equal interest. Perhaps I may some day be allowed to say
something about them.



                               What Next?


Any one who has wielded his pen with the independence which you, Mr.
Editor, have permitted me to practise must expect criticism, nor should
he turn a deaf ear to it. Critics, friendly or otherwise, have passed
judgment on my Christmas dream of sport, my hazy forecast of its future,
and some have thrown at me the pertinent query of, “What next would you
have us believe, ‘you veiled old prophet of Khorassan’?” My only answer
to-day is that of the sucking dove. “Wait and see.”

In this new year I do not stand alone when the momentous question is
passed round of “What next?” among sportsmen, politicians, and
populations. Hard nuts to crack there are on every side, and we envy not
the jaws whose lot it is to deal with some of them.

Sportsmen, however, are for the most part content to sail with the
breeze—contrary winds are troublesome, and they do not like losing sight
of old landmarks, albeit in times like the present they are being wafted
farther and farther away from them. This their compass, if they will
only stop to consult it, must tell them only too truly. Ought they to
put back into harbour, or boldly dash on towards other coasts and new
scenes, of which it may profit them to know more? Does it not behove
them to live and learn in a wider sphere of life than when they started
on their life’s voyage; and, as politicians would put it, to think
Imperially, even of their sports?

Thus they must ere long come to see that in the unison of ideas, the
blending of nationalities, and the gradual bridging over of our insular
position, we are fated to learn, however unwillingly, that the past and
the future stand in an entirely different relation to one another than
they have been wont to do.

Sportsmen, I would appeal to you. Is it not in your inmost hearts a
question of what next all round the country? It was, perhaps, a bold
stroke on my part to advocate even the partial extinction of the
bookmakers, the reform of the Jockey Club, and the use of the Totaliser,
or _pari-mutuel_, so strongly as I did last month; yet common-sense,
expediency and profit seem to put this in the forefront of reforms on
the Turf in reply to the question which heads this article. Our
object-lesson on this subject is, undoubtedly, France, where, since
September last, the bookmaker as such has been totally excluded, and we
are indebted to a very lucid and exhaustive letter from a French backer,
in the _Sporting Times_, for a knowledge of the results of its first two
months’ working. He tells us that, taking the race meetings of
Longchamps, Maison-la-Flite, Chantilly, Auteuil, Colombus, St. Ouen, St.
Cloud, Compiegne and Enghien, the sum of 5,927,318 francs (£237,092)
more were taken at the _mutuel_ than in 1904, the total takings from
September 3rd to November 13th, 1905, being 66,917,515 francs
(£2,676,700), against, in 1904, 55,787,910 francs (£2,231,516), showing
an increase of over eleven million francs. It follows that the deduction
of 8 per cent., which is made for the benefit of horse-breeding,
agriculture and the poor of France, has brought an increase of 890,368
francs (£35,612)!

If the same ratio of increased receipts is maintained through next
year’s racing, the Societé des Courses alone will secure as its share of
the profit about one million two hundred thousand francs! Stubborn facts
these, which even the most inveterate Radical voter may take to heart in
choosing his candidate for whom to vote, although for this election at
least all votes will have been cast ere this article is published. If it
were possible to gauge the probable receipts in the United Kingdom of
the Totaliser as compared with France, we believe that the figures would
considerably exceed those of France, seeing that the stakes annually run
for in the United Kingdom, including steeplechasing and hurdle-racing,
amount to not far short of a million pounds, and that race-meetings in
this country are more widely distributed than in France. I am below the
mark in calculating that at least ten times the stakes are made in bets,
from which the deduction of 8 per cent, would produce a sum of eight
hundred thousand a year.

What would the poor, the sick and the honest unemployed give for a dole
out of this fund?

What would oppressed agriculture, unendowed horse-breeding, or the poor
Royal Agricultural Society, say to the chance of a dip into this lucky
bag? In almost every other country besides our own where racing
flourishes, such an opportunity of effecting an economic reform, without
increasing taxation, or interfering with vested interests, has been
hailed with delight. In fact, we stand alone as a civilised nation in
our abstention from its adoption, yet we have not, as it would seem, the
motive power. If our conscientious objectors could but be made to see
that by its adoption the worst features of our gambling pursuits would
be checked, if not abolished, and that true sport in all its branches
would thrive under its _ægis_, perhaps our legislature would throw no
obstacles in its way. Perhaps then our Jockey Club, always so slow to
lead the way, would throw off their _vis inertia_ and become its
disciples?

Perhaps, however, this important question may remain buried in the lap
of the future, unless public attention is called to it ever and again
with increasing vehemence, and we are able to see more clearly the bane
of our insular position, and the false pride which blinds and prejudices
us.

I have had the opportunity of discussing this question with many racing
men, and with scarcely an exception they have brought no arguments
forward antagonistic to it, the majority indeed being its advocates; yet
there comes the reiterated cry from those who call themselves practical
men: “My dear fellow; how are you going to act about it! What chance is
there of obtaining sanction from the legislature?”

Supposing I were to suggest the similitude of the bye-gone Welsh remedy,
which in its result swept away the multiplication of turnpikes in South
Wales some seventy years ago, which materially hindered the traffic
between Wales and England. These Welshmen donned the nightdresses of
women, calling themselves daughters of Rebecca, who was “not afraid to
meet her enemies in the Gate,” and on swift cobs they swooped down at
night on all the gates, smashing and burning them. Neither the police
nor military could catch one of them, and very soon it began to dawn on
the Government that a good reason underlaid this lawlessness. A Royal
Commission was appointed, which was the means of an Act of Parliament
being passed which swept away the objectionable gates and placed the
roads under Government supervision, and they then became the best in the
Kingdom.

And now to apply the simile. The legislature has decided by the Kempton
Park case that a racecourse is not such a public place as stated in the
last Betting Act, where betting can be prohibited. Why, therefore,
should not the Totalizer be erected there, and betting by such means be
allowed just as much and as legally as it is now carried on by
bookmakers. This cannot, to my thinking, be considered as a lottery,
pure and simple, because it does not depend upon your merely drawing out
the lucky number. You have all the prowess of the horses and the skill
of their riders weighing in the balance, and you stand in exactly the
same position as the man that speculates in stocks, or insures his
risks. Why not, therefore, erect the Totaliser on some enclosures on our
racecourses? and even should they prove targets for the attack of the
police, or possibly the bookmakers, at starting, I believe that
ultimately, sooner indeed than later, their case will prevail, and then
the greatest and most wholesome reform in racing will take effect. It
will then be time for my critics to exclaim, “What next?”

As regards hunting, I have only to appeal to your correspondent J. J. D.
J.’s article in your magazine of last month, “Is Hunting Doomed?” to
show that we cannot hope to see it carried on in many countries in the
same haphazard way as of old. Despite the fact that its devotees are as
keen and as good as ever, its facilities are narrowed year by year, and
its difficulties multiplied. Oh, that it were not so, for as your
readers, especially your elder readers, must know, in “Borderer’s” heart
as a true sport, where gain or loss has no part, hunting stands alone as
the best, most ennobling, and manliest sport that we can enjoy.
Cosmopolitan also it has hitherto been. How long it will remain so we
dread to contemplate. That also lies in the lap of the future.

When the what next of shooting is considered, I confess to being
completely carried off my legs. Gunners have of late increased so
rapidly in numbers and methods, that we know not where we may not be
within the next few years, looking at the fact that circumstances are
annually lending themselves to the extension of game preserving, and
that the _nouveaux riches_ can so easily indulge in this taste, which
requires little learning, and short practice. Its aids to introduction
into Society; its excuses for hospitality; its Royal patronage—all bring
it immeasurably to the front; and when we read, as we did last month, of
over 8,000 pheasants being slaughtered in three days at Vater Priory, we
wonder what are the probabilities, or possibilities, or the future of
shooting. Truly they can only be measured by the depth of the purse. All
else can be thrown in.

I see that the Sporting League have issued a manifesto, warning
sportsmen of dreadful things which the change in the Government is
likely to bring about. Lord Daney’s Betting Bill is to be revived in its
worst phases, and the sporting correspondent of _Truth_ vouchsafes the
opinion that he will see the sun and the moon drop from the sky before
ready money betting will be legalised! This latter declaration fills me
with hope, knowing, as we do, how often these truthful prophecies turn
out to be fallacious!

Nor do I set much value on the fears of the Sporting League, because, if
the _vox populi_ is tested, as we are given to understand that it will
be under Radical dominion, the betting question is much more likely to
take a wider range, and peer and peasant alike will have equal rights of
investing their money under perfect security on racecourses without let
or hindrance. This can only be accomplished by means of the Totaliser,
and working men will soon come to know that the usages of our Colonies
and other neighbouring countries to their own have come to appreciate
the benefits that it confers on them, and thus they will demand a vote
in its favour at home.

It will take me a long time to believe that the faddists and the working
men are destined to lie down together in perfect peace. Their ideas and
methods are so utterly opposed. Indeed, my faith in the coming about of
this great reform rests in “the tail wagging the head,” and that if the
Jockey Club are to be stirred up, and the middle classes moved to
action, it will be done by the progressive shoulder-to-shoulder pressure
of the people, when once they appreciate the position, and realise the
advantages to be gained, of which no small share will fall to their lot.

Thus perhaps the answer to “What Next?” will ring out.

                                                               BORDERER.



                               Foxhounds.


                         THE SIRES OF THE DAY.

There will always be a certain amount of controversy in regard to the
choice of sires. Some people are bigoted enough still in the belief that
good looks and a level formation have nothing to do with the success of
hound-breeding, and that attention only should be paid to abilities in
the hunting field. If this had been the dictum of the Dukes of Rutland
and Beaufort, or of Lord Henry Bentinck, or Mr. G. S. Foljambe, the
breed would have well-nigh died out; but the great masters would have
necks and shoulders, intelligent heads, deep ribs, straightness in
fore-leg, and the round, cat-like foot. There is everything to charm one
in the well-bred foxhound, and is there anything like him? The
Peterborough Shows have done good in bringing the best-looking together,
and in giving opportunities for seeing the best. There has been
everything to prove that the best-looking are generally the greatest;
they are so in nineteen cases out of twenty, and as they are picked for
appearances as puppies, there should be nothing to offend the eye at all
in any well-regulated pack. At Belvoir a moderate-looking one even
cannot be seen. They are all beautiful hounds, and the difficulty is to
find fault. This is the general high standard of the country, and with
masters of hounds in great numbers who will have perfect hounds in and
out of kennel, the conclusion must be arrived at that there is no other
breed of animal so well looked after. The winners of the Champion Prizes
at Peterborough during the last twenty years have been very great as
sires. What a deal of good can be traced now to the Fitzwilliam Selim,
and what a magnificent hound he was; and then there was the Warwickshire
Hermit and Harper, the Oakley Rhymer, the Pytchley Paradox and
Potentate, the Craven Vagabond, the Puckeridge Wellington, the Cleveland
Galopin, and not to forget also the Quorn Alfred, the champion of his
time, as did not Tom Firr lead him back a winner? There have been lots
besides as either champions or winners in the couples of unentered ones,
such as the Dumfriesshire Resolute, who has replenished half the Scotch
kennels with good hounds, and the Pytchley Marquis, who stood in the
ring with Resolute for the Single Puppy Cup, when the judges, Lord
Enniskillen and Mr. Austin Mackenzie, eyed the couple for five minutes
before they could decide that the Pytchley young one was a shade the
better. Never have two young champions done more for the cause of sport,
as to ask concerning all the good that has been done by Marquis is to
set John Isaac on the pinnacle of excitement.

[Illustration:

  [PUCKERIDGE.]
      COLONIST (1903).             CARDINAL (1902).
  [By Chancellor—Sarah.]       [By Chancellor—Dauntless.]
]

Belvoir has never shown at Peterborough or any other show. Frank Gillard
used graciously to say that it was charity to give other people a
chance; but anyway, the ducal kennel has always had plenty of good
mention at Peterborough, as a great many winners have been by its sires;
and it has become a practice also amongst far distant masters of hounds
to visit Belvoir on the day after the show, and thus to extend their
insight amongst all exquisites of the foxhound family. It is just thirty
years ago (1876) since Belvoir Weathergage was entered, and what an
enormous amount of good has come from this single hound. At home he was
the sire of Gambler and Gameboy, besides others of lesser note; and for
other packs there was the Brocklesby Weathergage, the Fitzwilliam
Weathergage, the Grafton Why Not, the Southwold Freeman, and the
Warwickshire Why Not, all very noted hounds. One can scarcely say how
many more famous sons of Weathergage there were, but just as he was
spoken of by Frank Gillard as the best hound he ever hunted, Mr.
Rawnsley, of the Southwold, says the same of his son Freeman, whilst
very similar in character must have been the Grafton Why Not. In the
next generation the excellence was again well continued; as where have
better hounds been seen than the sons of Gambler, with Nominal and
Gordon at home, and Lord Middleton’s Grimthorpe and Grasper, Mr. Austin
Mackenzie’s Rallywood, Lord Galway’s Gambler, and the Grafton General
and Gorgon. Gameboy, brother to Gambler, brought more kudos into the
famous line, as he was the sire of the Holderness Gaffer, sire of their
Steadfast, and the latter has been very useful in many packs. The line
has apparently got stronger in years and generations, as from Watchman,
son of Nominal, comes Dexter, a great sire certainly during the last six
or seven years, and his son Stormer is the most fashionable, if not the
greatest, of the day.

Belvoir Stormer (1899) is a very grand hound of the Gambler type, but a
bit on the big side, good twenty-four inches, but there is all the
quality in him of the Belvoir hound, and he has beautiful legs and feet.
I make him out to have as much or more Osbaldeston Furrier blood in him
than in any other to be found in the Stud-book. It came in through
Weathergage, of course, back to Senator, and he got it through his dam
Destitute, by Sir Richard Sutton’s Dryden, by Lord Henry Bentinck’s
Contest. But then there was so much Senator blood in Gratitude, the dam
of Gambler, and again in Needy, the dam of Nominal, as she was by
Syntax, son of the Grafton Silence, son of Statesman by Senator, by the
Oakley Sportsman, her dam Needless by Contest, out of Novelty, by
Senator. The success of Stormer for other packs than his own has been
almost extraordinary, and this can be seen in _Baily’s Directory_,
giving the names and the pedigrees of the prize puppies at the various
kennel puppy shows. They were first in the Quorn, Tynedale, Duke of
Buccleuch’s (in bitches), Pytchley (in bitches), Lord Middleton’s (in
bitches), and second in the North Staffordshire (dogs), the latter a
remarkable puppy called General (a present as a whelp from Mr. R.
Corbett, of the South Cheshire, as he would persistently join the pack
when at walk, and hunt like an old one before he was entered).

It may be thought that there was more honour attached to Stormer in his
earlier days, as the sire of the Atherstone Struggler and Streamer; of
Lord Bathurst’s Stentor, unfortunately dead, when he promised to be one
of the pillars of the family, as besides being the best puppy of his
year at Peterborough, he got some very good stock, as seen by the puppy
shows. Then there is Lord Yarborough’s Harbinger, exceedingly good
looking, and so good in his work as to have been used in his second
season; and some others in various kennels thought very highly of.
Stormer, though, was in no degree more useful or popular than his sire
Dexter, whose son, Daystar, was supposed to have been the best-looking
hound bred at Belvoir since Gambler, but he was unfortunately killed by
a kick in the hunting field. Dasher, another son of Dexter, met with a
similar fate. Both these hounds got beautiful stock. But besides
Stormer, there was another son of Dexter of the same age in Handel,
almost more bloodlike in outline than the other, and as the sire of the
Warwickshire Traveller to be held much in esteem. Both Stormer and
Handel are still in orders at Belvoir. Lord Middleton has a great
opinion of his own Dexter by the old Belvoir hound, and he has used him
freely. Some very good sorts are brought in through the Birdsall Dexter,
as his dam Woodbine was by the Grafton Woodman, so on both sides
accounting for his excellence in the field. There is really a plentitude
of the Belvoir Dexter and Stormer blood throughout the country, as
through the former’s son, Dasher, again comes in the Rufford Furrier,
with every promise to become a great sire; and there was a young hound
in the Bicester kennels last year called Deemster, by Dasher, out of a
beautiful bitch called Bravery, that looked like making a name if he has
gone on all right.

If a breeder of hounds commenced his operations from the Belvoir
Weathergage (1876), there are probably six distinct lines to work upon,
or most certainly four, and he need hardly go further afield for blood,
but cross from one to the other, just as old Mr. Parry used to do with
his Pilgrims and Rummagers, and Mr. G. S. Foljambe did from the brothers
Harbinger and Herald. The subsequent occupants of their kennel benches
were not too nearly bred, five generations off was old Parry’s plan; but
still, they were all blood relations. To speak with any certainty I
should take the four lines from the brothers Gambler and Gameboy, and
the two others from the Grafton Whynot (1882) and the Southwold Freeman
(1885). The Gamblers I have pretty well referred to above, but his
brother, Gameboy, was almost as important as the sire of the Holderness
Gaffer, sire of their Steadfast, and of Mr. Austin Mackenzie’s Guider
and Gambler. Of these Gaffer occupies an important page in the “Foxhound
Kennel Stud Book,” as he was the sire of the Warwickshire Sailor, the
sire of the Brocklesby Wrangler. Steadfast, again, was the sire of two
very good stud-hounds of the present day, namely, Lord Harrington’s
Sultan and Salisbury (brothers). The Grafton Whynot was in no degree
less important than any of the above, as he was the sire of Workman,
sire of Wonder, sire of Woodman, whose good ones throughout the country
have been almost legion, to include the Craven or Old Berks Woodman, the
Vale of White Horse Worcester, the Grafton Whynot (of 1897), the
Puckeridge Chancellor (1898), and the Badminton Whipster (in orders five
years). In my most recent travels I have heard of nothing but praise of
the Grafton Woodman’s stock, splendid for nose, hard workers, demons on
a dying fox, and always dependable for season after season. The old dog
was thirteen years old before he was put away last spring, and I shall
always regret not seeing him, as, to judge him from every point, he must
have belonged to the very greatest. His son, Worcester, in Mr. Butt
Miller’s kennels, enjoys the same reputation so closely associated with
his sire, as there could be no better foxhound on the line of a fox, and
he has got good ones right and left for Lord Bathurst’s, the Duke of
Beaufort’s, the Craven, the Morpeth, and other packs all having
representatives by him, besides a big following at home. The Craven
regretted that their litter by him of three couples were all bitches, as
they were so good, and a dog to have been a sire would have been all too
acceptable. However, Lord Bathurst has got two very good sons of
Worcester in Weathergage and Wellington, who trace back on their dam’s
side also to some very telling blood from Mr. Austin Mackenzie’s Dexter,
Belvoir Weathergage again, Warwickshire Harper, and Lord Coventry’s
Rambler. Cooper thought last year that Weathergage might be the best
foxhound in England. He should not be missed, therefore, by
hound-breeders. Mr. Butt Miller has naturally several young Worcester
sires, the brothers Bandit and Barrister striking me as about the best
when I saw them. It is noticeable that the Morpeth’s second prize puppy,
Whynot, was a son of Worcester’s.

The Bicester have had reason to uphold the Grafton Woodman line, as some
of their best are by Whynot, notably a grand third-season dog called
Wrangler, who gave one the impression of becoming a stud-hound of note
some day. There are two or three of Mr. Heywood Lonsdale’s worth taking
a good journey to see, Conqueror being one, and he is quite one of Lord
Chesham’s breeding, going back into the Blankney sorts. The second prize
puppy of the kennel last year was by Conqueror.

To turn again, though, to the Grafton Whynot. I saw him last May, with
nine seasons marked against him, and the rumour was that he had been
promised to Squire Drake, who might breed a pack again for the Old Berks
through this son of Woodman alone, if he could keep the old fellow in
useful orders long enough. He got rare stock for the Grafton, and so did
his son, Wiseacre, who died too prematurely; whilst another son called
Waggoner—still available, I expect—had the reputation of being the
hardest driver in the pack. Of the Grafton dogs, though, I liked
President the best, and he was out of a Woodman bitch. The next share of
usefulness to be credited to Woodman may come from the Puckeridge, as
Mr. Edward Barclay bred from him in 1897 with a bitch that went back to
old Mr. Parry’s sorts, through Lord Portsmouth’s Gainer, a very noted
worker, as I well remember, and got by Mr. Parry’s Gulliver far back in
the sixties. Gainer was so good that the late Lord Galway favoured him
extensively, entering three couples by him from four litters in 1873.
Mr. Lane Fox was one of his patrons, and also Belvoir; but for the
latter great kennel he did not get them very good about the knees.

The result of Mr. Barclay’s patronage to the Grafton Wonder, was
Chancellor, and he was like all the rest of them, quite A1 in his work,
and going on into his eighth season, at any rate. He has been bred from
for the last five years with bitches mostly of Belvoir extraction, and
in the Puckeridge list of 1904 there were eight couples by him in
different years; all very good, so Mr. Barclay and his late huntsman,
Jem Cockayne, have stated; but the best of all was Cardinal, out of
Dauntless, by Belvoir Watchman, son of Nominal, son of Gambler, son of
Weathergage, her dam Dahlia by Shamrock, son of Dashwood by Founder,
belonging to the Fallible family. A splendidly bred hound, therefore, is
the Puckeridge Cardinal, entered in 1902, so now just in his prime. He
is a fine big hound also, and so good in his work as to have left a very
strong impression upon Jem Cockayne, who was never happy unless Mr.
Barclay kept breeding from him heavily, and about the first thing he did
when engaged for the North Warwickshire was to get Mr. Arkwright to do
the same. He told me he should like to have a kennel full of Cardinals,
and really the puppy boxes at Brent Pelham last year were full of them.
Another by Chancellor in the Puckeridge Kennel is Colonist, a year
younger than Cardinal, but with almost as great a reputation, and bred
very like his companion, as he was out of Sarah, by Belvoir Dashwood.
Colonist took second prize as a puppy at Peterborough.

Yet another line from the ever-telling Belvoir Weathergage may be traced
from the Southwold Freeman, who was thought by Mr. Rawnsley to have been
the best hound he ever hunted in his life, and for the last twenty years
this gentleman has shown a strong determination to hold the line. He had
five and a half couples by him before the good hound was a
five-year-old, and six couples and a half were entered afterwards from
numerous litters. The same line can be traced through several channels
at the present time, and to Frantic, sister to Freeman. Much of his has
been crossed again to the Grafton Woodman, as Workable, a well-known
Southwold bitch, has been a great treasure in the field and as a breeder
of good ones; and Valliant, possibly Mr. Rawnsley’s best sire, is by the
Brocklesby Wrangler, one of the sorts, as I have mentioned in this
paper, out of a Freeman-bred bitch. To trace the branches from the
Belvoir Weathergage, there is everything, then, to show that the merit
has been almost inexhaustible, and that, if anything, it has increased
in intensity by intercrossing: the Grafton Wonder, with the Gambler
line, as instanced in the case of the Puckeridge Cardinal, and the
Freemans, as shown by the Brocklesby Wrangler and Vanity, in their
production of the Southwold Valliant; and again in the case of Worcester
breeding his best from Nominal- or Gambler-bred bitches. It is a problem
of breeding, and all compassed in thirty years. I can hardly believe it
to be so long ago, looking back to 1873, when chatting to Frank Gillard,
on the old flags at Belvoir, we admired Warrior, the crack of the
kennel, as I then opined, and how Gillard told me that the beautiful
blood-like hound before us was rather the result of an experiment. He
hardly dared to breed from Wonder, on account of his swine chap, but he
was tempted by his beautiful voice, and his union with Susan produced a
perfect litter, to comprise Woodman, Warrior, Woeful, Welcome and
Whimsey, all good-looking enough to be put on, and useful in producing
subsequent Belvoir beauties; but the star of all was Warrior, the sire
of Weathergage. Nearly all the best foxhound sires of the day trace to
the latter, and it would be no very bad policy to breed from the older
ones of their generation as long as they can be found—Belvoir Stormer,
Handel, Grafton Why Not, Cricklade Worcester, Brocklesby Wrangler and
Badminton Dexter—but still to remember that there is a younger
generation, or even two, that is quite as good, and maybe safer, when
enumerating the sires of the day, as the Warwickshire Traveller, the
Belvoir Vaulter and Royal, the Atherstone Struggler and Streamer, the
Grafton Waggoner and President, the Birdsall Dexter, the Puckeridge
Cardinal, the Bicester Wrangler, the Fitzwilliam Harper, the Southwold
Valliant, the Cricklade Bandit and the Cirencester Weathergage.

                                                             G. S. LOWE.



                            Hunt “Runners.”
                                  III.
                          “HARRY” AND SELLARS.


No better tribute to the scope of the runner’s usefulness could be put
forth than the fact that he is running with us to-day. As might be
expected, quite a little band of scarlet-coated runners live within easy
reach of Melton and Oakham, a privileged area in which sport with one or
other of the four Leicestershire packs may be seen on six days of the
week. Theirs is a hard life at best, and were they not thoroughly endued
with the spirit for sport, they could not for long follow their calling;
but the runner of the rising generation has not the enthusiasm of a
former generation. As for reminiscences, his begin and end with the
week’s sport; as for the future, he hopes the going will not be any
heavier in the coming week.

[Illustration:

  LEICESTERSHIRE RUNNERS.
]

The journey to covert through the characteristic Leicestershire gates,
across grass fields and cow pastures, is the runner’s opportunity to be
useful; at the meet the possession by the great majority of hunting men
of second horsemen render his services less in demand than they used to
be. The hunt runner is not the character he was in our forefathers’ day;
but there are still uses for him in certain districts. At the present
time both the Quorn and the Cottesmore have recognised men to lead their
terriers, and perform other functions. With the Belvoir a runner may be
seen joining the hunt on a Leicestershire day, but he is more or less
“on his own”; for if a terrier is out it is running with the pack or led
by a second horseman. So far as the Lincolnshire side of the Belvoir
country is concerned, it is no country for runners; the area traversed
is very wide, and the going is much too heavy to let a man on foot keep
in touch with a well-mounted hunt. The same applies to the Blankney
country, where we never remember seeing a runner on any occasion; the
Blankney Hunt terrier is always carried by one of the second horsemen,
slung in a game-bag so that he can be brought on the scene at the
shortest notice.

When Lord Lonsdale instituted his memorable reign as master of the Quorn
in 1893, he organised every detail of his staff, from Tom Firr in
leathers and swan-necked spurs, to the hunt runners carrying the very
latest pattern of bolting apparatus. No commander-in-chief of an army
ever entered on a plan of campaign better found in every department, and
the result was entirely satisfactory for sport, good runs, with a fox at
the finish, being the order of things. On the opening day of that season
at Kirby Gate, we had the good fortune to be one of the field mounted by
Mr. James Hornsby, who then lived at Stapleford Park. Amongst the crowd
at the meet, the figure of Harry the runner came in for general
observation. He turned out in scarlet coat of a texture not too heavy;
white flannel knickerbockers, black stockings, and a well-groomed
hunting cap. He led a couple of varminty wire-haired terriers of the
celebrated Lonsdale breed, and strapped to his back was a patent
sapper’s spade with pick, made of the best steel. Thus equipped, Harry
appears in one of the Quorn series of hunt pictures by Major Giles,
which depicts hounds marking to ground in one of the characteristic
hills typical of the woodland side of Leicestershire. With Harry was
another runner, a strong athletic young fellow with a heavy moustache,
who carried a bolting apparatus in the shape of thirty-five feet of
piping with a brush at the end of it, not unlike that used by
chimney-sweeps. Known to the hunt department as Sunny Marlow, he has
always worked with Harry.

On the occasion before us, contrary to custom, the first draw was Welby
Fishponds, instead of Gartree Hill, and we were marshalled by the field
master, Mr. Lancelot Lowther, a field away whilst hounds drew covert. At
last the silver whistles proclaimed hounds away on the back of a fox,
and the cavalcade swept down the hillside. After a hunt of about an
hour, with a somewhat catchy scent, and a blind line of country that
laid the field out like ninepins, hounds marked to ground over a drain
between Old Dalby Wood and Sixhills. Before we had been there five
minutes, Harry was on the scene with his apparatus and terriers.
Unstrapping the spade, he took off his coat, and putting his back into
the work, he cut the sods out in double quick time. It was a
characteristic shallow Leicestershire drain, running across a grass
field, and crowning down into it, a terrier was put in at the far end.
This moved the fox, and Alfred Earp, the whipper-in, was ready to seize
him by the brush as he tried to slip further up. Wriggling like an eel
at arm’s length, he was flung adrift, and the pack coursing the length
of a field, rolled him over—the first fox of the season.

An official Quorn runner must be a good hand with the spade, for he gets
many a rough day’s work in the off season digging out badgers, which
abound in high Leicestershire. As most people know, badgers are very
untidy neighbours for a fox covert, working out the earths so that
stopping out becomes an increased difficulty. Very often digging out a
badger earth may mean a week or two of solid work, for badgers go very
deep, often among the roots of trees. As a rule the soil is light and
sandy, working well; where badgers have been imported into clay soil
districts to work out earths for foxes, they have at first opportunity
migrated to districts where the digging suited them better. This last
autumn one of the hunt runners told us that after some very hard digging
they got hold of three badgers whose combined weight turned the scale at
a hundredweight, the largest measuring 3 ft. 10 in. in length. The
badgers are killed, and their skins sent in to the Master of the Hunt as
trophies.

Since Captain Forester undertook the mastership last season, Harry has
again, we understand, become a paid member of the staff as in Lord
Lonsdale’s time. If the two men are not seen running with the Hunt on
the same day, the one is pretty sure to be stopping earths in another
district for next day.

A runner with the Cottesmore has to put a great deal of travelling into
a day’s hunting when the fixture is wide of Oakham; on Mondays and
Thursdays an average journey to the meet is from twelve to fifteen
miles, with no chance of a lift by rail. Sellars, who has been runner
for the best part of twenty seasons, tells us that he frequently starts
from Oakham, with his terriers, at eight o’clock in the morning, to
reach such fixtures as Castle Bytham, Holywell Hall, Stocken-Hall, or
Clipsham, by eleven. Fortunately at the end of the day, hounds work back
towards Oakham, so that when they whip off the runner is nearer his
well-earned supper. Sellars is a well-set-up, active fellow, who relies
on his own energies to carry him through, and where the heart is keen
for sport it is astonishing what a man can accomplish. A younger runner
to-day of shorter build lessens his labours by using a bicycle, which
certainly gives him an advantage in districts where the roads serve. But
Sellars has ridden to hounds in his time second horseman, as far back as
when William Neil carried the horn, and he is hardly likely to adopt the
“wheel.” In his cap, scarlet coat and leggings, he is the typical,
sharp-featured runner, in hard condition to go all day, perfectly at
home in the country, which he knows by heart.

With the respectful manner of one who has been in touch with hunting all
his life, Sellars is not a great talker; he is a silent admirer of all
connected with the Cottesmore Hunt, in which his sun rises and sets.
During the hunting season there is plenty of work to be had between
times in the shape of badger digging and earth stopping, besides taking
a turn as beater when there is shooting going on in the district. The
hay and corn harvest gives every available hand the chance of a fair
day’s work for good pay, the farmers then finding the Hunt runners
employment.

Sellars calls to mind the memories of a long succession of brilliant
Cottesmore Hunt servants: mentioning William Neil and his famous first
whip, Jimmy Goddard, who was the _beau ideal_ of a horseman, and hung a
boot better than most. The long service of George Gillson, as huntsman
for the best part of twenty years, was remarkable for consistent and
good sport, very popular with the countryside. A whipper-in who had a
long tenure of service at that time was George Jull, who remained on for
a season or two under Arthur Thatcher, and then went to Ireland. Amongst
the many occasions that Sellars has helped to extricate horse and rider
after a fall, he calls to mind an incident when Jull came such a
crumpler, that he had to be conveyed by the Hunt runner to the nearest
farmhouse.

Sellars was one of those who rendered first aid when Colonel Little took
a bad fall this season, his horse rolling over him with serious
consequences. A runner, if he is worth his salt, must be ready for any
emergency, from rendering “first aid” to handling a fox or leading an
unwilling hound. Very often his duties are in the track of the hunt,
shutting gates and collecting strayed stock, so that he must be included
amongst those who further sport by repairing mistakes of the careless.



                      Oxford and Cheltenham Coach.


To some who have read and heard what a sight it was in the old days to
witness the coaches—both mail and stage—coming into and leaving
Cheltenham, it may be a matter of surprise to learn that as late as 1862
a mail coach was running daily between Oxford and Cheltenham, an
illustration of which is given with this short article, this being taken
from a water-colour drawing by Mr. Bayzand, of Oxford, who has very
kindly given me some interesting particulars of the coach and those
connected with it. And I am also indebted to the courtesy of my friend
Mr. Hendy, of the G.P.O., for further information as to dates, &c., &c.

[Illustration:

  OXFORD AND CHELTENHAM COACH.
]

It appears that the coach first commenced to run in 1846–7, and did not
carry mails until 1848, from which time till October 1st, 1855, mails
were carried by it free of charge, _i.e._, merely in consideration of
freedom from tolls; but from the date mentioned the sum of £150 per
annum was given to the proprietors in addition to this privilege. The
original owners were Mr. Waddell and Mr. Dangerfield, of Oxford, but
after three or four years the concern was taken over and worked by Isaac
Day, the trainer, of Northleach (through which quaint, and to this day
remote, little town the coach of course passed daily), John Mills, of
Burford, and Daniel Blake, of Cheltenham; and a little later still the
last named took it over entirely, ultimately disposing of the business
to Messrs. Edward Allen and William Colee, of the George Hotel,
Cheltenham. Mr. Allen died in 1854, and the coach was then run by
William Colee himself till the summer of 1856, when Mr. Richard Glover
took it over, Colee retiring. George Colee, brother to William, is the
coachman shown in picture, he used to drive from Oxford half the
journey, bringing the up coach back, it being a day coach leaving Oxford
and Cheltenham respectively at 11 a.m. Though starting from the “Old
Three Cups Hotel,” Oxford, the coach was kept and horses stabled at the
“Lamb and Flag,” St. Giles; the horsekeeper’s name there was Morgan. I
am told that two portraits in the picture are particularly good—that of
George Colee, and the grey leader; this mare was bought by Mr. Blake
from Isaac Day, and I fancy she must have been a real good animal, as it
is still remembered and recorded that her name was “Skater,” and she was
blind. Isaac Day, by the way, was noted for his liking for a good cob,
and no doubt during his connection with the coach he horsed his stage,
or stages, well. The old trainer died in 1859, just about three years
before the coach ceased to run, as it made its last journey in January,
1862, in which month the Witney branch of railway was opened. Though a
mail the coach was not a fast one, being timed at from seven to eight
miles an hour. After it ceased to run George Colee, I understand,
contracted for the Steventon Mail, and one or two others local to
Oxford, in which city he died. To those among the readers of these lines
who knew Oxford in the old days, it may be of interest to note that in
the picture the coach is represented on the Botley Road, passing
Morrell’s old rick yard and the path leading to Ferry Hincksey, now all
built over.

                                                         S. A. KINGLAKE.



                    The Broads as a Sporting Centre.


To the greater bulk of the thousands who visit the Broads season after
season the great water-ways of Norfolk and Suffolk are an attractive
summer holiday resort—that and that only. The all-round excellence and
great variety of sport obtainable throughout the year is known only to a
comparatively small number, and is indulged in by but few even of those.
Probably summer sailing will remain the principal pastime—it is possibly
the most enjoyable—on these waters for all time. And with good reason.
Granted some knowledge of sailing craft and decent care in navigation,
absolute safety is assured for even the smallest craft. The numerous
regattas offer opportunities for the more skilful to prove their skill
in friendly competition before admiring associates. Scores of miles of
rivers and acres upon acres of broads are open to all—expert and novice
alike. Equally enjoyable, in the opinion of many, is a holiday spent on
a wherry, and not a few parties “swear by” the keen pleasure associated
with a holiday under canvas, “camping out.” Inseparable from all is
angling. And what a variety of anglers one meets with on the Broads!
They fish from wherries, from yachts, from boats, from the bank, and,
indeed, from any and every point of vantage. They use all sorts of
tackling, from the boy’s polished ash-wood rod and ready furnished
line—evidently purchased merely for the holiday and the fun of the
thing—to the perfectly tapered roach pole and line of gossamer fineness,
greatly prized tackling handled by an expert, who means fishing in all
seriousness. Not infrequently a young couple, “pegged down” in very
close proximity and evidently preoccupied with some other matter nearer
and dearer than angling, allow the rod at their feet to angle for
itself—which is, perhaps, the very best thing they can do if they really
wish to catch fish.

[Illustration:

  CASTING A NET FOR SMALL LINE BAIT.

  _Photo by Clarke and Hyde._]
]

The artist, the botanist, and entomologist are numbered among the
holiday seekers; and the indolent individual, “come to do nothing but
lazy around,” is also in evidence, of course. All alike are happy as the
days come and go and the summer wears on. Not the least enjoyable time
is the late evening, when the wherries and yachts are moored for the
night and the canvas camps are lit up. The solemn quietude of Broadland
reigns on all sides, and than Broadland at night, can anything be more
quiet, more peaceful, more soothing? The distant barking of a dog, the
sound of song or music floating on the air from some craft, the splash
of oars as a belated boating party passes by on the smooth surface of
the stream, the flop! of a big bream “priming”—all these only go to
accentuate the actual and wonderful quiet. So quiet is it, indeed, that
as our ardent angler, out fishing for the night, lights his pipe, the
scratch of the match on the box may be heard for some considerable
distance. Thus the summer wears away; the end of the holiday comes all
too soon, and the Broads lie neglected—or nearly so.

Yet the opportunities for sport after the holiday folk have departed and
before they return are many. Those sportsmen are not wanting who will
tell you that they prefer the room of the holiday seekers to their
company, and that “sport on the Broads has gone to the deuce since the
advent of hordes of cheap trippers and big boys with boats.” This is,
however, too severe an estimate of the character of those who frequent
the Broads during the summer. Other and probably more sound reasons
could be given for the falling off in sport of late years; although it
must be acknowledged that the presence of large crowds through the
summer must have a more or less bad effect on sport all the year round.
That sport on the Broads has declined is, unfortunately, beyond doubt.
Granted this, however, there still remains satisfying sport available if
only the sportsman will adapt his methods to the altered condition of
affairs.

[Illustration:

  A BROADLAND SPORTSMAN WITH HIS PUNT AND DOG.

  _Photo by Clarke & Hyde._]
]

Take, for instance, the rudd-fishing. The bags of these fish are
considerably smaller now than they were ten, aye, even five years ago.
It is quite possible that the crowds of summer holiday folk are partly
responsible for this falling off; but is it not also probable that the
gradual filling up of some parts of the Broads, mostly those parts where
rudd do love to congregate, is by far the more important cause? Where
the angler used to find the rudd in, say, two feet of water, there is
now but a foot—in many cases barely that—yet the fish are still there.
It is rather amusing than otherwise to watch the holiday folk going for
these wary fish in such shallow water with the orthodox tackle of years
gone by, _i.e._, a fine running line, float and shotted bottom; it is
surprising to see a sportsman doing the same thing. Now, the rudd is
essentially a summer-feeding fish, and what is more he is, when
shoaling, a surface-feeding fish; therefore, even while the summer
holiday folk are present, get you an eleven-foot fly rod, attach to the
end of your taper line a two-yard fine taper gut cast, armed at the end
with a fairly large crystal-bend hook; fill the hook with well-scoured
gentles (half-a-dozen is not too many), and casting as you would with a
fly, put this bait among the rudd that are shoaling in the shallow
water, and see what will happen! The lid of your creel will constantly
creak a welcome to a lusty specimen, and you will return to quarters
with a heavy bag and a light heart, while the man with the float and
shots will most probably return with a light bag, swearing at the
decadence of sport on the Broads, and cursing the “cheap-tripper” as the
cause of his non-success. So, too, with the bream-fishing. The day has
gone by when you could pitch anywhere and make sure of a big bag of
bream. This, also, is a summer-feeding fish, principally. Yet you have
only to go about your work in a methodical and common-sense manner to
command, at any rate, a respectable bag. Even while the crowd is in full
evidence, look you for a quiet nook with a decent depth of water. You
should have no difficulty in finding one; and having found it, nurse it
even as a Thames or a Lea or a Trent angler nurses his swim. Bait it
carefully, fish it as carefully with decent tackling, and success shall
be yours clean in front of the man who, following the orthodox methods,
follows also the “milky way” over the broad waters that are now
continually disturbed by passing craft of all descriptions.

The best of the pike-fishing is to be had during the winter months, when
the greater bulk of the weeds and rushes are rotted, and a keen frost is
in the air. If you do not care to face the cold winds that sweep over
Broadland at this time of year, then you must rest content with the
comparatively indifferent sport with these fish obtainable in more
genial weather conditions. But if you do not mind the cold, give the
Broads a trial for pike during December, January or February. Certainly
you will not be troubled with a crowd through the winter months! You
will, as a matter of fact, have miles of river and acres of broad water
to yourself. You can spin, paternoster or live-bait to your heart’s
content, and you will catch fish that will handsomely reward you. No one
who has only killed pike in Broadland during the late summer and early
autumn months would credit the enormous increase in fighting power one’s
quarry develops during the winter. The most successful tackling in the
rivers is the paternoster, and for that matter it is the best on the
Broads also. But spinning may be resorted to in the latter waters, and
where a big fish is known to lie a live bait on snap tackle will most
probably tempt him. You can catch your own baits from the rivers, but it
is best to make sure of a supply from some fishing tackle dealer.

The ruthless destruction in the past of rare birds (and, by-the-by, the
so-called “cheap-tripper” was not responsible for the unsportsmanlike
slaughter) has rendered it necessary to protect many of them against
utter extinction. The best of the wildfowling is strictly preserved.
There is, however, some very good wildfowling to be had still from
November until February. Here, again, the sportsman must not expect the
bags obtainable years ago, but with careful stalking he should do fairly
well. Some decent flight-shooting is also available. The three things
absolutely necessary to success are, a handy punt, a hard-hitting gun,
and a well-trained dog. The latter is the most important of all.



                  Notes and Sport of a Dry-Fly Purist.


                        THE TROUT SEASON, 1905.

Although at the present day, more than ever before, fishing in all its
branches has an extensive literature of its own, there is, perhaps, no
subject that requires more careful handling by an author anxious to
interest his readers than dry-fly practice in general, and the sport
obtained by his own rod in particular, during the long trout season. Nor
is it easy to condense within the limit of a single article anything
like full details of, and the actual incidents connected with, his
captures—and also combine references to the delightful environment in
which he is wont to pursue his fascinating art (the most humane of all
sports where killing is concerned), and briefly to other matters, to
embellish his descriptions. But I have done my best in what follows, and
I hope the reader, all the better if he be an expert himself, will in
imagination follow me through the verdant, flower-decked water meadows,
and share the pleasures of an angler’s quest.

Long weeks before the first of April, which is the earliest date dry-fly
sportsmen commence fishing in the Itchen, my preparations were
completed—the eleven-foot “Perfection” split cane rod overhauled by its
makers, and after many years’ hard work made to look like new (a trusty
weapon as good as any angler need possess), was more than once taken
from its case and within doors lovingly waved about as if casting a fly.
An ample supply of well-tied flies was duly received, and on opening
each small box the contents made one smile to look at because they would
certainly be killers, i.e., red quills with gold tags, olives in three
shades of colour as to wings, Englefield’s green quill-bodied flies with
silver tags; gold-ribbed hare’s ear, and Wickham’s fancy, all dressed on
sharp, full barbed, sneck-bend hooks in several sizes, and supplemented
by old flies left over from previous seasons, which, when trout or
grayling are well on the feed, are often accepted as readily as new
ones—which would seem to prove that the fly is not of so much
consequence as some people imagine. But beyond rod and flies, I
attribute my success to always using a _fine_ dressed running line, and
the finest of gut collars, prepared by myself thus: Four strands of
18-inch picked refina natural gut knotted smoothly together, and pointed
with two strands of 18-inch 4x fine drawn gut, forming a length of 2¾
yards, finer all through than usually supplied from shops, and yet
strong enough to hold and play to a finish any trout up to 4 lb. I
mention all this for the benefit of some men who I am certain do not
fish fine enough in the clear Itchen.

All through April the river had a winterly appearance, the fish were not
in condition, the weather unpropitious, and those too ardent anglers who
did try met with poor sport; nor were blank days unknown.

For these reasons I did not make a beginning until May 19th, and it will
somewhat simplify the following details of my dry-fly sport, and save
much unedifying repetition, if I state at the beginning that all of it
was obtained on the prolific River Itchen (at present as much deserving
to be called “the queen of Hampshire rivers” as was formerly the Test),
namely, from two meadows on the east bank above Winchester, where I rent
the exclusive right _ad medium flumen_, but by the usual tacit
understanding between owners of opposite banks, casting all across was
not interfered with; in fact, it happened that no other rod fished
there. It is a great advantage having even a small length of
well-stocked water all to one’s self, and to watch it closely for flies
and fish rising during the morning or evening, and take the benefit of
such knowledge by resuming the rod at the nick of time, thus avoiding
over-fatigue, and perhaps disappointment, while waiting long hours by
the river-side to no purpose.

And by favour, annually granted to me for many years past for a liberal
number of days after June, I plied my rod in the three miles of the main
river, mill, and side streams of the Abbot’s Barton fishery between
Durngate Mill and Headbourne Worthy. Also I was courteously offered
sport in the lower reaches at Twyford and Shawford.

On my opening day, May 19th, at Winnall, a leash of trout weighing 5 lb.
2 oz. was killed. The next time I tried was on June 3rd, for only a
quarter of an hour after sunset, in the much overfished public water
known as “The Weirs,” when a brace, 2 lb. 1 oz., came to hand. On the
13th a brace was caught before noon in my private fishing, weighing 2
lb. 15 oz., and on the 22nd six, scaling respectively in the order of
capture—1 lb. 9 oz., 1 lb. 5 oz., 1 lb. 5 oz., 2¼ lb., 2 lb., and 1¼
lb.; aggregating 9 lb. 11 oz., and proving the best day’s sport of the
season, although on one of its hottest days. Two days after, in an hour
while the sunset glory was fading, a handsome brace weighing 3¼ lb. was
brought to grass. And during July, in the same limited extent of water,
nearly always about sundown, the following were creeled—_i.e._, on the
1st three fish, 4 lb. 2 oz.; on the 3rd two, 2 lb. 3 oz.; on the 14th
one, 1 lb. 14 oz.; on the 18th one, 1 lb. 2 oz.; and on the 29th one, 1
lb. 14 oz. Also on August 5th one, 1 lb. 9 oz., and on the 8th one, 1
lb. 5 oz.

On July 21st an early train landed me at Shawford, and on entering the
beautiful park where is the seat of Sir Charles E. F., Bart., I turned
short off to the right, and through a tangled undergrowth of wild
flowers, weeds, and nettles, prickly bramble bushes and the trailing
branches of _Rosæ canina_, soon reached the back stream, only to find a
large group of cattle standing in it, tormented by flies, and churning
the water into the colour of milk all the way down, spoiling one’s
chance of fishing. But at the lower boundary of the demesne, where the
main river mingles, it was clear and a few flies floating on it.
Directly I knelt in the sedge a brace of partridges sprang from it and
whirred away. Rooks were noisy in the elms, and from trees on a small
eyot stock-doves told their monotonously mournful tales. But my eyes
were watching a trout under an overhanging branch opposite. At length he
rose and took a small, pale-winged sub-imago fly, and while I tied on to
my fine gut cast the nearest artificial I could select in size and
colour to the natural flies on the water, he dimpled the surface several
times, but at the first wave of the rod down he sank to the bottom.
Nevertheless, after a pause I threw my lure well over him—a yard in
front, so that he might see it. At the first cast he moved, at the
second boldly came up and snapped at it; was well hooked, played, and
netted out, not much disturbing other trout in view, one of which a few
minutes after shared the same fate, the brace weighing over 2 lb. Large
fish are scarce in this fishery at present.

As I crossed over to the lower reach of the chief stream, my steps were
stayed to admire the surroundings: the various stately trees in full
foliage in solitary grandeur, or in groups adorning the emerald sward,
which was profusely embroidered with Flora’s gifts. And on the river
banks were seen the familiar flowers an angler loves, amongst them
“love’s gentle gem, the sweet forget-me-not,” tall, graceful willow
herb, spiked purple loosestrife, meadow sweet, mimulus reflected in the
glassy stream, yellow iris, hemp agrimony, and a crowd of others. The
blazing sun was now near the zenith, and the morning rise of ephemeridæ
at its best; fish were feasting on them freely, not only in their haunts
at the sides, but on the middle, over thick beds of starwort and waving
crowfoot. For two hours I was almost constantly at work hooking and
returning some ten- to eleven-inch fish and killing a leash about a
pound each. It was very warm, and as I neared the small waterfall a
clear space on the hard chalky bottom hidden from view almost tempted me
to bathe; but instead I wetted a leaf of butterbur, and folding it
inside my cap to cool my head, laid the rod aside and quietly sat on a
prostrate tree to rest awhile. But reflecting that I had done fairly
well, and the 2.36 Great Western train was available, I hastily put my
tackle together, interviewed the keeper to show the sport, shouldered
the creel, and arrived at the station just in time.

On July 31st I again had the privilege of fishing in the park. A gentle
wind stirred the leaves to whisper, and it was only pleasantly warm.
While I sat in the garden reach making all ready to begin sport, the
gurgle of the falling water through the six hatches had a soothing
influence on one’s spirit, and taking Tennyson’s “In Memoriam” from my
side pocket I read a few passages, but as that was hardly in form for a
dry-fly fisherman with the clear stream at his feet and fish in view
waiting to be caught, I soon went above the hatches, and from the
cottage gardens on the east side by 11.30 a.m. managed to creel a brace,
and above Shawford Bridge from the west bank, another brace by two
o’clock. Then, as before, I went back by train, and resumed practice in
the evening; but there was no rise until 7.45, when phryganidæ were on
or hovering over the surface of the water, chiefly in mid-channel, and
trout, also grayling, were eagerly on the feed, making a splash,
sometimes “a boil,” as they seized a fly. For a full hour with little
cessation I was casting over them, hooking, unhooking, killing two
brace, or returning fish. Altogether it was a fairly successful and very
enjoyable day; but the four brace scaled only 7¾ lb.

By the courtesy of Alexander P. R——, Esq., I had the choice of a day’s
fishing in his Twyford preserves, and after waiting for a favourable
forecast of the weather, a bright morning and a gentle wind from the
south tempted me to try on August 17th. A survey of the water showed it
to be choked with weeds, some in flower standing out above the surface
or greenly covering the bottom, except in a few places where the force
of the stream had cleared spaces between, showing the chalky bed. Many
dry-fly fishermen dislike such a dense mass of weeds, because it is so
difficult to draw a hooked fish through or over them; but for several
reasons I much prefer a fishery where they are seldom cut to one where
they are shaved close by the chain scythe or torn out by grappling
hooks, leaving little or no cover for the piscine denizens, and
destroying their food; for young weeds are the _habitat_ of larvæ,
gammarus pulex, mollusca, &c., on which trout largely subsist. There are
several inviting seats along the west bank on which one can rest at ease
and watch for rises, or even cast one’s fly from, and also to admire the
panoramic view along the bright water meadows stretching away to St.
Cross, and beyond to historic Winchester, and shut in by undulating
hilly downs on both sides, which ages long ago were probably the banks
of a wide river, an estuary of the sea. Opposite is the church and
pretty village of Twyford, where the remains of a Roman villa can be
visited, and in the churchyard is a famous yew-tree.

From 9.30 a.m. until one o’clock I fished persistently, using small
flies, but except one trout creeled weighing 1¼ lb., only undersized
ones came to hand. There was no evening rise until 7.30, and very sparse
then, but afterwards three trout were landed and put back, and one over
a pound killed to make up a brace. The keeper then coming up to me,
remarked that there had been no May-flies at Twyford this season.

On August 24th I made a good although delayed beginning on the Abbot’s
Barton fishery. After stalking along the east bank from nine o’clock
until nearly mid-day, and casting without once having a touch, hope
waxed faint, and I thought I had made a mistake in choosing the day; but
when the last meadow opposite the new gasworks was reached, a trout in
position close under the sedge and sword-grass covered right bank on
which I stood, was rising and sucking in large dark-winged olive duns as
they floated toward him. I carefully drew back, and assuming the
kneeling and crouching low down posture—also well hidden from view—I saw
with satisfaction that I had not disturbed him from continuing his
repast. But as I am not ambidextrous, it was difficult to place one’s
fly by the right hand the proper distance before him. Trial after trial
was made until he became suspicious and sank to the bottom, but was not
scared away; I could see him plainly. Anon he rose again, but,
fortunately for me, not so close to the sedge. To have made any bungle
in casting now would have been fatal, therefore I felt it to be a
crucial test of skill to place the lure just right. At the first
presentation he took it, and by a gentle turn of the wrist, making a
_draw_ rather than a strike (for my red quill fly was dressed on a 000
hook), he was firmly hooked, and instantly rushing up stream ran out ten
or fifteen yards of line ere I durst attempt to restrain him. And when I
did so, wound the line in, and played from the bowed rod, he turned and
scurried down stream, leaping out once only, but flouncing several times
on the surface, thus helping to exhaust himself. Now was the moment for
masterful pressure to be put on him; accordingly, when I drew back the
line by degrees, and he felt the strain, he turned and headed up stream
in wild affright, and it seemed some minutes before his struggles were
over and he was safely netted out, the gut cast several times twisted
tightly round his gills. He was a splendid trout weighing 2 lb. 13 oz.
Men from the adjacent gasworks during the latter part of their
dinner-hour had been watching behind me, but I was quite unconscious of
their presence until they called out: “That is a nice fish, Sir,” and
crowded round to admire it. About three o’clock another chance offered
lower down at the first wide bend. Two fish, both within reach of where
I knelt, were rising, but only at long intervals—probably their feast on
flies was nearly finished and they had become fastidious, for when, at
the second throw my fly covered the nearest one, he quietly sidled off
under horse-tail weeds. But the other fish was not so shy, and after
casting over him several times he accepted the fateful fly, was hooked
in the tongue, and immediately bolting up stream made fast, for an
anxious minute, in a weed-bed of water celery, from whence, however he
was drawn forth by taking the line in the left-hand fingers and using
gentle but gradually increasing force, while the right hand held the rod
sloping backward from the vertical position, ready to play him when
released. An excellent plan, but not fully effectual until the
unavoidably slack line could be reeled in, the quarry held taut from the
bending rod and drawn gasping into the landing net—a well-conditioned
fish scaling 2 lb. 5 oz. The brace weighing 5 lb. 2 oz. was shown to the
head keeper on my way back. There was absolutely not a single rise
afterwards that I noticed. And another rod had the same experience, but
not the same sport.

I have been particular in describing some of the details of the
foregoing captures, as they are typical instances of dry-fly practice,
and therefore, and also because the space at my disposal is necessarily
limited, I may be excused for shortening what follows.

On September 1st three trout were killed, weighing 1 lb. 5 oz., 1 lb. 9
oz., and 1 lb. 2 oz.

On the 4th two, weighing 1¾ lb. and 1 lb. 10 oz.

On the 11th the vane stood due west, the sky was lowering, and rain fell
at intervals, but a straight stick umbrella sufficed to keep one dry,
and tied to the landing net handle when not in use, is far more
convenient to carry than heavy waterproofs, which at best are heating
and uncomfortable. I recommend fly-fishers to try it. Above the G.W.
railway arch, on the broad shallows and past the “plantation,” grayling
(only in recent years introduced) seem at last to have made their
headquarters, and from eleven o’clock to three p.m. three were
unavoidably hooked and returned, for the lessee of the fishery, Mr. J.
E. B. C——, wishes them not to be taken at present, so that they may live
to increase and multiply. But a leash of trout were caught and creeled
during the time. And as the morning rise was nearly over I slowly
retraced my steps, observant of any break of the surface of the water;
climbed the steep railway bank, crossed over the bridge, passed down the
line for a long distance to the stile, and resumed the rod on the
Winnall side, where, from the last meadow bounded by the ditch, two more
trout were killed, making up 2½ brace, scaling 6 lb. 6 oz. On my way I
noticed a profusion of the coral-like hips of the wild rose, haws on the
hedges, scarlet viscid berries on yew-trees, and beautiful clusters or
cymes of clear red berries like currants on the water elder; also
amongst many other wild flowers, scabious, candy-tuft, corn cockle,
yellow foxglove, clover, ragwort, &c., and, standing erect, _Lysimachia
vulgaris_.

On the 16th a fine trout weighing 1 lb. 14 oz. was hooked and landed
when it was almost too dark to see where one’s fly fell.

On the 19th the wind was northeast, and therefore unfavourable; added to
which in the upper half of the water mudding out was being done by one
man, while another, in a ballast boat, poled it up and down laden with
chalk to repair the banks. This not only disturbed the stream, but
coloured it, and I was about to forego fishing, in despair, when,
looking back as far as I could see clearly, fish were rising. By a wide
_détour_ I carefully got below them, and at once noticed that they were
feeding on nymphæ and sub-imago flies, and the water there was less
turbid, indeed during the men’s dinner-hour it cleared. By two o’clock
two trout, weighing 2 lb. 1 oz. and 1 lb. 6 oz., were tempted to their
fate by my red quill fly, and another soon after, 1½ lb. In the evening,
after sunset, two more were killed, 1 lb. 7 oz. and 1 lb. 9 oz.

On the 27th five were drawn to net, and weighed by steelyard as soon as
landed, and in the order of capture, 1 lb. 14 oz., 1 lb. 7 oz., 1 lb. 2
oz., 1 lb. 9 oz., and 1 lb. 5 oz. As the shadows made by the declining
sun were lengthening swallows were congregating high in the air, looking
like mere specks, and also many were swooping over the smooth river,
snatching with unerring sight from its surface midges and black gnats;
and yet not so later on at dusk, for a house-martin seized my artificial
fly as it was being whirled in the air in the act of casting, and was
fast hooked at the point of the beak, wildly fluttering in alarm until
wound in to the top ring of the rod, there very tenderly handled,
caressed, and released—not much pained or damaged.

On the 29th, after a stormy night, when a great number of eels were
caught in the large iron grating trap at Durngate Mill, through which
the main stream can be strained—a deadly device—I made no attempt to
fish until after luncheon, when in no hopeful mood as to sport (for
thunderclouds were gathering in the distance as black as ink, and a few
premonitory big drops of rain were falling) I waited on the east bank
watching for any movement. A trout rose under the opposite side and
sucked in a natural fly. Many times my lure was presented, with
occasional intervals between. At last he rose to it and fastened,
fighting well, but a losing battle, and was soon brought to grass,
weighing 1 lb. 7 oz. In the evening, when the weather had somewhat
cleared, I went along the west side as far as the Spring Garden lower
hatch, to make a last attempt to catch a goodly trout I had often
observed and cast over. He fed close to a mass of green tussock grass
overhanging the water, and under which was his haunt when idle. The set
of the stream round the wide bend of the river brought floating
ephemeridæ, trichoptera and nocturnal lepidoptera to the tussock, often
touching and even clinging to its blades trailing on the surface; the
wily fish therefore invariably took up one and the same position when
hungry, opening his mouth wide to receive the tempting morsels. It was
difficult for a dry fly to be placed in front of him by the most skilful
angler, for his hook so often caught on the grass, which was tough, and
in pulling the gut broke. I much coveted that fish, and did not like to
be beaten. I had, therefore, a few days previously resorted to the
expedient of having the huge tussock grubbed up and taken away entirely.

Approaching him now on tiptoe with the utmost circumspection, I knelt
within a long casting distance of where he was rising, intently
intercepting brown sedgeflies. I changed the small fly I had on for a
red quill on No. 1 hook, and sent it forward over him in a line with the
natural flies. No notice was taken of it; nor again and again, until,
when a puff of wind diverted it to the right, he moved after it, and
with an audible snap, and instant spring out of water, hooked himself.
For several minutes an exciting time for me followed, and fatal for him,
as he was netted out and killed—a beautifully marked fish, weighing 1
lb. 13 oz.

On the 30th, the last day of the trout season of 1905, an excellent
finish was made in a few hours by the capture of three trout, weighing
respectively 1½, 1¾ and 2¼ lb.

At foot is a concise statement of the above described sport—not so good
as in many former seasons; but to kill an _excessive_ number of fish,
especially on a private fishery, is no longer the object of a dry-fly
purist and sportsman. And it will be noticed that on most days I have
only fished for a few hours, yet quite enough for pastime and
recreation, and the full enjoyment of Nature’s many attractions while
wandering by the peaceful river.

                      Date.    No. of trout. lb. oz.
                    May   19th             3   5   2
                    June   3rd             2   2   1
                    June  13th             2   2  15
                    June  22nd             6   9  11
                    July   1st             3   4   2
                    July   3rd             2   2   3
                    July  14th             1   1  14
                    July  18th             1   1   2
                    July  21st             5   5   0
                    July  29th             1   1  14
                    July  31st             8   7  12
                    Aug.   5th             1   1   9
                    Aug.   8th             1   1   5
                    Aug.  17th             2   2   6
                    Aug.  24th             2   5   2
                    Sept.  1st             3   4   0
                    Sept.  4th             2   3   6
                    Sept. 11th             5   6   6
                    Sept. 16th             1   1  14
                    Sept. 19th             5   7  15
                    Sept. 27th             5   7   5
                    Sept. 29th             2   3   4
                    Sept. 30th             3   5   8
                                          ——  ——  ——
                      Total               65  93  12
                                          ==  ==  ==

                                                              RED QUILL.



                          A Hundred Years Ago.


                (FROM THE _SPORTING MAGAZINE_ OF 1806.)

WILTSHIRE HOUNDS.—Saturday, January 14th, a pack of foxhounds met at
Horkwood, and soon after throwing in unkennelled a fox in the first
stile. After trying the earths at Farmclose, Donhead, &c.—which had been
previously stopped—he crossed the Salisbury Road, through Charlton;
taking over Charlton fields he went for Melbury, over the heath, and
then gallantly faced the hills, leaving Ashmoor close on the right and
Ashcombe on the left; came into Cranbourne Chase; left Bussey Lodge far
on the left, came to Chettle Down; leaving Chettle on the right, running
nearly up to Handly, at which place he was headed; then running up to
Critchell he was run into, attempting to cross the river by Horton Farm.
This chase lasted an hour and thirty-five minutes, and the distance
could not be less than twenty-five miles. It is supposed to have been
the severest run ever remembered in this part of the country.


                           THORNVILLE ROYAL.

This magnificent seat of princely festivity and general hospitality, for
so many years in the possession of Colonel Thornton, was on Monday,
January 6th, surrendered to his successor, the present purchaser, Lord
Stourton; but not until the Colonel who, determined never to violate the
charter, had, according to annual custom, thrown his doors open, filled
all his rooms and tables with his friends, during a whole month spent in
unremitted cheerfulness and good humour, passing the days in various
field sports, the evenings in convivial harmonious hilarity, inspired by
the natural urbanity of the Colonel’s manners, and the choicest and
oldest wines now in Great Britain. Perhaps a more splendid and brilliant
Christmas was never witnessed in this country.

On New Year’s Day, the neighbourhood were indulged with the finest
coursing possible in the park; after which a grand dinner, at which were
wines—none under thirty years old, and many at the age of sixty. On this
occasion the house and the Temple of Victory were illuminated in
grateful remembrance of the soldiers of the York Militia.

After amusing the party and the rustics in the neighbourhood with seeing
the upper lake let off, where pike from five to twenty pounds, carp from
twelve to fifteen pounds, tench from four to six pounds, perch from two
to three pounds, were discovered, to the great satisfaction of the
curious in lake fish; a few were taken and one-half sent to the present
owner, Lord Stourton.

The Colonel then, attended by his friends, proceeded to Falcover’s Hall,
carrying with him the warmest wishes of all those who have so long and
so often experienced the effects of his liberal disposition.

Thus terminated his residence at Thornville Royal, which for sixteen
years has been the scene of every species of elegant mirth, wit and
amusement, and where the prince and the peasant have been alike
gratified by that benevolence and vivacity so peculiar to the character
of Colonel Thornton.



                        A Farewell to a Hunter.


              To no misfortune in the field
                He bows, fit ending of the game;
              No weight of years bids him to yield,
                But swift disease that warps his frame.

              So Mercy stepping in must break
                The bonds that Love would fain hold fast,
              And hand-in-hand we come to take
                A look we know must be the last.

              For ere to-morrow’s sun has died,
                His keen bold spirit will have found
              That refuge on the other side,
                Where dwell the shades of horse and hound.

              Farewell, old friend, farewell! and when
                The last great leap is left behind,
              And passing from the haunts of men,
                By earthly limits unconfined,

              You roam that strange mysterious land,
                That vast beyond where travellers wait,
              Where mortal foot may never stand,
                Nor mortal vision penetrate,

              Oh, let your thoughts drift back and dwell
                On joys by memory roused from rest,
              When scent was keen, when hounds ran well,
                And Fortune gave us of her best.

              Recall the pageant of the meet,
                The snug gorse covert on the hill,
              The good sound turf beneath your feet,
                The glorious run, the glorious kill.

              Nor think as year by year decays
                In robes of russet, red, and gold,
              That wanting you, November days
                Can be to us as days of old.

                                                                      B.



                     The New Year at the Theatres.


After establishing “Lights Out” as a success at the Waldorf Theatre, Mr.
H. B. Irving proceeded early in the New Year to produce “The Jury of
Fate” at the Shaftesbury Theatre, the house, by the way, in which Mr.
McLellan’s first great success was first seen in London, “The Belle of
New York.”

“The Jury of Fate” is a lurid story told in seven tableaux, and its most
obvious disability is that since each tableaux must of necessity be
abbreviated, the story can only be told in a spasmodic series of
impressions, and the players have but a poor chance of getting a hold of
their audience. The theme of the play is undoubtedly a good one, that of
the man who at the early end of a misspent career prays of the messenger
of Death that he may be allowed to live another life on earth in which
he shall atone for his follies and wickedness, and so gain a favourable
verdict from “The Jury of Fate.”

This is the first tableau, and the second tableau shows us twenty-five
years later René Delorme at his old game again, a voluptuary with a
pretty talent for drinking, who loses no time in snatching from a most
admirable young worker his affianced bride, the fair Yvonne.

A year later we find René with his wife in the garden of an inn near
Paris; he has by this time become a successful playwright, an unfaithful
husband, and an industrious drunkard, and after an unfriendly
conversation with his wife, he proceeds to inaugurate an intrigue with
the mistress of a friend of his, who is unfortunately lunching at the
same inn.

This lady appears as a kind of Public Prosecutor of Fate, and openly
sets to work to ruin and destroy the too impressionable René, and we are
not surprised to find a year later in the dining-room of René’s house
that her unkindly influence has materially assisted the _fine champagne_
in making a mess of the promising playwright.

This fourth tableau is perhaps the strongest of all, and it concludes
with René, deserted by his friends and his wife, the author of a
miserable failure just produced, confronted in his solitude by the
ghostly figure of the stranger—Death.

Two years later we find René, at a low café in Paris, urging a mob of
his discontented workmen to deeds of anarchy and pillage, and not even
the dignified advice of David Martine, the workman of tableau two, and
the respected and successful employer of labour in the subsequent
tableaux, can save the degenerate from his degeneracy; for upon that
self-same night René leads a disorderly attack upon the Martine
Bridgeworks, and finding, as needs he must, his wife on the premises,
most innocently conversing with Martine, a pistol shot makes him the
murderer of his wife, according to the dictum, that “All men kill the
thing they love.”

By this time “The Jury of Fate” have agreed upon their verdict, and it
only remains for René to lose himself in a wood, accompanied only by a
thunderstorm of portentous severity and ominous dread. To him arrives
the Stranger with the sword, and, with only an unconvincing plea in
mitigation of sentence, René falls prostrate before a very much
misplaced crucifix, having done far more harm in his second effort than
was the case in his previous conviction.

The part of René is in the very capable hands of Mr. H. B. Irving, and
he plays it for all it is worth.

Another piece of fine acting is that of Mr. Matheson Lang, in the double
part of Pierre and David Martine.

Miss Lillah McCarthy, whose work at the Court Theatre has given us so
much pleasure, is excellent as Therese, the courtesan who causes René so
much worry, and the part of the injured and slaughtered wife is well
played by Miss Crystal Herne, a recruit from America.

The play is extremely well put on, and admirably acted, whilst the
thunder and lightning and other meteorological effects are terrible in
their perpetual and impressive reality.

At the Garrick Theatre, Mr. Arthur Bouchier had the courage to stem the
prosperous tide of “The Walls of Jericho,” in order to produce “The
Merchant of Venice” and the fine performances of himself as Shylock and
Miss Violet Vanbrugh as Portia, with the environment of a beautiful
production, have filled the Garrick for well over a hundred
performances.

In our opinion Shylock is quite one of the best things Mr. Bouchier has
done, most convincing in its masterly restraint and complex simplicity.
And too much praise cannot be given to Miss Vanbrugh who is at her best
in the trial scene, when the charm of her voice is heard to the utmost
advantage. That experienced actor, Mr. Norman Forbes, affords a splendid
study of Launcelot Gobbo, and is well supported by Mr. O. B. Clarence as
Old Gobbo.

A happy memory of the early days of the O.U.D.C. is afforded by the fact
that Mr. Alan Mackinnon supervised this production, and this carries our
thoughts back to 1886, when Mr. Bouchier first dealt with Shylock at the
then new theatre at Oxford.

The Vedrenne-Barker management at the Court Theatre continues to enjoy
its well-earned prosperity. The plays are interesting and exceptionally
well acted, and at present the name of Mr. Bernard Shaw is one to
conjure with.

“Major Barbara” is his latest achievement, and if one confesses to a
feeling of disappointment, the probable reason for it is that Mr. Shaw
has led us to expect so much from him in the way of quality.

Mr. Shaw confesses in the prelude to one of his books, that by one of
those little ironies of life which sometimes beset even such clever
people as himself, he has only won the right to be listened to by the
public after the vein of originality which was once so rich within him
has been hopelessly worked out. Of the truth of this, there is in his
new play, “Major Barbara,” very conspicuous evidence. The changes are
once more rung upon the old theme which served Mr. Shaw in “Widower’s
Houses,” and to a certain extent also in “Mrs. Warren’s Profession.” In
“Widower’s Houses,” it is a man whose belief in his own honesty and
usefulness is shattered by the sudden discovery that his income comes
from a polluted source; in “Major Barbara,” the central figure, a woman,
is by very much the same process suddenly thrust, as it were, into a
moral _cul-de-sac_; that is to say, she is offered a sum of five
thousand pounds which she would give her very soul to take, in order to
save the lives of hundreds of starving folk, and at the same moment
discovers that this money has been made by industries which cause the
very starvation she is attempting to remedy. It is this situation which
Mr. Shaw considers strong enough to justify him in putting into his
heroine’s mouth some of the most sacred words which have ever been
uttered—and it is at any rate a satisfaction to feel that his critics
have for once drawn Mr. Shaw into the honest confession that he did
himself consider that he had here created a serious and tragic
situation. To be quite frank, there cannot be the faintest question but
that the verdict in this little dispute must be against Mr. Shaw and
with his critics. Mr. Shaw’s idea of a play seems to be that you can
dive from the burlesque tosh of “Cholly” from the pantomime of the Greek
Professor beating his drum straight into the sublimest realms of
tragedy, much as a man can go straight out of the hot rooms into the
plunge at a Turkish bath; but, as Dr. Johnson said of some contemporary
writer who was at the moment attracting attention, “Sir, it does not do
to be odd; you will not be read for long.”

At the Haymarket Theatre Mr. Charles Hawtrey is as delightfully vague as
ever in “The Indecision of Mr. Kingsbury,” a play adapted from the
French by Mr. Cosmo Gordon Lennox. Mr. Hawtrey is well supported by the
author who plays the part of a full-blooded and voluble Frenchman; by
Miss Fanny Brough as a distressed dowager; and Miss Nina Boucicault as a
much maligned widow, who wins the hand of the undecided Mr. Kingsbury.
The story is just strong enough to carry four acts, and there is plenty
of fun in it, so that we may credit Mr. Cosmo Gordon Lennox with yet
another success.

At the Imperial Theatre Mr. Lewis Waller has replaced “The Perfect
Lover” by “The Harlequin King,” a costume play of mediæval romance, in
which Harlequin, having in a fit of jealousy killed the heir apparent,
proceeds immediately to occupy the throne.

It is a very confiding court in this eccentric kingdom, and the only
person who discovers the imposture is a blind old lady, the Queen
Mother, who at once finds it out, but for the good of the country
consents to crown the Harlequin. As a reigning monarch Harlequin cuts a
poor enough figure, and to us it is a great relief when in due course
the time comes for him, in order to save his skin, to confess his fraud,
and fly the country. Mr. Lewis Waller does the best that can be done for
the wretched Harlequin, and Miss Millard is good as Columbina, but
perhaps the best performance of all is that of Miss Mary Rorke as the
blind Queen: as an example of quiet dignity and perfect elocution her
performance is most valuable.

We could wish that Mr. Waller would once more produce a really good
play; he and his company are well qualified to do full justice to a good
play, and it seems a thousand pities that their abilities and enthusiasm
should be devoted to nothing better than the “Perfect Lover” and this
most recent production which, by the way, is styled “A Masquerade in
four acts, by Rudolf Lothar, adapted by Louis N. Parker and Selwyn
Brinton.”

The opening of the new Aldwych Theatre fitly enough signalised the
return to London of Miss Ellaline Terriss and Mr. Seymour Hicks, after
their triumphant tour in the provinces. “Bluebell in Fairyland,” that
very successful Christmas piece which, two or three years ago, ran well
into the late summer months, was the play selected for the opening, on
December 23rd, of Mr. Hicks’ beautiful new playhouse. With the advantage
of a large stage and every latest modern appliance, Mr. Hicks has been
able to amplify and develop his production to a degree which was
impossible at the Vaudeville Theatre. There are some two hundred
performers engaged in this musical dream play, which is in two acts, of
six and seven scenes respectively.

Miss Ellaline Terriss is Bluebell, as charming as ever, and one can
utter no higher praise than that.

Mr. Seymour Hicks again doubles the parts of Dicky, the Shoeblack, and
the Sleepy King, and infuses marvellous vitality into all that he does,
even into the snores and grotesque clumsinesses of the Sleepy King.

There are many new-comers, prominent among them being Miss Sydney
Fairbrother and Miss Maude Darrell, whilst one of the hits of the
entertainment is the song of Miss Barbara Deane, in which she reproduces
popular comic songs of the day with the method of a ballad-singer. Miss
Barbara Deane has a charming voice, and as she has youth on her side,
she should have a very distinguished future before her. Miss Dorothy
Frostick—now almost “a grown-up”—and Miss Topsy Linden do some pretty
dancing.

It was a marvellous _tour de force_ on the part of Mr. Seymour Hicks,
after less than a fortnight for rehearsal, and with no dress rehearsal
at all, to have presented such a gigantic production, without a hitch,
upon the very night which he had promised some months ago.

“Bluebell” is a delightful play, and the Aldwych is a beautiful theatre,
and if Mr. and Mrs. Seymour Hicks gain half the success which they
deserve, they should have a signal triumph.

At the Royalty Theatre, that delightful artiste, Mme. Réjane and M. De
Ferandy have been giving a series of French plays, prominent among them
being “Les Affaires sont les Affaires,” which Mr. Beerbohm Tree has
shown us under the title of “Business is Business,” and “Décoré,” the
amusing comedy of M. H. Meilhac.

For Christmas Mr. Beerbohm Tree deserted the popular “Oliver Twist,” and
put up a revival of “The Tempest,” followed in January by “Twelfth
Night,” which is to be supplanted, shortly before these lines attain the
dignity of print, by one of the colossal productions for which His
Majesty’s Theatre has become so renowned. Probably by the time these
lines are read the version of “Nero,” by Mr. Stephen Phillips, will be
the talk of the town.

                                                                   QUID.



                     Racing at Gibraltar, in 1905.


                              BY AN OWNER.

The Gibraltar racing season has now come to an end, and but for a
probable Sky meeting the first week or so in January, 1906, no more
racing will be held here till March. In this article it is the endeavour
of the writer to say a few words of interest regarding the general
racing on the “Rock” and concerning the meetings during the present
year. On the whole, the racing during the year has been very
satisfactory; more meetings have been held and more patronage, both by
owners and the general public, afforded to them than has been the case
for some time. A certain portion of residents on the Rock always keep
racers. The success, however, of “Gib.” racing is, in the main,
dependent on the sport afforded to it by the officers, naval and
military, of the garrison. This year there has happily been no lack of
support, and a considerable number of officers of the Gunners and of the
three line regiments stationed here own racers. A few lines may be with
advantage devoted in explaining how the racing is carried on in the
fortress.

The racer at “Gib.” is rather hard to define. Owing to the paucity of
animals running in comparison with the number of races, it is impossible
to have open events for the ordinary animals here, and the only method
which has been found to answer is to have a system of classes. There are
no less than four of these classes at present, and there is a rumour to
the effect that a fifth class may shortly be formed. The classes are as
follows:—

Class I.—Thoroughbreds. Any animal may, however, run in this class if
the owner so wishes.

Classes II., III., IV.—Those animals classified as such by the
Classification Committee consisting of six elected members of the
various clubs. In Class II. one generally finds half-breds, English
galloways, and ponies. Classes III. and IV. are confined to Barbs and
Arabs. In Class III. animals which have been reduced from the second
class are often running, and also those horses promoted by the above
Committee from the fourth class.

The Barb pony constitutes the whole of Class IV., and naturally this
class holds by far the greatest number of animals. Polo ponies, hunters,
and, in fact, nearly all the general animals seen on the Rock, are
classified as fourth class for the purpose of racing. Every animal,
before being allowed to run in any race confined to Classes II., III.,
and IV., must be classified by the Classification Committee. This
Committee records the animal’s height, colour, breed, sex, markings,
&c., and places it in the class the various members think fit. As a
general rule Barbs under 14.2 high are put in this class. Arabs and Barb
horses in Class III., and half-breds in the second class. Animals which
prove in their running to be too good for the class which they are in
are promoted to the next higher one, or if in Classes I., II., and III.,
reduced if necessary.

To make this system of classification work properly, prizes more
valuable in proportion are given to the higher classes. This scheme also
induces owners to procure and race a better class animal. Even with this
classification, so great is the difference in speed between animals in
each special class, it is necessary to make each race a handicap. In
fact, except for a few fourth class maiden races and the weight for age
first class races, one may say that every race is a handicap.

A fifth class has been asked for by many, especially by officers of the
line regiments quartered in the station. The point urged is that unless
they have a very good Barb (and they are difficult to procure now) it is
useless to run him in an ordinary race, as they cannot, in the first
place, gallop with the majority of fourth class ponies which are raced;
and secondly, owing to gentlemen riders only being allowed in the lowest
class, capable light-weights for their ponies are impossible to be
found. However, not being a member of the advisory committee who manage
these matters, the writer will not touch any more on the subject of a
lower class, beyond mentioning the fact that the introduction of this
fifth class would give pleasure to many subalterns, and offer them an
excellent chance of riding their own ponies in public.

Stakes vary in accordance with the class. No race above 100 dollars is
allowed to be given in the fourth class, between 150 to 200 dollars is
the limit for the third, and 200 to 300 dollars for second. In first
class races the prize may be anything from 250 dollars upwards. Cups are
sometimes given in conjunction with a money prize. A hundred dollars may
be taken to average £15 English money, though the exchange varies
slightly from time to time. Entrance fees are usually one-fifteenth to
one-twentieth of the value of the stakes.

With reference to the above remarks on classes it may be of interest to
readers to know where these animals are procured from.

No animals being bred on the Rock itself, all horses are imported
privately or by dealers from Africa, Spain, England and France. The
thoroughbreds racing in the first class come from English and French
stables, and are not by any means the weedy types of broken-down platers
that one would expect. Very few are stabled and trained at “Gib.,” but
come down for the races from Madrid and Andalusia; certain well-known
owners who are interested in the racing here vying with one another to
bring down a better type of animal each successive meeting. During this
season it may safely be said that a better lot of horses have run in
first class races than ever previously, and there is every promise in
the future of the good standard being upheld. The other three classes of
horses are generally kept on the Rock itself or in the immediate
vicinity. A second class horse is, as a rule, a half-bred, and imported
from over the water or bred in the province of Andalusia.

The third class contains Barbs over 14.2, and the best class of Barb
ponies, with a few Arabs. An owner wishing to procure a third class
animal has generally to be content with buying a horse which has run at
“Gib.” previously, owing to the fact of the classification Committee
nearly always placing a raw horse (one just imported on to the Rock) in
either the second or the fourth class. Fourth class horses are imported
from Africa by the local dealer. There is only one dealer here at
present, and he holds the monopoly of selling raw animals, regulating
his supply according to the demand, thereby keeping up a fixed price. It
should be mentioned that in “Gib.” it is customary to term all animals,
whether 13 or 16 hands high, as horses. These fourth class horses are
practically all Barbs of polo height (14.2 and under), generally very
handy, but sluggish, and requiring an enormous amount of driving. They
are nearly all stallions, very few mares ever being imported. Prices
average about £30 for a raw animal from the dealer—Sant, senior, who is
to be thoroughly recommended—though regiments buying a batch of seven or
eight at a time will get them considerably cheaper. The element of luck
is brought largely into the business of buying these animals raw, for
the worst-looking Barbs often prove capable of beating those of much
better conformation.

A third class animal is, as has been stated before, rather hard to
procure raw. An Arab may be placed in this class, but the uncertainty of
the classification of this class makes owners extremely shy of importing
or having imported for them horses too good for fourth class but not up
to second class form. A third class horse which has shown good form can
be procured for £40 or £50, but prices vary according to the proximity
of the meetings. A second class half-bred coming from Oran or Algiers
may be bought for about £70. Thoroughbreds anything from £20 upwards.
All betting is done through the means of the _pari-mutuel_, the unit of
investment being one dollar (about three shillings) and five dollars.
The various clubs deduct 5 per cent. on the turnover. Lotteries are held
the night previous to racing, 250 dollars being the average pool to the
winner, though of course pools vary considerably according to the number
of speculators present.

Weights vary in handicaps from 12 st. 7 lb. downwards. Frequently,
however, 13 st. is top weight, lowest weight being seldom less than 8
st. Weight for age races when held have a scale of weights as follows:—

                     2 years           8 st. 7 lb.
                     3 years           9 st. 7 lb.
                     4 years          10 st. 7 lb.
                     5 years          11 st. 2 lb.
                     6 years and aged 11 st. 9 lb.

A new innovation has come into force this year, to the effect that
gentlemen riders only are allowed to ride in fourth class races. In all
other races professionals may ride, gentlemen riders (who must be
members of the Army or Navy or be given permission to ride by the Jockey
Club) receiving a 5 lb. allowance when competing against them. The new
rule above mentioned of confining fourth class races to gentlemen riders
only and excluding professionals has, in a way, done good and been a
success in bringing forward new riding blood and inducing more amateur
jockeys to figure in the pigskin, but on the other hand, owners of
horses handicapped at a low weight find it impossible to procure fit and
capable gentlemen riders. In many cases this rule has curtailed entries
and caused some dissatisfaction. Really capable professionals on the
Rock are very few in number, and four of them stand out far and above
their _confrères_—Frank Sant, Goodman, Aldorino and J. Zammit being
their names. These four jockeys are all good and naturally in great
request, especially the first named, who, having every attribute of a
first-class jockey, could without doubt hold his own in most parts of
the world. Five dollars (sixteen shillings) is the fixed fee to a losing
jockey and 10 per cent. of the stakes to the winning one, though, as is
always the case, large presents are often given.

Of gentlemen riders there are a number, though only a few are really
useful. Some new riders have been performing lately, and there are
several the writer could mention who with a little more practice will
soon be able to hold their own with the second rank of professionals
without the 5 lb. allowance. Mr. C. Larios, brother of the M.F.H., and
first whip, Captain Taylor, R.G.A. (a veteran heavy-weight, but still a
very cool rider), and Captain Salt, late of the Lancashire Fusiliers,
are perhaps the pick of those riding at present.

A word about the various clubs. In “Gib.,” perhaps unfortunately, there
are no less than three racing clubs, the Gibraltar Jockey Club, the
Calpe Turf Club, and the Civilian Racing Club. The Gibraltar Jockey Club
is the senior club in the Gibraltar racing world. It is composed mostly
of military and naval officers with a few civilian representatives. This
club practically governs the racing at “Gib.,” owning the course and
being under the authority of the English Jockey Club. The Calpe Turf
Club, founded and directed by the Messrs. Larios, and the Civilian
Racing Club, managed by a civilian syndicate.

These two latter clubs are composed mainly of civilians with a few
military and naval members. Both these two clubs conform to the rules of
the Jockey Club. A movement is being set on foot by certain influential
personages, interested in the welfare of the racing here, to combine the
three clubs into one. This movement, as may be understood, would be in
many ways beneficial. Owners, and others, however, rather welcome racing
with different clubs, as there is considerable competition between them
in the way the meetings are conducted, each trying to outdo the other in
general arrangements.

Until recently all starting has been carried out by means of a flag, but
last May the gate was first tried in five-furlong races. At the last
meeting it was used at both the five- and six-furlong starting posts,
and next year will probably be always adopted. Other improvements have
taken place during the year, and it is proposed to enlarge the stands
and premises, which will be greatly to the advantage of every one.
Concerning the course, the writer will give a brief description for the
benefit of those unacquainted with “Gib.” It is situated on the sandy
isthmus that connects the Rock with the mainland of Spain. The course is
a mile in circumference, and oval-shaped, while the going, though
nominally of grass, is for the most part of a sandy nature. The last two
furlongs constitute the straight, which is enclosed on either side by
the orthodox white rails. The remainder of the course is marked out by
means of large whitewashed stones dotted round at three yards’ interval.
On the extreme outside is situated the tan galloping track. A small
charge is made to all persons using the same by the Jockey Club.

At the Autumn meeting of the Jockey Club an objection was raised to a
horse for having gone inside three of the stones marking the course, and
to prevent a repetition of the occurrence the authorities decided that
at all future meetings movable posts, strung together with white tape,
should be used. It is, unfortunately, impossible to rail the course
right round, owing to a rifle range being situated in the centre, and
rails anywhere else, except in the straight, would interfere with the
view of the targets. Tapes being very dangerous both to horses and
riders, a scheme for the construction of permanent sockets holding
movable posts is being considered.

Altogether during this year there have been sixteen days’ racing in
“Gib.,” not including nine days at the neighbouring Spanish Club at
Campamento (four miles off), with seven or eight races per day, with an
occasional steeplechase for officers’ ponies. The Spanish Club, which is
really another edition of the Gibraltar Civilian Racing Club, holds its
meetings, as a rule, on Sundays, and is run on pretty well the same
lines as those in force on the Rock, except that the Club recognises a
fifth class with low stakes. The course is a very good one, though new,
the going being nearly always better than here. The Club does very well
in its own way, and those not averse to Sunday racing speak very well of
it. The King of Spain encourages the Club, presenting money and cups to
help the prizes. The sixteen days of racing above-mentioned were taken
up by the various clubs as follows: The Jockey and Calpe Turf clubs
seven days each, and the Civilian Racing Club two days. All the meetings
were a success, but perhaps the honours of the best meeting held during
the season lie with the Civilian Racing Club. This was the Royal Sky
Meeting, specially organised on the occasion of the visit of Her Majesty
the Queen to “Gib.” Saturday, May 6th, was the day in question, and on
the Thursday previous no racing for the following Saturday was
contemplated. Her Majesty, however, had expressed a wish to see some
racing, and with very commendable promptitude the Civilian Racing Club
obtained permission and organised the meeting. In spite of such short
notice the entries were exceptionally large, and wisely confined to
third and fourth class horses, so as to allow of the officers of the
garrison being able to participate in the meeting more largely than
usual.

Her Majesty very kindly gave and presented a cup in one of the races,
which was won by Major Labalmondiere’s (R.G.A.) black Barb horse
Dominico, carrying top weight, and ridden by Captain Taylor. Needless to
say, both owner and rider came in for many congratulations in winning
the much coveted cup.

In every way the meeting was a very great success, and it is only to be
hoped that on some near future occasion Her Majesty will again be a
spectator at a “Gib.” meeting.

The best race of the year as regards the class of animal was undoubtedly
the first class weight for age race at the Calpe Turf Club Autumn
Meeting. A field of ten better class horses has never been seen on the
“Gib.” course previously. A good finish resulted in a win for that great
supporter of the higher class racing at Gibraltar, Mr. Garvey, through
the medium of his chestnut three-year-old English-bred filly Bizantina,
closely followed home by Captain W. P. Salt’s Chartres, ridden by owner.

On the whole the various clubs have had an excellent season, and a great
improvement on previous ones. The standard of horses racing in the
various classes has improved, and the riding, especially of the
amateurs, has been much better than formerly.

With the Gunners and the three line regiments, the Yorkshire Light
Infantry, the Munster Fusiliers and the Duke of Cornwall’s Light
Infantry, keen on the “Great Game,” together with a large number of
civilian Turfites, the prospects for the racing season of 1906 are very
promising. Gibraltar and Campamento racing clubs can hardly expect to
show such racing as is seen at home, but the writer doubts whether any
stranger visiting our racecourses will have any cause to complain of the
sport and amusement shown to him.



                Half a Century’s Hunting Recollections.
                                   V.


Once in my life I have heard a fox cry out when seized by a hound; it
was a cub, at Cream Gorse, and Tom Firr jumped down and saved it. The
noise was a sort of twang! As I said at the time, it reminded me of the
snapping of a harp string. I have more than once seen a fox turn to bay
and defy a hound, and in such cases have been very sorry for him if,
later on, the end came.

By the way, in my last I was made to say that the M.F.H. often wore a
“cap.” I wrote a “hat”; not the same thing quite.

Of fatal accidents—fatal on the spot, I mean—I am happy to say that I
have had but little experience. Both victims, however, were friends of
mine. The first was Lord Somerville. We were out with Mr. Tailby, and
were running from Manton Gorse; the ground was greasy to a degree; poor
Somerville, Captain Smith, and I, all rode, I may say, together, at a
low post and rails, but wide of each other. I never knew that any one
had fallen, but Somerville’s horse, a favourite mare called Honesty,
slipped, chested the rail, and landed completely on to him. Death must
have been instantaneous. The other unfortunate was my dearest of dear
old friends, Captain David Barclay. The accident happened just in front
of my second horseman, and at a gap into the Sandy Lane, near Gartree
Hill. In this case my poor friend’s mare, a star-gazing little beast,
slid into the ditch, a deep one. The rider’s foot was caught on the top
of a stake, and he was canted out of the saddle, alighting on his head.
From all accounts he was dead when picked up.

To talk of a less sad subject, I may say that my old joke about the
Peterborough Show having caused so much bad scenting weather has become
quite a stock phrase. We have heard of going back to the bloodhound and
the Welsh hound to regain the “tender nose.” Pace “Borderer,” the faults
of the Welshmen are riot, babbling, and a disinclination to draw strong
gorse, at least this is my limited experience. Whipcord might improve
the riot, but I should fear that this class of hound would sulk under
punishment. A friend of mine is trying the cross in his kennel; I hope
he will succeed with it. As to bloodhounds, I have mentioned the North
Warwickshire of 1861–2. They were originally bloodhound and Belvoir, and
were first started in the Wheatland country. They were all that could be
desired when I saw them.

There was a half-bred bloodhound, called Bonny Lass, in the Ludlow pack,
in the days of my youth. I remember she was none of the stoutest with an
afternoon fox; but Mr. Sitwell bred from her, and put forward at least
one of her daughters, Brilliant (I think, by Harold). But the pure
bloodhound is a single-handed dog. I worked one in a scratch pack, but
she never would go to cry, nor believe a word that her comrades said. I
had a day once with the bloodhound pack started by Lord Wolverton, but
then owned by Lord Carrington. We met, by invitation, at the White Hart,
Winkfield, and took the deer near Reading, at “something” field. The
King, who was out, timed the run at “the best part of three hours,” but
the hounds had very little to do with it. I only saw them run, as a
pack, over one grass park at Binfield. Lords Carrington and Charles
Beresford “rode the deer,” or we should not have known which way she had
gone. She was taken in a pond of extra black mud. Beresford went in to
take her, thereby giving an opening for some graceful badinage about
blue water, and other hues. Except on the one occasion, hounds never
seemed to settle even for one field, and there were lots left behind.
The Berkshire yokels, who were only too fond of catching up an amiable
Ascot staghound, with a view to bucksheesh, on delivery, tried the same
game with some of the “Talbots,” but with direful results. They were
savage, sulky brutes, and murderously quarrelsome in kennel. My bitch
was good tempered enough, and, though noisy on any living scent, quite
mute on a drag, which—boys will be boys—I occasionally ran.

Twice I have seen the _haute école_ with hounds, the Quorn each time.
The first time the owner of a circus, then performing at Leicester, came
out on a trick horse. While we were drawing he cantered across the field
and dropped his handkerchief, then, dismounting, sent his horse to fetch
it, which the animal did, retriever fashion. Having thus advertised
himself, he, when we got away, “took on” all the highest timber which he
could find, but was caught by a blind ditch, “to him.” My friend, Dakin,
of the Carbineers, offered the man £150 for his horse, which was
refused, the price demanded being £300. As I said at the time, I did not
know which of the two parties to this transaction was most wanting in
wisdom. The horse was a weedy thoroughbred; and, unless one wanted
handkerchiefs retrieved, worth in a fair some £30 to £20. The other time
matters were more serious. The _venue_ was Scraptoft, as before. But the
_impresario_ brought out some half-dozen of his lady riders. Their
habits represented all the colours of the rainbow, and their behaviour
was most alarming. Their intention seemed to be to wipe out all Melton
and Harboro’. Poor Fred Archer’s half a length which he allowed to Mr.
Coupland at a fence, was considered short measure, but half a head was
more the form of these homicidal houris. At length they received, and
took, a hint to the effect that they should not over-fatigue themselves
in view of their evening performance.

I have said but little of the Belvoir, as Frank Gillard’s book deals
with the days in which I knew them best. But, if I mistake not, he
confuses the late Mr. Little Gilmour, an opulent Scotsman, who was a
great friend of the late Duke of Rutland, and who, by the way, was a
competitor in the Eglinton Tournament, with Mr. (or rather Captain),
Parker Gillmore, the explorer, big game shooter, and author (“Ubique”).
Mr. Little Gilmour, Lord Gardner, and Lord Wilton were the only ones I
knew of the heroes depicted in “The Melton Breakfast,” of which meal the
late Sir Frederick Johnstone seems to have had a monopoly. The scene of
this banquet is a disputed point. Some say that it is the dining-room at
“The Old Club” (which never was a “club” in the ordinary sense of the
word), others that it is the coffee-room at the “George.” My “key”
describes the servant as the waiter at the “George Inn.” Concerning the
many remarkable men, remarkable for other things besides the chase,
though of course they were foxhunters, I may, perhaps, be allowed to
continue my “havers” in the coming by and by. Yet, two or three men I
must crave permission to mention. One was the late Mr. Ambrose Isted,
who was mentioned by “Nimrod” in his “Hunting Tours.” Being born deaf,
he was also dumb, or nearly so. He was, however, a wonderfully good
draughtsman; and, when I stayed in a country house with him, between
pantomime and pencils, we got on as regular _compadres_. The engraving
of Mr. Osbaldeston and Sir Harry Goodricke in “Silk and Scarlet” is from
a sketch by him. I must really tell one tale about him. His property was
in the Pytchley country, and I made his acquaintance there in the spring
of 1862, when my “base” was Rugby. A brother officer of mine, poor
Walter Bagenal, long since dead, was riding at a fence, when Mr. Isted,
somewhere close by, made a sound of some kind and held up two fingers. I
should never have even guessed his meaning, and should probably have got
a “crowner,” but the Irish intuition of poor dear Bagenal rose to the
occasion. Perceiving that the warning indicated a “double,” he roused
little “Aladdin” and triumphantly cleared both ditches. In another style
Mr. Henley Greaves was a wonderful man. What his weight was no one ever
knew, but on foot he was a marvel of activity. I once came down with him
to the Smite. The squire hailed two yokels, jumped the brook clean on
foot, and then received his horse. I tried to imitate him, but “dropped
my hind-legs.” Once I, out of curiosity, tried to follow him up a bridle
road. He absolutely lost me. The pace he went between the gates, the way
they seemed to open spontaneously for him, and the manner in which he
slipped away on the further side, are beyond my powers of description.

Another remarkable man in a different way, and in his way a hero, was
Mr. Baldwin, “the lion-hunter.” He had made so good a business of a big
game shooting campaign in South Africa, that, what between the sale of
his spoils, ivory, &c., and of his book—a most clever and amusing work,
with no chronicle of the long-bow in it—he managed to have two or three
seasons’ hunting in Leicestershire. I may say that I should imagine him
to be the only man who has ever taken up a lion for a ride behind him!
He confessed that the lion had every reason for annoyance, as he had
been insulted by having dogs set on him. Anyhow, he did what I am told
that lions seldom do. He not only charged his foe, but followed him up,
and, overhauling him, jumped on to the horse’s hindquarters. Naturally
the steed disapproved of this arrangement, and then it became a mere
question as to whether the man or the lion should be kicked off first.
Luckily it was the lion. Had Mr. Leo put his claws into the man’s back,
it would have been a case of stand or fall together! Poor Baldwin lost
an eye in a most unlucky manner. He never cared what he rode, though he
rode them all in the right place; but his stud could not have been
described as animals “suitable to carry a lady.” He was trying to open a
gate, which was bushed up along the top bar, as in those days many were.
In some inexplicable manner he got a thorn into one eye, and, having
made up his mind to lose it, gave away a chance, by not only not
consulting a specialist, but by coming out hunting again, if not the
next day, at a suicidally early date. I last heard of him as hunting in
Cheshire, and trust that he is still pursuing the chase.

I can just remember a certain sportsman, who shall be nameless, but who
headed so many foxes, that Sir Richard Sutton, when Master of the Quorn,
offered to settle an annuity on him, on condition of his leaving the
country. Mr. Surtees often stayed at Quorn, and this offer is revived in
“Mr. Sponge’s Sporting Tour,” as having been made to him by Lord
Scamperdale. The history of the Quorn country is none too complete. Even
in your _Hunting Directory_, Mr. Editor, there is no mention of the
Donnington Hunt as carried on by the Marquis of Hastings, the last but
one. They had very good sport, but I seem to have heard that many of
their best things were with bagmen. These were trained, so the story
goes, and even physicked. “I know not how the truth may be, I tell the
tale as ’twas told to me.” The Marquis, like his son, was never a rider
to hounds, but “Nimrod” tells of him that when buying horses from John
Potter, of Ashby-de-la-Zouche, he took a delight in larking over all the
artificial fences which the trial ground contained. He was passionately
fond of hounds, and, judging from a sketch which he made of what he
considered a perfect foxhound’s head, a pretty good judge of them. At
his death the Hunt was carried on by Mr. J. Storey, of Lockington (the
“old Jack Storey” of my youthful days), and, I fancy, Sir Seymour Blane;
but to this I cannot swear. Sir Richard Sutton retrieved this country
when he began to find the miles rather long between Harborough and
Quorn, and put “Young Dick,” grandfather of the present Baronet, to
represent him at Billesdon; or was it Oadby? No! I cannot help thinking
that Dick Sutton’s kennels were at Skeffington. On this point I must
confess myself open to correction.

The men of old time were not so particular about country as the heroes
of to-day. Loughborough was the headquarters of the Quorn Hunt under Mr.
Meynell, by no means in the cream of the country. The late Admiral
Meynell once asked me (in the early sixties) whether Button (properly
“Buddon”) Wood, close to Quorn, was still a crack covert. At that time I
should think that very few Meltonians could have located the place at
all, and it certainly is nasty to get away from. Still, even in those
days it was not all beer and skittles. In the diary of Jones, Mr.
Meynell’s cork-legged whip, appears this entry: “Found in Mr. Kent’s
Thorns” (now generally called Cant’s Thorns). “The gentlemen over-rode
the hounds at starting, and we lost him.” I have seen something very
much like that happen at that place myself. Certainly a Leicestershire
huntsman has not a bed of roses. As poor Tom Firr once said to me, at a
check, “Most huntsmen have to think where their fox is gone, but I’ve
also to guess where my field is coming to!” And of many men, riders or
not, it may be said that, the longer they hunt the less they know about
the chase!

No doubt in old days, when foxes were really wild and stout, grand sport
was had in rough countries. Any one who has read “Nimrod’s” “Hunting
Tours” must allow that. But the men of old times worked harder than the
Agamemnons of to-day. “Nimrod,” in his northern tour, mentions the fact
of the late Sir David Baird having ridden fifty miles to covert, and the
same distance home, after hunting. And I have lived to see certain of
the silver-gilt go by train from Melton to a meet at Brooksby, six
miles. I should have thought that the bother of catching a train would
be far greater than getting on to one’s hack, and cantering to the meet,
especially as there are good grass sidings all the way. However,
“_Chacun à son gout_,” and this is supposed to be a free country.

I have tried to remember all the packs with which I have ever hunted,
not including harriers, whose name would be legion. But I have quite
forgotten one, the Surrey Union to wit. I was at a “Crammer’s,” near
Leatherhead, and as Paidogogos liked a holiday as well as I did, I got
out as often as a certain very tidy little hireling could come. Colonel
Sumner was Master, and his kennels were, I think, at Fetcham. He had a
hound called Falstaff, of which I believe he thought highly, but I do
not remember much about the pack. I _do_ remember, though, a meet at
Epsom Windmill, and also seeing a fox found on Box Hill. I see an
advertisement in a Highland paper for “freshly caught foxes.” They are
to be delivered in the Old Surrey country; I presume that the advertiser
has shot his coverts. As he is the son of an old schoolfellow of mine, I
will mention neither name nor place.

I can safely say that, out of Leicestershire, the most charming line of
country over which I ever rode was with the Meynell. The late Mr. Clowes
and Lord Waterpark were then joint masters. I cannot say exactly where
we ran, but it was an eight-mile point, all over grass. I only saw one
bit of arable, it was certainly not four acres. But I remember it
because the fox crossed it (we had no need to do so), and I noticed that
the hounds “said more about it” up that furrow than they had been doing
over the grass. This was on the Radbourne side, and I believe the cream
of the country, as well it may be. The fences, though wanting a hunter,
were “nout to boggle a mon,” to quote Mr. James Pigg, and though we had
a bit of a brook, it was also of an inviting nature. Lord Harrington
went gallantly on a three- or possibly a two-year-old thoroughbred one.
He saw the run, at the expense of two or three rolls! I much admired the
hounds, having seen the dogs on one day, and the ladies on the Radbourne
side. I thought the bitches had more muscle on them than the dogs, but
that may have been fancy. One has to see hounds on the flags before one
can pass a judgment of this kind. We did not catch our fox, which was a
pity, as the hunt, with a kill, would have been perfect.

As droll an arrangement as I ever saw was that by which, with the late
Sir Humphrey de Trafford’s Harriers, every one was mounted excepting the
huntsman. In a wired country one could understand this, but in those
happy days wire had not made its detestable appearance. However, this
man legged it to such good purpose, that perhaps a horse would have been
thrown away upon him! A certain M.F.H. once gave as his reason for not
allowing his huntsman a second horse, that this official took quite
enough out of one!

Mr. G. S. Lowe, in the January number, seems under the impression that
Osbaldeston’s “Furrier” was a mean-looking black and white hound. I
possess a portrait of him, in oils, and must repeat what I wrote about
him elsewhere: “Light of bone, and not straight, but no better topped
dog is now in the Belvoir pack, and he is the right colour too” (black,
white and tan). I do not like the custom of not rounding the ears of
foxhounds, if only that the ears are a distinction between a full-grown
puppy at walk, and a stray hound, which may be a matter of moment to a
whip going back to look for the latter. And I do not think that hounds,
in good kennels, have improved at all in the last fifty years. They
certainly cannot go faster than Bluecap and Wanton did when, in 1762,
they ran four miles in, as nearly as possible, eight minutes. I have
always thought that the Quorn couple got “cut off” on that occasion.

Besides we all know that hounds, running a drag, will often leave it if
they are pressed upon by horses. Certainly they go fast enough for most
of us now. I once, some thirty years ago, saw two Belvoir puppies,
outside Old Hills, fairly course down and catch a hare in view. Hares
are not at their strongest in October; but I said nothing, and let them
enjoy their prey, as I admired their performance, illegitimate though it
was!

I fear that we have, as I hinted before, seen the best of foxhunting.
New difficulties seem to crop up daily, but the worst of them are the
pheasant and the wire fence. Too many foxes are practically bagmen,
having been turned down a day or two before the coverts are drawn, and
if a hunt is to rent even half the shootings in its limits, hunting will
indeed be the sport of the rich, and most likely the _nouveau riche_ at
that. Let us hope for the best, but ere now Hope “has told a flattering
tale!” I have omitted to mention Mr. George(?) Grey, of Dilston(?), who
not only when some 70 years old cut down many of the young Meltonians,
but when totally blind, rode over Northumberland, after a pilot, who
described the fences as he came to them. Space prevents my saying much
about the Cottesmore. At an interval of over forty years, they ran from
Launde Wood to Kirby Park, killing each fox, one under the park wall,
the other a bit farther on, by the River Wreake. But as space is
wanting, good-bye, Brave Boys.

                                                        F. J. KING KING.



                            Rugby Football.


The recent invasion of England by the all-conquering New Zealanders—who
established the wonderful record of thirty-one victories out of
thirty-two matches played—has arrested the attention of a great many
people who hitherto have taken little or no interest in Rugby football.
The game as played by these men from over the sea was Rugby football in
its most attractive form, and those who were privileged to see their
victories over Middlesex or Blackheath, could not fail to be delighted
with their skill, nor could they possibly deny the fascinating charm of
the game when properly played. But with their departure interest in
Rugby is likely to flag, and we are faced with the question, “Why is
Rugby football not more popular; how is it that a very large section of
the community take no interest in football at all, whilst another large
section prefer the charms of Association?”

From the point of view of the player, it is easy to see that the game is
not quite suited to every one. Though Rugby is often wrongly considered
a rougher game than Association football, it certainly lays a premium on
strength and size, whilst there are few things—except perhaps
rowing—which make a greater claim on a man’s stamina and endurance. It
is, therefore, a game which requires certain natural qualifications and
a certain amount of training; hence a large number are excluded from
active participation. In Wellington, one single town in New Zealand,
over twelve thousand men play Rugby football every Saturday afternoon
during the season; it is the national game “down under,” and spectators
flock in their thousands to see the matches, but in England a man has so
many interests, the open-air life is not so general and the weather
conditions not so good.

Perhaps the greatest disadvantage under which Rugby football labours is
the fact that it is a winter pastime, and therefore often played in
miserable weather. A greasy ball and slippery turf are sufficiently
trying to the players; from a spectator’s point of view the game is
entirely spoilt, whilst the accommodation provided for the onlookers is
frequently most inadequate. At the best of times a covered stand is a
cold and draughty place, but it is better than the open field; yet with
Rugby clubs the covered stand is often conspicuous by its absence.
Moreover, the approaches to so many football grounds are so bad that
many people are deterred from patronising the matches; crowded trains
followed by a long drive or walk is very damping to the enthusiasm.

Then again, a football match can never be a social function like a
cricket match; it therefore loses a great deal of feminine patronage.
Except for the small minority, who really understand the game, football
is regarded by ladies as a brutal trial of strength, and they fail to
see the attraction of grovelling in the mud; but if there was a little
tea-party at half-time it would put quite a different complexion on the
game. It must also be borne in mind that three of our greatest public
schools play a game peculiar to themselves, whilst Charterhouse, Repton,
Malvern, Westminster, Radley, Bradfield, Shrewsbury and other big
schools play only Association. This means that a very large section of
the English youth take absolutely no interest in Rugby at all, though
they may—if they go to the Varsity—occasionally watch a Rugby match in
the same way that the cricketer patronises the river during Eight’s
week.

But the unpopularity of Rugby football as a spectacle is largely due to
the apparent complexity of the rules, which makes it very difficult for
the uninitiated to follow the game. It is largely due to this that
Association has a greater hold on the affections of the people, whilst
the game is not stopped by the continual blowing of the referee’s
whistle. An elderly gentleman who, needless to say, does not often
attend a football match, was heard, the other day, at the Crystal
Palace, to exclaim, “There’s that referee interfering again; how
exasperating!” This was probably the feeling of a great many who were
watching Rugby football for the first time, and they must have carried
away the opinion that the whole game consisted in a succession of
scrummages and a vast expenditure of useless energy. It is, however,
difficult to see what could take the place of the scrummage, which is
formed whenever the ball is thrown forward or knocked on, or when the
ball is not thrown in straight out of touch, or for any other
unintentional breach of the rules. It must be remembered that the
scrummage was the essential feature of the game some twenty years ago,
when the formation was ten forwards, two half-backs, two quarters and a
full-back. In those days little passing was seen, and the ball was
seldom heeled out of the scrummage. It is interesting to note how the
game has been changed. Fifteen years ago, nine forwards, two half-backs,
three three-quarters and a full-back was the rule, till the Welshmen—who
are generally the pioneers of any progressive movement in Rugby
football—evolved the system of eight forwards and four three-quarters.
This year we see the scrummage still further diminished, the New
Zealanders playing only seven forwards with a winger—who was nothing
else than a half-back—one half-back, two five-eights, three
three-quarters and a full-back, whilst the Welsh team has adopted
practically the same disposition, playing only seven forwards, three
half-backs, four three-quarters and a full-back.

Thus in the course of about twenty years the proportion of forwards to
outsides has been reduced from ten forwards and five outsides to seven
forwards and eight outsides. It is, therefore, not difficult to see
which way the wind is blowing, and there is food for speculation as to
what will eventually become of the scrum. The abolition of the
“dead-ball” rule and the necessity of playing the ball immediately you
are tackled has done much to make the game faster, but it is a matter of
doubt whether the game will be improved, from the players’ point of
view—which is, after all, the primary consideration—by the reduction of
the forwards to a mere heeling machine. Undoubtedly Rugby football, as
it has been played in the past, is frequently most uninteresting to
watch; the delight of getting the ball in the scrummage and of heeling
it out cleanly, or a well-executed wheel when the forwards break away
with the ball at their feet has little fascination for the spectators,
whilst the satisfaction of grappling an opponent or stopping a rush by
falling on the ball must appear very crude and barbarous compared to the
admirable finesse of Association football. The tendency at present is to
bring more skill into the game; the heavy, lumbering forward has given
way to a quicker and more active type, whilst every effort is made to
execute that brilliant hand-to-hand passing which is so attractive and
generally so effective. Yet there is a danger that the increased number
of outsides may lead to overcrowding and to “too many cooks spoiling the
broth,” and we frequently see a centre three-quarter boring his wing
into touch, or the ball being passed along in a stereotyped fashion,
when an individual dash for the line would spell ruin to the opposition.
The brilliant individual run through a crowd of opponents excites the
admiration of the spectators just as much as a perfect round of passing,
and, provided it is not attempted too often, is very deadly in its
effectiveness.

In conclusion, it may be said that the unpopularity of Rugby football as
a spectacle chiefly results from the difficulty of getting to the
matches, the lack of accommodation for the spectators, the apparent
complexity of the rules, the somewhat peculiar manner of scoring, by
which a try counts three points, a goal from a try five points (in which
case the try does not count), a dropped goal four points, and a penalty
goal three points, and, lastly, the “exasperating interference” of the
referee, with the continual scrummages which result therefrom. A
suggestion, which has the support of several great players, is that the
numbers should be reduced to thirteen a side instead of fifteen, with
the formation of six forwards, two half-backs, four three-quarters and a
full-back, or even twelve a side with only three three-quarters. At
present the game is killed by the number of the players, whilst the
packing of seven or eight forwards in the scrum is very difficult. With
six forwards the packing is simple, even for a scratch team, whilst the
fewer players and greater space would lead to more open play and
brilliant running. We might then see one team winning by thirty points
to twenty-seven, and no one could deny that this would be highly
interesting and exciting from the spectators’ point of view. Finally,
more attention should be paid to handling the ball. The majority of
present-day forwards seldom handle a football during the week except in
matches, and not always then; hence it is not surprising that many
passes go astray, but it should be considered just as heinous a crime to
pass forward, or to fail to take a pass, as to miss a catch at cricket,
or to knock the tail-feathers out of a pheasant. It should be regarded
as equally heinous to pass when you have a good chance of going through
yourself, or to hold on to the ball when you ought to pass.

But Rugby football makes it its boast—a boast of which it is justly
proud—that the player is the first consideration. The Rugby Union has
always set its face against the evils of professionalism and the
commendable and unflinching attitude which it has taken up has been
reflected in the players, who somewhat foolishly have taken up an
attitude of “_noli me tangere_” towards the spectators, and have
resented anything in the form of interference. Anything like playing to
the gallery has been righteously condemned, and the player who takes
more than ordinary care of himself is often scoffed at. But what is
worth doing is worth doing well, and players are now waking up to the
fact that Rugby football can no longer be played properly in the
happy-go-lucky way, but requires great physical fitness and very skilful
use of both hands and feet. Moreover, it is patent to everybody that for
a game to last, however good it may be, it must be popular. One often
hears the remark, “We don’t want the spectators, and they have no right
to dictate to us; if we choose to keep the ball in the scrummage, why
shouldn’t we do so,” but if we do not want the spectators, we should
like their sons to be brought up to play one of the finest games in the
world. The enthusiasm in Wales for Rugby football is unbounded, as a
recent incident at Cardiff serves to show. When the Barbarians were
playing Cardiff before some ten thousand spectators (the day before
there had been something like forty thousand spectators, when the home
club were playing the New Zealanders), there was an interval of about
five minutes at half-time, which was turned to account by some tiny
little boys, none of whom could have been more than ten years old. They
seized the football, and were instantly in the throes of an exciting
game, which culminated in one little fellow dodging through several
opponents and dropping a goal, amidst the applause of the crowd. If,
however, you fail to interest the parent, you may fail to interest the
offspring. There is no reason why the game should not be made more
interesting to both the players and the spectators. It is unfortunate
that so many people only go to watch the big games, International and
Trial matches, which are seldom productive of good or interesting
football, being for the most part struggles between scratch teams.

Wales, alone of the four countries, places anything like a combination
of players in the field, and hence the apparent superiority of the
Welshmen. Rugby football should not be judged by the form shown in
International matches. The New Zealanders showed us what Rugby football
could be like, even with a wet ball and a sodden ground, when played by
a strong combination of brilliant individuals filled with a burning
enthusiasm. The whole question resolves itself into this: Make the game
interesting, and it will be popular; if it is popular, that enthusiasm
will be aroused, without which nothing can succeed.

                                                             C. E. L. H.



                           The Thoroughbred.


                      DO WE MAKE THE BEST OF HIM.

The racing season of 1905 is a thing of the past, and I think that even
the most optimistic will scarcely look upon it with feelings of
unqualified satisfaction. There has been a feeling of dulness at many of
the meetings which on occasion almost became depression. Many races
which looked so well upon paper have fizzled out and been won by horses
which, if not moderate, were at any rate not in the first class; and
there has undoubtedly been a lot of very moderate horses indeed running,
and, what is worse, winning races.

In these days it seems dangerous to write or talk about the thoroughbred
horse. There are some to whom the very name is anathema, associated in
their minds only with short distance racing and the routine of Turf
life. To them a thoroughbred horse is full of every equine
imperfection—light in bone, faulty in conformation, weak in
constitution. Others, again, see in the thoroughbred nothing but good.
We have, say they, as good horses as ever we had, and better, and they
are as extravagant in their optimism as their opponents are in their
pessimism.

It is not my intention to take sides with either of these parties. They
are quite able to fight their own battles, with more or less acrimony,
without any interference of mine. I purpose, however, to mention a few
things which have come under my own notice, and to make a few
suggestions about the horse, which at his best is undoubtedly the best
type of the equine race the world has seen, the English thoroughbred.

It has been customary of late to speak of the sixties, seventies, and
eighties as the palmy days of the English thoroughbred, and it will, I
think, be generally admitted that we had a smaller proportion of
moderate horses and more really good horses in the three decades
mentioned than we have had since. That we have had quite as good horses
as the best of them in the last fifteen years I readily admit, and the
names of Common, Galtee More, Flying Fox, Ard Patrick, Persimmon,
Sceptre, and Pretty Polly come trippingly off the tongue. But it is too
true that we have a lot of very inferior horses running, and it is no
argument to say that a race takes more winning than it used to do, as is
sometimes said when an attempt is made to bolster up the reputations of
the moderate ones. Before the argument will hold water it is necessary
to ask what sort of a race it is.

That a certain amount of deterioration has been seen during the last few
years is, I believe, generally admitted. But there have been lean years
before now, and the deterioration has only been temporary. For instance,
that was not a very grand Derby field in which Palmbearer ran second. It
is our concern to see that the falling off to which I allude is only
temporary; there is the material to work upon, of that I am quite
certain.

It is frequently stated that it is early two-year-old racing and short
distance races which have brought our thoroughbreds to the present
position. This I take leave to doubt. Early two-year-old racing did not
affect the horses of the sixties and seventies, and they got plenty of
it. Neither did short distance racing hurt them, for there were
half-mile handicaps in those days; and we have to look farther than this
for the cause of the decadence. Let us, for the sake of argument, say
that they are more delicate, and that stayers are not so frequently to
be found amongst them. Let us say this for the sake of argument only,
for it is the opinion of the writer, based on experience, that many a
horse that is looked upon as a non-stayer would stay well enough if
given the chance. At any rate, if the proposition is not true, there is
a fear of it becoming so. It is not to the short distance racing that we
should look for a cause, but rather to the absurd fashion for persistent
inbreeding in one line, viz., to the Darley Arabian, to the neglect of
the Byerley Turk strain (of which Herod stood out as one of the best
sires of all time). Inbreeding, when carried to the extent that it has
been carried with us, is sure to have its effect upon the average
members of any breed. Occasionally, it is true, there will be
exceptionally good individuals, but they will be few and far between.
But the case is by no means hopeless; there is no need to try to evolve
any other breed by means of elaborate crossing. All we have got to do is
to use a few vigorous out-crosses. These might not answer for racing
purposes in the first cross, but then, again, they might; but they would
be sure to come out in the second cross. The Shorthorns are an analogous
case. The breed had sunk low indeed through indiscriminate inbreeding,
but a few generations have raised it to greater heights than ever as a
general utility breed.

The temper and soundness of our thoroughbred horses are sources of
considerable anxiety to those who look upon them as something more than
mere instruments of gambling or adjuncts to a sport, and here there is
cause for concern. Never, probably, were there so many rogues running as
there are now, and in the experience of the writer never were there so
many horses with forelegs which, to say the least of it, are continually
on the verge of unsoundness.

Nor is it difficult to see why this is. The racehorse is not used in
accordance with Nature. In his early days his growth is forced by
stimulating food, in order that he may come into the sale ring “a
well-grown yearling.” Long before he is two years old he is broken and
mounted and galloped, and taught to face the starting-gate. He is
“jumped off” from a stand with the whole of the weight he is carrying in
the wrong place—in the place which ensures the strain coming with undue
force on his forelegs. Be it understood that I am not discussing the
starting-gate and its utility on a racecourse; with that I have nothing
to do here. I am merely stating that starting horses at top speed, or as
nearly top speed as is attainable, from a stand, with all the weight on
the top of the shoulders, so that the strain comes fully on to their
sinews, is quite sufficient to account for the “dicky” forelegs and feet
which are so frequent on our modern racecourses.[2]

The artificiality of our modern racing, the multiplication of meetings
at one place, and the gradual decay of the old country meetings,
combined with the immense increase in the value of stakes—an increase,
by the way, which owners principally provide themselves—have all had an
effect on sport which is not altogether advantageous. But where, it may
be asked, can these things have any effect upon the breed of horses as a
breed? They have more effect than at first sight would appear. They tend
to bring racing into fewer hands—into the hands of rich men. They tend
to increase the service fees of stallions. They tend also to shut out
the small man and the small breeder, because they make racing more
expensive.

The old country meetings encouraged the small breeder. His expenses for
entry, &c., were small, and if the stakes to be won were small, his
travelling expenses, jockeys’ fees, &c., were on a similar scale. He
could, if fairly well-to-do, afford to race for sport. For him fashion
had no charm. A practical horse-breeder, he had his own fancies as to
how to mate his mares; he ran his horses at local meetings, was
delighted when he won a fifty pound plate, and his horses travelled in
his neighbourhood and filled it with a good half-bred stock.

It may be said that we cannot go back, that gate-money meetings have
come to stay, and that the country meetings can never be revived.
Perhaps this is so, but if it is, it is all the worse for the Turf, and
for the thoroughbred, the interest in which is undoubtedly dying out in
some parts of the country.

So far I have endeavoured to show how we fail to make the best use of
our thoroughbreds as racehorses; how we breed them injudiciously, feed
them injudiciously, and put too great a strain upon them before their
bone is set. For there can be little doubt but that the strain upon the
young thoroughbred in training is much greater now than when the
starting gate and the modern seat were unknown.

Now I will proceed to the other side of the question—to the thoroughbred
as a general purpose horse. It is obvious that the value of the breed
depends in a great measure upon his qualities of speed, pluck, and
endurance with a man of ordinary weight on his back and doing ordinary
or extraordinary work. On the qualifications of the thoroughbred as a
general purpose horse there are wide differences of opinion and some
very bitter things are said of his lack of stamina and his unsoundness
and many other of his shortcomings which readers can fill in for
themselves. Notwithstanding all these things that are said about him my
own practical experience teaches me that for any purpose, what the late
Whyte Melville described as “a thoroughbred with brains” is the best
horse. The best hunters I have ridden and seen ridden have been
thoroughbred; the best harness horse for work I ever sat behind was
bought out of a selling race for £15, and the late Major Dalbiac, than
whom no better horseman was to be found, told me that the best charger
he ever rode in action was a thoroughbred that had had little
preliminary training. This, of course, is a very different thing to
saying that all thoroughbred horses, or that even a very large
percentage of them, are good hunters, harness horses, or chargers. But
it shows that, if they are fairly used and the most made of them, there
would not need to be such an outcry as there is now as to the scarcity
of good saddle horses.

An out-cross has been alluded to, and unfortunately the famous Herod
line is nearly extinct. But it is not quite extinct, and as the line is
not fashionable, what stallions there are with the Herod blood in their
veins will not be out of the reach of breeders who do not breed for the
sale ring. An Arab out-cross might be very valuable. It is true that the
Arabs have inbred for generations to as great an extent as we have, but
they have not inbred on the same line, and therefore an Arab cross might
be very valuable. It does not necessarily follow that because the Arab
is undersized and light in bone that the offspring of a thoroughbred
mare and an Arab sire would be undersized and light in bone. That it
would be valuable as a racehorse is perhaps open to question, but the
value of the out-cross would be seen in three or four generations, even
for racing purposes. It will probably be urged that it would be an
expensive experiment to try, for it is palpable that such an experiment
should not be tried with a mare of inferior quality. That may be
admitted at once, and the reason of its being expensive is that, owing
to the greatly increased value of stakes in these days, racehorses have
come to have a fictitious market price, and especially stallions which
have a good winning record. But surely there are to be found men who
would run the risk of a problematical loss—in the North there is a
proverb to the effect that a man cannot lose what he has never had—for
the sake of the good which would result to the thoroughbred as a breed.
For once establish the practical value of an out-cross in the
thoroughbred and the result would be the same as it was with the
Shorthorn—every one would hasten to adopt it.

There is also another plan which might be adopted, and it is surprising
that it has not been adopted; and that is the establishment of a small
stud of thoroughbreds, with the avowed object of breeding them for
general purposes, and not for racing. This did not succeed so very badly
in the past, and there is no reason why it should not succeed again. It
is true that a possible Derby winner might be found carrying a man to
hounds[3] or about the country roads, but he would not have cost much to
produce and breed, and would doubtless have been sold at a remunerative
price.

The writer is convinced that a stud of this kind, well managed, would
pay its way, from the way he has seen several purchases at the yearling
sales turn out. It is with some gentlemen a regular custom to attend the
yearling sales, with the view of purchasing youngsters that will develop
into hunters. They never give more than an average of twenty-five
guineas for them, and very rarely is that sum exceeded for an
individual. Care is, of course, taken to pick a big bony, growing colt
or filly, and he or she leads a perfectly natural life from the moment
of arriving at the new home, running out the whole of the winters, but
getting shelter at night and a little corn twice a day. At three years
old they are mouthed, and at four they are broken, and a large
percentage of those that have come under my notice have turned out good
hunters up to from thirteen to fourteen stone.

By doing away with inbreeding on such an extensive scale as it is now
practised, and by treating our horses more fairly in every way—putting
no undue strain on immature young horses—we may find those “careful
steps” which Professor Ridgeway urges should be taken “to preserve our
good breeds and not permit them to be contaminated and destroyed by rash
experiments in breeding.”

                                                                W. S. D.



                        Mr. Vyell Edward Walker.


On the early morning of January 3rd one of the greatest cricketers this
world has produced passed peacefully away, after a brief illness, in his
sixty-ninth year.

Of all families associated with the national game, the Walkers of
Southgate are pre-eminently the most famous; all the seven brothers were
devoted to cricket, and six of them took very high honours at the game,
whilst of “V. E.” the universal opinion of those best qualified to judge
is, and long has been, that whilst W. G. Grace is the greatest cricketer
that ever lived, V. E. Walker was the greatest cricketer who preceded
him.

Mr. Walker was born on April 20th, 1837, at Southgate. His earliest
studies in the science of cricket were pursued on the common at
Stanmore, where he and his four elder brothers were at school before
proceeding to Harrow. 1850 found him building a big cricket reputation
at Harrow, and by the time he left school in 1854 he was recognised as
one of the most promising and prominent amateurs in the country, so that
it was only in the natural order of events that he should represent the
Gentlemen against the Players a year or two later. From his Harrow days
up to the year 1877, when he retired from the captaincy of the Middlesex
County eleven, his was one of the most conspicuously active figures in
the world of cricket during an epoch of over a quarter of a century.

Lillywhite’s for the year 1859 pronounces Mr. V. E. Walker to be
“undoubtedly the best all-round cricketer in the world,” and in 1860 we
find the same writer affirming: “To Mr. V. E. Walker we gave last season
the credit of being the best all-round cricketer in the world. We have
no reason now to alter our opinion, as the figures in the batting and
bowling departments will justify the statement.”

In “The Cricketers’ Guide for 1860” we find the following: “_Bell’s Life
in London_ considered this gentleman to be A1 last season altogether. It
said of him: ‘In coming to the most useful man in an eleven we should
not be far wrong in selecting Mr. V. E. Walker.’ As a slow bowler no one
(with his fielding) can touch him. A very dangerous bat, and anywhere in
the field he is sure to save a vast number of runs. Certainly England
cannot be well represented without him, and we doubt whether such an
omission will for some years be ever attempted.” It is interesting to
remember that at the time all this high praise was justly showered upon
V. E. Walker he was only twenty-one years of age. It was in 1859 that he
performed his great feat at the Oval, when he scored 20 and 108, and
secured the whole of the ten wickets in the first innings. When Mr.
Walker had taken nine wickets, and the last two men were together,
Julius Cæsar was missed off his bowling, but after this he got rid of
Martingell, and so accounted for the dismissal of the entire side,
whilst the not-out man had actually been missed off his bowling. There
must have been an exciting finish to this match, for we read that
“Surrey were all disposed of in the last innings for 39 runs! which
lasted over an hour and a half. 20 to 1 was repeatedly laid when England
was got out—half-past four on the Saturday—that the match was a drawn
one. The day was very dull, and therefore the light was bad, which,
coupled with Jackson’s _extra-pace_ bowling, will account for the small
innings. Mr. V. E. Walker’s performances in this match are
unprecedented. Upon two other occasions Mr. Walker took all ten wickets
in one innings—for Gentlemen of Middlesex against Gentlemen of Kent in
1864, and for Middlesex against Lancashire in 1865.”

Mr. Edward Rutter, who played regularly with him, says: “He was a most
formidable customer as a bowler, and he was the most athletic fellow
that I ever saw in the cricket field. I have seen him catch a man behind
the batsman’s wicket near short leg, which shows as well as anything
that I can think of what a lot of ground he covered. It did not matter
to him how hard the ball was driven back to him; if it was within reach,
he made a catch of it with either hand. His action was peculiar; it was
a sort of ‘half-cock’ action, for his hand, which was higher than the
hip when the ball was leaving it, was at some distance from the body. He
always bowled round the wicket, so that the ball came at a considerable
angle. But, in my opinion, the greatest reason for his success in
bowling was the way in which he fielded it; he was all over the place.
How he managed to get his spin I do not know, but he had enough of it.”

Another interesting reference to Mr. Walker’s method of bowling comes
from Canon McCormick, of St. James’s, Piccadilly: “I think that ‘V. E.’
was the best slow bowler I ever played, after old Clarke, who bowled as
a rule faster than ‘V. E.’ ‘V. E.’ and W. B. Money were perhaps nearer
each other in style than any other two bowlers of the time. I never
think that Money had full justice done to him. ‘V. E.’ was better than
he in both judgment and the way in which he fielded his own bowling;
they neither of them tossed the ball in the air as much as other
bowlers. ‘V. E.’s’ difficulty chiefly lay in his deceptive variation of
pace. He was a splendid judge of a batsman’s abilities, and very quickly
found out his weak spots. He did not concern himself with averages, his
one leading idea was to get a man out.”

V. E. Walker earned every distinction and honour which the world of
cricket could offer. Admittedly the greatest cricketer of the age, he
was asked to captain any team representative of England, the South of
England, or the Gentlemen, and indeed his marked ability as captain of a
side was one of his most valuable qualities.

Mr. C. E. Green says: “Teddy was a splendid captain at every point of
the game, and was always cheery under the most disheartening
circumstances. Even when you had tried for a catch and missed it,
feeling that you were a worm, you did not feel miserable for long, for
he would come up to you and say, ‘Well tried, old chap. No one else
would have got near the ball.’ The result was that you began to think
you had done something rather clever, and it would be a bad look-out for
any batsman who selected you for a catch after that.”

He was one of the founders of the Middlesex County Club in the early
sixties, and captained the team until he gave up first-class cricket in
1877. The history of Middlesex cricket is intimately associated with the
Walker family; they started the Club, and supported it not only by their
brilliant cricket gifts, but financially. In the early days of Middlesex
cricket their matches were played on the old Cattle Market ground at
Islington. When this site was handed over to the builders Middlesex
migrated to Lillie Bridge, but quickly moved on to the luxurious ground
of Prince’s Club, where Hans Place now stands. When this ground was
built over Middlesex accepted the invitation of the Marylebone Club to
make Lord’s their headquarters, and during the last few years it must
have been interesting to Mr. Walker, as President of the Middlesex Club,
to see a handsome income rolling in each year to the credit of the Club,
which he and his brothers had for so many years supported and financed.
In 1866 Middlesex were what would nowadays be styled Champion County,
winning six out of their eight matches and only losing one, when they
were beaten by Cambridgeshire.

It looks now as if the time is remote when Cambridgeshire will again
beat Middlesex. When a couple of years ago Middlesex were again Champion
County, Mr. Walker and his brother, the celebrated Mr. Russell D.
Walker, entertained the County team to signalise the event. In the
fifties and sixties the cricket played at Southgate was second to none
in the world. The Walker brothers were in every sense of the word hosts
in themselves, and by the addition of a few of their personal friends
they were able to get a Southgate team fit to beat all comers.

Here is a very interesting extract from the “Cricketers’ Guide” with
reference to the match of the United All England Eleven against John
Walker, Esq.’s, Sixteen at Southgate in 1859. “Grand preparations were
made in Mr. John’s usual liberal manner. The betting was spirited,
especially when it was known that the valuable services of Mr. C. D.
Marsham (which proved so effective in 1858) could not be obtained. The
ground was in first-rate condition, the usual labour and attention
having been paid to it. The splendid band of the 2nd Life Guards was in
attendance, and a very large assemblage made their appearance each day.
Vehicles from all parts lined the ground, and the Great Northern Railway
ran trains to the Colney Hatch station about a mile and a half from
Southgate. The eleven were most hospitably entertained by this
well-known supporter, who, it will be noticed, manages to get hold of
sufficient strength to always _win_. For the United, Carpenter scored 9
and 27, J. Caffyn 124 and 30, J. Grundy 56 and 1, Lockyer 20 and 37. For
Southgate, Mr. J. Chalkley 18, Mr. E. Dowson 21, Mr. V. E. Walker 88,
Mr. F. P. Miller 26, Mr. H. Perkins 60 and 4. Notwithstanding the
tremendous scores of the United men, they could not pull it
off—Southgate winning in the most plucky manner.”

What with Southgate and Middlesex, with several matches under the
auspices of the Surrey Club at the Oval, and occasional matches for the
Free Foresters and other clubs, Mr. Walker was able to fill up his
cricket season to the best possible advantage; but we shall always
regret that his cricket career had just terminated before the visit to
this country of the first Australian team in 1878, so that he never had
an opportunity of playing in an International match, although to his
wise judgment and that of his brother, I. D., was entrusted the
selection of the first team to represent England at the Oval in 1878.

V. E. Walker was always in office at Lord’s; in 1891 he filled the post
of President, and afterwards was one of the three trustees of the
Marylebone Club. He was Chairman of the Wood Green Bench of Magistrates,
and only a month or two ago he was the recipient of a presentation
walking-stick from members of the police force to commemorate the
services he had rendered to a constable in dealing with a violent
ruffian. V. E. Walker was a great philanthropist; he gave a public
recreation ground to Southgate, he spent thousands of pounds for public
improvements in his neighbourhood, and no one will ever know the extent
of his private charities.

In every circle in which he moved his death has created void which
cannot be filled.



                               “Our Van.”


RACING.


The retro- and introspection with which some indulge themselves during
the dead winter season for flat-racing must leave in the minds of such
feelings of uneasiness. One had but to read the sporting papers very
deeply to realise that racing was not being indulged in in the typical
spirit of give and take; and when we found staring us in the face the
advertisement of the Racehorse Owners’ Association, instituted for the
protection of owners’ interests, one realised clearly enough that
grievances were felt to exist. Possibly in due course the particular
grievances which the covenanting owners desire to see redressed will be
set forth, for of course the trouble was not taken to found the
Association without some ostensible reason. In the meantime, the Jockey
Club has declined to take official cognisance of the Association. So far
as we have gone, the state of affairs seems to be that certain owners
have formed themselves into an association, and have applied to the
Jockey Club for official recognition. In effect the Jockey Club asks the
Association, “Who are you?” Having so long ruled supreme and
unchallenged, the Jockey Club no doubt feels it a little abrupt when a
body formed outside itself suddenly appears, and practically suggests
that it shall have a word or two to say in the government of the Turf.
If it is not to have some sort of say, then there seems to be no reason
for its advances towards the Jockey Club, or for its existence even.
Enough has been said in print during the past twelve months to make the
Jockey Club aware that the advance is not being made in a too friendly
spirit towards them; therefore they practically reply, “Thank you, we
can get on very well alone, and without your assistance, as heretofore.”
It does not follow that an association of racehorse owners cannot exist
and do good work without any reference whatever to the Jockey Club.
Leaving outside the government of racing as conducted by the Jockey
Club, there is plenty of room for the operations of such an association.
Combination between owners has been sadly wanting. Now that there is
some sign of it, one would like to see the body establish a right to its
existence by the carrying out of measures of benefit to the owners and,
by consequence, to racing as a whole. To the outsider it seems a little
premature for a body, before it has won its spurs, so to speak, to
aspire to deal on equal terms with the ruling powers. There are several
matters connected with the practice of racing with which progressive or
reforming owners might profitably interest themselves in conclave.
Before a body can hope to be regarded as a negotiable quantity it must
show some capacity for self-government and for dealing with questions of
a kind that come naturally within its scope. Owners, as a whole,
complain that their interests are not sufficiently considered. The
complaint is not here refuted, but so far there has been lacking that
combination of action which alone can effect changes. It is not too much
to say that an association of owners can bring about that which it is
beyond the powers of the Jockey Club to effect, because outside their
scope. The Jockey Club can only be administrative; and already it has
been accused of going too deeply into minutiæ. Those details which
concern the owners should be settled by the owners themselves. It does
not seem necessary for them to approach the Jockey Club at all in order
to make their presence and power felt. They have but to agree amongst
themselves how to act and how not to act under certain conditions, and
the rest will come. One can speak in this way so long as one is in the
dark concerning the aspirations and intentions of the new body, which
has yet to issue its propaganda. When details appear it will be possible
to discuss them. For the present, therefore, we must wait in patience.

Amongst the most important matters which a body of owners coming
together for the protection of its interests can take in hand is the
jockey question. Despite all that has been done the jockey is still the
master of the situation; and this is bad for racing. A position in which
the jockey dictates the terms is an intolerable one, but that is the
position in which the Turf finds itself. It is not a new state of things
by any means. The “It’s no use asking me what will win; go and ask that
long-legged devil,” of Matt. Dawson could be paraphrased to-day, though
the question of dishonesty is not being trenched upon here. What owners
have to consider is, whether the relative positions existing between
owner and jockey are those of master and man, and whether the reward
given the jockey is not altogether out of disproportion to the service
rendered. The enormous issues that are at times at stake, and the fatal
power for good or evil that is given into the hands of the jockey, as
forming the last link in a chain every other link of which has been
forged with scrupulous care and disregard of cost, are what give the
jockey his advantage. And this advantage he will always hold so long as
he is allowed to feel his power, and not made to understand that there
is a master mind over him. If the hard truth has to be told, the master
mind is what is lacking. By slow stages at first and then rapid ones, we
have passed from the times when the jockey stood humbly upon the mat
awaiting the pleasure of his lordship, to a day when it is the owner who
metaphorically stands upon the mat. To put the matter in a few words,
the jockey is enabled to make an income that is not only far too large
to be good for him, especially when we consider the lowly station from
which he usually springs, but, in addition, is immeasurably in excess of
his deserts. Clearing ourselves of the glamour of custom, it must appear
plain that it is a ridiculous thing to give a jockey, say, £500 for
winning a race, even be it the Derby. How can a jockey ride worth £500?
Only on the supposition that if he is not able to anticipate some such
guerdon of victory he will not put in his best work and so possibly lose
the race; in which case he will be a dishonest jockey and should be
dealt with in a totally different manner. The writer does not hesitate
to put it on paper that there is no reason why a jockey should be paid
more for winning the Derby than for winning any other race, for the
simple reason that it is just as easy to win; and we do not have to go
back many years to find a jockey who rode an indifferent race, but won
through the merit of his horse, rewarded in a manner that would have
been extravagant had he performed some prodigy of horsemanship and
snatched the race out of the fire by its means. The thing is so
glaringly disproportionate, that one is driven to assume that the giving
of large presents to jockeys for winning certain races is done out of
deference to a custom, the courage to disregard which is lacking. So
much is the thing overdone, that one almost comes to applaud instances
in which an entirely diametrical course has been pursued, in which the
suggestion of parsimony in the case of meritorious riding has been
braved.

Even when we take the purely commercial side of racing, in which the
sole object is to bring off a betting coup, we see no reason why the
jockey should be made a party to the pecuniary gains. It is, of course,
the common custom to make him a party by putting him on so much to win.
But why? Surely, looked at dispassionately, five guineas is a very nice
reward for riding a race. The question of trying or not trying is, of
course, quite outside the question. The jockey who does not try when he
is being paid to do so is a thief, pure and simple. Consequently, when a
jockey is being bribed by promise of extra reward to try, he is merely
being educated to be a thief. Why should one be compelled to say, as one
practically is, “If you win I will give you so and so?” The assumption
should always be that when a jockey mounts a horse he will do his utmost
to win: whatever the practice may be, this is the only tenable theory.
But we may set aside the proposition of trying and not trying, and come
to the position of a jockey not riding at all except at a certain fee.
This position is one which the owners themselves only can deal with, and
here, I fancy, the Racehorse Owners’ Association, if ever they come to
consider the question, will meet a serious stumbling block. The strength
of those owners, racing chiefly for sport, whom, purely for the sake of
convenience, I will call the Jockey Club circle, is that they do not
meet in fevered competition for the services of jockeys. Here we find
the distance between master and man kept as wide as it should be, and as
it was in the past. The two parties concerned do not meet on the same
plane as is the case when mere money is at issue and the end is
considered justified by any kind of means. For the state of things at
which we have arrived owners must be considered solely to blame, for
they have the remedy in their own hands. No fault can reasonably be
found with the jockeys for making what hay they can whilst the sun
shines. Owners are not unjustifiably complaining of the heavy expenses
of racing. Is not the heavy expense of jockeys an item worthy of
consideration?

In this matter of over-paying jockeys it seems as though the trainer is
not being treated with justice. If, for the sake of argument, it be
right and proper for the rider of a Derby winner to receive a present of
£500, how much, in the name of equity, should the trainer not receive?
He spends anxious months, even years, with animals of enormous value
under his charge, which must be kept well and brought to the post
trained to the hour. Upon the successful exploitation of the horses
entrusted to his charge he has to bring several qualities to bear; and
if outsiders are apt to think £2 10s. per week a considerable sum to pay
for the charge of a selling “plater,” it becomes insignificant enough in
the case of a possible Derby winner, even if the charge be as high as
three guineas. The owner has yet to be met with who says to his trainer:
“You have a Derby horse of mine. If he wins I shall pay you £10 per week
for his training instead of £2 10s.” But this would not be out of
keeping with the presentation of several hundreds of pounds to a jockey
for riding a single race. The trainer, of course, takes his chance, but
so should the jockey, and it is not at all creditable that he should be
made the spoiled child of the Turf that he is. The statement that
jockeys make more money than anyone else is scarcely to be contradicted,
and such a state of things is entirely wrong. So far from the jockey of
to-day doing more work for his money, the contrary is the case, as those
in the habit of watching morning gallops can testify. It is a difficult
thing now to get a jockey who has reached the stage of “fancying
himself” to trouble himself about morning gallops. So much, at least,
English jockeys have condescended to learn from the Americans.

The National Hunt is still active in its endeavours to devise a
satisfactory hurdle, but its latest effort has by no means met with
general approval. The Clerk of the Course at Hurst Park received
instructions from the Committee to supply a hurdle, the foot of which
was to measure 16 in from the bottom rail and be wholly inserted in the
ground. It was to be put in at an angle so as to slope the hurdle, the
common method adopted by the farm labourers who usually undertake such
work being to ram the hurdle in straight and then force it over to the
required slope. This is an abundant cause of the swinging-back hurdle
that is so dangerous. So far so good; but the Committee provided further
that the hurdles were to be bushed in the middle part only, the bottom
and top rails standing out clear. It was of course the top rail that
mattered, for horses accustomed to bushed tops might easily fail to see
it. The innovation came in for severe criticism at the hands of
trainers, some horses being sent home without competing. The very
reasonable objection was made that it is scarcely fair to horses to
spring a surprise of this sort upon them. It is one thing to school a
horse carefully at a new kind of obstacle, and quite another to ask him
to race over it. A further item of complaint, with which, however the
National Hunt had nothing to do, was against the too solid nature of the
end uprights of the hurdles, two coming together, making quite a
formidable obstruction that suggested risk to life and limb.


THE LATE MR. W. G. CRAVEN.

By the death of Mr. William George Craven, which occurred at his
residence, 63, Curzon Street, Mayfair, last month, the Jockey Club has
lost its oldest member, with the exception of the Earl of Coventry, who
was elected forty-six years ago, twelve months prior to the election of
the late Mr. Craven. The deceased gentleman was instrumental in
obtaining several reforms in the Jockey Club which were much needed at
the time. Born in 1835, the late Mr. Craven was the eldest son of the
late Hon. George Augustus Craven. He was educated at Eton, and served a
few years in the 1st Life Guards. He was elected a member of the Jockey
Club at the early age of twenty-six, and three years afterwards was
appointed a Steward. He was again appointed Steward in 1879, during
which period of office he was called upon to deal with the memorable
objection to Bend Or after the Derby of 1880. Mr. Craven owned many good
horses in his time, and among his winnings were the Gold Vase at Ascot
in 1864, and the Great Metropolitan Stakes at Epsom the following year.
Most of his horses were, however, sold in 1866, since which date his
colours have been seldom seen on the racecourse.


HUNTING.

The past month will be remembered by hunting people for the number of
long, well-sustained hunts that have taken place. Almost any one of them
would be entitled to take a place among the historic runs recorded from
time to time in BAILY. The most remarkable was the run of the Albrighton
on Saturday, December 30th. It will be remembered that this well-known
Staffordshire hunt started the season with a new master, Lieut.-Colonel
Goulburn, and a new huntsman, Morris, who had been first whipper-in,
under Tom Bishopp, with the Grafton, and had succeeded the latter as
huntsman. The fixture was at Dudmaston, in the Bridgnorth district. This
is a meet which attracts few, for one of the last lessons we learn in
hunting is that it is better to go to meets, good or bad by reputation,
if you have a horse fit to go. We never know where or when the great run
will come off. The first fox went down to the Severn and swam across.
The next fox, after a much longer hunt, also ran down to the Severn,
near Apley Park, which river here divides the Albrighton from the
Wheatland country. Without hesitation he entered the river and, followed
by the pack, swam across. This of course threw out the huntsmen and
field, but they found a bridge, and Morris got to his hounds in time, by
a judicious cast, to hit off the line. Not without checks and
difficulty, but with hounds and huntsman working well, the line was kept
until at last darkness set in, and after two hours and a half hounds had
to be stopped.

The coming change in the Blankney Hunt is a matter of rejoicing, because
once more a Bentinck will be connected with a hunt which Lord Henry
Bentinck did so much for. Readers of BAILY who will turn back to their
old volumes will learn easily how much. Then Lord Charles Bentinck, who
is to become huntsman and joint master, is a well-known soldier and polo
player. He was one of the team of the 9th Lancers, in their best days a
most brilliant regimental team. Lord Charles will no doubt make a good
huntsman, and keep up the Blankney record of sport over what is probably
the best scenting and perhaps the stiffest country in Lincolnshire. On
the other hand, I am sorry that it should displace an excellent hunt
servant and old friend in George Shepherd, who, under three masters, has
done so well. It is not likely, however, that so good a huntsman will be
long in want of a situation. He is one of those instances where a
first-rate whipper-in has made an excellent huntsman.

Among the packs that have had noteworthy runs must be included the
Heythrop. Theirs took place on Friday, December 22nd. They met at New
Barn, and found at once. In the Bourton Vale hounds ran well. The scent,
though not burning, was holding, and hounds worked out the line without
much help. The finish was a kill in Bruern Wood after a fine hunt of two
hours and a quarter. The distance from point to point is ten miles, but
hounds must have covered fifteen miles or more. Captain Daly, Mr. and
Mrs. Cecil Lord, and Major Scott were among those who saw it all.

As I write the news reaches me that the North Cotswold have found a
master. This country, of course, is neighbour to the Heythrop. Mr.
McNeill’s successor is Sir John Hume Campbell, at present Master of the
Ormond, where he has not found that foxes are preserved as they ought to
be. In the North Cotswold there is nothing to be desired. Sir John
intends to hunt the hounds himself. It is not stated whether Mr.
McNeill’s wonderful pack of Belvoir-bred bitches will be kept in the
country, but no doubt this will be the case. Masters are not scarce, for
there were no less than twenty-two candidates.

Melton condition seldom fails to carry the sportsman to the end of the
day, but on Monday, January 8th, the Quorn, having met at Nether
Broughton, hounds led them such a dance in the Belvoir Vale that many
horses could not reach the end. No doubt the going was heavy, for there
has been a fall of rain which has made up for the drought. In Welby
Osier Beds they found their fox, and this covert is a key to the best of
the Belvoir. At Bescaby Oaks, the traditional first draw of the Belvoir
on the opening day, the fox saved his brush.

Even more remarkable was the run the Woodland Pytchley had on January
8th. The big woods of this country are divided by grass fields and big
fences, and it always seems to me that to be practicable at all there
are no more formidable fences than some of the boundary fences of this
country. During the early months of the year, in a well-preserved
country with strong coverts, foxes are on the move, and a stout
travelling woodland fox takes a great deal of killing, even with that
sharp pack of bitches which Tom Carr handles so well. Hounds ran two
wide rings from Carlton Wood, and then perhaps with a fresh fox hunted
on to Desbrough. Had there been a kill, this run would have been perfect
in its way. In any case, it adds one more to the many old-fashioned runs
we have to tell of this month.

To this must be added the run of the Blankney also on January 8th, which
was one of the days that have provided a good scent in many countries.
Mr. Edgar Lubbock took his hounds, by Sir Gilbert Greenall’s invitation,
to Aswarby. Sir George Whichcote is such a careful fox preserver that
the Belvoir, with their wide extent of country, cannot come often
enough. It was a gallant old customer that they found in one of the
plantations. The line was very straight, and that they travelled a
nine-mile point in fifty minutes shows that the pace was more than
ordinarily good.

No country has, without adding to our list of historic runs, had a
better average season than the Atherstone under Mr. Munro and Whitemore.
But for a long and sustained chase ending with a kill the palm must be
awarded to the Fitzwilliam at Tillbrook. The bitch pack dropped on to an
out-lier. Starting close to his brush, the pack settled to hunt at a
fair pace, and, best of all, never left the line till they reached
Barnwell Wood, through which good scenting covert hounds ran furiously
for blood, and were not long in catching their fox. This was one of
those runs not too fast for the horses, with no checks, and hounds doing
their own with lots of drive and merry music, that keep up one’s love
for foxhunting.

Still another long and good run is to hand. There are people who tell
me, and I can well believe it, that Dursley is an admirable centre.
Indeed, many West country people migrate thither after Christmas in
search of sport, and are seldom disappointed.

The Fitzhardinge, meeting on January 9th, at Empney, on the
Gloucestershire side of their country, drew Monkshill, and found a fox
which within a radius of five or six miles knew a lot of country. He
stood up for two hours. Several times hounds went very fast, and the fox
was kept moving the whole time. Nevertheless, he beat them after all,
fairly running hounds out of scent. Then came a bright scurry; but
perhaps it is on a working day the Fitzhardinge pack are seen to the
best advantage. No “sleeping partners of the chase” are allowed in the
Berkeley Castle kennels.

Foxes and stags choose strange refuges, and this month has seen a fox
found on a lime-kiln and in a coal-hole; a stag was hunted through the
streets of Lancaster town. This season I saw a fox run up a lane on the
road, spring on to the bank, and double back along the top of the bank,
and lie down in the hedgerow. Naturally the hounds hit it off in the
lane, and running up some distance, were then cast on either side of the
road, but of course without effect. It was late in the day, and the
Master had actually started for home, when some one saw the fox, which,
however, deserved to escape.

No pack has had a better season on the average than the Duke of
Beaufort’s. Their country always seems to me to hold a scent well, and
the Duke and his huntsman are such masters of the science of hunting
that it is a pleasure to see them handle hounds. Though the day in
question, January 6th, at Hullavington, afforded nothing extraordinary,
yet if every day we could hunt over a line as pleasant and varied as
this side of the Duke’s country we should have nothing to complain of.
Foxes, too, are always plentiful, and the more I hunt and the more
experience of different countries I have, the more fully do I appreciate
Beckford’s wisdom in liking plenty of foxes.

I suppose that the present season will be looked back on by the
followers of the three staghound packs in the West as one of the best
hind-hunting seasons on record. In the first place, the inclement
weather which often makes hunting on Exmoor in the winter months a
doubtful pleasure has this year not been endured. A few days of frost, a
few of fog, and some wet days, but on the whole the weather and the
scent have been in favour of the hounds, and hounds have run very
straight. That is, they have made good points, but a red deer hind
generally runs a ring or two, and then just when you think she is beaten
away she goes straight and hard as if she never meant to stop. Mr.
Stanley’s hounds, meeting by invitation of the Devon and Somerset at
Slowley Wood, on Saturday, December 30th, had a run which was remarkable
for straightness and pace. It lasted about three hours. There is always
some preliminary work with a hind. Much depends on whether hounds can be
kept at her. This one had little peace. She was found in the open, and
about half an hour later the Master sent for the pack. He was enabled to
steal a march by lifting hounds into the Avill valley, where they took
up the line by the well-known farmhouse, and at once climbed the hill at
its steepest part. Going up with them one lost ground, as they ran well
and straight into a linhay behind Alcombe Village. This seemed to be the
end, but some excited lads frightened the hind out. She dashed right
through the pack and then went straight away for Dunkery Beacon. Those
who had ridden the run had been galloping hard for two hours, and horses
climbed the steep sides slowly: far more quickly did hounds reach the
top. Three-quarters of an hour later this hind soiled in the stream at
Nutscale and, unable to leave it, was killed. The first point to Alcombe
was five miles, the second about seven, and the hind travelled quite
twice as far to make her points. Allowing for the turns, though the pace
was very good, hounds hunted beautifully, and every one was up at the
finish. Perhaps even more remarkable was the run of January.

The Devon and Somerset met on Thursday, January 11th, at Heathpoult—a
geographical expression—near the famous coverts of Throatcombe and
Chargot. Three hinds were roused, and one was quickly singled out. From
that moment till the hind was killed hounds hunted continuously. It was
an exceedingly fine performance on the part of the hounds and huntsman.
About eight couple of tufters were out, and on these fell most of the
work. One incident showing the control of the huntsman over his hounds
and what can be done to make foxhounds handy. These hounds, be it
remembered, are big doghounds with a few large bitches. Now doghounds,
as we all know, are apt to be self-willed and headstrong. I may also
note that the heel-line of a red deer is often very tempting. Well, the
huntsman was on one side of a valley, and the hounds were working on the
other, when two or three couple hit the heel-line and threw their
tongues eagerly. “Ware heel,” said the huntsman, naming the hounds. They
stopped, looked across, and as if seeing it was their huntsman, left the
heel-line and drove forward, and picked up the line of their quarry
which had gone on. Once again the huntsman delighted me when hounds
divided, by going to fetch those running on the fresh line. He saved the
situation in a most difficult place. After a long, interesting and
intricate hunt, we at last emerged on the heather, and for some miles
stretched over the heather as far as Exford Common. Twice the hind took
refuge among other deer, and each time she was driven out.

Then at the nick of time the Master (Mr. Greig) brought up the pack, and
we had a glorious gallop right back to Annicombe. Then away to
Cloutsham, and then the whole length of Horner to the mill; then up over
the hill and across the valley to West Luccombe, where hounds took their
deer. We ran from about 10.30 to 2. Besides the Master and hunt
servants, only three of those who had started from Heathpoult were
present. Several joined us by the way, and some good and true followers
were left on Dunkery. The pace was good at times, but formed an
intricate piece of hound-work, and an example of how handy foxhounds can
be made, and how they can hold to the line of their quarry; for we saw
at least thirty other deer on the way. With this run may be compared the
very fine bit of hound-work displayed by the Cottesmore when they met at
Luffenham. Thatcher is another huntsman who has made his big doghounds
as handy as beagles.

I believe with these the whole secret is personal attachment to the man
who hunts. Self-willed and sulky if knocked about or rated, a dog-hound
will do anything for the man he loves.

The Cottesmore ran from Luffenham, though in the first place a hunt for
the lover hounds, was not without interest for the riding man, since the
line lay over that wild and delightful tract of the Cottesmore country
which lies round Wing and Manton. From field to field hounds hunted,
always working forward, always on the line, ever drawing nearer to their
fox. If the fox regulates his pace, as I believe he does, by the
strength of the chorus behind him, this fox could have had but little
rest, as the sustained roar of the pack told him that they were
relentlessly pursuing. The end came at Glaston Gorse, when a thoroughly
wearied fox succumbed at last to the pack. During the past
week—Thursday, January 11th—the Cottesmore and Mr. Fernie’s hounds met
at East Norton, which is on the border of the two countries. Charles
Isaac, Mr. Fernie’s huntsman, handled the combined packs, with his late
whipper-in, Thatcher, of Cottesmore, to help him.

In consequence of the prolonged ill-health of Mr. C. E. Green, the
Committee of the Essex Hunt have decided to seek a new Master, and the
following advertisement has appeared in the papers: “As a Master will be
required for the Essex Hunt at the end of the season, any gentleman
wishing to offer himself as Master is invited to apply to the Hon.
Secretary, Mr. A. Waters, Coopersale Lodge, Epping, Essex.”


HUNTING IN YORKSHIRE.

Fine open weather continues, and at the time of writing—the day on which
the mean temperature is, on an average, the lowest in the year—it is so
mild that one would almost think the season would get through without
any lengthy stoppage. Whether sport does not benefit by a little frost
is a question which is open to discussion, and at any rate it cannot be
said that the most open seasons have been distinguished by the most
historical runs.

Nor has there been a great average of sport since I last wrote, though
there have been a few runs the records of which are worth preserving;
the disposition to fog, however, is decidedly against sport, and we have
had a lot of fog this season, hounds having been stopped by it several
times.

It should be noticed that the good example set by Lord Helmsley in the
early part of last month has been followed in many parts of Yorkshire
and the neighbouring counties, and it is satisfactory to see that the
Hunt Servants’ Benefit Society is likely to benefit to a considerable
extent by the plan which had such a happy inception when the Sinnington
met at Habton Village early in December. It may perhaps interest some of
my readers to know that over £80 was collected on the day the Bramham
Moor met at Tockwith. That same day when they met at Tockwith (December
15th) they had a good day’s sport. White Syke Whin, which has been a
certain find this season, and has now got to be a very fine covert,
provided a brace of foxes to begin with, and with one of these they had
a brilliant forty-five minutes by Marston Whin, which they skirted,
Bilton Grange, Bickerton Village, and Ingmanthorpe Willow Garth to
Lingcroft, where they rolled him over. A second fox from the Rash took
them by the banks of the Nidd, and over it to an osier-bed near Kirk
Hammerton Hall, where they marked him to ground; and a short but merry
burst from Hutton Thorns to Collier Haggs, ending in a kill, brought a
good day’s sport to a close.

On Monday, December 25th, they had a very good hunting run of a couple
of hours. The fixture was Woodhall Bridge, and as they were moving off
to draw, a travelling fox was viewed near Addlethorpe. Smith soon had
hounds on his line, and they ran fast by Lund Head to Ingham’s Whin, and
through it by Parkin Wood to Cocked Hat Whin. They checked for a moment,
but ran on again cheerily over Barrowby Hill to the Punchbowl. Then came
some slower hunting to Leconfield Whin, and nearly to Rudding Park; and
then over the railway, when the pace improved, and they fairly raced
over the grass of Spofforth Haggs to Ingham’s Plantation. Here they
checked, but they hit off the line again over the Spacey Houses road,
and hunted nearly to Swindon Wood, where the fox beat them.

They had a useful day’s sport on Friday, January 5th, when they met at
Walton. Walton Wood, as usual, held foxes, and one went away without
much pressing in the direction of Thorp Arch.

Whether he was headed, or whether it was a travelling fox making for the
wood, it is difficult to say, but as Smith was taking hounds to the
holloa they met a fox, and soon ran into him. Then came a long draw
before they found again in New Spring, whence they hunted at a holding
pace by Heslock Field Rash up to Cowthorpe Village. A right-hand turn
took them thence through Lingcroft, where the pace improved, and past
Bickerton Village, and they finally marked the fox to ground not far
from the York Road. Champagne Whin held a fox, which after half an
hour’s ringing round about the Igmanthorpe coverts was killed in
Hatfield’s Plantation. They found again in Thorp Arch Whin, and hunted
with no great scent over the park, and by Walton to Walton Wood, where
the fox beat them.

The Bedale have been having some good old-fashioned hunting runs during
the month. On Friday, December 29th, they met at Scorton, and found in a
small covert named Greenberry. The fox had apparently been gone some
time, for they hunted slowly at first by Hewson Hill to Streetland. Here
the pace improved, and hounds ran smartly, pointing for Pepper Arden,
and then by Rushwood to the Hobden Hill Plantation at Kiplin. They
hovered for a moment when they got through this covert—it was scarcely a
check—and Freeman held them over a sticky fallow on to the grass, and
away they raced again nearly to Ellerton. Then they turned along the
Swale-side to Loughton Village and Loughton Hall. Then crossing the
Swale a little further on they pointed for Kirby Fleetham. Then skirting
Scruton Wood they ran by Morton Flats up to Morton Bridge. The fox
crossed the Swale again at the bridge, and hounds ran on by Morton
Grange and Langlands, and over the Howe-beck, and past Greenhills and
Low Sober, to the Low Plain Plantation at Solberge, within a couple of
fields of which they ran into their fox after a good run of two hours.
The point would be from seven and a half to eight miles, but hounds
would run over twice the distance.

On Monday, January 8th, they met at Rudd Hall, and had another good
sporting run. They found in Goskins, and ran first by Tunstall Village,
pointing for Brough. Scotton Village was next reached, and then they
made a wide circuit past Hawxwell Hall and Garriston. A long check took
place at Garriston, and then hounds hunted through the Constable Burton
coverts, and then turned to the right over Barden Moor. They hunted
steadily on by Laverock Gill, and ran parallel to the Richmond Road down
to Hipswell coverts, where they worked up to their fox, and they rolled
him over in the open midway between the railway and the River Swale,
opposite Easby Abbey, after a good hunting run of two hours and three
quarters.

The Cleveland had a capital run on Monday, January 8th, when they met at
Marske Station. They had a long draw, all the low coverts being blank,
but they found a good fox on the historic Briar Flat in Wilton Wood, and
ran him at a great pace by Dunsdale and Court Green to Guisbrough Park.
Thence they ran along the brow of the hill to Osborne Rush, and skirting
Jackson’s Plantation, passed Upsall, and ran by Hamilton Hills and
Marton Gill, where they bore slightly to the left and hunted with a much
worse scent by Grey Towers and Sunny Cross to Seamer Whin, where the fox
beat them after a good run of an hour and twenty-five minutes. It was a
seven-mile point, and hounds crossed a lot of country of varied kind.

Lord Galway’s had a capital day’s sport from Gringley-on-the-Hill on
Monday, January 8th. Finding in Gringley Gorse, they raced over the
grass to Pear Tree Farm, where the fox was headed, and crossing the
Beckingham Road, ran by Clayworth Wood and Beckingham Village, and over
the Great Northern Railway to Morton Point, where they turned
left-handed over the railway again and ran by Walkeringham on to Mr.
Naylor’s farm, where they ran him to ground in view after forty minutes
at top pace. Another fox that had evidently done some work was found in
Gringley Gorse, and killed after a sharp short burst on Red Hills. They
found again in a patch of gorse on the banks of the River Idle, and ran
by Drakeholes, nearly to Everton, and then crossed the Chesterfield
Canal, took a line by Prospect Hill to Winton New Covert. Then
recrossing the canal they ran by Mr. Otter’s thorns, and marked their
fox to ground between Hayton and Clayworth after a good fifty minutes.

This is the time of year when changes in hunting establishments begin to
be talked about, and an important change will take place in Lord
Galway’s country, for Sam Morgan, who has been at Serlby for twenty-nine
years, has resigned his appointment. Morgan will have been forty-one
seasons with hounds at the end of this season. His first place was as
extra whipper-in under his father, Jack Morgan, when the latter was
huntsman for the sixth Lord Galway. He held this place for a year, and
then went to the late Lord Portsmouth, with whom he stopped nine years,
two as second whipper-in and seven as first whipper-in. From there he
went to the Percy, then under the mastership of Major Brown, as first
whipper-in, and from Northumberland he went to Serlby again. Forty-one
years as a hunt servant, and only in three places during that time, is
indeed an honourable record, and all hunting men will be sorry to learn
that Morgan is leaving the country with which his name and the name of
his family is so closely associated. I also hear that Freeman is leaving
the Bedale, and rumour has it that he is going to hunt one of the
Midland packs.


AMERICAN v. ENGLISH FOXHOUND MATCH.

The “Van Driver” is indebted to an American correspondent for
particulars of the work done by the competing packs in this unique
“match,” which took place in the Piedmont Valley, Virginia, during the
first fortnight of November last. The American pack consisted of 6½
couple belonging to the Middlesex Hunt and the English of 18 couple
belonging to the Grafton Hunt. The stakes were $1,000 a side, and the
test was to be the killing of the fox. The English hounds were hunted on
five days by Robert Cotesworth, and the Americans worked on six days
hunted by the Master, Mr. H. Smith. The only kill was scored by the
English pack, and as their victim proved to be a tame fox, accidentally
released when the hounds were near, this did not count, and the judges
had to decide the question of merit on the work they witnessed. It does
not appear to have been a very satisfactory method of determining
relative merit, as when scent served well either pack ran clean away
from the field, “held up” by wire or by the occurrence of land on which
the farmers did not desire the presence of horsemen. The number of
refuges open to a hunted fox explains the lack of blood obtained;
stopping earths seems to have been neglected. The judges gave their
award in favour of the American hounds as having “done the best work
with the object of killing the fox in view,” but English sportsmen will
learn with astonishment that on two occasions when the American pack
were at fault a judge lifted them and got them again on the line!
Unfortunately the account sent does not give any information concerning
the breeding of either pack; beyond the fact that the English were
imported hounds and the American bred in the States we are left in the
dark. A picture from a photograph in the _Rider and Driver_, showing the
American pack on the kennel bench, suggests that these are pure-bred
foxhounds.


THE NEW ARMY POLO COMMITTEE.

It will be remembered that at a meeting of senior Army officers held
last summer at Hurlingham, it was unanimously agreed to form a new polo
committee, consisting of the Inspector of Calvary (President), cavalry
brigadiers, officers commanding regiments, and representatives of corps,
interested in polo, and the three members of the Inter-Regimental
Tournament Committee (with the Secretary to act in a similar position to
the new committee). The meeting agreed that the objects of the new
committee should be: (1) To deal with questions affecting principle in
the management of regimental polo, especially with a view to keeping
down expenses, &c. (2) To act as a consultative and authoritative body
on all questions affecting Army polo. (3) To receive from regiments any
suggestions, &c., regarding principle or expenditure connected with
polo, &c.; and (4) to strengthen the Executive Inter-Regimental
Tournament Committee, but without interfering with its management of the
details of the tournament. As a result the following Committee has been
formed for 1906:—

  Major-General R. S. S. Baden-Powell, C.B., Inspector of Cavalry,
  President; Major-General H. J. Scobell, C.B., 1st Cavalry Brigade;
  Brigadier-General Hon. J. Byng, M.V.O., 2nd Cavalry Brigade;
  Brigadier-General M. F. Rimington, C.B., 3rd Cavalry Brigade;
  Brigadier-General E. H. Allenby, C.B., 4th Cavalry Brigade;
  Major-General F. J. W. Eustace, C.B., and Colonel E. J.
  Phipps-Hornby, V.C., representing Royal Artillery; Colonel G. F.
  Gorringe, C.M.G., D.S.O., representing Royal Engineers;
  Major-General Sir W. G. Knox, K.C.B., Major-General A. H. Paget,
  C.V.O., C.B., Brigadier-General E. A. Alderson, C.B., A.D.C., and
  Colonel A. J. Godley, Irish Guards, representing Infantry; Colonel
  T. C. P. Calley, C.B., M.V.O., 1st Life Guards; Colonel C. F.
  Anstruther-Thomson, M.V.O., D.S.O., 2nd Life Guards; Colonel H. T.
  Fenwick, M.V.O., D.S.O., Royal Horse Guards; Colonel S. B.
  Bogle-Smith, C.B., 1st Dragoon Guards; Lieutenant-Colonel H. Mercer,
  3rd Dragoon Guards; Lieutenant-Colonel C. W. Thompson, D.S.O., 7th
  Dragoon Guards; Lieutenant-Colonel C. Williams, Royal Scots Greys;
  Lieutenant-Colonel H. W. G. Graham, D.S.O., 5th Lancers;
  Lieutenant-Colonel E. A. Herbert, M.V.O., 6th Dragoons;
  Lieutenant-Colonel R. L. Walter, 7th Hussars; Lieutenant-Colonel H.
  N. M. Thoyts, 8th Hussars; Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Rycroft, 11th
  Hussars; Colonel E. D. J. O’Brien, 14th Hussars; Colonel G. P.
  Wyndham, 16th Lancers; Colonel P. S. Marling, V.C., C.B., 18th
  Hussars; Lieutenant-Colonel H. G. de Pledge, 19th Hussars;
  Lieutenant-Colonel W. D. Whatman, 20th Hussars; and Colonel J.
  Fowle, 21st Lancers. Major Lord C. Bentinck, (9th Lancers), Major G.
  F. Milner, D.S.O. (1st Life Guards), Major G. K. Ansell (6th
  Dragoons), and Major S. L. Barry, D.S.O. (10th Hussars) (Hon. Sec.),
  Inter-Regimental Tournament Committee.

The Committee will assemble at Hurlingham the day of, and previous to,
the final of the annual Inter-Regimental Tournament.


THE M.C.C. CRICKET TEAM IN SOUTH AFRICA.

Two defeats out of the first three eleven-aside matches was a pretty bad
start for Mr. Warner’s team, a batting collapse against the Transvaal
being followed by a defeat by one wicket in the first so-called Test
Match. One may well ask, “Why Test Match, and of what is the match
supposed to be a test?” If a test of anything it is probably a test of
the judgment, or rather lack of judgment, of those who selected the
M.C.C. team. If the South Africans, who are paying the piper, had called
this tune and asked for a nice easy team to beat, we could better
apprehend the position, but we understand that the South African cricket
authorities took an early opportunity of remonstrating against the
unrepresentative quality of this team sent out under the _ægis_ of the
Marylebone Club. There may be many points of resemblance between the
management of the War Office and the Marylebone Club—at any-rate, they
seem to have been of one mind in consistently and resolutely
under-rating the strength of our opponents in South Africa.

In 1904, when a strong South African team visited this country, they
modestly enough asked that they might be allowed to play just one match
at the headquarters of cricket against a team representative of the
strength of England.

Instead of this, the Marylebone Club put “An England XI.” into the
field, and the South Africans won with great ease a victory to which
they attached but little importance. This slight has been followed by
this unfortunate selection of a team to represent, not the Marylebone
Club, for some of the players have nothing to do with that institution,
but probably the authority and wisdom of the M.C.C.; and for English
cricket and for Mr. P. F. Warner—the Commander-in-chief of this at
present somewhat unfortunate team—we much regret that cricketers more
representative of English cricket should not have been chosen. But still
more do we regret this error of judgment from the point of view of South
African cricket. Here is a colony which has beaten the Australians,
which has beaten most of our counties, and triumphed over “An England
XI.,” at Lord’s, asking for a good England team to come out and teach
her cricketers something more; and then comes this melancholy but
extremely probable downfall of a moderate enough team in no way
representative of English cricket.

No doubt the difficulties in the way of our best amateurs getting away
for a winter’s cricket tour are very great; but if it is impossible to
get a really good side to accept the hospitality of the South Africans,
it would be almost better for the M.C.C. executive to confess their
inability to organise a team than to send out anything second-rate.


GOLF.

The Royal Liverpool Club has come to arrangements with Lord Stanley of
Alderley, for a lease of the ground at Hoylake, with the loss of which
it was threatened some time ago. Considerable addition of expense is
entailed upon the club, and to meet it the club subscription and other
charges will have to be raised, but the result of the transaction is to
preserve the round at Hoylake in its entirety, a consummation for which
all golfers will feel devoutly thankful.

It is announced that the Irish Open Championship meeting will be held
this year in the first week of September. Last year the experiment was
tried of holding it a month earlier, but it did not succeed, and it is
hoped that reverting to the old date may draw to the meeting many of the
best golfers on this side of the Channel. Portrush is the place of play
on this occasion.

The Cricketers’ Golfing Society has set on foot an inter-county
tournament on the lines of the County Cricket Championship. The
membership of the society is confined to members of first and second
class county cricket teams and to University Blues, and it will furnish
the teams for the golf tournament.

Teams representing the Stock Exchange and the Dramatic Profession in
London engaged in a competition on the links of the Burnham Beeches
Club, the former winning by 8¾ against 5½ points.

The Earl of Dudley has decided to give a Challenge Cup for competition
each year among members of the two clubs which play on the links at
Dollymount and Portmarnock. This cup is intended as a souvenir of the
Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland of Lord Dudley.


THE WINTER EXHIBITION AT BURLINGTON HOUSE.

The thirty-seventh Winter Exhibition of the Royal Academy opened on New
Year’s Day, consisting this year of a very excellent and representative
collection of works by the old masters and deceased masters of the
British School. The exhibition is particularly strong in paintings by
Reynolds, Gainsborough, Romney, and Turner; and among more recent
painters represented are admirable examples of Millais and Burne-Jones.
Sporting and animal subjects are not very numerous on the walls.
Attention may be drawn to J. F. Herring’s “Return from Deer-stalking”
(No. 40); to Sir Edwin Landseer’s “The Catspaw” (No. 50), which, it will
be remembered, furnished the late Sir John Tenniel with a text for one
of his cleverest _Punch_ cartoons; and to Ralph Caldecott’s animated
“Hunting Scenes” (Nos. 240 and 243); “Rabbiting near Cromer” (No. 51),
by James Stark, deserves notice, and so does James Ward’s spirited
picture of “The Hetman Platoff on the charger which he afterwards gave
to Hugh, Earl Percy” (No. 67). The charger, a grey Arab, is a singularly
fine piece of work, though it may be objected that no horse, even an
Arab, possesses eyes so large as those in the head of this otherwise
perfectly drawn animal. The Arabs or Barbs in J. F. Lewis’s “Study of
Horses” (No. 246) are well worth close examination as masterpieces of
equine anatomy.


PELOTA AT THE WINTER CLUB.

Those who have organised the new club at Olympia have left no stone
unturned to provide for the increasing demand for all kinds of games
during the winter months. There is something very novel in seeing
football played under cover upon the huge grass carpet, provided, we
understand, at a cost of some five thousand pounds, and covering the
entire floor of the building. There are four or five squash racquet
courts, twice as many billiard tables, a rifle range, and sufficient
space for several games at croquet. But the attraction which will
probably draw many visitors to Olympia is the game of Pelota, the
national game of Spain, now played for the first time in England by six
pelotari, drawn from the professional champions from the Basque country.
The game is played on a cement court eighty yards long, by fifty broad,
with a front wall, but no side or back walls, though in Spain we believe
that some of the best courts have back walls. It is of the same nature
as racquets, only the ball—a rubber-cored ball of the size between a
base-ball and a fives-ball—is slung by the players against the front
wall after being caught in a sickle-shaped basket-work scoop, resembling
more than anything else the semi-circular mud-guards held over the
wheels of carriages to prevent the soiling of ladies’ dresses. This
scoop or _chirista_ is about two feet long, and the dexterity with which
the players catch the ball in it, whether it comes straight to them or
they have to take it back-handed or on the half volley, is little short
of marvellous; the pace of the ball from the back-handed swing is simply
terrific, and when it is remembered that the line above which the ball
must strike the front wall is of much the same height as that in an
ordinary racquet court, it can easily be realised that the server and
the front players, who are constantly under fire from the slingers at
the back, require a skill which can only be acquired by life-long habit
not merely to take their part in the game, but to avoid being seriously
injured.


FANCY DRESS BALLS AT COVENT GARDEN.

The fortnightly masquerades at the Royal Opera House are more popular
than ever with light-hearted Londoners. Now that the autumn season of
opera is over, the whole of the large house is available for the
accommodation of the merry throng of dancers who flock to Covent Garden
on alternate Fridays, and the additional space afforded by the stage and
its surrounding area is beautified by scenery from the near East. The
competition for the prizes for the best and most original dresses is
apparently more keen than ever, and the march past of competitors is
certainly one of the sights of London.


“CINDERELLA” AT THE EMPIRE.

The name of Cinderella certainly is just about now one to conjure with.
The phenomenally successful “Catch of the Season” is none other than our
old friend in modern dress; at Drury Lane the most attractive pantomime
is “Cinderella,” and now the management of the Empire have produced a
beautiful _ballet_ in five scenes, which present for more than an hour
twice a day a series of some of the most beautiful and striking effects
that have been seen for many a long day.

The one and only Mademoiselle Adeline Gênée is the most delightful and
dainty Cinderella, and of all her artistic triumphs she has enjoyed none
greater than the present, and she is well supported by Mademoiselle
Zanfretta as the fairy godmother, Mr. W. Vokes as the _décavé_ Baron,
and Mr. Fred Farren as the Baroness. “Cinderella,” produced as a
_matinée_ on January 6th, speedily found herself in the evening bill as
well as in daily _matinées_.

The _revue_ “Rogues and Vagabonds” has proved a great attraction, thanks
to the extremely clever mimicry of Mr. Arthur Playfair and Miss Marie
Dainton, and the performance of Miss Sibyl Arundale as Harlequin. Miss
Arundale has a genius which seems to be incapable of being misplaced,
and whether she play “Lady Molly,” “Nanoya, the Cingalee,” “The Gipsy
Girl,” or Harlequin, she is invariably a great artist.

With the _revue_ written up to date, there seems no reason why it should
not remain a prominent feature of the Empire programme for a long time
to come.

The Barber-Ritchie cycling trio is one of the cleverest turns at the
Empire, and certainly it seems unlikely that proficiency in cycling can
well reach a much higher development than this. Unless our memory fails
us, we were thrilled some months ago by seeing Mr. Barber loop the loop
on the Empire stage, and Mr. Ritchie is, we hope, none other than our
old friend the Tramp Cyclist, whose grotesque disasters and stock of
superfluous collars caused us so much merriment a little time ago. We
hope that the Barber-Ritchie combination will be visible in London for
some long time to come.


BALLET AT THE ALHAMBRA.

The grand ballet “Parisiana” now holds the stage at the Alhambra, and a
very magnificent show it is, with its variety of kaleidoscopic scenes
ranging from 1760 down to 1906. The chief scenes are by Menessier,
representing “Grand Magasins du Printemps,” with a ballet of
_peignoirs_, _parfumerie_, _corsages_, and so on, and the final scene,
“La Fête de Neuilly,” which is a fine spectacle.

Mademoiselle Jane May, the pantomimic success of “L’Enfant Prodigue,” is
to be found playing a silently voluble Pierrot and _gamin_, and perhaps
there is almost too much of her performance, as the pantomime appears
rather to check the action of the ballet. La Sylphe executes some of her
characteristic dances, and the entire setting of the production is very
beautiful. “My Lady Nicotine” still holds its place in the programme of
the Alhambra, in which also La Sylphe and Miss Edith Slacke are to be
seen. The other items of the programme are good, but almost too fleeting
for us to mention in a monthly notice, although “Urbanora,” or “We put
the world before you,” is always with us, and very amusing indeed are
the pictures of “Dolly Land” and “Noah’s Ark.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

We have received from Messrs. Lawrence and Jellicoe, Limited, 16,
Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, W.C., a set of four coloured drawings
by Mr. Leonard Ravenhill, entitled “Bridge Problems.” The drawings,
which are published by special arrangement with the proprietors of
_Punch_, depict the humorous side of the game, the expressions of the
players’ faces being particularly well portrayed. The set of four signed
proofs can be had from the publishers at four guineas, the price of a
set of prints being one and a half guineas.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Such elementary ideas as to the correct management of foxhound puppies
as those possessed by many by whom the youngsters are walked must have
frequently given cause for anxiety to the Master and his kennel
huntsman, who have entrusted their charges to the tender mercies of the
walkers. Often a few hints are all that are needed to enable the
well-meaning but inexperienced walker to provide against the mishaps to
which puppies are peculiarly liable. These hints are supplied in a
leaflet by an M.F.H., which gives instructions on walking hound puppies,
and which is being sold for the benefit of the fowl fund of an Irish
hunt by Lady Coghill, Glen Barrahane, Castletownshend, co. Cork, at 2d.
each, or 1s. 6d. per dozen. Directions as to food, lodging, manners, and
illness are briefly given, which, if intelligently followed, will
prevent avoidable illness, which so often ends the career of a promising
puppy, and will make the huntsman’s task of training them far easier
than is often the case when the puppies have contracted riotous habits
while at walk.



                         Sporting Intelligence.
                 [During December, 1905—January, 1906.]


On December 16th, Sir C. Courtenay Knollys, K.C.M.G., Governor of the
Leeward Islands, died at Southsea. The deceased was in his college days
a very fine sculler, and in 1872 won the Diamond Sculls. In the
following year he rowed in the Oxford crew at Putney.

There was an interesting function in connection with the meet of the
Sinnington Hounds at Douthwaite Dale, Kirby Moorside, on December 16th.
This was the presentation to the late Master, Mr. Sherbrooke, and Mrs.
Sherbrooke, of a large oil painting, representing Mr. and Mrs.
Sherbrooke, mounted, with hounds, in charge of Mr. Robin Hill, breaking
cover at Riseborough Haggs. The presentation was made by Lord Helmsley,
who followed Mr. Sherbrooke in the mastership of the pack, and who paid
a warm compliment to the manner in which hounds had been hunted during
the ten years Mr. Sherbrooke had held the mastership. In his reply, Mr.
Sherbrooke spoke with deep satisfaction of the host of valuable friends
he and his wife had made during the time hounds were under his care.

We have to record the death of Captain Hugh Browning, of Clapham Park,
Bedford, which occurred on December 18th, in his sixty-seventh year.
Captain Browning was Master of the Oakley Foxhounds from 1888 to 1897,
and showed consistently good sport with the pack.

We regret to record a nasty accident to Lord Chesham, which occurred
while out with the Pytchley Hounds on December 20th, and resulted in
three fractured ribs, through his horse falling in jumping a fence.

At the meet of the Earl of Eglinton’s Hounds on December 23rd there was
a pleasing incident, when Mr. and Mrs. William Baird, of High
Balsarroch, were the recipients of a presentation from the members and
subscribers of the Hunt on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of
their marriage. The presentation was made on behalf of the subscribers
by Lord Eglinton, and consisted of a piece of plate and a purse of
sovereigns. His lordship alluded to the assistance Mr. and Mrs. Baird
and their family had rendered to the Hunt during their long residence in
the country. They have been at High Balsarroch for twenty-six years, and
occupied the neighbouring farm of Mount Fergusson for thirty years
previously.

Mr. William Hanway, of Laragh, near Maynooth, died from heart failure on
December 24th, in his seventy-first year. Mr. Hanway, who was a
well-known rider across country and at the Kildare and Punchestown
meetings, rode at the latter in April last, and was out with the Kildare
Hunt the day before his decease.

A banquet was given at the Blue Bell Hotel, Belford, on December 28th,
to Mr. Richard Burdon-Sanderson, who relinquished his pack of foxhounds
last season after a long period of office, when a testimonial was given.
The presentation took the form of a dessert service of old silver, and
there was also given to Mr. James A. H. Burdon-Sanderson a silver
tea-tray in recognition of his valuable services as deputy master of his
brother’s foxhounds. The presentations were made in the presence of a
large company by the Duke of Northumberland.

At the early age of fifty-one years, Mr. Clervaux Morley Saunders, of
Bovicott, Devon, died at his residence on December 28th. Mr. Saunders
was well known in the West country as a keen sportsman, and only a few
years ago formed and hunted the Bovicott Otterhounds. He was also a
breeder of horses, a member of the Council of the Polo Society, and a
good supporter of agriculture.

While hunting with the Whaddon Chase Hounds on December 30th, the
Countess of Orkney was thrown from her horse and sustained concussion of
the brain.

On January 4th there died at Tissington Park, Derbyshire, the Rev. Sir
Richard Fitzherbert, Bart., who was in his day a fine athlete and
horseman. In the sixties the deceased gentleman represented Cambridge
against Oxford at the hurdle race, and he was always a very good man
across a country.

While out with the Duke of Buccleuch’s Hounds on January 6th, Mr. John
Clay, of Chicago, who is hunting from Sunlaws, Kelso, had the bad luck
to break his collar-bone.

Will Thompson, huntsman to Lord Fitzhardinge’s Hounds, sustained a bad
fall on January 6th, through his horse swerving and coming down at a
gate.

On January 6th, the Hon. Ivor Guest sold Pat 350 gs., Cotton 200 gs.,
Rarity 350 gs.; Captain the Hon. F. Guest’s Ireland made 200 gs., Spade
Ace 280 gs., Scotchman 150 gs., Limerick 200 gs.; the Earl of Lonsdale’s
Wallaby 300 gs., Fairy Saint 120 gs.; the Hon. Gilbert Johnstone’s St.
Patrick 140 gs., Clansman 100 gs., and Call Boy 110 gs.

The Bedale Hunt has lost a prominent member in Mr. R. Hutton-Squire, who
died suddenly at his residence, Holtby Hall, Bedale, on January 10th.

The skeleton of Ormonde has been received in England, to be added to the
relics of the many other famous British racehorses now reposing at the
Natural History Museum. Mr. Macdonough, his owner, having generously
acceded to a request of the British Museum that his remains should be
sent to this country to be preserved in the national repository of his
native land. The skeleton will, it is understood, soon be exhibited to
the public in the Gallery of Domesticated Animals.

A really comfortable general purpose glove, adapted equally well for use
when hunting, driving, riding, or walking is a very desirable article to
possess. The “Pytchley Hunt” glove would almost appear to fill the
requirement. Manufactured of tan cape, specially cut, hand sewn, with
Bolton thumb, it is claimed for it to be the best all-round glove upon
the market. One feature is the fastening, a single button, which is on
the reverse side to the ordinary use and undue pressure upon the wrist
is prevented by this arrangement. The glove is one of the specialities
of the Barnard Glove Depot, 52 and 53, Cheapside, London, E.C.

We regret to record the death of Mr. W. N. Heysham, the Honorary Auditor
of the Hunt Servants’ Benefit Society. Mr. Heysham was one of the
originators of this Society, and from its conception was one of the most
energetic workers on its behalf. Mr. Heysham was an old contributor to
BAILY.

Last year the only stallions to be represented by two-year-old winners
alone, according to _Horse and Hound_, were Balsamo, £475; Benvenuto,
£100; Bertie, £547; Catch the Wind, £141; Damocles, £826; Diamond
Jubilee, £3,999; Diplomat, £973; Elopement, £100; Grebe, £424; King’s
Messenger, £1,246; Mackintosh, £395; Galashiels, £2,723; General Peace,
£292; Glencally, £200; Ninus, £196; Spook, £276; Tom Cringle, £195.

The bay horse, Pietermaritzburg, foaled 1898 by St. Simon—Sea Air, by
Isonomy, has been sold by Mr. George Faber to go to the Argentine for
£16,000. As a four-year-old he won the Jockey Club Stakes.

The sales of hunters during the past few weeks include Colonel
Grenfell’s Rogers 200 gs., Gimlet 175 gs.; Mr. Austin Carr’s Electric
and Duchess 135 gs. each; The Slave 120 gs., Favourite 100 gs.; Mrs.
Barclay’s bay gelding 160 gs.; Colonel Malcolm Little’s, C.B., Kuroki,
300 gs.; Mr. Charles Jenkinson’s Mars 160 gs., Ladybird 180 gs., Ginger
130 gs., and Rattle 135 gs.

A celebrated oarsman lately passed away in Mr. H. W. Schreiber, of
Trinity Hall, President of the C.U.B.C. in 1855. In that year the long
“Crimean” frost, which did not break up till February 24th, and which
left Father Thames full of ice-floes for much later, effectually
preventing any Putney matches being brought off. But by consent the two
U.B.C.’s met in the Grand Challenge Cup at the ensuing Henley Regatta,
and Cambridge won somewhat easily. Mr. Schreiber on that occasion, says
the _Field_ of December 23rd, rowed No. 3 at 11st. 5lb. In the following
year he was expected to take an oar in the Cambridge Putney crew, but
was prevented from doing so by reason of examinations.


                                 TURF.

                            WINDSOR DECEMBER.

 December 19th.—Clewer Handicap Steeplechase of 150 sovs.;
   three miles.
     Mr. J. Carlin’s b. g. MacSweeny, 6 yrs., 10st. 8lb.     W. Morgan 1
     Mr. C. E. Byrne’s ch. m. Strategy, 6 yrs., 11st.       Mr. Cullen 2
     Mr. F. R. Hunt’s b. g. Sweetmore, aged, 10st.           W. Taylor 3
                         5 to 1 agst. MacSweeny.

 December 20th.—The December Handicap Hurdle Race of 150
   sovs.; two miles.
     Mr. T. Clyde’s br. c. Sachem, 4 yrs., 11st. 12lb.      J. O’Brien 1
     Mr. A. Gorham’s br. g. San Terenzo, 5 yrs., 10st.
       11lb.                                                 T. Fitton 2
     Mr. J. Bancroft’s b. h. Exhilaration, 5 yrs., 10st.
       13lb.                                                   T. Dunn 3
                          2 to 1 agst. Sachem.


                              KEMPTON PARK.

 December 26th.—The Christmas Hurdle Handicap of 200
   sovs.; two miles.
     Mr. H. Heasman’s br. h. Stephanas, by St. Serf—Lucky
       Lady, 5 yrs., 12st. 7lb.                              T. Fitton 1
     Sir S. Scott’s b. g. Series, 5 yrs., 10st. 12lb.         H. Aylin 2
     Col. R. L. Birkin’s b. c. Baron Crofton, 4 yrs.,
       11st. 11lb.                                           Mr. Payne 3
                         4 to 1 agst. Stephanas.

 December 27th.—The Sunbury Steeplechase Handicap of 200
   sovs.; two miles.
     Mr. B. W. Parr’s b. g. Orange Field, by
       Winkfield—Orange, 6 yrs., 10st. 9lb.                    M. Lowe 1
     Mr. R. Courage’s b. g. World’s Desire, 4 yrs., 12st.      T. Dunn 2
     Mr. S. Jousiffe’s ch. f. Red Mantle, 4 yrs., 10st.             F.
       8lb.                                                 Freemantle 3
                       5 to 2 agst. Orange Field.


                               MANCHESTER.

 January 1st.—The New Year Handicap Hurdle Race of 200
   sovs.; two miles.
     Mr. G. Menzies’ b. h. Donatello, 6 yrs., 11st. 3lb.    S. Menzies 1
     Mr. S. J. Bell’s ch. m. Cheriton Belle, 6yrs., 11st.           G.
       10lb.                                                Williamson 2
     Sir Peter Walker’s b. g. Aultbea, 6 yrs., 10st. 11lb. E. Sullivan 3
                        13 to 8 agst. Donatello.

 January 2nd.—The Manchester Handicap Steeplechase of 200
   sovs.; three miles.
     Mr. John Widger’s ch. g. Royal Bow II., 5 yrs., 11st.      Mr. T.
       7lb.                                                     Widger 1
     Mr. J. E. Rogerson’s b. g. Wee Busbie, aged, 10st.
       11lb.                                                 D. Phelan 2
     Mr. C. T. Garland’s br. g. Questionable, 6 yrs.,
       10st. 11lb.                                            F. Mason 3
                        11 to 8 on Royal Bow II.


                                WINDSOR.

 January 5th.—The Eton Handicap Hurdle Race of 150 sovs.;
   two miles.
     Mr. J. S. Morrison’s b. g. John M.P., aged, 12st.
       7lb.                                                 W. Terrell 1
     Sir S. Scott’s b. g. Series, 6 yrs., 10st. 12lb.         H. Aylin 2
     Sir H. Randall’s b. or br. c. Frisky Bill               J. Dillon 3
                        100 to 1 agst. John M.P.

 January 6th.—The Castle Handicap of 150 sovs.; three
   miles.
     Mr. G. Johnson’s b. h. Gladiator, 6 yrs., 11st. 3lb.  E. Driscoll 1
     Mr. C. T. Garland’s br. g. Questionable, 6 yrs.,
       11st. 4lb.                                             F. Mason 2
     Mr. T. Tyler’s br. g. Trueman, aged, 11st. 2lb.         W. Morgan 3
                        15 to 8 agst. Gladiator.


                               BIRMINGHAM.

 January 9th.—The Grand Annual Handicap Steeplechase of
   200 sovs.; two miles.
     Mr. J. G. Houghton’s b. g. Desert Chief, aged, 12st.          Mr.
       12lb.                                                 Fergusson 1
     Lord Coventry’s b. g. Kepler, 6 yrs., 10st.                Mr. W.
                                                               Bulteel 2
     Mr. P. Gleeson’s b. h. Lord of the Level, 6 yrs.,
       11st. 4lb.                                             F. Mason 3
                         5 to 4 on Desert Chief.


                              HAYDOCK PARK.

 January 11th.—The Haydock Park Handicap Steeplechase of
   200 sovs.; two miles.
     Sir Peter Walker’s ch. g. Flutterer, aged, 12st. 7lb. E. Sullivan 1
     Mr. C. W. C. Henderson’s b. m. Ashton, aged, 10st.
       11lb.                                                J. Seymour 2
     Mr. J. E. Rogerson’s b. g. Wee Busbie, aged, 11st.
       8lb.                                                  D. Phelan 3
                        10 to 1 agst. Flutterer.


FOOTBALL.

  December 16th.—At Birkenhead, North v. South, latter won by 16
    points to 10.*

  December 16th.—At Inverleith, Edinburgh Wanderers v. Cambridge
    University, latter won by 21 points to 6.*

  December 21st.—At Swansea, Glamorgan v. New Zealand, latter won by 3
    tries to 0.*

  December 26th.—At Cardiff, Cardiff v. New Zealand, latter won by 2
    goals to 1 goal 1 try.*

  December 28th.—At Everton, Northern Nomads v. Corinthians, latter
    won by 4 goals to 3.†

  December 30th.—At Swansea, Swansea v. New Zealand, latter won by 4
    points to 3.*

  December 30th.—At Blackheath, Blackheath v. Marlborough Nomads,
    former won by 2 goals 2 tries to 1 goal 1 try.*

  January 1st.—At Glasgow, Queen’s Park v. Corinthians, latter won by
    2 goals to 1.†

  January 1st.—At Paris, France v. New Zealand, latter won by 38
    points to 8.*

  January 6th.—At Upton, Casuals v. Clapton, latter won by 2 goals to
    1.†

  January 6th.—At Richmond, London Scottish v. United Services, former
    won by 27 points to 5.*

  January 6th.—At Leyton, Casuals v. Belgian Association, former won
    by 12 goals to 0.†

  January 6th.—At Richmond, Richmond v. Marlborough Nomads, former won
    by 1 goal to 0.*

  January 8th.—At Fulham, Amateurs v. Professionals, latter won by 1
    goal to 0.†

  January 13th.—At Richmond, England v. Wales, latter won by 15 points
    to 3.*

                       * Under Rugby Rules.

                       † Under Association Rules.

-----

Footnote 2:

  Race-riding, except incidentally, has nothing to do with the subject
  of this article; but it may be pointed out that if the Stewards at
  other meetings a few years ago had acted as promptly in disqualifying
  horses that interfered with others in a race as did the Stewards at
  Warwick in the case of Gun Boat, we should never have seen the
  “American” seat get the hold that it did. Wheatley, who rode Gun Boat,
  is a well-behaved jockey, whom no one would suggest would ride foul of
  _malice prepense_, or take any undue advantage of his fellows. But
  with the modern racing seat a horse can practically go where he likes.
  If any reader doubts it, let him stand in the straight when there is a
  field of a score or more running for a five-furlong selling handicap.

Footnote 3:

  Thormanby was nearly sold to the late Mr. Walter Melrose, of York, for
  a hunter. There was only £10 between the breeder and him, and neither
  would give way.

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                            BAILY’S MAGAZINE

                                   OF

                          SPORTS AND PASTIMES.


 ┌─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐
 │                       DIARY FOR MARCH, 1906.                        │
 ├──────┬─────┬────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┤
 │Day of│ Day │                      OCCURRENCES.                      │
 │Month.│ of  │                                                        │
 │      │Week.│                                                        │
 ├──────┼─────┼────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┤
 │     1│ TH  │Sandown Park Races and Steeplechases. Essex and Sussex  │
 │      │     │  County Clubs Coursing Meetings.                       │
 │     2│  F  │Sandown Park Grand Military Meeting.                    │
 │     3│  S  │Sandown Park Grand Military Meeting.                    │
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │     4│ =S= │=First Sunday in Lent.=                                 │
 │     5│  M  │Wolverhampton and Wye Races and Steeplechases.          │
 │     6│ TU  │Leicester Races and Steeplechases. Hackney Horse Show at│
 │      │     │  Royal Agricultural Hall (4 days).                     │
 │     7│  W  │Leicester Races and Steeplechases. Gravesend and Cliffe │
 │      │     │  and Hornby Castle Coursing Meetings.                  │
 │     8│ TH  │Warwick National Hunt Meeting.                          │
 │     9│  F  │Hurst Park Races and Steeplechases.                     │
 │    10│  S  │Hurst Park Races and Steeplechases.                     │
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │    11│ =S= │=Second Sunday in Lent.=                                │
 │    12│  M  │Derby Hunt Meetings.                                    │
 │    13│ TU  │Derby Hunt Meeting. Plumpton and North Union Coursing   │
 │      │     │  Meetings. Royal Commission on Horse Breeding and      │
 │      │     │  Hunter Show at Royal Agricultural Hall (3 days).      │
 │    14│  W  │Gatwick, Shincliffe and Chepstow Races and              │
 │      │     │  Steeplechases.                                        │
 │    15│ TH  │Gatwick and Shincliffe Races and Steeplechases. Sussex  │
 │      │     │  County Coursing Meeting.                              │
 │    16│  F  │Kempton Park and Hooton Park Races and Steeplechases.   │
 │      │     │  Polo and Riding Pony Show at Royal Agricultural Hall  │
 │      │     │  (2 days).                                             │
 │    17│  S  │Kempton Park and Hooton Park Races and Steeplechases.   │
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │    18│ =S= │=Third Sunday in Lent.=                                 │
 │    19│  M  │Birmingham and Folkestone Races and Steeplechases.      │
 │    20│ TU  │Birmingham Races and Steeplechases.                     │
 │    21│  W  │Portsmouth Park Races and Steeplechases.                │
 │    22│ TH  │Portsmouth Park, Rugby and Dunbar Races and             │
 │      │     │  Steeplechases.                                        │
 │    23│  F  │Haydock Park and Lingfield Park Steeplechases.          │
 │    24│  S  │Haydock Park and Lingfield Park Races and Steeplechases.│
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │    25│ =S= │=Fourth Sunday in Lent.=                                │
 │    26│  M  │Lincoln Spring and Hawthorn Hill Races.                 │
 │    27│ TU  │Lincolnshire Handicap, Hawthorn Hill Races.             │
 │    28│  W  │Lincoln, Cheltenham and Atherstone Hunt Races.          │
 │    29│ TH  │Liverpool Spring and Cheltenham Races.                  │
 │    30│  F  │Grand National Steeplechases.                           │
 │    31│  S  │Liverpool Spring Races.                                 │
 └──────┴─────┴────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘



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                            BAILY’S MAGAZINE
                                   OF
                          SPORTS AND PASTIMES
             NO. 553.       MARCH, 1906.       VOL. LXXXV.



                               CONTENTS.


                                                                    PAGE
 Sporting Diary for the Month                                         v.
 Mr. Edward Mashiter, M.F.H.                                         175
 Distemper in Hounds                                                 176
 Recollections of Seventy-five Years’ Sport—I.                       183
 The Education of the Puppy (Illustrated)                            187
 A few Cocks and some Rabbits                                        192
 Breeds of British Salmon                                            195
 The Foxhounds of Great Britain—A Review—(Illustrated)               199
 Hind-hunting                                                        204
 Famous Grand National Riders (Illustrated)                          211
 A Hundred Years Ago                                                 217
 The Sportsman’s Library (Illustrated)                               218
 Two Noted Hunting Sires, Van Galen and Victor                       223
 The University Boat Race                                            228
 Goose Shooting in Manitoba                                          230
 “Hunting Ladies”                                                    234
 Some Theories on Acquiring a Seat                                   237
 “Our Van”:—
     Racing                                                          241
     Hunting                                                         242
     Hunting in Yorkshire                                            246
     Death of Mr. E. A. Nepean                                       248
     The Grand Prix at Monte Carlo                                   249
     Golf                                                            251
     “His House in Order” at the St. James’s Theatre                 252
 Sporting Intelligence                                               254

          WITH ENGRAVED PORTRAIT OF MR. EDWARD MASHITER, M.F.H.



                      Mr. Edward Mashiter, M.F.H.


MR. EDWARD MASHITER, better known in Essex under his old name of Helme,
was born in 1842, and was entered to hounds at the age of eight in Thoby
Wood in the Essex country, during the mastership of Mr. Henley Greaves.
His love of hunting, which is as keen now as in his youth, is inherited
from his father, Mr. Thomas Helme, who hunted for many years in Essex,
residing at Thoby Priory. Mr. Mashiter was educated at Winchester,
settled down in Essex in 1861, and from that time to the present has
hunted with the Essex and the Essex Union Hounds. He became Secretary to
the Essex Union Hunt in 1878, and held that office during Mr. White’s,
Captain Carnegy’s, and part of Captain Kemble’s masterships. On
resigning the secretaryship in 1891, he was presented with a
testimonial, consisting of silver candelabra, by the members of the
Hunt. Mr. Mashiter resided at Hornchurch Lodge, his father’s place, from
1867 until 1890, subsequently living a few years at Hou Hatch,
Brentwood, and in 1898 became Master of the Essex Union Hounds, in
succession to Colonel Hornby, and has continued Master to the present
time.

In the ’seventies Mr. Mashiter twice narrowly escaped losing his life in
the hunting field. Whilst hunting with the York and Ainsty Hounds,
during the mastership of Colonel Fairfax, his horse was carried off his
legs when crossing a ford of the River Nid, near Kirk-Hammerton, with
the result that Mr. Mashiter had to swim across the river, but got
safely out with a ducking. Some years afterwards, when hunting with the
South and West Wilts, of which his cousin, the late Captain Burchall
Helme, was then Master, a collision with a runaway horse in the village
of Tisbury gave him a fall which knocked him out of time. The runaway
broke its shoulder in two places and had to be destroyed.

Mr. Mashiter assumed the name of Mashiter instead of Helme in 1899 in
accordance with the will of his great-uncle, Mr. Thomas Mashiter, of
Hornchurch Lodge.

On undertaking the mastership of the Essex Union Hounds Mr. Mashiter put
on Arthur Thatcher, who had been the first whipper-in to Mr. Fernie for
several seasons, as huntsman, and very good sport Thatcher showed. He
left the Essex Union after two seasons to go as huntsman to the
Cottesmore, where he has made his mark as one of the best huntsmen of
the day. George Tongue, from the Blankney, succeeded Thatcher and has
given very great satisfaction in every way.

Mr. Mashiter is a magistrate for Essex. He has also been a director of
the well-known Romford Brewery for many years, but has ceased to take an
active part in business since he became Master of the Hounds. He
married, in 1867, Augusta, who died in 1895, eldest daughter of the Rev.
Henry Annesley Hawkins, of Topcliffe, Yorks, and a niece of the late
Captain Cooper, known as “Billy Cooper,” well known in the coaching
world as one of the best amateur whips in England.

Mr. Mashiter now resides at Gatwick, near Billericay, in order to be
near the kennels.



                          Distemper in Hounds.

                     OPINIONS OF MASTERS OF HOUNDS.


With the view of collecting information on the subject of distemper, we
addressed enquiries to the masters of a number of those hunts in whose
kennels last season the disease took an unusually serious form, and also
to masters whose kennels had escaped lightly. The replies received are
exceedingly full and informing; and as the views of the writers cannot
fail to be of interest, we propose in the following pages to set out a
selection of opinions collected.

It will be convenient to give the letters in the alphabetical sequence
of the writers’ names.

Mr. E. E. BARCLAY, master of the Puckeridge, whose kennels sustained
very serious losses in 1904–5, writes:—

“Distemper is like ‘scent,’ the more one sees of it the less one knows
about it. All I do know is that it is a terribly fatal disease amongst
hounds of all sorts, and in my experience almost invariably seems to
pick out and kill the strongest and best of one’s entry. I have kept
hounds (harriers and foxhounds) now for twenty-eight years, and have
always bred a good many young hounds, so necessarily have seen a good
deal, in fact, far too much, of distemper, and have now come to the
conclusion that physic of any sort has very little to do with getting a
hound through an attack. The only thing one can do is to keep them warm;
don’t let the temperature of the hospital fall below 60° during the
twenty-four hours, with plenty of fresh air but no draughts, and nurse
them very carefully, feeding them a little at the time and often. Keep
them clean, often sponging their eyes, nose, and lips with disinfectant
to keep the offensive discharge, which usually accompanies bad cases,
from getting caked.

“In the form that attacks their heads with twitching and blindness,
setons in the back of the neck often help. In the more fatal lung cases
with pneumonia, applications of mustard to the chest and sides is the
only thing that may do good, but this form often turns to double
pneumonia and the patients die in a few hours. In some cases distemper
seems to turn to blood poisoning, attacking especially the feet, so that
the feet almost rot away.

“I have found that those hounds that have frequent fits seldom recover,
and if by chance they do pull round they are generally left with
‘snatches’ or chorea. Strychnine will often help ‘snatches’ at first,
but if a hound has got them badly he seldom gets much better of them,
though he may recover from the distemper itself.

“I only remember two summers when we did not have distemper badly in
kennel, but in both these years the young hounds went down with it badly
in the middle of December and we lost several, just when they were in
hard work; and of course those that recovered were of little use for
that hunting season.

“A medical friend was telling me one day of the way they now treat bad
cases of pneumonia by putting the patient into an iced bath. This is
done, of course, to get the temperature down, for what so often kills in
cases of pneumonia is the collapse of the heart owing to high fever.
Just at this time I had a very nice young dog-hound, who had been ill
with distemper for a long time; it turned to pneumonia and he was
‘blowing’ like a grampus. He had a temperature of 105°,[4] and was
apparently as good as dead and would have been so in an hour. We carried
him into the feeding room and turned the cold water hose on him—down his
neck, back and all over him. He very soon began to revive and in a short
time stood up with his stern erect, evidently enjoying the treatment; he
stopped ‘blowing’ after a short time, and in about fifteen minutes his
temperature was 101½°. We carefully dried him without rubbing him more
than we could help, and put him back into hospital. He seemed quite
comfortable, the ‘blowing’ had entirely ceased and did not return.

“That hound did well for the next ten days, and we quite thought we had
saved him when he suddenly died of heart failure. I own this experiment
was not a success entirely, but here we had a case of very bad pneumonia
in which the patient after a long illness was at the point of death, who
through our success in getting his temperature down and completely
stopping the ‘blowing,’ lived on and did well for ten days. I firmly
believe if his strength had not been undermined by a long spell of
illness before we tried the experiment that he would have recovered.

“I have tried all the so-called ‘cures’ for distemper, both old receipts
and new, in the form of balls, powders, and liquid, and have come to the
conclusion that they have little to do with a hound’s recovery.

“You use someone’s ‘Distemper Balls’ one year when you happen to have a
mild run of the disease, and having very few fatal cases that year, you
at once think it is this wonderful ball that has cured them!

“Next year you use the same ‘cure’ and your young hounds die like flies.
I notice that puppies at walk often get what seems to be distemper and
get over it, but when they come in down they go with the kennel
distemper and they die.

“We always keep going in the hospital one or more Cresoline lamps, such
as are sold at chemists, for burning in rooms of children suffering from
whooping cough; this, I am sure, helps the lung and throat cases, and at
any rate is a good disinfectant and can do no harm. I am now erecting,
detached from the rest of the kennel buildings, a large brick hospital
with a range of hot water pipes round three sides of the room, with
Tobin ventilators to admit fresh air without creating a draught, and a
good-sized lantern skylight in the roof to let out the foul air; and
hope this may help us to nurse a larger proportion of distempered hounds
through their trouble.

“It is a curious fact, but I have constantly observed that when, as
there often are, among the lot ‘down’ with the disease, a young hound or
two which, by reason of size or some other cause, are useless, and for
that reason get no extra attention and no physic; these pull through
without difficulty, whilst the pick of the entry, with every care
bestowed upon them, die off wholesale. I am quite sure the distemper one
gets in hound-kennels is quite different from that which the ordinary
cur dog gets.

“I have tried carefully for two seasons Dr. Physallix’s inoculation
serum, under two different veterinary surgeons, both clever men; but all
to no purpose, the mortality being quite as high in the inoculated cases
as in the whelps that had not been inoculated.”

Mr. Barclay holds that the subject of distemper is one that should
receive the special attention of the M.F.H. Association, that it should
be taken up in earnest and researches pursued systematically.

Mr. ASSHETON BIDDULPH (King’s County) holds that the strictest care and
cleanliness in the kennel do much to minimise the consequences of an
attack of distemper. In his kennels a very thorough system of cleaning
and ventilation, combined with very free use of disinfectants, is
enforced. The kennels are washed carefully and often with disinfectants,
and are subjected to a weekly purification with chloride of lime, which
is spread about under the benches; moreover, they are washed out at
intervals daily with some carbolic fluid. “For several years,” says Mr.
Biddulph, “I had no distemper in my kennels, from the time I began to
follow the system above mentioned; and I feel convinced that it was
neglect and the omission to carry out my orders that caused a sore
visitation of it some five years ago. Since then I have had years
without suffering an attack at all, and when the disease has appeared it
has been in the mildest form.”

Mr. Biddulph attributes the immunity from illness enjoyed by his horses
to similar precautions.

Mr. A. SCOTT BROWNE, who reported last summer that distemper appeared in
the worst form known in twenty-five years’ experience, states that the
disease took the form of septic pneumonia; hounds attacked often died
before they lost condition, sometimes within thirty-six hours of the
first symptoms of illness appearing. Most of those that succumbed had
been inoculated with the serum tried by Mr. Barclay, “but,” adds Mr.
Scott Browne, drily, “I have no reason to suppose, from a previous
experiment, that this caused them to contract the disease in a more
virulent form.”

Mr. T. BUTT MILLER (V.W.H., Cricklade) is unable to express any opinion;
his experience is representative of the mysterious and fitful character
of the disease. In 1904–5 he was very fortunate in escaping lightly.
This year he has had it very badly, not only among the puppies at walk,
but also among the young hounds that were entered this season.

Captain H. A. CARTWRIGHT (Wilton), writes as follows in explanation of
the comparative immunity his hounds enjoyed in 1905:—

“I believe my walks on these Wiltshire Downs are very healthy, and being
few, we only breed from the very best bitches likely to produce vigorous
offspring, and do not breed from inferior bitches on the chance of
getting something good or having a draft to sell. We are, however,
handicapped by the necessity for confining the bitches in whelp, and
with whelps, to the paddock, as it is near a big game preserve; and
although I have a couple of bitches at a time on my own farm here, it is
dangerous, owing to the prevalence of poison.

“As regards treatment, Sweetman, my huntsman, relies more on nourishment
than physic, and allows the sick puppies no water. We lose more by
yellows than distemper.”

Mr. A. W. HALL DARE (Wexford), believes that all hounds must have the
disease some time in their lives; he has found that a really bad attack
always leaves some weakness. Most cures are useful in some cases,
according to his experience, but none are infallible.

Mr. HENRY HAWKINS, whose harriers suffered severely last spring,
attributes the numerous deaths among his puppies chiefly to the fact
that there was a continuous and cold east wind blowing at the time of
the mortality.

Mr. M. L. W. LLOYD-PRICE, who has kept hounds for sixteen years, and a
great many other dogs for over thirty years, having usually reared from
twenty to thirty couples of whelps annually, writes as follows:—

“I have taken great pains to try to discover everything I could _re_
distemper. I can give you no fresh idea for prevention of the malady. I
have been, I may say, very lucky with regard to it, only getting it on
an average bi-annually, and losing on an average only 10 per cent. Of
this fact I feel confident, that the disease is not so bad among
_hounds_ in Wales as in England; possibly English hounds are higher
bred, and that may be to some extent a reason. Also, I believe, hounds
in Wales are more roughly brought up at their walks than in England, and
allowed more liberty. This may be a reason also, although, as the
farmer’s sheep-dogs get it very severely and many succumb, this is
doubtful. I have been much troubled by kennel lameness, and a prevention
for this would be more valuable to me even than one for distemper.”

Mr. R. W. MCKERGOW (Southdown) writes: “In answer to your letter of
yesterday, I cannot give any definite reason as to why we lost so many
young hounds at walk in 1904–5. I think we had too many in some of the
villages, and when the distemper broke out the whelps infected each
other. We found that puppies at walk in more isolated districts stood a
much better chance of recovery. I may add that this year we have chosen
our ‘walks’ rather more carefully, and I believe we shall have a much
better return. We sent out about fifty couple last year, and have, I
believe, about thirty-two or thirty-three couple standing up and doing
well. I may add that motor-cars were responsible for the death of some
three couples last year, and during the last few months we have lost a
further couple and a half from the same cause.”

Colonel A. C. NEWLAND (Tivyside) says that although he lost only one
hound last season the whole of the young entry suffered from distemper,
and badly, too, in several cases. He continues: “I can only attribute
our being fortunate enough to lose but one to the fact that every care
was taken from the moment distemper showed in a hound to feed it up as
much as possible, port wine, eggs, and beef tea being administered if
necessary.”

Mr. A. L. ORMROD (Aspull Harriers), in course of an interesting letter,
says: “Two or three of the puppies that came in from walk in the spring
of 1905, so far as I can tell, have not suffered at all from distemper.
The change of food and general conditions of living on first coming into
kennel is always a trying period for puppies, and any inherent weakness
in their constitution is likely to make itself manifest then. I should
be interested to know how the proportion of hounds received back into
kennels from puppy walkers compares with the experiences of breeders of
other classes of hounds or dogs, such as greyhounds, sporting dogs, or
even terriers.”

Mrs. PRYSE RICE, who last summer was happy in her ability to report “no
losses, nor have there been any for a number of years,” writes: “I
regret to say I know of no prevention for distemper. All our hounds have
it either at walk or when they come in to kennel. In the last ten years
we have sent out to walk 115 couples, and the total losses, as returned
in our puppy register, by distemper, have been two hounds in kennel
(when we had it in a very bad form), and one of the whelps now out at
walk. This year I think we have had distemper in its very worst form,
not only having the puppies at walk down with it, but also the whole of
the entry taken ill within three days of one another in the middle of
the hunting season. Of the former we have lost the one previously
mentioned; of the latter the greater part are now hunting again, and the
others will be out in a few days. I think the small losses we have are,
in the case of the whelps at walk, due to the very great interest taken
in the puppies by the walkers, who, immediately a puppy seems out of
sorts, report to the kennels, and on learning what to do take every
possible means to save it. The reason we lose so few in kennel is, I
think, due to the fact that neither we nor our men neglect the slightest
symptoms of distemper in a hound that has not had it, and even though it
appears to be but a slight cold, give at once a distemper powder. The
cure for distemper I would sum up in a few words—good nursing, plenty of
fresh milk, and use of Heald’s distemper powders _immediately_ the
slightest symptoms declare themselves.”

Mr. E. P. RAWNSLEY (Southwold) writes: “My losses of last season were
not serious, because, instead of losing the best hounds, the worst died,
though all had it. In the Southwold kennel we never fail to have the
disease badly, though I have tried every sort of prevention and cure. My
own idea is that it is almost an inevitable complaint, but if hounds
could be separated, only a couple being put together, and one
experienced man was told off to each four couple to nurse them night and
day, with special cooking for them and the use of every modern
antiseptic treatment, very few would die; the amount of room required
and the expense entailed would be enormous, as thirty couple or more may
be all down with it.”

Mr. THOMAS ROBSON (North Tyne) attributes the virulence of the disease
to the kennels. “Although,” he says, “we had no loss when the puppies
were at walk, I lost some after they came in—in fact, this place seems
fatal. I have lost as many as nine puppies in a fortnight, the only
survivor being a collie which lay outside in a straw stack and got no
attention whatever, while the other patients were coddled and got every
attention; these, however, were younger than the collie. I lost seven
greyhounds out of nine in October, and it is only an odd terrier I am
able to rear here. I have known a tame fox die at the same time as
terrier and foxhound puppies.”

Mr. H. W. SELBY LOWNDES (East Kent) writes: “There is no doubt that
distemper is contagious. It assumes different forms at different
periods. I consider that there is a difference in dogs as regards their
susceptibility. It is noticeable that mongrels and hardy dogs will
escape, while pure-bred dogs of a valuable breed are most
susceptible.... As a rule, dogs have distemper but once, but I
understand cases are known of dogs having it three and even four times.
There are several forms of the disease. (1) That which is accompanied by
a nasty husky cough, sneezing, increase of pulse, and temperature
irregular; sickness is an early symptom, the animal soon wastes away,
and there is a discharge of muco-purulent matter, and weeping from the
eyes. (2) This form takes the shape of fits, and is most fatal. (3) The
hepatic form, in which the leading features are yellowness of the skin
and visible mucous membrane, constipation, hard and colourless fæces,
urine deeply coloured, with little wasting, no cough, but symptoms of
fever.

“As regards management, the following are the methods adopted in my
kennel, which are fairly healthy. I have a grass yard and lodging which
was used for _many_ years for young hounds that came in from walk.
During the first two years of my mastership, when the young hounds used
the grass yard, distemper broke out very badly, and I lost a great many.
Since then young hounds have not used the yard, and have been kept, as
far as possible, on entirely fresh ground each year. They are kept in an
ordinary kennel and flagged yard, but have any amount of liberty and
exercise, and are taken where they can eat fresh grass, the natural
physic of dogs. My kennels are annually disinfected, and, above all, the
drains are carefully overhauled.

“When young hounds come in from walk Benbow’s mixture is a rare tonic
for them. When seized by distemper, in the first stage we give an
emetic—tartarised antimony 2 grs., and calomel 2 grs., followed up by a
vegetable tonic such as gentian, ginger, &c., 10 grs., and in all cases
_good nursing_. If the hound rejects his food and is sick, we give
diffusible stimulants, and as a tonic 1½ grs. of quinine and a little
port-wine three times a day. When a hound’s brain is becoming affected,
as a rule any discharge from the nostrils diminishes; the animal begins
to eat, and appears to be doing well; then suddenly he becomes excited,
and fits follow. When this occurs a seton should be put in between the
ears, and if the hound is constipated a mild purgative should be given.
Fits, as said above, however, usually indicate a fatal form of
distemper.

“In cases of yellow distemper give an ounce of Peruvian bark and a glass
of port-wine three times a day.... Whatever remedy of the many in favour
is used _good nursing_ is most essential, plenty of air during the day,
and warmth at night. Benbow’s mixture gives an appetite, and thus helps
to keep the hound’s strength. When the appetite is gone, the patient
should be given any dainty morsel procurable. Artificial heating in the
hospital is a mistake. In all cases tonics should be the foundation of
the treatment, with good nursing.”

Captain STANDISH (West Hambledon) remarks that distemper varies in
intensity from year to year. The diaries kept by his father during his
mastership of the Hursley, 1862–69, and the New Forest Hounds, 1869–74,
show that he sustained heavy losses: and this despite the fact that in
those days the absence of motor-cars and less rigorous game preserving
made it possible to give hounds at walk greater liberty.

The EARL OF STRADBROKE (Henham Harriers) writes:

“After enjoying freedom from distemper for several years, it broke out
last November, having been introduced by a retriever. The disease
attacked the older hounds, none of the younger ones being affected;
possibly the latter may have had distemper while at walk. One hound
died. The disease seemed to be in the head and lungs. The treatment I
adopted was to give a dose of castor oil directly a hound showed any
sign of being amiss, and then Spratt’s Distemper Pills, feeding on milk
or gravy, and avoiding all solid food for some days. Several of the
hounds were very ill, the strongest being the most severely affected,
but, with the one exception, they all pulled round, and none of them
seem any the worse now, though it took them some weeks to recover
condition.”

Mr. HUBERT M. WILSON (Cheshire) thinks that his small losses of the
spring of 1905 were rather a matter of good fortune than anything else.
But he says: “I certainly had the young hounds put in couples as soon as
they came in from quarters, and regularly exercised instead of being
turned loose into the kennel. I also built a new kennel of wood, with a
very good cinder yard, where they seemed to do very much better than in
former years. These are all the precautions that occur to me at the
moment that were taken. But I cannot help thinking that the hounds that
are in-bred to certain strains are, if not liable to distemper,
certainly less able to resist it.”

In answer to a further query, Mr. Wilson says that his last remark was
meant to apply to in-breeding to any strain too much, and not to any
particular strain of blood.

Some interesting and suggestive points are raised in the foregoing
letters; as these indicate the necessity for further enquiry, and as
space forbids any adequate review in the present number of the
information kindly furnished by our correspondents, we propose to return
to the subject in a future issue.



              Recollections of Seventy-five Years’ Sport.
                                   I.


I saw a good deal of sport with the Pytchley and Quorn and also with Mr.
Tailby’s hounds in old days. I remember one season, when I was staying
with Mr. Angerstein at Kelmarsh, the Pytchley had been passing through a
phase of indifferent sport, not having killed a fox for several days. On
one of these days, after dinner, there was much talk on the subject, and
some abuse of the huntsman, Charles Payne, and the hounds; I had a high
opinion of both, and defended them, saying that the fault lay not with
them, but with the Northamptonshire squires and the field. Mr. Vyse
thereupon said he should like to know what I should do were I the
master. I told him I would not put meat in my mouth until my hounds had
been fed upon fox.

The reply brought down a good deal of chaff upon me. Next day, as it
happened, we had a good run with an afternoon fox. After passing
Yelverton Gorse, I felt sure that the main earth on the Hemploe was his
point, and determined to give hounds a helping hand if it could be done;
so, riding straight across the vale to the Hemploe, I reached the main
earth barely two minutes before the hunted fox arrived, and turned him
away. Hounds were coming steadily along, but half-way up the hill
several foxes were afoot, and the pack divided, only five hounds
sticking to the line of the hunted fox. Payne blew his horn to get them
together, and the second whipper-in, attempting to stop the five, I told
him they would kill their fox if he left them alone.

“What am I to do, Sir?” he asked.

I said, “You hear the huntsman’s horn?” and the man did nothing. Very
soon after Payne came up, rather angry. The whipper-in, however,
disarmed him by confessing that he had done wrong; “But,” he added, “I
could not stop them, as Mr. Fellowes said they were killing their fox.”
Whereupon Payne laid the body of the pack on the line, and killed in a
few minutes.

I had the best of it that evening after dinner.

I was in the famous Waterloo run of February 22, 1866. Its merits have
been very much overrated, for hounds were constantly changing foxes, and
were never near catching any one of them. It was only a journey.

One of the fastest runs I ever saw in the Midlands was fifty-five
minutes, from Thorpe Trussels to Rolleston. William Coke (otherwise
known as “Billy Coke”), my old college friend, Stirling Crawfurd, Little
Gilmour, and myself were alone with hounds when they killed in Rolleston
Spinney; the pace had beaten the rest of the field. Another time I had a
very fast gallop from Parson’s Gorse up to Bunny Park. The incident
remains in memory, as I had it all to myself on a five-year-old horse,
The Kite (by Falcon, dam by Julius Cæsar), belonging to Mr. Crawfurd.
The Kite’s portrait, by Ferneley, now hangs at Buchanan Castle.

I had some good horses in those days. In a run from Crick Gorse hounds
crossed the Stamford and Rugby Railway, then in process of construction,
and enclosed with new double posts and rails. My horse jumped them both,
in and out, and I was up when the fox went to ground in the yard at the
back of Standford Hall.

The first man to come up was that fine old fellow, Sir Francis Head; I
did not know him to speak to. He, however, made me a profound bow,
saying he “hoped I was satisfied with myself.” I said my satisfaction
was less with myself than my horse, as indeed it was, for that was my
first day on him.

The Wizard was one of the best hunters I ever had. At the finish of a
fine run with the Pytchley he jumped the Avon, in spite of the fact that
the flood water was out on each side of him. It was a big jump; Jim
Mason, the steeplechase rider, and many others, failed to reach the
other side. Mason was so impressed with The Wizard, that he offered to
pay me the value of the stakes of the Liverpool Steeplechase before the
horse started, if I would lend him for six weeks; but I refused. He was
well suited for the Liverpool course: fast, good at water, and also at
banks—thanks to his training in Norfolk.

Mason had a vein of originality in him. Returning from hunting to Market
Harborough from Langton one afternoon, he and some others had to cross
the brook. Fog came on very suddenly, and they could not find the ford;
they turned back, but it was so thick they could not find the gate.
Mason then said there was nothing for it but to cry “Murder,” to bring
some one to their aid, and he did it lustily. Nobody coming to help, he
changed his tactics. “Let’s be very jolly and laugh,” he suggested. The
rest agreeing, they laughed so long and loudly, that three labourers
came to see what the joke was.

The Coot, a chestnut, was another good horse. On him I had a grand
gallop from Waterloo Gorse, by Tally-ho Stick Covert to ground near
Cottesbrooke Park. It was a very fast thing, and there was nobody else
in sight of hounds during the latter half of the run.

The Coot was well known in Leicestershire in his day. Visiting the
patients in the Leicester Infirmary one day, a poor fellow, who lay very
ill in his bed, called to me, “Squire, Squire,” as I was leaving the
ward. Going to his bedside, I found that he wanted to enquire after the
health and well-being of the Coot.

One morning, when staying at Lamport Hall, I went to meet the Quorn at
Keythorpe Hall, and as I came near, Charles Leslie (then M.P. for
Monaghan) came galloping forward to meet me with a message from Sir
Richard Sutton. It appeared that at a large party which had taken place
overnight at Quorndon Hall there had been much talk about various
riders, and Sir Richard had declared that if I were out I should beat
the whole field. Leslie had sent his best horse, Marmion, for me to
ride; but I preferred my own, and did not regret it.

It was as well that hounds were able to run that day, for there was some
pretty hard riding. They found in Ram’s Head Gorse, and ran fast, over a
very strongly-fenced country, to Stockerston Wood. I led during the
whole run, jumping gates and whatever else came in the way; and when
hounds entered the wood the only other man in the field was Little
Gilmour. Lord Cardigan was close up with him: he had put his thumb out
of joint in a bad fall, and had to go home.

In talking over the riders he knew with Lord Cardigan, he paid Lord
Wilton what I thought a great compliment, saying he thought nothing of
his riding, “for he would jump through the bars of a gate.” It seemed to
me to prove the ease with which he crossed country, and certainly few
men were often as near hounds as Lord Wilton in a good run.

Sir Richard Sutton was always very kind to me. I well remember his
gratification when I justified his good predictions that I should cut
down the field. But on another day I had the misfortune to get into his
bad books. He was going to draw Norton Gorse, and on the way we had to
pass through Ilston Spinney. Having had a hint from a farmer, I made
haste to get through the spinney, and when half-way heard a view halloo.
Away went the fox and away went the hounds on a blazing scent—no master,
no servants, and a hard riding field on the top of the pack, with nobody
to keep them in hand. It was a regular scurry, and many of them got
falls, among them Lord Wilton. At last hounds checked, and the Baronet
came up. We had unduly pressed hounds, and nobody had a word to say when
he spoke his mind about it. We all caught it in a strain we remembered,
though Sir Richard never allowed an abusive word to pass his lips. Egged
on by others, I begged him to let us off, promising to help kill the
fox, for I had seen him in the Norton Brook while I was in the air.
Hounds were got on to the line, and, settling to it, soon killed him.

“Now,” said Sir Richard, “I will serve you all out; I’ll find my next
fox in Charnwood Forest.”

There was general dismay at this announcement, for Charnwood Forest was
fourteen miles off. Lord Gardner, recovering the shock first, came up to
me.

“You must stop this!” he said. “Go and apologise for us.” I declined,
feeling and saying that I was no better than the worst among the
offenders; but on Lord Gardner’s urging that “there was nobody else he
would listen to,” I gave way, and Sir Richard, like the really good,
kind-hearted master he was, let us off, and found another fox close by.

There were two lively young members of the Quorn who habitually pressed
hounds, Colonel Forrester and Bromley Davenport, whose shortness of
sight may perhaps be pleaded in extenuation. On arriving at the meet in
his chariot, as the vehicle was called in the ’forties, Sir Richard
enquired of his first whipper-in whether these gentlemen were out. He
was told they were, and forthwith the whipper-in was ordered to draw
some of the best hounds, which were put into the carriage and sent home!

Sir Richard Sutton had a strong sense of the duty of a master and the
right way to discharge it. On one occasion he killed his fox in the
shrubbery of a clergyman. The place was very nicely kept, and the hunt
servants having made, as was rather unavoidable, rather a mess of the
paths, &c., the owner wrote to complain. Sir Richard, instead of going
to the meet with a pair of horses next morning, ordered out four, and
went a good deal out of his way to call and apologise; to offer payment
also. The clergyman, a very gentlemanly man, repented the tenor of his
complaint, and Sir Richard’s anxiety to put matters right quite disarmed
him. He apologised for having written, would not hear of accepting
compensation, and expressed the hope that he might see hounds in his
neighbourhood again soon! So much for civility.

My acquaintance with Lord Gardner, to whom I have referred before, began
in a way which illustrates one phase of that good sportsman’s character.
One day, when still fresh from college, I was riding a five-year-old.
Lord Gardner took my place at a fence and nearly gave me a fall. I
passed him in the next field, out of which there was only one place, and
that beside an elm. He came at it with a rush; I gave my horse his head,
and jumping side by side with Gardner threw him heavily against the
tree. He reported this to Mr. Little Gilmour, but got little sympathy,
Gilmour telling him that if he meddled with me he would probably get
himself killed. “Do you think so?” said Gardner. “Yes I do,” replied
Gilmour. “Then please introduce me to him,” said Gardner. We became fast
friends, and our friendship continued all the time he stayed in the
country.

Rather a funny incident occurred with the Quorn one day in a scurry from
Cream Lodge Gorse. A sporting captain’s horse fell over a large
ant-hill, and the soldier came down rolled in a lump. I got down and
stretched him out in a furrow. It was damp, and he soon changed his
position; so, remarking that if he was able to look for a dry place I
thought he could take care of himself, I jumped on my horse again and
went on. The gallant soldier was grievously hurt by my remark,
considering it implied that he was soft. His feelings suffered more
injury than his body.

In a good run with the Quorn the fox crossed the canal. We most of us
rode for the bridge and stood on it until the hounds were well over.
Cardigan and Wilbraham Tollemache stuck to the hounds and crossed the
canal with them, Cardigan exclaiming: “I am in first, Wilbraham!” In a
minute his brother-in-law exclaimed, “I am out first, Cardigan,” and
jumped on his horse, leaving Cardigan struggling in the water. A man on
the bridge called out: “Paddle with your ’ands, my lord; paddle with
your ’ands.” There were not many feet of water.

In those days there was scarcely any wire, and the now familiar warning
to “ware wire,” was rarely heard. In a gallop from Masterton Oziers one
large field was fenced with it, and we made for a gate. One man stuck to
the hounds, and falling head over heels over the fence was a good deal
hurt. We had called out “wire” repeatedly, and the more we did so the
faster he rode. His reason for doing so, he said, was that he saw it was
a big jump, and thought we were calling “fire, fire,” for him to fire
away at it, with plenty of steam on! Mr. Haycock, a hard-riding yeoman,
went head over heels in a bottom and could not get out. Lord Macdonald
coming next pulled up. Haycock called out “Come on, my Lord, there is
accommodation for you here as well as for me.” The Lord of the Isles
declined the invitation. Haycock sold a nice horse to a Duke, who took
him to task for selling him such a brute. “What’s the matter, your
Grace?” “He has been running away with me all the morning.” “If that is
all I don’t care; when he was mine I was always running away with him.”
Sir James Musgrave, riding a nice horse, told him he was slovenly at
timber. “Take him out on Sunday morning, Sir James, and give him a few
heavy falls over timber,” was his advice.

No fence is as nice as timber if your horse knows his business, but do
not take liberties with it with the sun in your horse’s eyes, or be
heard to call out “ware horse”; it is always “ware hound.” Another
hint—do not hunt in a cap, as it will not give way in a fall, but your
neck may.

Gumley Wood was at one time unintentionally spoiled as a covert by the
clergyman of Gumley. He was a mighty collector of moths; he so bedaubed
with treacle the trees in the wood that the foxes would not lay in it;
but we always found in the gorse close by. In the next parish lived one
of Whyte Melville’s heroes, Parson Dove. Jogging home after hunting one
evening, I asked him how he filled up his spare time in the summer; he
said he gardened a good deal. Enquiry elicited that there was but one
flower he cared for, and that was a cauliflower.

                                                        ROBERT FELLOWES.

                          (_To be continued._)



                      The Education of the Puppy.


Within a few short weeks the unwelcome words, “To finish the season,”
will all too often appear as the corollary to the weekly newspaper
announcements of hunting fixtures, and already “the stinking violet,”
that is reported to have been anathematised by one of the greatest among
huntsmen of the past as the means of smothering scent, is filling the
air with the perfume of spring.

[Illustration:

  THE MOTHER.
]

At this season, when the trout fisherman is rejoicing in the warmer
weather, that promises to bring about a hatch of March browns, and the
shooting man is thinking of the first eggs of early-laying pheasants,
when all the world welcomes the balmy days of spring, only the foxhunter
is heard to complain. He is forgetful of the fact that he alone of the
army of sportsmen enjoys a full six months of his favourite pastime, a
six months that may be extended to eight, if he will content himself
with the sport afforded by one or two of the woodland packs which,
beginning cubhunting in the month of August, never consider the season
finished until a May fox has been killed.

But even the discontented foxhunter, if he be worthy of the name of
sportsman, can find something to do in connection with the “sport of
kings” to while away the weary months until the dewy September morning,
which finds him once more revelling in the music of hounds as they teach
the cubs their business.

For some weeks, at any rate before his charges return to kennels, he
cannot find better employment than the personal supervision of the
education of the puppies, one or two of which, as an enthusiastic
hunting man, we must take it for granted that he is walking. True it is
that he will not have many weeks to devote to them ere the spring cart
from the kennels makes its appearance to carry them off, loath though
they may be to undergo what will be to them the most important part of
their training, or to be drafted into the ranks of the unentered should
they not prove equal to the standard, either in height, pace or quality,
required by the particular hunt to which they belong.

Short although the time remaining may be for what we can term the
preparatory schooling of the puppies, the ardent foxhunter may yet do
much to make the youngsters committed to his care more fitted to take
their places in the public school to which they are so soon to be
removed. During the busy hunting season when their care has been in the
hands of his deputies, our hunting man has probably thought little of
the education of the puppies, which, maybe, will later on contribute to
his next season’s enjoyment. But now that he has perforce to remain more
at home he may discover that his duty as a private schoolmaster has been
sadly neglected, and the puppies that should have been a credit to him
have, from lack of the proper attention, grown up dunces, with all their
good manners yet to be learnt, and many bad ones to be thrashed out of
them. Let him then take them in hand at once, and endeavour to repair
some of the mischief that his laxness has brought about. The hours spent
in thus occupying himself will not be wasted, and he will feel the
satisfaction of having done something for the hunt that has so often
provided him with sport in the past.

To judge by the accompanying picture reproduced from a coloured
engraving of considerable antiquity, the custom of sending puppies out
to walk is of very long standing. It will be noticed that the puppies
are to be conveyed to their destinations in bags or panniers slung
across the saddle. The artist has depicted the kennel huntsman,
faultlessly arrayed in scarlet, tall hat and top boots, trimming with a
pair of scissors the ears of one of a good litter of puppies about to be
sent to walk. The picture is suggestive of a train of thought that it
may be well to give expression to at the present time, when the duty of
puppy-walkers to their charges is under consideration, and possibly a
few thoughts upon puppy management may induce the negligent walker to
exercise greater care another season, even if it is too late to put them
into practice during the time that remains before last year’s puppies
return to kennel.

[Illustration:

  “SENT TO WALKS.”
]

First and foremost comes the thought of the comparatively few who are
really qualified to walk a foxhound puppy. Many who undertake the duty
do not appear to have their hearts in the work, their main object being
to keep the puppies out of harm’s way—not so much to save the puppy
_from_ harm as to prevent him _doing_ harm. On the other hand, there are
some walkers who, in their anxiety to do well by the puppy, and give him
enough exercise, allow him to run wild and to hunt hares. Of course,
plenty of exercise is essential for the well-being of a foxhound, and in
order to ensure his getting it the puppy should daily accompany some
reliable person, be he the groom exercising horses or the tradesman who
has long country rounds to make. The importance of his being a
trustworthy man, who has his heart in the work, cannot be overrated, far
more harm than good being done if, instead of keeping his charges in
order, he encourages them to run wild. In this connection it may be
mentioned that it does not always follow that foxhounds entered in their
youth to hare are afterwards useless for fox, for many instances can be
recalled of such puppies having turned out to be thoroughly reliable
hounds, that would stick to a cold line even with hares jumping up in
front of them; but it is a risky proceeding to give puppies exercise by
allowing them to hunt ground game, and may lead to endless trouble.

As to the home treatment of foxhound puppies, no better advice can be
given than that contained in a leaflet recently noticed in these pages.
One thing to which due attention is often not paid is the accommodation
provided for young foxhounds. Too many puppies are allowed to run about
all day picking up filth, disturbing coverts, and doing all kinds of
mischief; and then are left to find a damp, draughty bed in a wood
house. On really wet days it is better to keep them shut up, except for
a short time, during which they should have a sharp run, care being
taken that a good bed of clean straw is afterwards provided in which to
dry themselves. If allowed to remain wet, and to lie on the damp ground,
evil results are bound to follow. It is also of the utmost importance
that they should be shut up at night, otherwise everyone is molested,
and bad habits, such as cattle and sheep worrying, are sure to be
contracted.

A couple of puppies should always be walked together. They certainly
thrive better, nor do they fret so much when first sent out, or when
first taken back to kennels, although it must be confessed that where
two or three are gathered together the capacity for mischief is not only
doubled, but perhaps quadrupled. But if it is, the sport they will some
day provide will more than compensate their walker for the few shillings
they will cost him. As companions to children foxhounds cannot be
surpassed, and many an hour will be whiled away in each other’s company,
each keeping the other out of mischief.

A very sore point with puppy walkers, and one to which more attention
might well be paid, is the fact that they are often requested to walk
and do well for a couple of puppies possibly for six months, but when
these puppies are returned to the kennels it is only to be destroyed,
and often their fate has been perfectly evident for some months
previously. The walker naturally feels aggrieved when such an ending
comes to hounds on which he has spent time and money. Now, to remedy
this state of affairs, it has been suggested that the kennel huntsman or
some other responsible person should always be in touch with all puppies
at walk, and should, as soon as he can detect for certain the
worthlessness of a puppy, be entitled to relieve the walker of it, and
thus save him unnecessary expense and much disappointment.

In conclusion, every member of a hunt, and everyone who has the
well-being of foxhunting at heart, should feel himself under an
obligation to walk a couple of puppies for his hunt, and thus relieve
the master of the necessity for sending promising hounds to unsuitable
walkers. But, quite apart from any obligation, the pleasure to be
derived from seeing “puppies grow into hounds” will well recompense him,
even if they never become shining lights in the pack, or win prizes at
the Peterborough Show.

                                                                      F.



                     A few Cocks and some Rabbits.


The shooting season is drawing to a close. One can almost fancy that
there is a touch of spring in the air. The long frost has gone at last,
and the thoughts of bird and beast are turning once more towards love
and war. Far above us in the rocking elms, the rooks are noisily putting
their own houses in order, and thievishly beggaring their neighbours.
The partridges, no longer huddled together in thinned coveys, their
feathers so fluffed out that they look double their natural size, have
here and there already paired off. Old George, the keeper, reports that
another twenty or thirty cocks can be spared, and that during the frost
the hungry rabbits have been working havoc among the young trees. They
must be thinned, or something is sure to be said presently on the
subject of damages.

So a day is fixed for a last shoot, and, making an early start, four old
friends walk across the quiet fields towards the Big Wood. Two guns are
placed forward, and two walk with the beaters. I am one of the former,
and, left to myself, the mystery of the Big Wood gets into my bones, and
I begin to dream dreams. The silence is absolute. Presently, a tinted
cloud of long-tailed tits invade the bushes round me, eager to discover
an atom of greenery, and, if they do, quite prepared—if I may be allowed
a forlorn little joke—to nip it in the bud. They remind one of a troop
of lesson-freed children raiding the strawberry beds, in the hope that
some early fruit may happily be found, ripe enough, in their very
liberal interpretation of the term, to eat. My covert is drawn blank, so
the tits are off, with a scolding complaint, to try their luck
elsewhere.... Two rabbits, unconscious of impending fate, chase each
other far down the ride which stretches before me. Silence reigns once
more. Then, long before I can hear the beaters, pat, pat, pat, come some
halting footsteps over the carpet of leaves. It is a wary old cock
pheasant, already on the alert, and by no means unconscious of trouble
ahead. He looks inky black in the shadow. He runs forward a few yards,
then stops to listen; on again to the right, but, not satisfied, bustles
back. An excursion to the left, but scenting danger there, he is back
again. Then, irresolute, he stands facing me in the sunlight, with his
bright eyes and gorgeous coat of many colours. He has played this game
many times, and so far his head has kept his life. With my back to a
tree, I do not move an eyelid, but he sees me, or smells my pipe, and
back for good and all he scuttles, head down, with the evident intention
of executing a flank movement to the rear. There is a cry of “cock
back,” in the direction in which my friend disappears, but no answering
gun. I like to think that the wicked old rascal has once more
out-manœuvred us, and saved his skin. As the beaters push on, all the
guns become busy. The bunnies are hustled noisily forward, and in the
comparatively open space are bowled over, or, bolting back, have a shade
of odds in their favour, some of them, I am afraid, being “picked off
the beaters’ toes.” Hens come whistling over, offering most tempting
shots. B., on my left, crumples up a very high one, because, _he says_,
she had a leg down. Beaters and the other guns now emerge, and the slain
are laid out and counted. Twenty-five rabbits, two cocks, a hare, and
B.’s hen. Old George eyes her and B. suspiciously, and, feeling her all
over, mutters “_he_ didn’t see no leg down.” Nearly all the cocks have
run on, but will be cornered presently. So the day wears on,
monotonously delightful, one beat in the Big Wood being very much like
another. But at lunch there seems to be some mystery in the air. Our
host and old George are to be seen whispering together like
conspirators; old George’s ribston pippin of a face screwed up into
something as near a grin as it ever wears, while our host looks
humorously perplexed. I notice afterwards that we leave out a certain
beat, and call old George’s attention to the omission. “Never you mind
Muster A., you go where you’re told,” is all I get for my pains. The old
man still treats me as if I were about ten, the age at which he began to
teach me to shoot. The mystery remained one until after dinner that
night, when our host let the cat out of the bag, under solemn vows of
secrecy. That beat was left out because in it lay a fine dog fox, shot
through the head by the Master who was out with us, and who had shot at
a rabbit in the thick undergrowth. Thus was the blood of many a bunny
avenged, and poor “Charlie” met an inglorious end in the house of his
friends. Old George, and no one else, happened to see the tragedy, and
notwithstanding my protest that it was much too good a story to keep to
ourselves, the Master knows nothing of the murder to this day.

As I have said, George and I are very old friends, but we are also very
old antagonists. He is a great politician; a Radical of the Radicals,
while of course with him I am a Tory of the Tories. To-day I manage to
score off him; no easy matter at any time. He had picked up some early
primroses in the wood, and put them into his button-hole, to keep for a
certain young lady, a prime favourite of his, who, with our hostess, is
to join us at lunch. Before he could give them to her I caught him by
the sleeve, and, pointing to the flowers, cried:—

“Hullo, George, I’ve always said that you would see the error of your
ways some day. So you’ve actually joined the League. Who captured you?
Lady Mary?”

Now, Lady Mary is the energetic wife of our Conservative Member, and it
is a matter of common knowledge that there is no love lost between her
and George. First game of the rubber to me! But we were soon all square.
In the afternoon, coming through a thick hazel copse, stooping and
worming myself along, half blinded with the irritating blows from the
whippy twigs, a five-pound note worked out of my waistcoat pocket, into
which I had carelessly stuffed it. Old George, whom nothing escapes,
picked it up, but said nothing. When the beat was over, and, before
moving on again, guns and beaters were gathered round the game, he asked
me, “Be you dropped hanything, Muster A.?”

“Not that I know of, George,” I replied. “Why?”

“’Cos I picked up this here, which I think come out of your pocket.”

“Yes, by jove, it’s mine,” I cried.

“I reckon they lie a bit thicker in Lunnon than down hereabout. When I
seed it fust I thought it must be”—he paused for effect—“a luv-letter.”

As my aspirations in a certain quarter, not quite unconnected with the
aforesaid young lady, were pretty well known, this sally was greeted
with a loud guffaw at my expense, and the game was “one all.”

Later in the day he won the rubber. I was one of the forward guns in the
last beat, and having placed my gun at safety against a tree was
lighting my pipe, when, for the first time during the day, there was a
cry of “woodcock forward,” and he flitted past me in his usual silent,
ghostly fashion, quite close. I grabbed my gun, covered him, and
pressed, then frantically pulled at the trigger. Long before I realised
what was the matter, and had slipped up the safety-bolt, the cock had
placed a thick tree between us, and my shot hummed harmlessly through
Hampshire. I hoped against hope that I had not been detected. But as we
gathered round I soon realised that I was lost.

“Did you see that there woodcock, Muster A.?” asked old George.

“Yes,” I replied with assumed carelessness. “I think I saw it: wide of
me on the right.”

“Oh!” grunted the old man, “wide o’ you, was it? Where might you be
a-standin’, then?”

“Oh, somewhere over there,” said I, waving my hand vaguely, and, trying
desperately to create a diversion, added, “That was a high cock to wind
up with, B., a regular clinker.”

“But,” persisted old George, “wasn’t you a-standin’ by that there hold
hoak?”

“I believe I was, George,” I yawned, “somewhere there.... What did we
get this beat?”

The old scoundrel walked off to my “hold hoak,” and picked up a
cartridge. I was the only gun using a 16-bore.

“Bain’t this your cartridge?” he asked.

“Yes, yes, George,” I said.... “Shall we make tracks, it’s getting
rather chilly.”

“Hout of range, was he,” said the imperturbable old chap. “Why, that
there woodcock comed out by that there holly, and you could ha’ knocked
’un down with a stick.”

I ran up the white flag, and said humbly: “I was lighting a pipe,
George, and was at safety.”

“I knowed that,” replied my tormentor, looking round in triumph, “_for I
see’d yer_.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

The stars are shining frostily as we finish, and the full moon rides
above the tree-tops, “like a rick a-fire.” Each beater gets a couple of
rabbits and an extra shilling, as it’s the last day. Pipes are lit, and
we walk home out of the Big Wood, more ghostly than ever in the
moonlight, across the stubble and the plough, on to the open road. Bag:
28 pheasants, 7 hares, 120 rabbits, a couple of jays, and a rat.

                                                                A. H. B.



                       Breeds of British Salmon.


Having on a former occasion advanced some reasons for discrediting the
theory that fish hatched from the ova of autumn-running salmon _must_
immigrate or run inland in autumn; and that, similarly, the progeny of
spring salmon _must_ regularly return to the rivers in spring, in
obedience to inherited proclivities, we may now be permitted to give
additional reasons, not less weighty perhaps, for our disbelief. The
gist of our previous argument in controverting the theory in question
was that since the strength of the migration of grilse—and
fish-culturists and competent observers have conclusively proved that
grilse are the adolescents of spring and of autumn salmon alike—is
always evident in summer, this fact alone completely knocks on the head
every iota of what has been advanced to prove the existence of two
different breeds of British salmon, each inheriting an instinct for
ascending the rivers at a particular time, irrespective of age, sex, or
condition. This theory of transmitted instinct to obey a seasonal duty
may at first sight appear plausible enough to some, but those who give
credence to it cannot, we fear, do so from ascertained facts. Why, for
instance, as already remarked, the ascent of the grilse in summer should
alone be sufficient to demolish such a theory, since, when making their
first ascent, and while yet adolescents, they are not obeying, as is
perfectly clear, an inherited instinct for ascending during what may be
called the “parental ascending season.”

From personal observation and a mass of reliable data, we have the
strongest reasons for believing that the spring salmon of the Scottish
rivers—not the winter salmon, which, as a rule, are older and larger—are
the most vigorous and active fish of all; that the grilse are the young
of spring, summer, and autumn salmon alike, ascending at a time when the
temperature of the fresh water suits them, for though scarcely less
active, they are less vigorous and certainly more sensitive than the
spring salmon; and that the autumn salmon, generally, are fish that have
already been inland as spawners, and from not going back to the sea till
late in spring or early in summer, are therefore later in reascending
the rivers than they were in ascending them on the previous occasion,
not returning from the feeding grounds till autumn, when they are heavy
with spawn, and consequently unable to remain long in the fresh water
without injury to themselves.

Mr. J. A. Harvie-Brown, F.Z.S., foremost and most versatile of
authorities upon the salmon, entirely agrees with what we have stated.
“The spring fish,” he says, “are vigorous younger fish and reach highest
up the rivers, and can stay longer in the fresh water without hurt to
themselves. The autumn fish are older, larger fish: and many begin to go
out of condition before they leave the brackish, as they are less able
to stay long in the fresh.”

In his book on “The Salmon,” the late Mr. Russell, of the _Scotsman_,
argues “that the facts are at the least equally compatible with, and
indeed entirely suitable to, the theory that the fish coming up all the
year are the adults of various ages, and that those rushing up in a body
in summer are the young of the same species. What are those clean salmon
that run up the rivers in late winter or early spring? Where have they
been in the preceding months? What do they want now? They cannot be
wanting to spawn, for there is no spawning for at least six months to
come. They cannot have spawned early in the preceding or rather present
spawning season, gone down, recovered, and returned, for numerous
experiments show that the period of return is about three months, and it
is only about three months since the earliest fish had begun to spawn in
the rivers which these are now ascending. They must have passed the
autumn or earlier winter in the sea. Then they must have passed the
winter without breeding.”

Briefly put, the views we hold concerning the whole matter (as regards
long-seasoned rivers) are: That the early running salmon are fish that
have not spawned in the immediately preceding season (the great
majority, which are small fish, females preponderating, have passed
their girlshood in the sea); that the late spring and early summer
salmon, for the most part, are fish that have not been gravid in the
preceding spawning season; that the salmon appearing later in the
summer, say from June, represent the first-descended of the previous
season’s spawners returning again to the rivers; that the grilse that
arrive inshore in summer seeking the fresh water are the breeding
portion of the stock of grilse for the year, as proved by their ova and
milt, and that the autumn salmon, the great majority of which are large
fish, are those that spawned latest in the previous season, or, as
kelts, were exceptionally late in getting back to the sea.

What we have stated and emphasised above is expressly intended to show
how untenable is the theory that spring and autumn salmon (or, as we
should call them, if we are to speak accurately, spring-run and
autumn-run salmon) are distinct and separate breeds.

We now come to give other strong reasons for discrediting the notion,
theory or hypothesis, that there are different breeds of salmon in the
Scottish rivers. Accordingly it is advisable to be specific, necessary
to select certain rivers and state the facts. Our choice is the Don and
the North Esk. Now as regards these rivers, what are the facts? First,
that early every year thousands of salmon are netted at their mouths and
in their tideways, and many thousands more above their tideways; second,
that owing to the severe river netting _plus_ the fixed obstructions
which no fish can pass as long as the water has a low temperature, not a
score, perhaps not half-a-dozen, pairs of so-called “spring fish”
survive, and eventually reach the upper strath or glen sections. These
are strictly facts, facts that cannot be disputed, facts that the
Fishery Board for Scotland may conveniently verify. Now we should like
to ask, is it at all likely that the many thousands of salmon that are
netted in these rivers in spring are _exclusively_ the progeny of three,
six, or even a dozen pairs of spring-run salmon? We answer that it is
not likely. We go farther and say it is impossible. But some one will
query: Are there not in ten spawning salmon more thousands of potential
salmon than the thousands that are caught annually in spring by the rods
and nets conjointly? Quite true—say fifty thousand in a dozen fish of 8
or 9 lb. each (a good average weight in spring). But then the crucial
question must be asked? What percentage, reckoning all the risks from
frost, drought, spates, and so forth, hatches out? And what proportion,
considering the scarcity of their food at recurrent periods, and all the
perils and all the enemies to which they are exposed during the years of
their growth in sea and river, survives to reach the adult stage? Let us
suppose that 5 per cent. of the whole hatched ova—and this is a liberal
estimate—advances through all the stages—parr, smolt, and grilse—till
the adult fish is reached. On this calculation the mature progeny,
resulting from a dozen pairs of spring salmon, would number two thousand
five hundred.

No, we cannot accept the theory that spring salmon are a different breed
from autumn salmon; nor can we agree with the dictum that they are to be
preferred for hatchery purposes. No fish-culturist who has devoted
himself with eminent success to the breeding of salmon, would ever dream
of preferring the spawn of fish that have been ten or eleven months in
the fresh water, to the spawn of fish that have been in the rivers only
two. Numerous experiments have proved that of the ova of spring salmon
about 75, and of the ova of autumn salmon about 95 per cent. is the
average that hatches out and reaches the parr stage; and that as a
particularly high percentage, 98 is more common in the latter than 78 in
the former case. How, then, can it be contended that spring salmon are
to be preferred for their ova? In conclusion, the whole argument may be
clinched in a single sentence thus: If from twelve pairs of spring
salmon, the maximum number of “escapes” in Don and North Esk annually,
there survive to reach maturity a progeny of two thousand five hundred,
are we not warranted in assuming that the grand result from the ova of
the many thousands of fine large fish that ascend these rivers in autumn
and early winter would be millions on millions of salmon, or more than
the pools could comfortably hold? Enough! Enough! Informed opinion is
against the theory of different breeds of British salmon with different
inherited migratory instincts.

                                                             W. MURDOCH.

[Illustration:

  VANGUARD RUNNING A FOX TO GROUND.

  (_From “The Foxhounds of Great Britain,” by permission of the
    publishers._)
  [_From a picture at Birdsall._
]



                   The Foxhounds of Great Britain.[5]

                               A REVIEW.


History has been lavish in a casual sort of way with hounds and hunting
during the last century. “Nimrod” in early days initiated descriptions
of our most fashionable and best countries, as well as their denizens,
and did a leading part to bring sporting literature into popularity; yet
he was in no sense a hound man—he loved the horse and his rider, and
was, _par excellence_, their historian. “Cecil,” who followed him, was,
on the contrary, a hound man, his happiness lay in the kennel, and in
his descriptions of the countries through which he toured, his pen ever
hung on the treasures of the kennel, and its management in breeding.
“Druid,” in his unique and gossiping way, gathered his facts and
hound-lore from fireside chats with huntsmen—the best of his day. To him
sketches of hunting countries mattered little; he simply delighted his
readers with fragmentary touches, so pithy and telling, of men and
hounds, and their manners, which, however, added little to the general
history of hounds or hunting throughout the country. It has been left to
Sir Humphrey de Trafford in this twentieth century to initiate the idea,
and carry it out, of gathering together all the threads of bygone days,
and weld them together in a comprehensive form, showing what our
foxhounds throughout the United Kingdom are at the present time—their
early history, their main features, their chief supporters, and their
hound-lore. To bring all this into the compass of one volume was no easy
matter, where so many interesting facts had to be garnered into a given
space, and that by those best versed in their subject; yet the task has
been accomplished in a way which I venture to think its readers will
appreciate as eminently practical and useful.

Whether you take this historical sporting book as a whole, or in the
light of individual packs and their countries, you cannot fail to be
struck by the landmark that it is for us to-day. Here we find one
hundred and ninety-nine English packs of foxhounds in England and Wales
(and I have failed to discover one that is missing), twenty-four packs
in Ireland, and eleven in Scotland; and it needs little research to see
how they have one and all grown and flourished through good and bad
times, fighting and encompassing difficulties, spreading, subdividing,
increasing in numbers and in importance, ever onwards, until it can
hardly be said that there is a square mile of country outside large
towns or manufacturing centres where the foxhound is not honoured and
welcomed. This is veritably a proud thing to say in the year 1906, yet
it brooks no denial. It will surprise many readers to find with what
authenticity some of our great packs can carry back their history to
bygone centuries. Of these the Berkeley bears the palm, for did not a
Lord of Berkeley so far back as the fourteenth century establish a
metropolitan pack with kennels at Charing Cross? His descendants had so
fostered and spread their hunting that in 1770 the then Lord Berkeley
held all the country from London to Berkeley Castle, in Gloucestershire,
a distance of 124 miles, with kennels at Cranford, Gerrard’s Cross in
Bucks, Nettlebed in Oxon, and at Berkeley Castle. Thus arose the old
Berkeley Hunt, which became a separate country in the year 1800, only to
be since sub-divided into an east and west pack. The Berkeley also
annexed at one time nearly the whole of Gloucestershire, and founded the
Cotswold when they built kennels at Cheltenham. The noted Harry Ayris
was huntsman at Berkeley from 1826 to 1857.

[Illustration:

  SIXTH VISCOUNT GALWAY IN 1875, WITH HIS FAVOURITE HOUNDS, BRIDESMAID
    AND RUBY.

  (_From “The Foxhounds of Great Britain and Ireland,” by permission of
    the publishers._)
]

The Belvoir also claim a very old heritage, viz., from the reign of
James the First, and the first Duke of Rutland hunted about the year
1650. The Bramham Moor pack was instituted in the reign of Queen Anne,
and will ever be associated with the family of Lane Fox. The Burstow owe
their origin to Sir Thomas Mostyn, who migrated from North Wales. The
Burton will always be coupled with the name of Lord Henry Bentinck. The
Badsworth claims 1730 as its date of origin, while the Badminton
commenced its unbroken reign of ducal mastership and signal success in
1762, including as it then did the present Heythrop country and nearly
all Wiltshire. The long service of their huntsmen has always been
phenomenal. Philip Payne served as huntsman under four dukes, and Will
Long, who succeeded, served as whip under him for seventeen seasons; and
now Will Dale is continuing the _rôle_, in succession to Charles
Hamblin, although as huntsmen themselves the last three Dukes of
Beaufort have had no compeers.

The Bedale is inseparably associated with Lord Darlington and the
dukedom of Cleveland; while the Old Berkshire country is, curiously
enough, indebted to the Church for its early history; the Rev. John
Loder being its founder in 1760, only to be succeeded by his son-in-law,
Mr. Symonds, another clergyman, in 1850. This would seem to be a fitting
history for a pack kennelled so near Oxford University; but indeed, as I
have had occasion to mention in a former article in your Magazine,
foxhunting owes much to its patronage by the Church from time
immemorial, and surely this is not its most inglorious tradition.

We cannot help being struck with the number of packs that come under the
letter B in this volume, no less than twenty-three of them, including
the Duke of Buccleuch’s, in Scotland; and the letter C comes next with
over twenty.

The Earl of Yarborough has the proud distinction of being the owner of a
pack that through eight generations has been handed down lineally as a
private pack to the present day, and from 1714 its kennel book has been
maintained carefully. It is, indeed, hard to say how much foxhunting
owes to such splendid sportsmen as the Pelhams have been in their care
and breeding of hounds. The Yarborough pages in this book are a
revelation to sportsmen who appreciate what a landowner can do with
60,000 acres within a ring fence, and able to indulge to the full in
hereditary tastes.

Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn’s pack, the Wynnstay, is another instance of
the success of a territorial magnate successfully forming an historic
pack and country.

The Quorn, the head and front of fashion, that has led the way among the
daring hard-riding spirits of Great Britain for more than 200 years, is
most ably dealt with in this volume. From the days of John Boothby in
1700, and of old Hugo Meynell, who succeeded him in 1753 up to 1800,
there have been twenty-five masters of the Quorn who have one and all
handed down their names to posterity as worthy of note, and have earned
the gratitude of many thousands of men who have in their time satiated
their ambitions over those Leicestershire pastures, where the oxer still
holds its own, and wire is treated as a noxious weed. The picture of old
Hugo Meynell and his old huntsman, Jack Raven, is inimitable; you can
see there the characters of those two aged sportsmen discussing the
_pros and cons_ of the day, and can fancy how fully they are entering
into it. Let us leave that Meltonian chapter with all its particulars
and prints to the full appreciation of its readers.

The Cottesmore is scarcely a less interesting chapter. Founded by the
Noel family at Exton Park in 1753, that adjoins the village of
Cottesmore, from which it takes its name, it soon came into the Lowther
family, and was hunted for a long series of years by the first Earl of
Lonsdale. Then we find Sir Richard Sutton at the head of affairs,
followed by Sir John Trollope, afterwards Lord Kesteven, and Mr. Henry
Greaves—always in high feather—with its glorious sweet-scenting country,
its grand woodlands, strong foxes, and expansive acreage of upland
pastures. Surely, if any country in the world is made for the sport of
kings, that country is the Cottesmore, which now enjoys the acme of
sport, and worthily so.

We long to dwell on the Atherstone, the Meynell, the Oakley, the
Grafton, Lord Harrington’s, Lord Galway’s, and the Rufford, did our
space permit, but are not their stories all faithfully and succinctly
told there?

Cheshire stands out well, and the old Tarporley Hunt Club is a lasting
tribute to the hunting instincts of that famed shire, where every other
sport stands aside to make way for it. Shropshire also is its goodly
neighbour, hunted as it is from end to end, right up into its Welsh
border, in a style worthy of its best traditions; and viewed from its
grand old Hawkstone on the north to gaunt Clee Hill on the south, is a
fair domain of sport.

Yorkshire, of course, is another leading feature in the book, as well it
must be, and so are our southern, eastern, and western counties; none,
indeed, escape all the notice that is their due; and as it is not given
to all sportsmen to revel in the realms of pasture, unalloyed by the
drawbacks of small enclosures, hills and dales, crags and boulders, mud
and marshes, or impenetrable woodlands, so we all accommodate ourselves
to locality, and are happy in our less ambitious surroundings and
histories. To these this book will not the less be a treasure. Whether
we happen to be east or west, north or south countrymen, we recognise a
friendly word, a well-known and honoured portrait on every page.

Neither Ireland nor Scotland has been forgotten, as it is well they
should not be, for as far as hunting is concerned, are we not united in
a bond of love and friendship, which it will indeed be hard to sever?
For is it not to those Irish horses that we owe our mainstay over here,
that so soon learn to jump our flying fences as easily as their native
banks? And do not we welcome some of our finest riders from across the
Irish Channel?

In dealing, however, with the historical side of our foxhunting book, we
must not overlook its value as regards the foxhound himself. Great pains
have been taken by the compiler of this work to define the combination
of blood which has been diffused into each individual kennel and has
contributed to its success. To hound-lovers this book must prove of
especial value, and we can picture the delight of our old friend, Mr.
Cecil Legard,—whose portrait is to be found in the introduction—when he
scans its pages, and the satisfaction he feels at having spent many
years in perfecting the Foxhound Stud Book. It would ill become me to
enter into much foxhound lore in this short review, further than to say
that, from the days of the old Corbet Trojan down to those of Brocklesby
Rallywood, and so on through the Belvoir celebrities and the Craven and
Warwickshire favourites, as well as others in profuse plenty, not only
are they made mention of, but the portraits of many of them adorn the
pages and speak for themselves as to the symmetrical beauty of the
modern foxhound—a fact that the success of the Peterborough Hound Shows
bears ample evidence to. When I look at these splendid specimens of
hound culture I cannot ever refrain from picturing what natural
perfection there must be in the grand attributes of that little animal
the fox, which for centuries right up to to-day has been enabled to
withstand the onslaught of his foes, and defy all their artifices.

A leading feature of this book is its illustrations. It will be evident
to all who study it that to gather such a collection of portraits of men
and hounds, as well as innumerable hunting groups and meets in almost
every country, has been a work that has taxed the energies of all who
have had a hand in its compilation. Such a thing has never been
attempted before, and its accomplishment will suffice for many a long
year. Turn over page after page as you may, you come across old and
young friends, the Nestors of bygone days, and our best young Nimrods of
to-day. This is in itself a theme on hunting, which I long to go away
“full cry” on, were it not that you, Mr. Editor, let fall the
threatening crack of the whip, warning me homewards. It concludes with
tabulated pedigrees of some of our most celebrated hounds that have won
the leading honours at Peterborough, such as Fitzwilliam Harper, V.W.H.
Damsel, Belvoir Dexter, Grove Druid, Puckeridge Cardinal, Zetland
Rocket, and Lord Middleton’s Cheerful, and winds up with a key plate of
the Quorn meet at Baggrave Hall.

Perhaps we ought to say a few words in commendation of those fourteen
sportsmen whose brains and pens have assisted the Editor in bringing
this great work on foxhounds before the public. They knew their subject,
and have striven hard and well to draw together all the cardinal points
of interest in each country with which they had to deal. How far they
have succeeded it will be for readers or critics to say. Inasmuch as I
am myself a helpmate in this matter to a small extent it will not become
me to say any more than that it has been a labour of love to me, and
that I feel sure that Sir Humphrey de Trafford will, as the Editor, hand
his name down to posterity in honour for this standard work.

                                                               BORDERER.



                             Hind-hunting.


For those who like to combine hard riding with careful and interesting
hound work, there is no sport to equal hind-hunting. It is not easy
work. Indeed, there is no form of hunting which is harder upon man and
horse. Patience, judgment and courage are required in no small degree by
the man who would see a red-deer hind fairly hunted on Exmoor. In the
course of a run we may and often do cross moor and fell, grass and
plough. We plunge into the recesses of deep woods, clatter up the beds
of mountain torrents, climb up ascents so steep that one wonders the
horse can ever face them, and come down hills which seem more fitted for
sheep or goats than horses. All this you must do if you wish to _see_
hounds at work. You may do your best, and yet lose the chase, to recover
it again later on, or perhaps be left alone to find your way as best you
can. If the charm of hunting is uncertainty, then hind-hunting ought to
be the most delightful form of the chase, for in none is there more.
Sometimes the hinds will not run at all, at others they twist about so
persistently that do what you will you cannot keep in touch with the
chase, and find and lose the hounds half-a-dozen times in the course of
a run. The knowing ones ride to points, cut off corners, wait for hounds
to come back to them. But that is not the best way to enjoy a hind-hunt;
indeed, taken in that form it might be thought a tedious and
unsatisfactory form of hunting. I was for some time rather inclined to
undervalue it. The whole secret of the pleasure is to see as much of
hounds as you can. In doing that the interest never fails; if there is
anything like a good run you want to be ever pushing on, always striving
to get forward to take advantage of every check, and get the best of
every turn. If one is always galloping to catch hounds, no horse could
live through a really fine hind-hunt, a chase which may last for three
hours or more, and cover any distance (as hounds run) from fifteen to
thirty miles. But so long as you can keep near the pack, there will be
many opportunities of easing the horse and nursing him to the end of the
run.

Let me tell the story of a hunt with its moments of joy and excitement
and its times of deep depression. It is a clear, bright morning, with
not too much wind, so that one can both see and hear. The air is keen as
we ride on to the meet, fixed for some cross-roads near the haunts of
the deer. The first few miles are along a commonplace road enough, and
then we turn up a steep hill and gradually come out on the higher land.
This is not the Exmoor of the holiday stag-hunter, with its deep leafy
combes, its broad expanse of purple heather. It is a study in browns and
russets, with the grey-purple of Dunkery in the distance, and here and
there a golden blossom of heather in the foreground. The landscape is
like a chequer board, with the tiny square enclosures which creep up to
the edge of the moorland.

There is one advantage about hind-hunting, you know where to look for
your quarry, and they are not seldom out in the open. The Master takes
with him four couple of hounds, and goes to look for the hinds. We all
go, too, for sometimes the best of the run may come with the tufters. I
have known them to get away with the hind, and the body of the pack
never to have a chance of coming up.

Presently we hear the horn, a hound challenges, and we know the hunt is
up. So closely do hinds resemble the heather in its winter brown, that
it is not easy to see them. At last we obtain a glimpse of one as she
comes stepping high over the heather with a free, easy and proud step.
There is nothing more beautiful than the action of a hind; it is far
more graceful than the lumbering lollop of a fat old stag with his
mighty weight of body and antlers. The way she goes leads to a covert on
the side of a hill, and we make for this point, arriving there before
she does. This is one of those cases in which you cannot ride to
hounds—there is a bit of impossible ground. We are now on one slope of a
deep valley cut by a stream. On the opposite side is a hanging wood, and
along its steep sides the hind is working, the hounds hunting fitfully
behind. She dodges about, running twice up to the boundary fence, and
twice turning back. This is the critical spot, for it is easy to be left
here and very difficult to keep touch with hounds. The hind, moreover,
comes straight across, almost touching one rider; the hounds stream
after her, we scramble up the slope, and down she goes again. Galloping
along the top we find an impenetrable beech fence, and by the time we
are clear hounds have gone.

This is one of the dark moments of the chase. Though we do not know the
country well, we do know that in front there are thick and extensive
coverts. We are out of the fun unless we can pick up the pack, which has
not yet been laid on. Luck favours us, and after a long trot we find
them waiting in the heather on the open moor, and what is also good, our
second horses. With hounds now eager for the hunt and a fresh horse, we
canter easily over the heather, which is far better going now than in
summer, soft, springy and delightful. Watch the hounds, how they try for
the line. Presently one hound bounds over the heather and quickens its
pace, and then another and another. “For’ard, for’ard!” shouts the
Master, and touches his horn, then one and another of the pack speak.
There is none of the dash, none of the clamour of foxhounds hitting off
a line. The hounds are lobbing over the heather, and we drop into a hand
gallop. Now one way they swing, now the other, for the hind seldom runs
straight, but in a curious, hesitating, wavering, sort of way. This
gives us many a turn. But we need to keep close, for hounds leave us in
a moment if we are slack. Downhill she has run straighter, hounds pack
more, and speak to the line more freely. This is a delightful gallop
over the heather, the horse going easily as we turn down hill. Now catch
hold of him and pull him back, and we stride down without an effort, and
economise the strength we shall need later. Somehow the hind doubles
back, aye, and nearly escapes, were it not that two couple of hounds
hold to the line. This saves the situation, though it is quite a quarter
of an hour or more, during which we have scrambled down a steep path and
up another, before hounds are really going again. Then comes another
phase of the chase. The hind has left the open moorland and taken to the
fields. A very pretty hunt it is. The pastures hold a scent, and we hunt
on merrily till a sharp turn nearly throws us all out. The master’s eye
sees the pack at fault. He gallops up the hill, fetches his pack, and
casts boldly and quickly down hill. The hind has taken to the water, and
it would not be wonderful if she was near the end of her strength. We
have been running for about two hours, and have made a seven-mile point.

“This hind must have had about enough,” remarks the Master; but she is
not, in fact, near the end of her resources as yet. As soon as hounds
touch the line she leaves the water, and runs along the cover on the
wooded slopes above us. Suddenly we see the leading hounds turn, for a
hind has as many turns and twists as a hare. Now comes an exciting time
for us. Hounds are running in an inaccessible bottom, and we have to
ride a path about two feet wide on the side of a hill, with tangled
cover and brushwood. A branch bashes in one’s hat, another almost sweeps
a rider out of the saddle; but the notes of the hounds coming up
fitfully and always further on beckon us forward. The going may be bad,
but we must get forward. What a relief to find one self on the open
heather once more! The horse is not done yet, and we work our way back
to hounds, which have a long start.

But now a deep, dark wood swallows them up, and we follow the Master on
trust. How he knows or divines which way hounds are going it is hard to
say; but it is all right, and we find hounds running over a grass field,
and then comes a stretch of most appalling ground. Frozen turf, an
outcrop of slippery rock, a hillside broken up as though a number of
small earthquakes had taken place; somehow we scramble down. But the
hind is really beaten at last. We have been hunting since 11 a.m., and
it is now long past three.

This is a good, but not an unusual example of a hind-hunt in the winter
or spring, on a day when the weather is fairly favourable. When the
weather is bad on the moors it is very bad. For example, the hind has
gone up on to the moor, but the hounds have changed in the coverts. The
Master and one follower are sitting with a couple or so of hounds for
half an hour waiting for the whippers-in to bring on the hounds, while
pitiless rain-, hail- and sleet-storms sweep over the exposed hillside.
At last the hounds come, and what is wonderful, they can still hunt,
though a storm has swept over the moor and their deer is three-quarters
of an hour in front. We ride to them a short distance, plunge into a
deep valley, and failing to hit the right path where the hind turns up,
lose hounds altogether for the day.

Again, sometimes the hind never runs at all, but dodges and turns and
twists until at last she fairly beats off her pursuers. These erratic
courses of the hind are, so far as we can tell, governed by two motives.
The first is to lead hounds away from her calf—the red-deer calves run
with the mother till they are nearly as big as she is—and having shaken
off pursuit, to return to the place she started from. There is no device
to this end she will not try. Sometimes she lies down in the open, and
so well concealed is she that it is impossible to distinguish her from
the heather. Again, she will work her way down the middle of a stream
for a long distance, so that the winter flood may carry away the scent,
or she will run backwards and forwards in a covert till the line is
foiled. Worst of all she will join a herd. If a hunted stag endeavours
to join a band of stags, the others will butt him out of their company.
They are not going to be compromised by the presence of an unlucky
relative. But a bevy of hinds seem to try to shelter a distressed one,
and by running on with her in a bunch to puzzle the hounds. Thus
hind-hunting stands very high in the estimation of lovers of hound work.
Hind-hunting brings out many latent hereditary qualities of the
foxhound. We are reminded that the foxhound’s ancestors hunted stag
before they hunted fox. There are, unluckily, very few foxes in the west
of England, but there are still some, though mange, traps and
fox-sellers or stealers have worked great havoc. Yet hounds seldom run
fox when once entered to deer. These staghounds soon develop a
considerable aptitude for distinguishing the scent of the hunted animal,
so that amidst a multiplicity of lines they hold to the line of the
hunted deer. A hound named Tradesman, belonging to Mr. E. A. V.
Stanley’s pack, ran a hind from Lype Common to Cloutsham, right round
Dunkery, never changing and never losing the line. When the pack were
astray, he held on by himself. When they were with him he led them, and
was, no doubt, the cause of the death of a stout hind after a long
chase. This is a trait which is greatly valued in France, but has been
almost lost in most foxhound packs in England, since the huntsman is as
ready to change his fox as the hounds are apt to run more eagerly on a
fresh line than a stale one. Then the foxhound often recalls his
bloodhound forbears, or at least those stately white Talbots, so much
favoured by our ancestors, by his steady tracking of the hunted deer.

Like bloodhounds, the staghound runs silently, speaking for a find, for
the recovery of the scent after a check, and in covert, in order no
doubt that the pack may keep together, but when working over the heather
the pack string out in a resolute, silent and rather blood-thirsty
fashion, for a staghound means and expects to have blood, and there is
quite a different note in his voice as the chase begins to draw to its
finish. In most cases in the last stages of a hunt the hounds are close
to their quarry, and they know what it means. A curious trait about a
hunted hind is that while pursued by hounds she seems almost devoid of
fear of horses and men. It seems as if the red deer, from having been a
hunted animal for so many ages, was able to distinguish between a real
and imaginary danger. A hind has the reputation of being a timid animal,
but if you try to ride one off from a point she is bent on making you
will soon find that she cares nothing for you, but will hold on
obstinately, or perhaps stop short and dodge behind your horse and so
make her point.

So, too, I have seen a hind spring up almost in the middle of the pack
and endeavour to bother the hounds by running in among the horses. Not
the least remarkable thing is the unconcern with which stags look on in
the hind-hunting season. I had heard of this, but never saw so flagrant
an instance as during the winter of 1905. There was a bevy of hinds on
the side of a hill. They were moved by the tufters, which also disturbed
a big stag that was lying in the heather. He sprang up and trotted at
his leisure up the hill and watched the proceedings. As soon as he
understood that hinds, not stags, were the quarry of the day, he
strolled quietly back to his lair and laid down again in the place from
which he had been disturbed. In the same way bevies of hinds will wheel
round, apparently not the least alarmed by the passing of a stag-hunt.
Most hind-hunts are long and devious, but every now and then a hind goes
right away in a straight line. This, I think, depends a good deal on the
cry of the hounds. The red deer, like the fox, regulates its pace by the
waxing or waning of the clamour of the pack. As a rule I do not think
that Exmoor carries a very good scent in the winter, and the surrounding
cultivation is chiefly poor scenting ground. The Brendon Hills, too, do
not favour hounds, so that they do not speak much. It is only the sweet
scent and enduring foil of a red deer that enables hounds to hunt as
well as they do. Of course here as elsewhere there are days when scent
is good. With the hind, as with the fox, a strong scent makes a
straight-necked quarry, and hounds will drive a hind right away and kill
her in an hour and a half or so, which for a hind-hunt is quite a
moderate run. It is a very fine form of hunting, especially if you treat
it more as a foxhunt than a stag-hunt. The latter is to most people a
series of passing pictures of the chase, with a glorious background of
wild and magnificent scenery. It is a holiday recreation, rather than a
serious business like our winter fox-hunting. But few people make a
serious attempt to ride to hounds when hunting on Exmoor. When first I
went out hind-hunting I did the same. But I reflected that if one had
two horses that it ought to be as possible to see most of the hunt as
for the master and the huntsman. Even they cannot go everywhere. Parts
of the country are actually impracticable, but they manage in the main
to be with hounds. Men who know the country manage with one horse, but
the stranger naturally goes further and works his horse harder.

How do you get your second horse? If you send him with the master’s
second horse, he is pretty sure to come up with you sooner or later. Of
course you can see a great deal with one, but it is unsatisfactory not
to be able to see hounds hunt. To enjoy hind-hunting, one ought to see
enough to have a general idea of the working of the pack during the
whole hunt. Some idea of the way hounds work may be useful, and if, as
not unusually happens, the rider finds himself alone with three or four
couple of hounds, he can be of use by stopping them; or, if that is not
always possible, at all events by keeping the leading hounds in sight,
so that when the pack check he may be able to give useful information.

After their second season staghounds generally run mute, or nearly so.
Thus they are particularly liable to slip away unseen or unheard.
Unfortunately, these are the more experienced members of the pack, which
are able to hold to the line of the hunted hind amidst the many
temptations to change which will meet them in the course of a winter’s
day on the moor. Yet so staunch do the older hounds become, that I have
known four couple of hounds to carry the line through Lord Lovelace’s
coverts from Culbone Stables (one of the most hind-haunted places in
Exmoor) and kill the hunted hind after all in one of the deep-cut combes
many miles away. These hounds hunted themselves, but I had the luck to
pick them up. Coming over some grass fields only one spoke at all; the
same hound with a peculiar shrill note spoke again in the covert when
they came out on the moor. The leading hound wasted no breath on
talking, but just scoured away. The others whimpered eagerly, but none
actually spoke till we touched the wooded side of the hill. In the
valley where runs the stream to which two-thirds of the stags and hinds
come to die, strangely enough hounds would not speak, though they were
on moist grass and the hind was close in front. The leading hound
plodded on, always on the line, solemn, intent, resolute, until we
actually came up with the hind cowering under the bank by the bridge.
She was crouched into so small a space that she was scarcely visible,
and her coat harmonised with the brown stream, the dead foliage on the
banks, but with the spirit of her race directly a hound bayed her she
stood up and faced him as proudly as any stag could have done. The odd
thing was how difficult it was to get the hounds to see her, and the old
hound that had done all the work seemed to take very little interest in
the subsequent proceedings. The rest of the work was done by a large
black, tan and white hound, who bayed the hind, hunted her down the
water, and was in at the death. The others may have done more, but the
silence of staghounds inclines one to give them less than their due
credit. The hound, like the man who talks much and loudly, gets the most
credit, and in the case of the dog with justice.

If any one wishes to see this fine but little-known sport he cannot do
better than go to Minehead, and find a judicious pilot; for it takes an
apprenticeship to learn how to ride over the moor in winter. The main
principles which experience has taught one, is that heather is
reasonably safe going, and to be made the most of, and that in this as
in other forms of hunting, the nearer you can keep to hounds the happier
you will be.

A friend of mine who came down asked me once for advice, and the answer
was: “never lose sight of the hounds if you can help it, and if you do,
get back to them again as soon as you can.” A year later he told me, “I
have done my best to carry out your advice, and have never seen reason
to regret it.” The other matter to be borne in mind is that somehow or
another you must go at a fair pace down hill, which to the new-comer
looks a great deal more alarming than it really is when you become
accustomed to the process. There is another point of view which may be
touched on here, and that is that it is not an expensive form of
hunting; three stout horses (any will do that are well bred, temperate,
and have good shoulders) would afford four and a half days a week. Thus
two would go out hind hunting on Tuesday and Friday. One would do a
couple of days with foxhounds and harriers, and in most weeks one of the
two hind-hunters would put in half a day with the harriers besides. The
early spring, March and April, are good months, when the mild western
climate will be appreciated. Hunting is slack at home, and we want
something new. Well, you have heard of autumn stag-hunting, now try
hind-hunting in the early spring.

[Illustration: MR. ALEC GOODMAN, 1852, 1866.]

[Illustration: TOM OLLIVER, 1842, 1843, 1853.]

[Illustration: MR. TOM PICKERNELL, 1360, 1871, 1875.]

[Illustration: JOHN PAGE, 1867, 1872.]

[Illustration: GEORGE STEVENS, 1856, 1863, 1864, 1869, 1870.]

[Illustration: MR. J. MAUNSELL RICHARDSON, 1873, 1874.]

[Illustration: MR. E. P. WILSON, 1884, 1885.]

[Illustration: ARTHUR NIGHTINGALL, 1890, 1894, 1901.]

[Illustration: MR T. BEASLEY, 1880, 1881, 1889.]

                        FAMOUS LIVERPOOL RIDERS.



                     Famous Grand National Riders.


To design a picture, and then be able to write personally of the
subjects contained therein, is certainly a pleasant phase of magazine
work; at least, in illustrating this article and telling all I know of
those who hold the best riding records in connection with the still
greatest of all steeplechases, so I take it to be. Proud indeed am I to
claim either a friendship or marked acquaintance with those gone to the
great majority, as well as those remaining with us. The former in my
picture consist of Tom Olliver, Mr. Alexander Goodman, George Stevens,
and Mr. T. Beasley; of the latter I am pleased to think that Mr. Tom
Pickernell, Mr. J. Maunsell Richardson, John Page, Mr. E. P. Wilson, and
Arthur Nightingall are very much in the land of the living. I find that
in riding in the National my nine friends or acquaintances can boast of
accomplishing feats which have not fallen to the fortune of others
engaged in the chase. Men like Lord Manners, Captain H. Coventry, and
Mr. F. G. Hobson, it is true, were successful in their first and only
mounts, a great thing to tell of; then Mr. J. Maunsell Richardson
certainly goes one better in scoring two wins on Disturbance and Reugny
in his only four efforts. But to stand by my picture. Besides Mr.
Richardson, it contains men who have triumphed twice or more, and
otherwise figuring at the head of the Liverpool riding records. In my
table the amateur, it will be seen, has just a slight pull over the
professional. There are five of the one and four of the other, but the
professional really comes out on the top, for George Stevens out of
fifteen mounts won five, was third once, and never met with a fall,
while Tom Olliver and Arthur Nightingall, like Mr. Tom Pickernell and
Mr. T. Beasley, have won it three times. It will be seen by the little
tabulated figures that in attaining his three victories Olliver rode no
less than nineteen times; that is in itself a record.

                         Won 2nd. 3rd. Unplaced Total of Mounts
        G. Stevens         5    0    1        9              15
        T. Olliver         3    3    1       12              19
        Mr. Thomas         3    0    2       12              17
        A. Nightingall     3    1    4        7              15
        Mr. T. Beasley     3    2    1        6              12
        Mr. Richardson     2    —    —        2               4
        Mr. E. P. Wilson   2    1    0       13              16
        Mr. A. Goodman     2    1    1        7              11
        J. Page            2    1    1        7              11

The space allotted to me for this article naturally compels omission of
a wealth of detail I possess of these splendid records, either left by
my father or since collected by myself; indeed, it was my father who
introduced me to each of the three riders at the head of the table. Tom
Olliver I never saw ride, but it was in the early sixties I first saw
him at the side of Fairwater as the winner of the Worcestershire Stakes.
He trained the mare, and the portrait here given of this hitherto famous
horseman recalls indeed other happy times at Pitchcroft, and of those
who then, summer and autumn, visited its races. Tom Olliver must have
been a wonderful man. In 1839, the inauguration year of the Liverpool
Steeplechase, he was second to Jem Mason on the famous Lottery, which
belonged to Mr. Elmore, who likewise owned Gay Lad. The latter gave
Olliver his first win in 1842, and the next season, the first year it
was transformed into a handicap, he was on the back of the hero
Vanguard. His third win, in 1852, was on Peter Simple, in the colours of
Captain Little; and when the latter won the chase on Chandler in 1848,
Olliver was second on The Curate, half a length dividing the pair.
Another of his three seconds, St. Leger in 1847, was only beaten a
length, but neither of his three victories, it seems, were close
fighting. In his nineteen rides, he only came to grief three times. The
result in one of these was a broken collar-bone. The late William Holman
once told me that an arm in a sling in later times due to Olliver’s
just-referred-to Liverpool fall, prevented his piloting Freetrader, the
victor of 1856. Holman, who trained the winner, likewise gave me the
information that in seeking a fresh jockey the late Fred Archer’s father
was offered the ride, and it was his refusal that gave George Stevens
the first of his five Liverpool wins. The last time Olliver, however,
rode in the Liverpool was in 1859, so in one-and-twenty years he missed
riding only twice. Claudian his final mount, was unplaced; Half Caste
won. In or out of the saddle mirth and wit was characteristic of Black
Tom, as Olliver was often termed. Indeed, many good stories of his
private and public life are recorded in the earliest numbers of BAILY.
To reproduce them here would fill pages.

It was at Worcester, as I have said, I made the acquaintance of Tom
Olliver, so at the “faithful city” in those youthful days a friendly
relationship sprang up in my home, and that which sheltered Edwin Weever
at Bourton-on-the-Hill, and that of George Stevens and the Holmans at
Cheltenham. Then again of my picture: among my father’s friends were Mr.
Pickernell, more publicly known as Mr. Thomas, and Johnny Page. Mr.
Alex. Goodman I never shook hands with until at a later period, the
veteran then loving to chat of his recollections of Miss Mowbray and
Salamander. That was in my early reporting days, which likewise brought
me into contact with Mr. J. M. Richardson, at those University grinds
some seasons before his most successful Disturbance and Reugny double
was accomplished. He was always most kind in imparting information as to
his race riding to me. The same I can say of Mr. E. P. Wilson, at a
period when he was associated with now almost forgotten chasers bearing
names like Starlight, Nebsworth, late Jacob, late Titterstone, and so
forth, all before the great striding, but perhaps non-staying, Congress
gave him his first four successive Grand National rides. Then of my two
other portraits, associations remain of more than ordinary racecourse
knowledge. Mr. Beasley is the one, and Arthur Nightingall the other.
Indeed, I was pleased to see the last-mentioned put a cap and jacket on
for the first time, I think, this season at a recent Kempton meeting.
Nightingall, well aware of my being full of National records, jocularly
reminded me of the fact that he was “still at it,” only, as he said, “to
pass the winning score of Mr. Thomas, Tom Olliver, and Mr. Beasley,”
even if he did not last long enough to catch up George Stevens’ five
wins.

When George Stevens first won the Liverpool on Freetrader, he had only
ridden once previously. That was on Royal Blue, who was unplaced in
1852, and in the three year interim he had no ride prior to his
so-called chance winning mount. But of his other victories. When the
Colonel won the last of the five, that was his hardest bit of riding,
and the only time onlookers in the National saw him fight like grim
death and by a neck dispose of his friend and saddle contemporary,
George Holman, on The Doctor. On Freetrader I have heard it said he was
lucky to win a length from Minerva, as the latter badly over-reached
herself at the last jump. When he piloted The Colonel to victory the
first time, he won by three lengths, a distance by which he, singularly
enough, beat Arbury on Emblematic in 1864. Emblem’s success the year
before was quite a runaway victory. Even with her 10 lb. penalty, Arbury
there had less chance than with Emblematic. Stevens, of course, thought
much of the great double he accomplished for Lord Coventry, but in later
years I am inclined to think for “greatness” he leaned more to the side
of The Colonel’s repetition. Be that as it may, he was naturally very
proud of both, and unfortunately was not spared very long to enjoy a
well-earned retirement. For Baron Oppenheim he tried to surpass his
already earned record a third year on The Colonel. The weight, however,
was too much, and in the position of sixth the second year The Lamb won
Stevens rode his last National mount.

It was indeed only a few months after this that his life was cut short
by a fall from his cob while riding to his cottage called Emblem,
outside his birthplace, Cheltenham. Sad indeed is the story, too long to
repeat here, but to commemorate his great Liverpool name and fame, there
still exist of him at his native Cheltenham certain mementoes. The house
he was born in I believe has vanished, but on the footway by the
road-side where he met his death there is a little stone with the plain
“G. S., 1871,” upon it to indicate the spot of so sad an end.
Furthermore, there is another mark of esteem in the public cemetery.
Here is a more conspicuous erection in the shape of a grey granite
monument, included in the inscription on which are the names of the four
horses upon which he triumphed at Aintree. He married the niece of Mr.
Mat. Evans, once part owner of The Colonel. The widow is no more, but I
believe the only son is alive and doing well at Derby in a very
different calling from that of his father. Those who remember Stevens
when he won the Liverpool twice for Lord Coventry, will recall his face
beneath a cap he put on as a help to the artist who painted him on
Emblem in Lord Coventry’s famous picture. The vignette I place in the
centre of my group is, in fact, the original, and was kindly lent me by
one of the deceased’s friends, Alfred Holman, who still keeps up the old
family training traditions at Cheltenham.

When George Stevens was beaten on The Colonel in 1871, the year proved,
perhaps, the most famous of Mr. Thomas’ three victories. It was The
Lamb’s second success, and associated with this beautiful little chaser
was the fact that Lord Poulett, his owner, had dreamt in the previous
December he had seen his horse win with “Tommy,” as he called Mr.
Pickernell, in the saddle: and he at once asked the pilot of a previous
heroine, Anatis, to ride. The original letter making mention of this
successful dream I have seen in Mr. Pickernell’s well-preserved
scrap-book, containing much of his riding and other exploits. One of
course there finds a deal about The Lamb. Besides the story of the
dream, one can glean much of the many efforts of Anatis besides her win.
There is plenty, too, of other sporting qualities of her owner, Mr. C.
Capel, who, only about twelve months ago Mr. Pickernell followed to his
last place of rest. I think Mr. Capel lies in the same cemetery as
George Stevens. Now, concerning Mr. Thomas’ third successful ride in the
National, well preserved in his book is yet another letter. This is not
one of dreams; it is that of congratulation in the hours of Pathfinder’s
glory, and is from the pen of none other than the late Admiral Rous. Mr.
Pickernell once told me he had few keepsakes of his successful Nationals
except those two letters, and to which he then added, “are _they_ not
enough to be proud of.” Only twice in nineteen years did Mr. Thomas miss
a ride in the Liverpool. His first mount was Anatis, the year before she
won; his last occurred in 1877, when he was third to Austerlitz on The
Liberator, two years before Mr. Garry Moore won on the last named. The
years Mr. Thomas missed mounts in the Liverpool were when Emblem and
Emblematic won; not through spills or broken bones, or anything of that
sort. Just at that time he became a benedict, and it was family
persuasion kept him out of the saddle. Not for long, however, for what
he picked up from Tom Olliver was well in the flesh, and of one
reception he met with on his return to the pigskin he is quite as fond
of talking of as of his three Liverpool victories. And well he might be.
The calendar records tell that in 1866 he won all the three
steeplechases run at Aintree’s autumn meeting, and they, of course,
included the Sefton on Sprite. Here, with a broken stirrup leather
carried in his hand, by a neck he beat Stevens on Lord Coventry’s Balder
amid great enthusiasm. Mr. Thomas, who lives at King’s Heath, near
Birmingham, last September attained his seventy-first birthday, and
although if now never seen on a racecourse, he enjoys fairly good
health. He likes to compare the old with the new; he knows, too, in his
retirement all about regulation obstacles. Did he not give up the
official berth of inspector of fences before the National Hunt placed
Mr. William Bevill in that position. Mr. Bevill never knew what it was
to taste the sweets of a Grand National victory. He is, however, one of
those named in its records in connection with many luckless efforts.

Pathfinder’s victory saw the final National ride of another of my
subjects, Johnny Page. He there was on the back of Baron Finot’s La
Veine, and the French Baron being offended with not a very pleasant
greeting at Bristol, curiously enough never tried his luck in the
National again. Page, back in England many years ago from France, and
down Henley-in-Arden way, is still alive to tell of his experiences of
the Liverpool Steeplechase. He won it on Cortolvin and Casse Tête, was
second on the former to Salamander, and third, as already said, to
Pathfinder. In 1871 he was fourth on Pearl Diver to The Lamb, and all in
eleven rides. He had early tuition as a jockey on the flat, for as a
lightweight he steered First Lord (5 st. 8 lb.) when he won the
Northumberland Plate. This, no doubt, assisted him in being so fine a
judge of pace between the flags, and likewise gave him the ability in a
finish, so much feared by his pigskin contemporaries. For this most of
them gave him praise. One of the number, however, is Mr. Richardson,
who, with Capt. Machell, so well managed the Disturbance and Reugny
Limber Magna coups. Indeed, at the quiet little Lincolnshire nook even
their near neighbour, the late Sir John Astley, according to his own
words, hardly reckoned on their achievement. He tells us so in his book,
and if he did not participate very much in their sweets he got up a

                        DISTURBANCE AND NO ROW,

words “The Mate” had printed on the invitation tickets to the Grimsby
Town Hall Dinner, prepared in honour of Mr. Richardson’s victory. After
Reugny’s success the rider of the latter and Disturbance married the
Countess of Yarborough; and, long since retired from the race saddle,
now amuses himself at golf in the summer and hunting in the winter. He
comes racing occasionally, and has for years had colours registered.
They were of a different hue until the death of Capt. Machell, when the
white and blue cap which he has on in my picture was substituted. The
photo is a copy of a painting in oil, a presentation to Mr. Richardson
after his two Liverpool wins.

In Mr. E. P. Wilson’s sixteen attempts to win the Grand National, he was
very near the mark on Congress when Regal beat him by a neck in 1876. He
travelled as far as 1884 before scoring his first win on Voluptuary and
then followed it up the next season on the uncertain Roquefort, on which
he would probably have won a second time had the horse not fallen over
the rails in the straight, when Gamecock triumphed. At any rate, in his
long career, which started in 1873 and terminated in 1890, he did
remarkably well. Congress, as before said, was his first mount, Hettie
the last, and it was on the latter mare, although unsuccessful, he had
the honour of wearing the colours of the King. A portrait in the Royal
racing livery would no doubt be more effective to my group, but is not
available, so one in hunting costume, from a recent photo taken by
Frost, of Loughboro’, takes its place. Mr. Wilson some time ago changed
his home from Ilmington to Loughboro’, retiring first from race-riding
and then from training. He has, however, started a new career. At
Loughboro’ I hear that he makes a good host at the Bull’s Head Hotel;
when away from home he sometimes is found wielding the flag and
officially despatching the racer and steeplechaser he loved so well.

Mr. Beasley’s death some months ago, after retirement from riding
between the flags, caused general regret, but yet recalled a splendid
Liverpool career. His three winners, Empress, Woodbrook, and Frigate,
were all praiseworthy triumphs, the last-named being the most difficult,
but perhaps the most acceptable, as the old mare had previously tried
there so often. But Mr. Beasley was not without his disappointment at
Liverpool, for fresh in my memory is that of the 1882 defeat of Cyrus,
when Lord Manners won on a former stable companion, Seaman. That defeat
was a head, and on one other occasion only has the judge ever given a
Liverpool by that distance. Spahi in 1887 was also a disappointment when
he fell so early in the race. Of Mr. Gubbins’ horse much more was
expected. Mr. Beasley, however, knew how to take failures as well as
sweets. He came of a good riding family, as the National of 1879
corroborates. Neither was successful, but in connection with the chase I
think it is a record to find Tommy, Harry, Willie, and Johnnie, four
brothers, all in one Aintree battle. The Liberator won that year. It is
Mr. Harry Beasley I have to thank for my portrait of the brother with
such a splendid Liverpool score against his name. Mr. Harry’s record is
not quite so good, but nevertheless will bear inspection. One win (Come
Away) and three consecutive seconds and a third is certainly not so
indifferent out of thirteen mounts.

And last, but not least, Arthur Nightingall is approached. He began to
ride in the Liverpool in 1886 on Baron de Tuyll’s The Badger. He had no
mount through a mishap to his horse at the eleventh hour last year, and
as I have said earlier he quite expects to make another effort this
season. Nightingall is of opinion that Ilex, the first winner he rode,
was the best, and his subsequent running with such as Cloister, and Come
Away under big weights corroborates the notion. His win on Ilex,
however, was far more easily achieved than that on either Why Not or
Grudon; in fact, when speaking of Why Not, Nightingall has been heard to
say that he was glad when he lifted the horse over the last fence;
furthermore, so beaten were his opponents at the finish that he thinks
he could have won on either of the other three who followed him home.
Why Not did fairly well in his hands again when Soarer scored.

Now I am at my journey’s end. Space has not permitted me to tell of the
many riders of single winners, but before I stay my pen in this long
story of National successes, I must, indeed, indulge in the old cry of
“one for the losers.” Plenty of good men and true, if they have only
ridden one winner, well know the difficulty of accomplishing success. In
my researches I find at Aintree fine horsemen, professional or
otherwise, like Mr. Arthur Yates, Mr. W. Bevill, Robert I. Anson,
Richard Marsh, the King’s trainer, Mr. Gordon, Mr. W. R. Brockton, Capt.
W. Hope, Johnstone, Ben Land, the Earl of Minto (then Mr. Rolly), the
brothers Holman, James Jewitt, Mr. Lushington, Capt. Smith, Col.
Harford, and many others I cannot now recall are of the number. Many of
these, too, are still in the land of the living.

                                                      ARTHUR F. MEYRICK.



                          A Hundred Years Ago.


                (FROM THE _SPORTING MAGAZINE_ OF 1806.)

A notorious deer stealer, of the name of Smith, was apprehended by
Hamilton and Lovett, officers, on Thursday morning, January 30th, by
virtue of a warrant issued by the magistrates of Northamptonshire, which
was backed at Marlborough Street office. The charge against the prisoner
was for deer stealing in the park of the Earl of Pomfret, in the county
of Northampton, where depredations had been committed to a considerable
extent, as well as in various other parks in that neighbourhood. It was
stated that a white buck had been selected for Christmas dinner in Earl
Pomfret’s park, but that he was discovered to have been stolen when the
keepers sought to take him for slaughter. The prisoner was represented
as belonging to a gang of offenders some of whom were in custody in the
country. He was the _Robin Hood_ of the gang, and when committing
depredations in the forests his bravado and fierceness of temper struck
such terror into the minds of the keepers that when he was known to be
poaching, even alone, no one dared to approach him. The prisoner,
according to his own account, had carried on a successful trade in this
way for many years with impunity. He did not consider deer stealing as
any moral offence, but merely sporting, which he had been brought up to,
and which he could never desist from. He was ordered to be committed to
the county gaol of Northampton.

                  *       *       *       *       *

A match of pigeon-shooting took place at Heston on Thursday, February
13th, for twenty-five guineas, between J. Aaron, Esq., a gentleman of
sporting celebrity, and Mr. Dunford, who was considered one of the first
shots in Hampshire. Fifteen pigeons were allotted to each sportsman, and
Mr. Dunford commenced the sport—which of these should produce most dead
birds in fifteen shots. He killed the first nine, but hit the tenth bird
without effect, and the eleventh he missed. The other four birds were
despatched, making thirteen dead. Mr. Aaron followed, and killed eleven
birds successively, when betting was seven to four on his performance.
The twelfth and thirteenth birds were hit without effect, and the
fourteenth he killed, and missed the fifteenth, by which he lost the
wager.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Monday, the 10th, the stud of the late Premier, Mr. Pitt, consisting of
nine saddle horses, was disposed of by public auction at Tattersall’s.
The hon. gentleman was not distinguished for the excellence of his
cattle, and in his carriage he actually drove job-horses. Of those
brought to the hammer a bay gelding, six years old, by Pipator, fetched
the greatest price, and sold for 130 guineas. It was put in at 40
guineas, and when it had reached 50 a person present, who had been in
the employ of the late proprietor, bid at once 100 guineas, and it was
ultimately knocked down to him. A gelding, by Grog, which Mr. Pitt used
as a charger, fetched 72 guineas, and the whole 438 guineas.



                        The Sportsman’s Library.


The forty-third edition of John Wisden’s _Cricketers’ Almanack_[6] is a
bigger thing than ever, and now the chronicle of the cricket of the year
consists of over 700 pages, which fact demonstrates very forcibly how
the popularity of cricket has increased since the first issue of Wisden
in 1864, when 112 pages comprised the whole work.

Now that the other cricket annuals, the old green and red Lillywhites,
no longer appear, the responsibility of chronicling the history of the
game falls upon Mr. Sydney Pardon, the well-known journalist, who has
now for some years so ably edited _Wisden_.

We agree with Mr. Pardon that the task of preparing _Wisden_ does not
become easier with the lapse of years, so vast is the amount of
interesting matter which has to be compressed into one volume. The five
cricketers of the year, whose photographs form the frontispiece, are Joe
Vine, that keenest of cricketers in Sussex, who seems to enjoy nothing
in life more thoroughly than chasing the ball all over the field, and if
required will cheerfully field in the country at both ends.

He is a very good batsman, as his many fine partnerships with C. B. Fry
for the first wicket amply testify. But the most interesting feature of
Vine’s cricket was his bowling, which for a year or two nonplussed the
best batsmen. He was able to bowl the leg-twisting ball at a quicker
pace, both through the air and off the pitch, than any other English
bowler, and when he found his length he was very deadly, reminding one
of the best ball of Mr. G. E. Palmer, the Australian.

It is an interesting enough historical fact with regard to the greatest
leg-twist bowlers, that their careers have generally been extremely
brief. Mr. Palmer seems to have lost his length owing to his cultivation
of the leg-twist. Mr. R. C. Ramsay, in 1882, was for Cambridge
University a terror for a few weeks, and Messrs. C. L. Townsend, the
late E. A. Nepean, and the brothers Steel, have all had great successes
by this method in their time, but, somehow, no cricketer seems to have
succeeded in the craft of bowling leg-twisters for a very long time,
with the notable exception of Mr. Warwick Armstrong, who, during the
last Australian tour in this country, bowled no less than 1,027 overs,
of which 308 were maiden overs.

Joe Vine can point to a couple of very fine bowling performances. In
1901 he took sixteen wickets at Nottingham—eight in each innings—for 161
runs, and so enabled Sussex to win at Trent Bridge for the first time
for forty years. In 1902, at Hastings, against the Australians, he took
7 wickets for 31 runs; but sad to say, in 1905 the 21 wickets he
captured for his county cost over 41 runs apiece!

Mr. L. G. Wright, the veteran Derbyshire cricketer, justly enough, is
one of the selected five, and although he is now over 44 years of age,
he is by common consent held to be the best “point” amongst first-class
fieldsmen of to-day. He stands close up to the batsman, and his agility
and quickness are quite astonishing, for of recent years perfect wickets
and academic batsmanship have rendered the post of point proper all but
obsolete.

An interesting feature of Mr. Wright’s cricket is, that like a good
vintage wine, it appears to improve with age. He first played for
Derbyshire in 1883, and since 1887 he has been a regular member of the
team when he could play, and last year, in his twenty-second season, he
came out easily top of the county averages, with an aggregate of 1,651
runs for 38 innings, giving an average of 43 runs per innings.

Amongst other big performances he scored a century in each innings
against Warwickshire at Birmingham. He scored 176 out of 323 in the
first innings and followed on with 122 out of 197, in first and out
last.

We understand that a very influential committee has been formed to
organise a testimonial, and we wish the scheme every success. Probably,
Mr. Wright holds the record of having played upon the losing side in
more county matches than any other cricketer, and so his sustained good
play for Derbyshire is all the more commendable.

George Thompson is another star cricketer who has lent much importance
to the doings of a weak team, and it is not too much to say that, but
for Thompson, Northamptonshire could not have last year gained admission
to the first class. Since his first appearance in 1895 he has put in
consistently good work both with ball and bat, and, whether for his
county, or for the Players, or the Marylebone Club, he is always one of
the most useful men on a side, as he also proved himself to be when,
with Mr. Warner’s team in New Zealand, he took 177 wickets at a cost of
under seven runs a-piece, and, in the West Indies, with Lord Brackley’s
team, he took 126 wickets for ten runs a-piece.

Those tried and valuable cricketers, Walter Lees and David Denton,
complete the gallery of five, and it may well be said of them that if
they had played more often in the test matches of last season no one
would have been surprised. In the absence of Mr. MacLaren, Denton was
included in the England team at Leeds, but it was not one of his lucky
days. Lees was reserve man on each occasion, without actually playing in
any of the matches. At the time of writing Denton is the mainstay of the
batting line of Mr. P. F. Warner’s team in South Africa, and it is just
as well for the party that the Yorkshireman should find himself in luck.

There are some interesting personal reminiscences of the late Mr. R. A.
H. Mitchell, written by Mr. Russell Walker and another old cricketer;
and Captain W. J. Seton contributes a very complete article upon public
school cricket. The list of cricket records is a rapidly increasing
feature of the general information supplied by the editor, and now
extends to some twenty-two pages, whilst no fewer than seventeen pages
are taken up by short obituary notices of cricketers who died in 1905,
there being many well-known names in the sad list. The record of the
year’s cricket is more voluminous than ever, and the full doings and
analyses of the Australian tour run into sixty-two pages.

In the records of the Australian wicket-keepers we are surprised to
notice that whilst Kelly caught 19 and stumped 7, Newland caught 12 and
stumped 7, and yet Newland was regarded by everybody as very
considerably inferior to Kelly, and kept wicket upon comparatively few
occasions.

[Illustration:

  Fig. 73.—Proportions of the Horse in Profile

  From Goubaux and Barrier. (By permission of Messrs. Lippincott)
  (From “The Horse: Its Treatment in Health and Disease.”)
]

It is rather remarkable that of the many cricketers who played against
the Australians only two bowled more than 100 overs against them, and
these two, Mr. W. Brearley and Wilfred Rhodes, bowled 214 and 208 overs
respectively. The bowler who bowled the highest number of overs next to
these two is Haigh, with 99·4 overs, so that he was only short of 100
overs by two balls.

Mr. Brearley, with 37 wickets, got nearly twice as many Australian
wickets as any one else, and Jack Hearne gets the best average with 7
wickets for 67 runs.

Mr. J. N. Crawford, the Repton and Surrey cricketer, supplies an
interesting page in cricket history. Up to the end of July he was
Captain of the Repton XI., and scored for his school 766 runs for an
average of 85·11, and took 51 wickets at an average cost of 12·96. After
this he was able in the few remaining weeks of the season to play enough
first-class cricket to amass 543 runs, with an average of 33·93, and to
take 47 wickets, his bowling average of 18·46 placing him eighth in the
list of English bowlers. We cannot call to mind a parallel case of a
school-boy doing such an exceptional amount of good work, both in school
cricket and county cricket, in the same season. It would appear that the
only thing to have prevented Mr. Crawford from representing the
Gentlemen against the Players was that Repton School had a prior claim
upon his services. This winter Mr. Crawford is enjoying great success in
South Africa, both with bat and ball, and his return to this country
will probably be jealously awaited by the keenest members of the Surrey
Club. The date of Mr. Crawford’s birth is given as December 1st, 1886,
so he has time in his favour, anyway.

The study of _Wisden_ in the winter months is a fascinating pastime, but
we have run on long enough, and must leave our readers to their own
cogitations and musings over the book itself.

The second volume[7] of Professor Wortley Axe’s comprehensive work is
now before us, and we may say at once that its contents maintain in
every respect the high promise of its forerunner. Section III., dealing
with the “Varieties of the Horse,” begun in the first volume, is
completed, the majority of our breeds of ponies, the heavy horses and
the foreign breeds most frequently imported being reviewed. The author
regards the good representative Welsh pony as “one of the best and most
serviceable animals” among his kind. It is unfortunately true that the
Dartmoor, Exmoor and New Forest breeds, more especially the second, have
been made the subject of so many experiments in crossing that the
original type is become obscured, if not entirely lost. Sir Walter
Gilbey has set out the history, or as much of it as can be discovered by
assiduous and careful research, of our native breeds of ponies in one of
his well-known books; and Professor Wortley Axe’s observations form a
very able summary of all that has been written of the several breeds.
The historical sketch of the Shire horse is also excellent; as regards
the debated question of “feather” on the legs of the breed, the author
urges that the desirability or the reverse of hair in quantity is a
matter which should be left to practical men who are not likely to allow
sentimental considerations to weigh with them. The author is not able to
throw any fresh light on the origin of the Clydesdale; it would be
surprising if he had, in view of the researches which have been
undertaken with the object of elucidating the matter; what is known he
epitomises with his usual conciseness and point. The Suffolk breed is
hardly more satisfactory as an historical subject; it was certainly
well-established in the earlier decade of the eighteenth century, and,
without the possibility of doubt, was so at a much more remote date. The
author is a warm admirer of the Suffolk, whose good qualities furnish
him with the theme for one of his best chapters.

The Arab naturally leads the way among the foreign breeds noticed. The
author adopts a judicial attitude concerning the merits of the breed; he
appears to share the opinion of those who think the Arab susceptible of
improvement, while he recognises the intrinsic qualities which render an
Arab so valuable for crossing with our own light horses.

The greater portion of the volume is occupied by the veterinary
chapters: those matters of which the reader must acquire knowledge as a
condition of understanding the descriptions of symptoms, &c., which
follow. We have, always in simple and lucid language to be understanded
of the layman, most valuable and helpful chapters on the diseases to
which the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines of the horse are liable.
The descriptions are supplemented by excellent drawings, which cannot
fail to be of service to the reader.

The illustrations, in colour or from photographs, are exceedingly good.

From the first part of “The Horse: Its Treatment in Health and Disease,”
the following is quoted:—

                   THE HEAD AS A UNIT OF MEASUREMENT.

Ever since the days of Bourgelat the study of proportions in respect to
the various regions of the horse has been vigorously pursued, especially
by French hippotomists, and it is to the founder of veterinary schools
we owe the first serious attempt to “establish the relation of the
dimension which should exist between the parts of the body,” or, in
other words, a law of proportion. As a result of numerous measurements,
Bourgelat selected the head as a basis of proportion for all other
parts, and the more recent researches of the distinguished _savant_,
Colonel Duhousset, led him also to adopt this, and give it as a unit of
measure.

The results of his observations are recorded by Goubaux and Barrier,
from whose able work on “The Exterior of the Horse,” we extract the
following list of proportions:—

      _The length of the head almost exactly equals the distance_—

  1st.—From the back to the abdomen N O, fig. 73 (thickness of the
  body).

  2nd.—From the top of the withers to the point of the arm H E
  (shoulder.)

  3rd.—From the superior fold of the stifle joint to the point of the
  hock J J.

  4th.—From the point of the hock to the ground J K.

  5th.—From the dorsal angle of the scapula to the point of the haunch
  D D.

  6th.—From the xiphoid region to the fetlock joint M I; above this
  latter in large horses and race horses, below it in small horses and
  in those of medium size.

  7th.—From the superior fold of the stifle joint to the summit of the
  croup in subjects whose coxofemoral angle is large; this distance is
  always less in other cases (G and B).

                _Two and one-half times the head gives_—

  1st.—The height of the withers H, above the ground.

  2nd.—The height of the top of the croup above the ground.

  3rd.—Very often the length of the body from the point of the arm to
  that of the buttock, E F.

  The length of the croup from the point of the haunch to that of the
  buttock D F is always less than that of the head; this varies from 5
  to 10 centimetres. As to its width from one haunch to another, it
  often exceeds only very little its length (often it is equal to the
  latter), G and B.

  The croup, D F, exists quite accurately in length four times in the
  same horse.

  1st.—From the point of the buttock to the inferior part of the
  stifle joint F P.

  2nd.—In the width of the neck at its inferior attachment, from its
  insertion into the chest to the origin of the withers S X.

  3rd.—From the insertion of the neck into the chest to the angle of
  the lower jaw X Q, when the head is held parallel to the shoulder.

  4th.—Finally, from the nape of the neck to the nostril _n n_ or to
  the commissure of the lips.

  The measure of one half of the head will also guide us very much in
  the construction of the horse, when we know that it is frequently
  applied to several of his parts, namely:—

  1st.—From the most prominent point of the angle of the lower jaw to
  the anterior profile of the forehead before the eye, R Q (thickness
  of the head).

  2nd.—From the throat to the superior border of the neck behind the
  poll Q L (attachment of the head).

  3rd.—From the inferior part of the knee to the coronet, T T.

  4th.—From the base of the hock to the fetlock, V U.

  5th.—Finally, from the point of the arm to the articulation of the
  elbow (approximate length of the arm).



             Two Noted Hunting Sires, Van Galen and Victor.


After the experiences of very nearly a century it was singular indeed
that the Hunters’ Improvement Society and the Royal Commission on
Horse-breeding cold-shouldered the idea that like has a tendency to get
like. For twenty years no clause appeared in their schedules that the
thoroughbred horse eligible for a premium should have been a turf
performer of some kind or other, and so sires obtained honours that were
simply laughed at by owners and trainers. Sam Darling, John Porter, the
late J. Humphreys, and Mr. Ben Ellam have had their jokes over the
things, as they have called them, that have satisfied the State.
Humphreys used to chaff a breeder about one that he was certain could
not have gone fast to keep himself warm, and yet he won three Queen’s
Premiums, and was sold as a hunting sire for 500 sovs. The conditions
have now been altered to a certain extent, as turf performances are
given in the catalogues, and the judges are invited to take notice of
them. A shorter and better plan would be to admit no horse into the
entry that had not won a race worth 100 sovs., or, to make it still
easier, one that had not been placed in such a race. This would make the
franchise, so to speak, sufficiently low, as there is this to be taken
into consideration, that winners in these times of any event that
savours at all of consequence are so terribly expensive as to make
hunting sires, of great turf class, difficult to secure. The great
points to be gained, though, from a racing career is that they can go
fast enough to live with other horses, and that they have stood the
exigencies of training to test constitution, temper, and the strain on
limbs. The more proof of all this the better, as, to quote the late Lord
Portsmouth’s views—and there was no greater judge—the best hunting sire
has invariably been the racing slave; the horse that has commenced at
two years old and run everywhere and often until he is six or seven.
Whether the best are those that have won long-distance races, or to have
been simply the quick, sharp sprinters, are other questions; but it will
be generally allowed that gameness over any course is a quality to be
held greatly in esteem.

The old-fashioned breeders of hunters were, no doubt, imbued with the
idea that stoutness as shown on the racecourse was the essential quality
to be looked for, and they had plenty of examples on their side down to
quite 1840. The Boston side of Lincolnshire was filled with good hunters
early in the last century by a Cup winner of Lord Egremont’s, who had
the misfortune to break his leg in running for a race at Ascot. When the
gun was being brought out to put an end to him, a sporting blacksmith
from Lincolnshire begged the life of the noble steed, and contrived a
sling for him in a building hard by. It took four months to get the limb
thoroughly set, and then the blacksmith walked the horse to Boston,
where he developed into the best hunting sire of that quarter, and after
fifteen years’ service the grateful farmers had the horse painted by the
senior Ferneley, and presented the picture to the blacksmith. Such were
the feelings or sentiments for great hunting sires a hundred years ago,
and perhaps the country is indebted for the good foundation in
Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and Shropshire, to such notable racers as
Catton, Lottery, Clinker, the sire of the famous hunter of that name so
memorable in the Melton matches, and the elder Clinker was second in the
St. Leger of 1808, and got by Sir Peter the best horse of his day. It
was said that Clasher, the successful rival in the great match with
Clinker, was by the same sire, but other statements showed him to be by
Clasher, another son of Sir Peter. Anyway, the two were closely related,
and no two horses ever went over a stiffer four miles of country. Again,
there was Cannon Ball, a winner of four mile races in his day, and the
pride of the Quorn country as a sire, and was not Pan, the Derby winner
of 1808, doing duty amongst the commoners of Shropshire in the days of
Jack Mytton?

There is good reason to think that when the golden age of foxhunting was
at its zenith the notable hunters were all by famous turf performers,
and that the same views were taken in regard to hunter-breeding for the
next five-and-twenty years. This would comprise the days of Perion in
Yorkshire, Gainsborough in Devonshire, Doctor Syntax in Durham, Sir
Peter Laurie in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, and Arthur in
Ireland—the kind of horses, in fact, of proved class that were used to
get hunters. After this the ready materials became somewhat mixed,
though there were still exceptionally good sires in the ’fifties,
’sixties, and ’seventies, with such stock to their credit that may well
have been called magnificent.

To select the best may be difficult when such names as Mogador, Lambton,
Maroon, Ugly Buck, North Lincoln, Pride of Prussia, Allow-me, and Lord
Derby recur to memory, but taking all into consideration, both for
England and Ireland, I should say that preference could be given to the
two V.’s, Van Galen and Victor. They were both born within the same
decade, and just after the second half of the century had commenced, as
Van Galen was foaled in 1853 and Victor in 1859. They were both also
bred in Yorkshire, and it is possible that they became hunting sires
more by accident than anything else. Van Galen gave early indications of
being a good racehorse, as he was highly tried as a two-year-old, and
won his first race, the Tyra Stakes, at Newcastle in a canter. Then he
suffered defeat when 7 to 2 was laid on him, and he ran forward in the
Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. Through some accident, he had to be
thrown out of training during the ensuing winter, and early in life
became a hunting sire. He was just the sort for that vocation—a big
brown horse, standing, when grown to his best, rather over 16 hands, and
his card used to disclose at a glance a fine old Yorkshire pedigree by
Van Tromp, winner of the St. Leger, and got by Lanercost out of Barbelle
(all Yorkshire by Sandbeck), the dam of the Flying Dutchman, the dam of
Van Galen, Little Casino, by Inheritor, dam by Waverley. To the best of
my recollection, Van Galen travelled through, the country that comprised
Northallerton, Bedale, Middleham, and Harmby—much the same ground, in
fact, that was covered by Perion thirty years before; and I bear in mind
staying near the last-mentioned Village in 1867, and that the Van Galen
hunters were then the talk of the country. Mr. Bruere, a gentleman who
kept a charming little pack of harriers near Middleham, had a beautiful
hunter by Van Galen called Charlie, for whom, it was said, £700 had been
refused, and he was certainly one of the best-looking and most mannerly
hunters I have ever seen. He was in some of the great hunt steeplechases
of the ’sixties. So were many others of the Van Galen family.

I bear in mind a horse called Vanbrugh, of the same type, big,
weight-carrying, bloodlike horses that were natural jumpers from the
time they were foals, and no days were too long for them. This is the
character they gained in Yorkshire, and Van Galen hunters were sought
after as much as the Perions had been. Like many other greatly
patronised hunting sires, the famous son of Van Tromp had few
opportunities with thoroughbred mares, but a chance union with Sybil, a
mare belonging to the late John Fohert, the trainer of the Flying
Dutchman, produced quite the stoutest horse of his time as the winner of
the Chester Cup, and dead-heater for the Ascot Cup with Buckstone, to
whom he gave a lump of weight. Tim Whiffler was quite in the family
order, a big brown horse, and pity it was that he was sold to Australia
after he had got some very useful ones, including Footman, who was
backed heavily to win a Grand National. If ever there was one horse more
than another bred to get great cross-country performers, it was Tim
Whiffler, as his dam, Sybil, was by the Ugly Buck, whose fame down
Northamptonshire way as a hunting sire was almost equal to anything. It
was in after generations that Van Galen’s name lived so long, as a
second visit to Harmby twenty years afterwards gave strong evidence that
breeders had no intention of dropping the line, and that his daughters
and granddaughters were regarded in the highest esteem as hunter
producers. Another son of Van Galen’s, too, was Ploughboy, who was out
of a Stockwell mare, and he did capital service for some seasons when he
stood at the Newbiggen House stables, Beverley.

Victor left Yorkshire in very early life, as he was bred by Mr. R. Hunt,
but for some reason not explained, he was taken to Lincoln as a
two-year-old during the race meeting. Mr. George Hodgman, in his
interesting book, called “Sixty Years on the Turf,” relates that having
nothing to do one morning he strolled through the City, and passing the
Saracen’s Head, saw a rough sort of countryman holding a horse in the
adjoining yard. He had not the least idea of buying or dealing, but
taking stock of the animal rather liked him, as he had good quarters,
and was well ribbed up; his chief defect, so he thought, being his fore
legs as he stood a bit over. “He don’t look much like a thoroughbred,”
Mr. Hodgman remarked. “That’s just what he is,” was the retort; “perhaps
you don’t know much about horses.” “You are quite right, I don’t,” said
the now interested would-be buyer, “but what’s he by?” “By Vindex, Sir
Charles Monck’s horse.” “Ah, well, just let the boy trot him about.” The
boy took hold of the halter string and cantered him up the yard. Mr.
Hodgman was satisfied. “How much do you want?” “Eighty pounds.” “I
suppose he’s yours?” This suspicious remark occasioned some bad
language, but then followed, “All right, keep your temper.” “I will give
you eighty pounds, and he is mine.” The countryman pressed half-a-crown
into Mr. Hodgman’s hand for luck money, and the deal was done. Victor
did not do much that season, running twice, but unplaced, and he ran
again as a three-year-old without distinction. At four he was specially
prepared for the Royal Hunt Cup, Mr. Hodgman spending a hundred pounds
for him to do his work on some ground at Winchester, which was precisely
similar to the Ascot Royal Hunt Cup course. Tried good enough to win Mr.
Hodgman invested a thousand on him, through Mr. George Herring, the now
famous philanthropist. Victor started favourite at 3 to 1 in a field of
twenty-eight and won in a canter by four lengths. In the same year he
broke down when running in the Cambridgeshire, and ultimately Mr.
Hodgman sold him at Tattersall’s for 28 guineas, the buyer being Mr.
Simpson, of Diss, who some time afterwards sold him to the late Mr.
George Arthur Harris, who imported him to his own stud farm in Ireland.

It was fortunate indeed for the land of hunters that such a purchase was
effected, and Mr. Harris used to tell the story, that at the same time
Mr. Simpson would have sold him Vedette for £40, but this was before the
latter had got Galopin. In his new Irish home Victor was not long in
making his mark, as from the very first he got beautiful weight-carrying
hunters that had taken as naturally to jumping as small ducks to water.
By about 1872 the dealers were enraptured with them. The five-year-olds
had been seen in England, and there was a demand for as many as Ireland
could supply. The fashion to get over a country on the Victors spread
far into the shires. In Leicestershire, Yorkshire, with the Heythrop and
Bicester, I was for ever hearing of them in my travels, and a great many
in Ireland could not be purchased for any money. It was shown in later
life that he could get steeplechase winners out of cart mares, and a
great many winners of cross-country events were credited to young
Victors. There had never been such a hunting sire since Arthur, and,
like Van Galen in Yorkshire, he got a great Turf winner in Valour, the
hero of the Manchester Cup of 1881, and certainly one of the best
performers of his time. There must have been something in the blood of
Victor that hit with the Irish mares, as no matter what they were like,
from the Connemara pony to the cart mare, they all produce hunters to
him with beautiful fore hands, galloping horses, in fact, that could
jump. He really set people thinking as to what kind of horse is likely
to be the best to get a hunter, as here was a quick, sharp horse over a
mile that could slip a big field of twenty-eight and win in a canter,
and the old-fashioned sire of the Gainsborough stamp was not believed in
unless he had won over four miles in heats. There was no reason, though,
why Victor should not have been a stayer, as he was by Vindex, son of
Touchstone, and Garland by Langer, out of Caststeel, by Whisker, her dam
Twinkle by Walton, the dam of Victor, the Scroggins mare, out of Miss
Eliza, by Humphrey Clinker, who was by Clinker, the old-time sire above
alluded to, out of Romulus’s dam, by Fitzteazle, son of Sir Peter. It is
all the kind of blood that has told before, but not quite in racing
pedigree, and that was the opinion formed of Valour, who was not a stud
success. However, Victor’s path in life was that of a hunting sire, and
as such he will never be forgotten. He lives still through his daughters
and granddaughters, now the very best of hunting brood mares. The late
Mr. Harris formed a stud for him, and it will always be called the
Victor stud. A more prolific stallion there has never been. For many
years his subscription list at Kilmallock, county Limerick, averaged
from eighty to a hundred and twenty-eight a season, and when he was
twenty-eight years old he got fifteen foals from twenty-five mares. He
died in 1888, when he was in his thirtieth year. His owner, Mr. G. A.
Harris, died in 1891, leaving the Victor stud to his son, Mr. John
Harris, who is now also manager of the Ballykisteen stud, where court is
held by Santoi Vites, Uncle Mac, and Wavelet’s Pride. There is something
very remarkable about such horses as Van Galen and Victor. They have
contributed much to the enjoyment of sportsmen, as their sons and
daughters have made fox-hunting delightful. There cannot be made hunters
without the material, and with that guaranteed the trade in hunters has
increased; more people want to hunt, and the very breed of horses for
the country’s good is greatly improved and advanced. How much is England
and Ireland indebted then to the like of Van Galen and Victor.



                       The University Boat Race.


Simultaneously with the appearance of BAILY for March, both the 1906
crews go into strict training for their race of April 7th. This date is
certainly late, but not unduly so. April has been the month selected on
numerous occasions of recent years, and Saturday, of course, especially
appeals to Londoners. From the first, the Oxford President, Mr. E. P.
Evans (Radley and University) has been in a position to view the outlook
with a good deal of equanimity. For one thing, he has been blessed with
a plethora of talent this year. Quite an exceptional lot of matured
oarsmen are in residence and available. For another, he has had the
valuable assistance of Mr. W. A. L. Fletcher, D.S.O., as coach, from the
very beginning. This famous old Blue has been dubbed the “Kitchener” of
coaches, and with a good deal of reason. His co-operation has ever been
a potent factor towards victory both ways. As last year, he has given
every aspiring Dark Blue oarsman his chance, and, thanks to his powers
of discrimination, fewer changes have been made than usual. How rich in
aquatic material Oxford is this season can best be gauged by the fact
that many notable oarsmen have failed to find seats.

After his 1905 prowess, Mr. H. C. Bucknall (Eton and Merton) is very
properly setting the work again. He was the hero of last year’s race,
and is undoubtedly a stroke of the _nascitur non fit_ order. If
anything, he is rowing longer and stronger this season. No. 7 thwart has
been occupied respectively by Mr. E. A. Bailey (Marlborough and Merton)
and Mr. A. C. Gladstone (Eton and Christ Church), stroke of the winning
eight at Henley in 1905. Mr. Bailey is the stronger oarsman, but hardly
so good a waterman as the Etonian. Any sacrifice of avoirdupois,
therefore, will be amply compensated for giving the last-named’s
permanent inclusion. When once the machinery is seen in motion any
prejudice on this score vanishes. The president himself is at No. 6,
backed at Nos. 5 and 4 by A. G. Kirby (Eton and Magdalen) and L. E.
Jones (Eton and Balliol). Mr. Kirby is a freshman, who also rowed in the
Eton winning eight at Henley last year, and Mr. Jones an old Blue, who
got his colours in 1905.

All these heavy-weights are rowing well and long thus early. They not
only possess great strength, but know how to apply it. Mr. J. Dewar
(Rugby and New College) has been rowing at No. 3 thwart, and already in
capital style, but if Mr. Gladstone remains at No. 7, Mr. Bailey may
supersede the old Rugbeian. Mr. C. H. Illingworth (Radley and Pembroke)
makes a very fine No. 2. He is an old Radleian captain of boats, who has
figured at Henley on many occasions. The old Blue, R. W. Somers-Smith
(Eton and Merton), and G. M. Graham (Eton and New College), have both
been tried at bow by turns. Mr. Somers-Smith is the more polished
oarsman, but his rival is much more powerful and effective. And, since
his permanent inclusion, he has come on very appreciably.

Mainly composed of old Etonians and old Radleians, this year’s crew is
exceptionally weighty, three of the men scale over 13st., and Mr. Jones
over 14st. Avoirdupois is decidedly a feature, but, even thus early,
they make good use of their weight. Mr. Fletcher has certainly succeeded
in inculcating the theory of the right mode of applying force.
Individually there is not a bad oarsman among them; and there are no
ugly bodies. The blade-work is good, the catch fairly so, while, on the
whole, the stroke is rowed right home with excellent leg-work. “As a
crew,” they are just the one for Putney, if not for Henley. Perhaps
their gravest fault at this stage is a lack of combination in swing and
drive. The slides are used up too soon—before the hands are fairly into
the chest; this makes them rather short back, and affects the finish.
Altogether, however, they are rapidly developing into “a crew,” and a
good one at that. They go to Henley for a fortnight’s practice within
the next day or so, and will be fully ripe for the change. As the
outcome, better uniformity in swing, sliding, and blade-work—so
essential to a fast crew—should speedily obtain. Given such improvement,
they will migrate to Putney about the middle of the month, distinctly
one of the most promising Oxford eights sent out for many a long year.

In lesser degree, the Cambridge President, Mr. R. V. Powell (Eton and
Third Trinity) has also been confronted with an _embarras de richesses_
this year; or, rather, he has had to discriminate between a large number
of experienced oarsmen much-of-a-muchness in calibre. This, of course,
has made his task much more difficult. For it is not enough that the men
selected should separately be good, each must fit into his proper place,
or the whole plan may be ruined. Mr. F. J. Escombe, the famous old Blue
and coach, has assisted him from the first, which has meant a very great
deal. Like Mr. Fletcher, he is nothing if not “observant,” while he is a
past-master in the art (for an art it is) of gauging an oarsman’s real
abilities. A lot of changing about has necessarily been imperative this
year, and, as at Oxford, many notable oarsmen have failed to find
places. For some weeks President Powell himself set the work, but his
right place is at No. 6, by common consent. He is now rowing with
remarkable power and polish at that thwart, and Mr. D. C. R. Stuart
(Cheltenham and Trinity Hall) is at stroke.

This gentleman will be remembered as the famous London Rowing Club
oarsman and sculler, who has figured prominently at Henley and Putney of
recent years. He is not only a strong man physically, but applies his
strength scientifically and keeps a good length. Even at full racing
pace he appears easy to follow. He is admirably backed up at No. 7 by
Mr. E. W. Powell (Eton and Third Trinity), brother to the president and
a freshman this year. While the younger Powell is a stylist above all
things, he puts a lot of power into his work and is very effective. So
also is Mr. B. C. Johnstone (Eton and Third Trinity), the old Blue and
C.U.B.C. Secretary, at No. 5. He and Mr. M. Donaldson (Charterhouse and
First Trinity) at No. 4, are the heavy-weights of the crew, and splendid
specimens of manhood. Both have improved hand over hand during the last
three weeks, and, with President Powell, are the backbone of the crew.
Mr. M. M. Goldsmith (Sherborne and Jesus) and Mr. J. H. F. Benham
(Fauconberge and Jesus) are rowing at Nos. 3 and 2, respectively, up to
date. They showed promising form in this year’s trial eights, and have
gone on improving subsequently. As generally expected, Mr. G. D.
Cochrane (Eton and Third Trinity), the reserve man last year, is seated
at bow. He has recovered much of his best school form, and works as hard
as any man in the boat. His colours are assured and deserved.

As will be seen, individually, the crew is somewhat heterogeneously
composed. “As a crew,” however, the men have long since settled down to
a very pleasing, effective, and uniform style. Taken individually, they
are as good a set of men in a boat as the Oxonians. It is collectively
that they fail to hit it off so well as their rivals at present. There
is a smart recovery, a fair catch, and a fairly clean feather in
evidence so far. But (by comparison) the less ostentatious but firmer
and more vertical entry of the Oxford oars in the water produces more
lift on the boat and more pace in the long run. A much improved
leg-drive is now observable, but even yet the Cantabs do not make the
best use of their weight. These and other irregularities will doubtless
be rectified “bit by bit”—as Mr. Ashton Dilke puts it in another
direction—as both Mr. Escombe and his charges are in deadly earnest.
They also will migrate to upper Thames waters within the next day or so.
A fortnight’s work on the livelier Bourne-End reach will do them all the
good in the world, and prepare them gradually for their later Putney
experiences. Oxford’s chances of success appear the rosier at this
stage, but there is plenty of time for Cambridge to equalise matters.
Oftener than not the last few weeks’ practice has sufficed to dash the
cup of certainty from the lips of assurance. Will it this year? Under
this heading I may have something to say to the readers of BAILY next
month.

                                                             W. C. P. F.



                      Goose Shooting in Manitoba.


Perhaps there are some of your readers, especially those devoted to the
sport of wildfowling, who may like to have an account of rather a good
day’s sport I enjoyed amongst these birds in a country where they are
very plentiful.

It was a lovely day, early in the fall of the year, that I and a friend
started out from the little town of Boissevain in our four-wheeled
Canadian buggy, bound for Lake Whitewater, some fifteen miles across the
prairie, where we had heard the most wonderful reports of the countless
number of wild geese that frequented it. We were both armed with
10-bores, as a 12-bore is not very effective against these birds, owing
to the great thickness of the down with which they are covered. As we
drove along through the vast fields of stubble (the grain having been
all cut, threshed, and safely stowed in the vast elevators by this time)
we encountered numerous flocks of prairie chicken (a bird not unlike a
greyhen, and of the grouse tribe), and managed to secure two or three
brace of these birds from the buggy, the horses not minding the report
of the guns at all.

In the distance we could see the shimmer of a large piece of water
surrounded by tall rushes, which we rightly took to be our destination.
It seemed to be only two or three miles away, but as a matter of fact we
still had ten more miles before us. The air was so wonderfully clear and
transparent that we could see the people walking in the main street of
the little town of Whitewater, which stands at the north shore of the
lake from which it takes its name. As we drew nearer the lake we could
hear a noise something like a vast crowd cheering at a football match,
and we both looked at each other and exclaimed, “Can those really be
geese?”

It was now 10 a.m., about the time that the geese return to the lake
after feeding on the stubble since daylight. As far as the eye could
reach (and the country being perfectly flat for miles we could see a
tremendous distance) there were countless flocks of these birds, all
bound for the same destination, each flock in the shape of a triangle,
with a leader. Some flocks must have had from three to five thousand in
them, others only a few hundred, some less. They looked like a vast army
in battle array, some quite white (the Wavey), others of a darker colour
(the Honker), and some were cross-bred, with an occasional flock of
Brants. But they were all too high and out of range of our guns, so all
we could do was to sit there and gaze in open-eyed amazement at that
vast throng, wondering if it could be real, as we are only accustomed to
seeing these birds in singles and pairs in our native Wales, and then
but very seldom. We were now fast approaching a farmhouse close to the
shores of the lake, where we intended to make our headquarters for the
day, and, if necessary, stay the night, so as to be on the spot for the
early morning flight out on to the feeding ground (generally the best
flight of the day). The owner of the farm, an Englishman, needless to
say, received us hospitably, the more so when he heard we had not
forgotten the demijohn of rye whisky, so much appreciated by the
Englishman in Canada; this is really much better than the average Scotch
whisky, after being kept seven years in bond by the Canadian Government
before it is allowed to be sold.

After lunch we decided that the day was too still to get near the geese,
as they only fly low when there is a wind; so we hid ourselves in the
rushes, the water being up to our middles, and there to wait for any
duck, &c., that should come our way. This belt of rushes, which is about
half a mile broad and surrounds the lake, is noted for all kinds of duck
and teal. In half-an-hour I counted six different kinds, including
Mallard, Pintail, Canvass Back, Grey Duck, Blue- and Green-winged Teal,
and I managed to secure five of the latter; but they are very hard to
find when dropped in the thick rushes. By six we had each shot a score
of ducks and my friend had also a snipe to his credit, so we trekked
back to the farm to supper, and after turning to with the milking, &c.
(or “chores,” as they are pleased to call all small jobs round the
house, and I believe the word is derived from the French word _choses_)
we had a pipe and a glass of grog and turned in, as we had to be up by 4
a.m. the next morning. For a long time I lay awake listening to the
“honk, honk” of the geese returning to the lake, till at last they
settled down for the night, and all was still except for the croaking of
the frogs.

By 4.30 next morning we were lying in the long grass on the shore of the
lake, opposite a large sand-bank, on which we could dimly see dusky
forms stalking about. There was a stiff breeze from the north, and
everything augured well for our day’s sport, if only they would come low
enough and in our direction. Gradually the sun rose like a golden ball
in the east and the birds seemed to be getting uneasy. All at once there
were shrill cries, and we knew the morning flight had begun. My heart
was beating like a sledgehammer, as I had never yet shot a goose.

We had both taken the precaution to bring cartridges loaded with No. 1
shot, and I had also a few loaded with B.B. shot, as they were said to
be more effective.

I raised myself gently on my elbows, and peeping over the top of the
grass, I saw thousands upon thousands of grey and white forms circling
in the air above the sand-bank. The noise by this time was deafening,
and although we were only lying twenty yards apart we could not hear
each other speak. The noise suddenly seemed to grow louder, and looking
up I saw a large flock making straight for the spot where we were lying,
and only about forty yards high. We crouched lower and lower and waited
breathlessly. The leader was a large white Wavey, and I made up my mind
to have him somehow. Just as he got directly over my head I turned on my
back, and let drive both barrels at him. For a moment he seemed to
hesitate, the whole flock being thrown into confusion, and then he
gradually fluttered down almost on my head. I rushed upon him for fear
he should escape, and after wringing his neck madly, I danced a _pas de
seul_ round him for some minutes, quite forgetful of the hundreds of
geese streaming over my head. But my friend recalled me to my senses
quickly, and in language not quite parliamentary told me to lie down
again and not be a fool. So I got down in the grass again on my back
just as another flock came over, and out of which we got four apiece: it
being a large flock we had time to reload and get in two barrels at the
tail end. The great object is to shoot the leader, and that throws the
whole flock into confusion, and you secure more time to reload, as they
never go on till they have chosen another leader. An American told me a
yarn of a countryman of his that used to ride along on horseback under
the flock killing off the leader time after time, until he had
exterminated the whole flock, but I give you this for what it is worth.

It was now about 5.30 a.m., and they were coming over us in one long
stream all the time, evidently following the same flight which the first
flock had taken, which I believe is their general custom.

By the time the last flock had disappeared on the horizon there were
fourteen dead geese lying on the grass around us, and five wounded birds
had flown back to the lake to die. A farmer living on the north shore of
the lake told me he always went out directly the lake froze up and
gathered in all the wounded geese that had been unable to fly and got
frozen in with the ice. He said he often got from forty to fifty in this
way.

By this time we were getting very stiff with the long wait, and were
very glad to get up to stretch our legs, and congratulate each other on
our excellent luck that the flight should just have come in our
direction and within range.

We heard afterwards that more than a dozen sportsmen (amongst whom were
two well-known Wall Street brokers who had travelled 2,000 miles for a
week’s sport at this well-known Eldorado for wildfowlers) had that day
lined the west shore with the hope of their taking that course, and they
never saw a goose all day.

We now began to wonder how we were going to get our bag back to the
farm, about a mile and a half distant, as fourteen geese are no light
weight, and they were all fine fat birds (the stubble holding lots of
feed for them that year, the crop having been a good one). Eventually we
tied them all round our shoulders and waists and thus managed to stagger
back to the farm, quite ready for our breakfast.

After breakfast we hitched up the horses, and bidding our host farewell,
leaving him a few geese for his trouble, we started on our fifteen miles
back to the little town of Boissevain. It was one of those glorious
mornings with a lovely deep blue sky overhead that one only sees in
North America at this time of year. We saw numerous flocks of prairie
chicken, and added three brace of these birds to our bag.

At 12.30 we pulled up before the hotel from which we had started two
days before, and were received with eager enquiries as to what luck we
had had, or whether we had returned because the whisky had run out. Thus
ended my first experience of goose shooting, and I have often wondered
since why people use the expression “a silly goose,” for nobody could
ever accuse a wild goose of being at all stupid.

In case any of your readers should ever find themselves in the
neighbourhood of this lake I will try to give them some particulars of
its situation and the best time of year to go there.

The wild goose is the only bird in Manitoba that is not protected by the
Game Laws, and you can shoot him all the year round if you can get him.
About the second week in April they come north from Mexico and Florida,
and remain on Lake Whitewater till the first week in May, when they go
north to the shores of the Hudson Bay to breed, coming south again in
the fall of the year, remaining till the lake freezes up, when they go
south as far as Mexico for the winter. I have known keen sportsmen, to
whom time and money are no object, follow them thus through North
America. Lake Whitewater is about fifteen miles long and six miles
across, and not more than 5 ft. deep in the deepest part, with about 1
ft. of mud on the bottom. The water is alkali, and no fish are able to
live in it. Its bottom is covered with small shells and this is the only
reason I can think why the geese are so partial to it. They can feed on
the bottom of the lake with ease, and being in the centre of a splendid
wheat country they can quickly get out on to the stubble, and they feel
they can sleep safely on the lake at night. The latest reports I had
from this neighbourhood were very bad.

It appears that there is an American syndicate armed with a swivel-gun
that comes over the line (the lake being close to the American border),
and shoots the geese down in hundreds as they lie peacefully on the
surface of the water at night, and, of course, they have hitched up and
driven over the border with their spoil before daylight.

The local Game Guardian is evidently afraid to tackle them by himself,
and the Western Canadian farmer is not sufficiently a sportsman to lend
a hand. But it is a standing disgrace to the district that they should
allow such a resort for geese to be ruined by a handful of Yankees, who
have no legal right to shoot there whatever. Besides, the lake is quite
a source of income to the little town which adjoins it, where the
sportsmen who frequent this spot year after year buy all their
provisions, ammunition, &c. If the citizens would only band together and
make up their minds to catch the marauders red-handed, it could easily
be done at a small cost, and this splendid resort for the wildfowler
preserved for the future, whereas under the present conditions the birds
will soon either be exterminated or driven to choose some other spot for
their abode.

                                                       BORDERER, JUNIOR.



                           “Hunting Ladies.”


So much has it become an accepted fact that ladies in the hunting field,
like motor cars, are there to stay, that it is perhaps unnecessary to
trace the evolution of the modern sportswoman, or note her gradual
development from the timid heroine of former days to the Diana of the
present time, who is capable of holding her own with some of our best
men across the stiffest country, of selecting her own hunters, and who
possesses a thorough knowledge of all the details of stable management.

“Hunting ladies,” says a well-known contemporary, “drop into two
classes, the industrious apprentice and the lotus eater,” and, without
entirely endorsing such a sweeping assertion, there is much truth in the
statement.

“The industrious apprentice” knows all about stable management and the
price of forage, can identify a vixen with the tail of her eye, and may
be followed with confidence in a big wood. She rides to the meet, knows
all the bridle-roads, and three or four times during the season spends a
Sunday afternoon on the flags.

Have we not all met her prototype?

The “lotus eater” will ride nothing but the best, has a preference for
long-tailed horses with plaited manes, drives to the meet in a brougham,
rides home at an inspiriting canter, and devotes the evening to the care
of her complexion, the repose of her person, a Paquin tea-gown, and the
infatuation of her latest admirer!

Possibly some may think this an exaggerated picture; still, many women
in hunting countries go out because they are bored at home, because they
see their friends and can talk scandal, because the hunt uniform is
becoming; in short, for every conceivable reason, save and except a true
love of sport.

It is, however, with the different types of the genuine sportswoman that
we are now principally concerned, and though comparisons are always
odious, yet we must acknowledge that it is only by comparing our own
talents and performances with those of others that we can obtain a true
estimate of their merit.

There is perhaps no more wholesome or profitable lesson for either man
or woman than to be transplanted from the small provincial pack, where
they have been considered a “bright and particular star,” to a
fashionable hunt in the Shires, there to find themselves pitted against
other stars whose light is considerably stronger than their own.

No doubt the good man or woman in an indifferent country will soon come
to the front in any hunt, but competition is very severe, and whereas it
is comparatively easy to make your mark in a field of forty, it is
undoubtedly difficult to obtain a like distinction amongst the flower of
a Leicestershire field.

Hunting is almost the only national sport in which men and women meet on
really equal terms, and of late years women’s horsemanship, and perhaps
we may say capacity for self-help, has increased so enormously that it
must be a selfish man indeed who could truthfully declare that the
presence of the average hunting woman in the field is now any real
detriment to sport.

Also beauty in distress is a rarer object than in former days. Some few
years ago, taking a lady out hunting practically meant an entire
sacrifice of the day’s sport; now we seldom see Mr. B. off his horse, in
a muddy lane, doing his frenzied best to improvise a breast-plate from a
piece of string and the thong of his hunting crop for Mrs. G.’s horse,
who possesses that intolerable fault in a lady’s hunter, a lack of
“middle.” Self-girthing attachments have also obviated the irritating
and incessant demand, “Would you be so kind as to pull up the girths of
my saddle?” And ladies are undoubtedly much more helpful about mounting
themselves.

We often hear it stated by the last generation that, since women invaded
the masculine domain and took to cultivating field sports so
enthusiastically, men have become less chivalrous and considerate in
their manner and behaviour to the weaker sex.

Of course, now all intercourse between men and women is on a completely
different footing to what it was fifty years ago, nevertheless there is
no reason to suppose that a man respects a woman less because he does
not address her in the language of Sir Charles Grandison, and there is
still ample opportunity for the ordinary attentions and courtesies which
women have a right to expect, and which we must own, in strict justice,
it is usually their own fault if they fail to receive.

As far as horsemanship is concerned, we think men and women may be
considered to divide the honours of the hunting field fairly evenly.

Even Surtees, who was by no means an advocate of hunting women,
pronounced that when women did ride “they generally rode like the very
devil,” they know no medium course, and are undeniably good or seldom go
at all.

Every one will allow that with the long reins entailed by their position
in the saddle, their firm seat and light hands, women are singularly
successful in controlling a fidgety or fretful horse, and, in fact, are
capable of riding any good hunter, provided he is not a determined
refuser and puller; but if we analyse those qualities in which even good
horsewomen fail, an eye for country and an ability to go their own line
are unquestionably absent.

We once heard an enthusiastic sportsman declare that, in his opinion, no
one who could not go their own line should be allowed to wear the Hunt
button, but if all M.F.H.’s agreed with him upon this point, the greater
percentage of their field would go buttonless.

Whyte Melville used to entreat lady riders “not to try to cut out the
work, but rather to wait and see one rider at least over a leap before
attempting it themselves”; still, with all deference to such a
well-known authority, we cannot agree upon this point, as riding one’s
own line entails that combination of valour and judgment which is the
test of a really first-rate man or woman to hounds.

It is wonderful in a large field of horsewomen how remarkably few can
live even three fields with hounds without a pilot; the path of glory
may be said to lead, if not to the grave, at least to loss of hounds and
frequent falls, yet, perhaps, there is no such intense rapture
experienced as the bit of the run which we can truthfully assert we rode
entirely “on our own.”

          She had kept her own place with a feeling of pride,
          When her ear caught the voice of a youth alongside,
          “There’s a fence on ahead that no lady should face;
          Turn aside to the left—I will show you the place.”

                 *       *       *       *       *

          To the field on the left they diverted their flight;
          At that moment the pack took a turn to the right.

If a lady is unable to go her own line and selects a pilot, she should
remember that she is conferring no honour or pleasure upon her chosen
victim, rather the reverse, as in most cases her company is “neither
asked nor wanted.”

In return for his good offices, therefore, she should at least refrain
from reproaches, if his judgment is not always infallible, neither
should she weary him with unnecessary and tiresome questions, such as,
“Can Tally-ho jump a really big place?” or, as we once heard while a
whole field were waiting, strung up at the only available place, in the
fence, “Bertie, Bertie, _ought_ I to jump on the beans?”

Many women ruin their nerve and limit their amusement by persistently
riding only one or two especial horses; whereas, if they made an
occasional change in their stud and rode as many fresh mounts as they
could possibly obtain, it would be an incalculable advantage to both
their courage and their horsemanship.

If there is one point more than another in which the modern horsewoman
triumphs over her prototype of the last generation, it is in the matter
of economy. Up to a few years ago, in addition to the chaperonage of a
male relative, it would have been considered quite impossible for any
lady to hunt unless she had a groom especially told off to dance
attendance upon her, a necessity which added very considerably to the
expenses of hunting.

Now that both this custom and the also old-fashioned idea that a horse
required special training to render him fit to carry a lady have died
away, women can mount themselves both better and cheaper than formerly,
and, thanks to their good hands and light weights, are able to make use
of the many good little horses which fetch such comparatively small
prices at Tattersalls’ and elsewhere.

Those who regard hunting as a luxury to be reserved exclusively for the
wealthy would possibly be surprised to find upon how very small a sum
many keen sportswomen obtain their season’s amusement; and certainly in
this department, at all events, the “industrious apprentice” triumphs
over her “lotus-eating” sister. We have read in sporting novels, and
even come across an isolated case in real life, of a lady who professed
to act as her own groom. Yet here we must draw the line, for it must be
an exceptional woman indeed who can turn to and strap a horse after the
exertion a day’s hunting entails. The majority of ladies in such
circumstances, we feel sure, would agree with the ethics of an old
“teakettle” groom, who was wont to observe that he did not “’old with
all that they cleaning and worriting ’oss, after ’unting; guv ’im a good
an bid o’ straw and let ’im roll and clean hisself!”

Still, without actual manual labour, the eye of a mistress who knows how
things ought to be done is a valuable adjunct to the efficacy of stable
management; and when this is the case, old Jorrock’s precept may be laid
down as correct, namely, “Hunting is an expensive amusement or not, jest
as folks choose to make it.”

Finally, do men admire ladies in the field, or do they prefer to find
their womenkind daintily attired by the fireside awaiting their return
from the chase?

We all have our fancies and ideas as to what is most pleasant and
agreeable, and like many things in this world, the key of the situation
probably lies in the identity of the lady who hunts.

If she is pretty everyone welcomes her; if the reverse, they wonder
“What brings _her_ out?” As Surtees, again, justly remarks, “dishevelled
hair, muddy clothes and a ruddy and perspiring face, are more likely to
be forgiven to the bloom of youth than to the rugged charms of maturer
years.”

Some men think mounting themselves quite as much as they can manage in
these hard times, and would rather have a wife looking after the house
than tearing across country in hot pursuit of hounds; also (but let us
whisper such a terrible suggestion), the lady might have the temerity to
ride in front of her lord; and then, indeed, would come the end of all
domestic peace and concord.

Most close observers, however, will have noticed that the real good
sportswoman is a success in almost every relation of life, for she
brings to bear upon the situation both courage, pluck and endurance,
learnt amongst a host of other useful and valuable qualities in that
best of all schools, “The Hunting Field.”

                                               M. V. WYNTER and
                                                         C. M. CRESWELL.



                   Some Theories on Acquiring a Seat.


He is a bold man, indeed, who presumes to write on the art of
horsemanship. The very attempt is, as it were, a challenge to a host of
critics—some competent, many otherwise, but all blessed with a keen eye
to detect the incompetencies of the writer. And though the latter, in
warming to his subject, may write with an air of final authority on what
he thinks are incontravenable truths, still he is always open to a very
different conviction, if only these said critics can contradict him to
his own satisfaction. But in the art of horsemanship there is always one
great drawback, that only those can thoroughly understand a
comprehensive treatise thereon who are, and save the expression, expert
themselves. For this reason the writer confines himself to one or two
aspects of the art, only at the same time he must confess that if what
follows is understood and successfully practised—well, then, the
foundations are laid, the walls are built, and the sod before long
tumbles naturally into its place.

Now riding is essentially a sleight of hand, and though we may all be
clowns to a limited extent, yet no one has achieved the status of a
perfect clown without hard work. And so the suggestion is thrown out
here that no one ever became a perfect horseman without assiduous
practice. On the other hand, no one has achieved the status of a perfect
clown—or shall we say acrobat—who is not naturally endowed with certain
india-rubber characteristics. And here, again, no one ever became a
perfect horseman who was not naturally the possessor of an active and
elastic, though not necessarily india-rubber, body. From this we may
infer that practise can make a good rider, but that natural bodily
activity as well is essential to the making of a first-class rider. It
is a misfortune that there is no tyro more jealous of instruction than
the tyro in horsemanship.

I have seen so many young riders, and it is they alone who concern me,
who have really had latent possibilities, but who, from an original
faulty position in the saddle, and, alas, a deaf ear, have not made the
progress they should. Still, if they do not listen to the counsels of
wisdom, and yet aspire to go straight, they will find sitting astride on
their saddle that hard-bitten dame, Experience. She rides with us all.
She likes hunting—is seen to play polo, and is known to go racing.
Those, therefore, who like to find out all for themselves, can listen
indefinitely to this good lady, and so take it first hand.

And now to get to the point, I would say to every tyro, watch carefully
all good riders and compare them with yourself, and remember that in
your present state of inefficiency you cannot judge for yourself. You
must take them on trust.

And here let us marshal what might well be axioms of a textbook on
horsemanship, namely:—

(1) That riders are made, not born.

(2) That an active, pliable body is the foundation of horsemanship.

(3) That in as far as the pliable body is born so is the horseman born.

(4) That pliability can be largely developed.

(5) That a really good seat is never seen without really good hands.

(6) That, therefore, hands and seat are an indivisible term.

(7) That a merely stick-fast seat, without ease, is not a good seat, and
is always minus hands.

(8) That a really easy seat is a firm seat and goes with hands.

(9) That the really easy seat is due to balance, and balance is due to a
correct position and great flexibility.

(10) That a proper grip, _i.e._, a non-fatiguing grip, is founded on
balance and not balance on grip.

(11) That a true balance not dependent on grip alone gives a free,
quick, strong leg—the mark of a “strong” rider.

(12) That a true balance is founded on a proper length of stirrup, which
alone can ensure the rider sitting really on his saddle.

(13) That the true balance, founded on a proper length of stirrup and
pliability of body alone, gives the long free reins which is half the
problem of hands.

(14) That to ride with too long a stirrup is a very common fault. It
means too forward a seat, hence too short a rein, and consequently bad
hands.

(15) That to ride with too short a stirrup is an uncommon fault, and
only interferes with the hands in as far as it affects security of seat.

(16) That there is little variation between the seats of six first-class
horsemen, a great deal between the seats of six secondary horsemen.

And so on with postulates _ad infinitum_, but to tabulate thus may make
for lucidity.

Take No. 1. Many hunting men must constantly have seen a useless hand
ride himself into a higher sphere of horsemanship, must have seen him by
constant practice change from a stiff automaton at variance with his
horse into a quick, pliable, strong rider; and Experience has been the
mistress. But real experience means riding, firstly, many different
horses; secondly, horses nice-tempered, but beyond him; thirdly,
unbroken, hot and bad-tempered horses, and last, but not least, a
“slug.” No man will learn to really ride if he always rides what he can
manage; for that is not experience.

But to make a rider into a first-class man, to make him acquainted with
the power of the leg, to teach him how absolutely essential it is, and
how the automatic and non-fatiguing use of it alone makes the “strong”
rider, and is half the battle in keeping to hounds, check-mating
refusers, ensuring a perfect bridling of the horse and getting the
uttermost jump out of him at a fence, then let him finish his education,
which, by the way, never is finished, by riding a well-bred slug for a
whole season on the top of hounds.

The remaining postulates more or less speak for themselves. They are all
part of a whole, for it is hard to believe, if a man is to go in unison
with his horse, that he can divide his equestrian body into parts. Hands
and seats, as the writer understands hands and seats, are one, if horse
and rider are to be one.

Take, however, No. 14. What is the chief mechanical fault that lies at
the bottom of bad and second-rate horsemanship, the mechanical
foundation upon which all the subtleties of horsemanship rear their
intricate selves? Unquestionably too long a stirrup. This is the common
fault, every potentiality is nullified by it. It is a fatal bar to
riding, but, alas, its cure does not necessarily mean horsemanship. It
is easy to shorten the stirrup. It is far harder to acquire flexibility;
but with too long a stirrup real riding pliability and the hands that
accompany it are unattainable. Every good rider must remember the time
when he rode with too long a stirrup. He must remember, too, how the
gradual shortening was followed by an immediate improvement in his
riding, and the greater enjoyment thereof.

Probably he went to the other extreme and used too short a stirrup, and
nearly, or perhaps quite, lost his seat.

Now, how is the rider to find a proper length of stirrup? Not, it is
quite certain, by an absurd comparative measuring of legs and arms;
individual proportions differ. No, it is a matter of experience. It is
certain at first to be overdone, or underdone, but there comes a time
when a rider can attune his stirrups, according to the difference in the
width of horse or size of saddle he bestrides, with automatic readiness.

Now the first sensation of a rider who has been riding too long is that
he is now riding too short, and it requires a great deal of firm
persuasion on the teacher’s part, and docility on the pupil’s part, to
keep him at the proper length.

Now, why does he feel too short and insecure when his double may be
rejoicing in the security of the same seat? In the first place, with too
long a stirrup he has been relying unduly on their support for his
balance. He has also, to negative the action of the horse, been rising
far too strongly on them. Now let him watch first-class riders. He will
notice that they rise but little in their stirrups, the motion of the
horse is mainly taken in an easy motion of the loins and shoulders; and,
owing to the fact that they are _sitting on_ the horse and not
_standing_ in too long a stirrup, they show but little daylight, and
their feet are not dangling toe downwards for a support a good seat does
not require.

Let the young rider, then, shorten his stirrups and sit down on his
horse. He will gain the rudiments of balance without as yet much grip.
For some time he may feel bumpy, insecure—in short, like a man who is
trying to float on his back for the first time.

Still it is the only way to acquire the flexible body, and lose the
yearning for excessive stirrups. The mere fact that he will at first
still sit too much over his shortened stirrups and will try to rise on
them as of old, will tend to raise him out of the saddle and give a
great sense of insecurity. To lessen this unpleasant feeling, he must
for self-protection sit further back, when he will shortly find a
balance, this time founded on a real seat. The knees will find
themselves where they grip the best. The new position is also in that
spot which is best calculated to set up that rhythmic ease of body which
not only means hands, but by taking up the motion of the horse reduces
rising in the stirrups to a minimum. This will leave the actual seat
undisturbed—free to grip, to sit easy, what it will.

It stands to reason the motion of the horse must be transmitted to its
rider, but it must not be transmitted to the gripping machinery nor the
seat. It must be transmitted to that part of the body best built to bear
it, namely, the loins and sliding shoulder blades, which act as springs,
buffers, or cushions. It is possible, of course, and in bare-back riding
essential, for the loins and shoulder blades to take all the motion and
the stirrups none. But the stirrups are there for reasonable assistance
only; they are aids, not necessities.

We know if a loose marble was placed against the end of a fixed iron
rod, and the other end of the rod was smartly tapped, that the marble
would move. In the same way, if we substitute the action of the horse
for the tap and the immovable iron bar for the rider’s grip, we shall
find in the lively marble the pliable loins and shoulders of a good
rider, which are far more seat than that part of the rider which is in
actual contact with the horse.

The foregoing, then, is the secret of a firm seat and an easy one. From
such a seat spring fine hands, long reins, and the whole bag of subtle
tricks, which are otherwise, to mix one’s metaphors, a closed book. In
the above it should have been said that it is taken for granted the
rider rides “home” in the stirrup. Few real horsemen ride otherwise,
except in hacking. Using the stirrup in a limited degree, they prefer to
have it where it requires no attention, and is not liable to be lost. It
would mean a hole longer in the leathers, and of course a rider can ride
that way. But where a rider says he rides thus for the sake of the
spring it is a confession at once of too long a stirrup and inferior
riding. He is dependent on his stirrup a great deal too much. His
stirrup is taking far too much of that motion which should be finding
expression in the motion of the body. The leg, that is to say, is doing
a duty which has very little to do with it. It cannot, therefore,
properly discharge its own, which, as a free member, independent of
seat, is to squeeze and encourage the horse at will.

A toe in the stirrup, then, is often, but not always, an indication of
too long a stirrup, resulting in bad hands and all its host of attendant
evils.

                                                                X. Y. Z.



                               “Our Van.”


RACING.

Quite a fillip, which was very welcome, was given to racing under
National Hunt Rules during the week which included the last days of
January and the first days of February. Gatwick began it, and, with two
stakes of £500 each, and the minimum of £100 only once not reached,
success was well deserved. One doubts whether much profit can accrue
from a meeting run on these liberal lines in winter. The meeting had
been brought forward from March with the view of steering clear of the
whirlpool which, later on, draws everything that can jump into the Grand
National. The experiment must be deemed successful, for horses were
numerous on each of the two days, whilst the public turned up in good
numbers in anticipation of sport that was not denied them. One felt
almost as though attending at a revival, so mediocre and tame had been
much of the racing earlier in the jumping season. On the first day the
chief item was the Tantivy Steeplechase, and in this the five-year-old
Sachem, who had shown ability over hurdles, winning two hurdle races at
the Sandown Park December Meeting, one of them the Grand Annual Hurdle
Handicap, came out as a steeplechaser for the first time in public. He
did so with conspicuous success, for he was carrying 11st. 10lb. and won
in excellent style. By far too many people knew that he had been fencing
in good form at home for the price about him to be long, and only the
presence of Rathvale prevented him from starting favourite. On the
second day came the International Hurdle Handicap, and in this
Isinglass’ son, Leviathan, did well by carrying home 11st. 12lb. to
victory.

Kempton Park followed on in the same liberal style, and met the same
degree of success. The £500 race on the first day was the Middlesex
Hurdle race, in which that expensive purchase, Sandboy, who had won a
couple of hurdle races, was running, weighted the same as The Chair. The
last-named always had the foot of Sandboy, being sent on a pace-making
mission which he carried out with such effect as to lead to within
twenty strides of the post. A sudden dash by Therapia, however, gave her
the race by a neck; and whether the rider of The Chair was caught
napping is a question upon which no agreement is likely to come about.
On the second day, John M.P. created a great impression by the way he
won the Coventry Handicap Steeplechase, named after the Earl of
Coventry, carrying 12st. 2lb. The way he strode along and jumped made
one think of Aintree, but two miles over ordinary fences is a very
different story to four and a half miles of the Grand National
staggerers. If John M.P. proves to be a genuine stayer, then he must
have a great chance. The only previous outing this season of John M.P.
was a hurdle-race under 12st. 7lb.

Sandown came in for some icy weather for its February Meeting. Over the
three miles of the Burwood Steeplechase Ranunculus did a very smooth
performance, but had nothing to push him, much less beat him. In winning
the Sandown Grand Prize, a Handicap Hurdle Race, under 12st. 7lb.,
Rassendyl showed himself improved out of all knowledge, and scored his
fourth consecutive win out of four times out. Mr. Stedall is persevering
enough to deserve a good one now and then.

At Hurst Park the next week a splendid entry was obtained for the Open
Steeplechase, but the race fizzled out to a field of three, and of these
Kirkland was as fat as the proverbial pig, though looking extremely
well. John M.P. gained a very easy win from Desert Chief, who, besides
chancing his fences in a way that spells grief at Aintree, altogether
failed to get three miles.

It is not unlikely that some clerks of courses will, in the future, make
a slight alteration in the distance of some of their handicap
steeplechases, so as to escape the action of the new conditions for the
Grand National, one of which penalises a winner of a handicap
steeplechase over a distance exceeding three miles 6 lb. extra. Winners
of any two steeplechases of three miles or over are penalised 4lb.


HUNTING.

For the sport of the month past we have nothing but praise. It has been
one of those months which live in the memory of hunting people. The
principal chases of which we have to write are notable alike for pace
and for duration, the Cottesmore on three consecutive weeks having
enjoyed runs which were of the kind which for want of a better word we
must call “old-fashioned,” in that they lasted over an hour and covered
a great variety of country.

I may repeat here, because it is a remark which cannot be gainsaid, and
is not without its moral, that those countries have much the best sport
which have the largest stock of foxes. The reasons for this are clear
and I think easy to see on reflection, that where foxes are numerous
hounds have plenty of blood, and there is a wider field for natural
selection in improving the breed of foxes. Sport, as might be expected,
steadily improves as the season goes on, the bad foxes are weeded out,
and their places are often taken by more mature animals from other
countries. Whether foxes are or are not bred in a covert it will never
want foxes if suitable in the shelter and food it affords. The best of
the Cottesmore runs which must be placed on record, was the one from
Prior’s Coppice on Tuesday, January 23rd. There have been longer points
and straighter runs than this, but none where a better pace was
sustained over a beautiful but not easy country for a prolonged time.

Many days have threatened fog or frost in the mornings, and yet have
been pleasant enough before the day was over. So it was on January 23rd.
The morning fog was cold and discouraging. How true is Whyte Melville’s
saying, that “Courage is a question of caloric.” Prior’s Coppice was
reached, and though hounds left some at least of their followers at a
disadvantage, yet when once clear of the covert it was clear that hounds
were bending left handed. By the time Cole’s Lodge was reached the pack
had started to hunt at a good pace, and the field were in their places.
Those who had galloped to reach hounds had now to sit down to ride to
keep with the pack. A slight turn helped. Then came a climb that made
one feel the advantage of after-Christmas condition. Before Christmas a
horse that had climbed the Hog’s Back would have needed a pull, now we
can ask him to gallop freely.

The fox worked as if Wardley Wood was his point, but his strength began
to fail, and he turned away before he crossed the road. Hounds swung
round with him, and it was the pressure they exercised that defeated
him. Now he began to turn and twist, but still keeping out of the way of
hounds in the most gallant fashion. He was actually in the brook with
the hounds, and at last crawled into Manton Gorse, from which he came
out to die. An hour and three quarters of the best country, and at a
pace that found out the weak points of many horses. Those who rode it
fairly on one horse knew that they had to quote Whyte Melville once
more, “not merely a good hunter, but a good horse.”

To find any run equal to this we have to go back to the Pytchley hunt
after a meet at Weedon Barracks, on Friday, January 12th. In this case
hounds hunted a fox which has, it is believed, run before them once at
least before this season. This great hunt lasted at least for two hours,
and there was just that amount of difficulty and hindrance for followers
in the early stages that enabled hounds to settle down to their work.
There was much heavy going, too; horses began to stop before, near Ashby
Ledgers, hounds on the grass began to run away from them. Near Daventry
wire cut the huntsman off from hounds, and with a beaten fox crawling in
front hounds lost him after all.

The best Wednesday was at Yelvertoft. The fox an out-lier, hounds laid
on in a grass field over which the fox had run a minute or two before.
Fences that held up the boldest, while hounds settled down, made a hunt
a certainty. There were a good many casualties at the flooded streams.

Never touching a covert and running fairly straight hounds ran on by
Naseby Covert; there were two lines here, and hounds no doubt took up
the fresh one. An eight-mile point in an hour tells of a first-rate
hunting run. Another half-hour and the fox that intervened paid the
penalty with his life. One of the great events of the hunting season is
the Quorn Hunt Ball. This year more than 300 people gathered in the Corn
Exchange at Melton, a gathering which included hunting people from many
parts of the world and all parts of England. It often happens that show
days are below the average of the sport usually shown. But Captain
Forester, who was hunting the hounds, was fortunate in finding a fox
which, if it made no great point, showed to the visitors a fine
selection of the famous riding grounds of the Quorn hunt.

The fixture after the ball, on Friday, February 2nd, was at Egerton
Lodge, which has been with so many generations the social centre of the
hunting world. This was appropriate, and so was the drawing of the
Hartopp coverts at Gartree Hill, and the visit of the fox to the Punch
Bowl, his timely excursion over the Burton Flats, which is, perhaps, to
the stranger the simplest form of Leicestershire. After running through
Adam’s Gorse the fox led the visitors into an almost perfect region of
grass and fences.

Altogether it was a day of which one could remark that anyone who rode
the line faithfully would have a fair idea of what hunting with the
Quorn meant.

On Saturday, February 3rd, Tom Bishopp once more carried the horn after
being laid by with influenza. The Normanton Hill coverts held a
traveller. For an hour and forty minutes hounds drove their fox over a
country which is for Leicestershire rather given over to arable. But
scent and a fairly straight line helped them, and when the end came at
Broughton Station they were nearly eleven miles from their starting
point, and had been going for an hour and three quarters. Thus the pace
must have been good. This was the straightest run of the whole week if
we except the Duke of Beaufort’s two gallops after meeting at
Cherrington on February 2nd in the Tetbury country. Hounds dashed away
for four miles. They were stopped and brought back. A third fox proved
equally good, for he led them right away into the choicest of the
V.W.H., the followers enjoying a variety of fencing, beginning with
stone walls, and including the rough hedges sometimes set on banks, and
the wide ditches of the vale country. The Duke’s country and the V.W.H.
ride deep in wet weather, but they also carry a scent under such
conditions. Hounds had come some nine miles in a direct line before they
turned and came back by Charlton Park. But in point of distance the run
of the month was in the remote district of East Cornwall, where hounds
are hunted by Mr. Connock Marshall, and Mr. Philpotts Williams controls
the field. It was in Torr Brake the fox was found, and a ring was worked
out without any extraordinary promise. On leaving the covert again the
scent improved, and from that point onwards hounds were well served.
Even supposing, of which there is no certainty, that they came away from
Torr the second time with a fresh fox, it was a marvellous run and a
wonderful instance of endurance for fox and hounds. It was not till two
hours and a half were over that hounds began to run for blood, and near
Berry Tor the leaders caught a view, and ran into a most gallant fox
that struggled to the very last. It is said that twenty-five miles was
covered as hounds ran, and if this is correct the pace was fast, as the
run lasted under two hours and three-quarters from find to finish.

The Woodland Pytchley had what may be described rather as a very
excellent day’s hunting (on Feb. 5th) than as a great run. They were
stopped at the end of five hours, having been hunting all the time. But
there were several changes, how many it would be difficult to say, since
such fox-haunted coverts as Rushton, Pipewell, Brampton, and Dingley
Warren, were some of the coverts visited during the day. It was a
remarkable performance for the hounds, and, like the run last mentioned,
speaks volumes for the kennel management of the pack.

Staghounds have, like the foxhounds, had a capital month. Mr. Stanley
brought off a notable performance on the Brendon Hills. He found a hind,
and hunted her for four hours with a moderate scent. The hounds worked
well, and their admirable condition carried them through. But we know,
of course, that much in these cases depends on the combination of
patience and promptness in the man who hunts them. The point was that
there was no change in spite of the danger of this on the moorland at
this time of year. That the chase of the carted deer has some points of
resemblance with that of their wild kindred, is shown by the experience
of the Surrey Staghounds when visiting the Kentish side of their
country. They had two admirable runs, and in both the quarry ran into
herds of park deer, the second one having to be left in Knole Park after
a fine chase of two and a half hours. It seems as if there was no limit
to the powers of a red deer hind in the winter, so that as the old
huntsman used to say, “She can run so long as she have a mind to.”

The changes among masters which January brings are not very numerous.
None of the leading hunts are vacant, and some of those which were in
want of new masters have succeeded in finding them. The latest
resignations are from Hampshire, where Mr. F. L. Swindell and Mr. Yorke
Scarlett are resigning the Hursley and the Tedworth. In no county are
shooting and hunting more likely to clash than in Hampshire. Moreover,
the county is a difficult one to hunt, yet the various packs, including
the Hambledon, the H.H., and the Vine have had a good season on the
whole. No doubt the plentiful rain has helped to bring about this
result. But good masters and huntsmen such as Hampshire has throughout
its hunting history had quite its share of having helped this result
greatly. Mr. Long, the grandson of a former master of the Hambledon,
will, it is said, take the Hursley. In the north Mr. J. B. Pease
succeeds Mr. Alec Browne with the Percy. In the Midlands, Sir J. Hume
Campbell buys Mr. McNeill’s famous bitch pack with which to hunt North
Cotswold, to the great satisfaction of the country. Among huntsmen the
changes are neither few nor unimportant. It is said that Gosden will
leave the Meynell; it is certain that John Isaac retires from the
Pytchley after twenty-six years of faithful and efficient service with
that pack. He will be succeeded by Frank Freeman, a son of the Will
Freeman whom I recollect with the South and West Wilts. Gillson, a son
of George Gillson of the Cottesmore, who has been hunting the last-named
pack with great success, is to follow Freeman in the Bedale country. I
can recollect him a mere lad as second whipper-in to Shepherd, so long
with the South Oxfordshire. Gillson has not forgotten, I dare say, the
queer-tempered horse he used to ride, and the kicking matches which,
though unpleasant when he wanted to turn hounds, no doubt helped to make
him the horseman he is.

The death of Charles Littleworth, formerly huntsman to the fifth Earl of
Portsmouth, removes from hunting circles one of the best judges of
foxhounds and terriers, and a most admirable woodland huntsman. Of those
I have known in a lengthening experience none were better than the late
Lord Macclesfield and Charles Littleworth at hunting a fox in strong
woodlands. Both, I think, liked a big dog-hound for the work. The blood
of the Eggesford kennels, as it was in Lord Portsmouth’s time, runs in
the veins of many of the best packs of the present day, the Badminton
and the Four Burrow each owing something to the Eggesford kennel. Then
the famous pack with which Sir Richard Glyn and John Press hunted the
Blackmore Vale owed much to the lucky cross of the Portsmouth Commodore
with Mr. Villebois’ Matchless. But this is too large a subject for such
notes as these. As a breeder of working terriers Charles Littleworth had
no superior and few equals, as those who have had the luck to own one of
his strain will bear witness.

The death of Lady Howe removes one who as a sportswoman stood among the
first. It is only as a rider to hounds that I have to write of her in
these columns. It has been my good fortune to see all the leading riders
to hounds of the last twenty years, and among them there was none better
than Lady Georgiana Curzon. It used to be said that there were five
ladies who stood out as riders to hounds, and the late Lady Howe was one
of the best of these.


HUNTING IN YORKSHIRE.

We have had an open January, hounds having only missed an odd day here
and there, and it is not till the day that these notes are written that
we have had any real wintry weather, though for a few days previous keen
northeasterly winds and flying showers of hail and sleet have shown that
there was frost and snow coming. Should the stoppage be a short one,
sport will undoubtedly benefit, and there will be a good tale to tell in
the April number of BAILY. Sport, on the whole, has not been great since
I last wrote, though there have been a few runs which stand out, notably
a moorland run with the Cleveland, in which a good point was made and a
lot of difficult country covered. Before proceeding, however, with a
record of the sport, some coming changes should be referred to. Fred
Freeman, who leaves the Bedale, will hunt the Pytchley next season, and
I am told that his uncle, Dick Freeman, who has shown such excellent
sport in the North Durham country for so many years, will retire at the
end of the season. An item of news which will please all his many
friends is that Tom Smith, of the Bramham Moor, has returned from his
short visit to Blackpool fully restored to health.

Lord Fitzwilliam’s had a famous day’s sport on Wednesday, January 10th,
when they met at the Oaks, Norton, on the Derbyshire side of their
country. In Whenacre they found a strong show of foxes and hounds
divided, one lot running by Sicklebrook to Troway, where they marked
their fox to ground. With this lot were Bartlett and the bulk of the
field. The other lot ran through the Norton Coverts, and turning to the
right from Gleadless Toll Bar, they rattled on to Hazelhurst, where
Bartlett came up with the rest of the pack, and they ran on at a good
pace past Lightwood to Charnock Hall. Some foot people on the hill
headed the fox and brought hounds to their noses, and they hunted slowly
down the valley and through the Royal Wood, where they worked up to
their fox, and rolled him over near Ford, after a fine hunting run of an
hour and a half. A capital forty-five minutes from Hanging Lea by
Hackenthorpe Church and Birley Spa, and the Beighton Gorse to Beighton
Village, where they marked their fox to ground, made up a good day’s
sport.

The Bramham Moor had some fine hunting in the cream of their country on
Friday, January 12th, when they met at Hutton Hall. There was a brace of
foxes in Hutton Thorns, with one of which they went away to Collier
Haggs with a rare rattle, but the fun was soon over, for he went to
ground near where they met. The other fox was viewed at Marston Village,
and Smith went to the hollow. Of course he was a long way ahead, but
hunting with the perseverance for which they are so famous, hounds
hunted him slowly back to Hutton Thorns and over the Marston Road, and a
couple of wide rings round to Hutton Thorns again, where he beat them.
They ran a second fox from White Syke Whin, leaving Wilstrop Wood on the
right, up to Skewkirk Bridge, and along the Nidd Banks for half a mile,
where hounds were stopped, as the fox had crossed the river into the
York and Ainsty country.

They had another good day on Thursday, January 18th, when they met at
Deighton Bar, the day of the fixture being changed on account of the
Barkston Ash election. They had rather a long draw for the country, for
they did not find till they got to Igmanthorpe Willow Garth. They ran
hard by Bickerton and Minster Hagg up to the Cowthorpe and Tockwith
road, where the first check took place. Hitting off the line over the
road, they ran down to the Nidd, which they crossed midway between
Cattail Bridge and Hunsingore. No sooner had they crossed the river than
they recrossed it, and they hunted down the banks of the Nidd with a
failing scent to Thornville Old Hall. Thence they swung round in the
direction of Tockwith, and finally were run out of scent between Minster
Hagg and Bickerton. A heavy snowstorm drove them home as they were about
to draw the Thorp Arch coverts.

The Hurworth had a rare day from Crathorne on Saturday, January 13th,
running over some of the finest country in the north of Yorkshire. They
found in Trenholme Bar Whin, and ran by Crathorne and Mr. Dugdale’s
coverts to Leven Banks, and on to Crathorne Mill, where they crossed the
Leven and pointed for Hutton Rudby. Leaving Rudby Wood on the right,
they skirted Windy Hill, and with a right hand turn below Seamer
Village, they ran by Tame Bridge, and over the Stokesley Road up to
Busby, finally marking their fox to ground in Carlton Bank in the
Bilsdale country. This is the second time the Hurworth have run into the
Cleveland west country, and it recalls old days when visits were
constantly paid to each other’s countries by the neighbouring packs, and
the best of sport was shown by the stout foxes for which both districts
were then famous.

The great moorland run with the Cleveland took place on Monday, January
22nd, when hounds met at Kilton. The morning was dull, and there was a
little fog about, and at times the mist hung thick on the moor, and
getting to hounds over the rough country crossed was no easy matter.
They found under Howson’s Nab, and ran sharply up to Liverton Lodge,
where they turn right-handed up Church Gill to Liverton Village. They
left Porritt Hagg to the right, and ran up Moorsholme Gill and on to the
moor. Then crossing the Peat Bogs and the Castleton Road, they pointed
for Skelton Warren, but swung left-handed before reaching Lockwood Head,
and crossing Commondale Moor they ran by North Ings and Sleddale Bog,
and through Percy Cross Plantation into Nanny Howe, where the fox
probably got to ground, and hounds went away with a fresh fox over Ayton
Banks and into Brown’s Intake, where they divided. One lot ran to the
top of Roseberry where there were open earths, but they did not mark the
fox to ground. A holloa for’ard at Langbarough Ridge, took hounds into
the low country, but this was evidently a fresh fox, and the rest of the
pack ran a very tired fox by Pinchinthorpe Hall and Ward’s Farm, but he
was a long way ahead, and they had to give it up. Only four men got to
the end. I should add that I never remember hounds running from Kilton
to Cook’s Monument, nor do I remember coming across any record of the
same line being crossed.


DEATH OF MR. E. A. NEPEAN.

On January 20th, after a brief illness, the cause of death being
influenza followed by pneumonia, this celebrated cricketer passed away
at Clarence House, Windsor.

Mr. Evan Alcock Nepean was the eldest son of Sir Evan Nepean, at one
time Director of Army Contracts; he was born in 1865, and educated at
Sherborne School and University College, Oxford. He went up to Oxford
from a very moderate school with something of a reputation as a steady
batsman and an eccentric bowler, with not much length and a curl from
leg.

This was in 1886, and Mr. Nepean playing for his college eleven had to
endure the mortification of standing about in the field during long
afternoons watching the chastisement of very moderate bowlers by
moderate enough batsmen.

Mr. Nepean was an early apostle of the twisting methods which have since
won such renown for Warwick Armstrong, Braund, and many another; but in
the dark ages of the middle ’eighties he had to plead hard to be allowed
to bowl an over or two, so great was the contempt inspired by his
so-called “Donkey Drops” or “Cock-a-doodles.” But sometimes his frequent
request to be allowed to bowl was listened to, and historically was this
the case in 1887 in the Parks at Oxford, when he was playing in a trial
match for the Etceteras against the Perambulators. The academic and
fast-footed methods of the, for that day, at any rate, much miscalled
Perambulators led to their downfall at the fingers of the leg-twister,
and in a brief summer afternoon Mr. Evan Nepean had fully established
his claim to be regarded as a bowler to be reckoned with, although but
for his batting ability it is possible that he would never have had an
opportunity of bowling an over in first-class cricket.

The success of his methods, at that time regarded as barbaric and
unfashionable, led to his gaining a trial for the ’Varsity team, and it
was found that the best professional batsmen did not relish the task of
fencing with his insidious deliveries. “It may be awful tosh, but it
gets them out,” was the verdict of the Oxonians; and so Mr. Nepean
having twisted himself into the Oxford eleven of 1887, took five
Cambridge wickets at a cost of 83 runs, and going in first scored 58 not
out, when the Dark Blues went in to get the runs and won by seven
wickets. The astute intelligence which at that time controlled the
fortunes of Middlesex cricket speedily retained the eccentric bowler for
county purposes, and from 1887 regularly until 1889, and after his call
to the Bar intermittently for a few years, Mr. Nepean rendered great
service both with bat and ball to the cosmopolitan county.

The season 1889 was the most successful Mr. Nepean enjoyed; he headed
the Middlesex averages with 41 wickets, at an average cost of just over
18 runs apiece, and in that year he played for the Gentlemen against the
Players at Lord’s, Kennington Oval, and Hastings. It was against
professional batsmen that he had his most marked successes, and the
great Notts batsmen of that day, including Arthur Shrewsbury and William
Gunn, at the top of their form, would often fall a prey to his insidious
twisters; in fact, his record for Middlesex against Notts in 1889 was 12
wickets for 88 runs, at a time when Notts was one of the strongest
batting sides in the country. To a batsman quick on his legs the bowling
of Mr. Nepean presented few terrors, but to the academic player
accustomed to stand fast-footed in his ground and play gracefully
forward or back, the Shirburnian proved a severe thorn in the flesh. As
a batsman he displayed little of the enterprise associated with his
bowling methods, but his stolid defence often realised a good score, for
he was never in any hurry, and did not believe in sacrificing his
wicket.

Mr. Nepean was an industrious barrister, with a good and growing
practice, and had for some years held the post of revising barrister for
one of the Metropolitan divisions.

By his death a distinguished cricket career was terminated, and a most
promising professional career was cut short.


THE GRAND PRIX AT MONTE CARLO.

Mr. Mackintosh, the Australian, was once more favourite for the £1,100
and Trophy, which entitles its holder to claim to be the best shot in
the world.

The accident of England being the only country in the world which makes
driving more fashionable than walking up game, has taught young shooters
here that pigeon shooting is not now good practice for game killing. On
the other hand, clay-bird shooting at the clubs is good practice for
pigeons, and so it happens that the man who seemed to have the only
chance of winning for England at the end of the seventh round of the
Grand Prix was a clay-bird shooter of pronounced success, viz., Mr.
Cave. This was also true of the last Englishman to win the trophy, viz.,
Captain Pellier Johnson.

On the other hand, the most successful Englishman in the present season
at Monte Carlo has been a regular Hurlingham and Gun Club pigeon-shooter
for many years. This is Mr. Hodgson Roberts, who took the Prix Journu
Handicap from the extreme range of 30 metres with 15 straight kills on
January 9th, and on January 30th won the Grande Poule d’Essai, an even
distance event, with 19 consecutive kills. Nevertheless, the betting for
the bigger event favoured Mr. Mackintosh all through the season,
although in the last-named event he had killed but four birds, and had
not been either lucky or great during the season. His principal triumph
was the Prix Myosotis Handicap, which he divided from the 31 metres
mark, but with only 7 kills; the famous French shooter, M. Journu, being
in with him from the 29½ metres distance. On January 15th Mr. Roberts
and Mr. C. Robinson (the latter representing America) had won the Prix
H. Grasselli, with a run of eight kills each. This prize is named after
the victor in 1902 and 1905, and should have its amount multiplied by
three in future years, as an honour to the Italian shooter who has
become the first three-times-victor, who also has won twice
consecutively, for, in spite of the penalty distance, he has now won a
third time. Surely where pigeon shooting counts as a proof of
marksmanship he must be held to be the greatest shot in the world. The
triumph of Italy was almost a foregone conclusion when Mr. Cave failed
for England at his eighth bird, but it was not Signor H. Grasselli who
the Italians backed then, but his runner-up last year. This was Signor
Marconcini, who, having killed his eleventh bird without a a miss, went
to the traps with £1,100 and the trophy trembling in the balance against
the life of one pigeon. Nerves were on the side of the latter, which
was, however, an easy bird and feathered by both barrels, but fell dead
just the wrong side of the boundary, which made all the difference to
Signor Marconcini, who was not even amongst the six victors in the end.
The betting at the start was 100 to 7 Mackintosh, 20 to 1 against H.
Grasselli, last year’s victor, and then 25 to 1 was obtained about
Roberts, Robinson, and P. Thellusson. The first named of these three
missed his first bird, and the last named his second. Probably the
betting really indicates the status of the shooters quite as much as the
chances of war and eventual victory, and for that reason it may be added
that 33 to 1 was to be had against Journu, Marconcini, Wilder, Lazzara,
Habite, Moore, Huet, and F. Thellusson, and 50 to 1 each against
Chiannini, Bruce, Moncorge, Hans, Marsh, H. Cave, C. Cave, Webb,
Horadetski and Rosslyn, and 66 to 1 against any others. As there were
175 shooters, it cannot be said that the odds were upon the liberal
side. The strength of the birds and some wind soon settled the chances
of more than three parts of the competitors, but those who had the luck
to get to the last day had no wind to contend with, although the birds
were of the best throughout. Of course the entry was the record, for in
spite of our insular prejudice the event grows in importance. Signor H.
Grasselli won with 19 kills in 20 birds; Signor Bordoni killed 18 out of
20 birds and took second, and Dom Luro, from Brazil, with 16 out of 18
obtained third place. The fourth prize was secured by 15 out of 16 shots
by three shooters, who divided, these were two Italians and one
Frenchman, so that there were four Italian victors out of six. The
fourth men were Signor Chirericati, Signor Schianini, and Count Lazzana.
The victories are now twelve times for England, all but three of them in
the first half of the competitions, twelve for Italy, all but three of
these being the last half of the annual events. Four times Frenchmen
won. Three times Austria and Hungary have taken the trophy. Twice it has
been won by Belgium, and Spain has taken it once, as also has the United
States, which was in the year of its initiation. America, for different
reasons to England (for game driving is unknown there) seems to have
dropped almost out of the competition, although it is probable that the
best pigeon shots are to be found in that country. At any rate, the best
clay-bird shots are, and the ease with which they overthrew the English
team in which Mr. Cave shot a few years ago will hardly be forgotten,
and they did it with one barrel against the English two.


GOLF.

The General Election took from the membership of the House of Commons
several good golfers, including Mr. Arthur Balfour, Mr. Gerald Balfour,
and Mr. Alfred Lyttelton, and made only one notable addition, namely,
Mr. Frank Newnes, the new member for the Bassetlaw Division of Notts.
The two best players at Westminster, Mr. Eric Hambro and Mr. H. W.
Forster, retained their seats.

The Walton Heath Club has inaugurated a competition which promises to
excite much interest among London golfers. The competition is for a
challenge trophy presented by the club, and is confined to clubs whose
headquarters are within thirty miles of Charing Cross. Each club will
provide a professional and an amateur player, or two amateurs, and the
couple will play a two-ball foursome on a neutral green, until the final
round is reached, when the play must take place on Walton Heath. If the
response to the invitation for entries is at all general there will be
fine play, for the London clubs include some of the best players,
amateur and professional, in the country. The latter include Harry
Vardon, James Braid, J. H. Taylor, Jack White and Rowland Jones; while
among the former are Mr. H. H. Hilton, Mr. Harold Beveridge, Mr. W.
Herbert Fowler, and Mr. T. R. Pinkerton.

Four professionals from this country, Jack White, Alexander Herd, Andrew
Kirkaldy and Rowland Jones, went to Mexico and took part in the
championship meeting there. They, however, found the conditions far from
their liking, and made an indifferent show. The championship was won by
Willie Smith, an old Carnoustie player, who has been some time in
America, and can play on sand greens. A team competition was arranged,
but in this the home professionals did no better than in the
championship play. Andrew Kirkaldy had for opponent Bernard Nicholls,
the young professional who beat Harry Vardon twice in America. Nicholls
on this occasion defeated Kirkaldy by two holes.

Harry Vardon is staying at La Touquet this winter for his health, and
has distinguished himself by making a record score for the course of 68.
This indicates surely that his health is mending.

A scheme has been started for the laying out of a full golf course at
Cowes, in the Isle of Wight, and the conversion of Norris Castle into a
clubhouse, with bedrooms for the accommodation of golfers as well as
yachtsmen.


“HIS HOUSE IN ORDER,” AT THE ST. JAMES’S THEATRE.

Following the great success of “Nero” comes the marked success of
Pinero, and Mr. George Alexander is to be congratulated upon the
reception which his recent production has received from public and
critics alike.

Mr. Pinero rising, phœnix-like, from the ashes of “The Wife without a
Smile,” has, according to many intelligent playgoers, soared to a
greater height than ever before, and people have not hesitated to
declare “His House in Order” to be a finer play than “The Second Mrs.
Tanqueray.”

A few years ago Mr. Pinero was reported to have said, upon some public
occasion, that what a dramatist requires is praise. Our leading
playwright ought just now to be like the little boy in the
advertisement, “He is happy now he has got it.”

With everybody loud in their praises of the play, we have to ask for
sympathy in the disappointment we suffered on seeing it. We have always
been full of admiration for Mr. Pinero’s genius, and having been told to
expect so much of his latest work, we were discontented with what we saw
and heard. To begin with, we could not find in the play one single
character with whom we could sympathise or whose cause we could espouse
with any enthusiasm.

Nina is presumably meant to appeal to the sympathies of the audience,
but, after all, her only claim to this appears to be that she is
mortified and distressed by the brutality of the relatives of the first
wife of her husband. Nina Jesson seems to be just a middle-class little
thing who, entering the Jesson household as governess, marries Jesson on
the death of his first wife.

She is devoted to ill-mannered dogs, which she would love to encourage
about the house; she is a confirmed cigarette-smoker, having been
instructed in this accomplishment by her father, the clergyman, and she
appears to be untidy, unpunctual, and generally impossible; whilst she
is sneak enough to read other people’s letters and to use them for her
own ends. And so to keep Jesson’s house in order, the deceased wife’s
sister acts as hostess instead of the unpractical Nina—and that is the
grievance. She and the other three members of the Ridgeley family do not
hesitate to enlarge on the shortcomings of the second Mrs. Jesson, and
hence our tears are invoked on behalf of the ex-governess.

We may say, however, that for Miss Irene Vanbrugh, who plays Nina, we
have nothing but the warmest admiration. She plays the part for all that
it is worth, and her performance is the finest feature of the play.

The members of the Ridgeley family are, to our mind, like nothing in the
world except themselves, and they certainly are so much like one another
that Nina might have drawn them at any time by saying: “There are not
four Ridgeleys but one Ridgeley.”

Mr. Pinero has probably met a Ridgeley somewhere, but we hope there are
not many of them about. Hillary Jesson, in one of his flights of
declamation, denounces the Ridgeleys as “individually and collectively
one of the pests of humanity,” and this line got the most hearty
applause of the evening. Obviously the Ridgeleys never go in front at
the St. James’s Theatre, and it is not at all a bad device of
stage-craft to direct all your slings and arrows against a class of
people who, if not absolutely non-existent, are certainly never to be
found amongst the audience in a theatre. The middle-class Puritanical
goody-goody must always be a safe butt for the player and playgoer.

But there are much worse people than the Ridgeleys in the play. There is
a Major Maurewarde who seduces the wife of his friend, sneakingly claims
the only offspring of that marriage as his own natural son, and after
the death of the lady contrives to enjoy the hospitality of the cuckold
and the affection of the bastard—a nice specimen of an officer and a
gentleman!

Then there is a British Minister to some foreign republic, unfortunately
home on leave, who must have a finger in every pie and put the whole
world straight. He espouses the cause of Nina, but when she is going to
use the compromising letters of her predecessor in the affections of
Jesson, Hillary Jesson, his brother, the meddler, prevails upon her to
do no such thing, but to hand over the compromising documents to his
safe keeping, with the result that he loses little time in handing them
himself to his brother, the deceived husband.

As a reward for having nearly talked her to death, her self-elected
champion asks Nina to present him with her cigarette case that he may
add it to a very bizarre collection of curiosities he has made,
including “the blood-stained handkerchief of a matador, and a
half-smoked cigarette that has been pressed by the lips of an
empress—one of the noblest of her sex.” To our mind, the man who can
talk such rot as this is likely to be a much more troublesome creature
than any of the despised Ridgeleys.

Then the husband Jesson would not be everybody’s choice; he certainly
treats his second wife very unkindly, and as far as we can see the only
reason for his kicking out the Ridgeleys, and allowing his wife to
resume the proud privilege of keeping house for him, is that he becomes
aware of the infidelity of his first wife and wreaks his vengeance upon
her relatives.

We are told that two wrongs cannot make one right, and there seems no
reason why the accidental revelation of the infidelities of a dead woman
should suddenly transform a bad housekeeper into a good one, as probably
Mr. Jesson soon discovered.

Upon the theme of this interesting play one might wander on
indefinitely, but space fortunately forbids our saying more now, except
that everybody should go and see “His House in Order,” and everybody
should be interested by it; but we cannot think that anybody ought to
call it Mr. Pinero’s masterpiece, for Mr. Pinero has written some very
fine plays indeed.



                         Sporting Intelligence.
                    [During January—February, 1906.]


On January 17th Her Majesty the Queen attended the meet of the West
Norfolk Foxhounds, at Rougham Hall, in a motor car; the Princess
Victoria, and the Princes Edward and Albert of Wales were present on
horseback. The Queen showed great interest in the pack, and photographed
the hounds.

                  *       *       *       *       *

While out hunting with the Woodland Pytchley Hounds, on January 17th,
Mr. John Thornton, of Pilton, Northamptonshire, when jumping a high
fence, was thrown from his seat and came down on the point of the
saddle, sustaining severe internal injuries, to which he succumbed on
the following day.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Mr. J. G. Blanshard, who had been for some thirty years secretary of the
Wetherby Steeplechase Meeting, died at his residence, Walton, near
Wetherby, on January 18th, at the age of seventy. Mr. Blanshard was a
well-known judge of horses, and bred many good hunters in his time.

                  *       *       *       *       *

On January 18th there died at his residence, Wynnstay Gardens,
Kensington, Mr. Thomas Hughes, aged eighty-three years. Mr. Hughes was,
in his day, a well-known personage on the turf, and so far back as 1859
he did well when The Brewer won the Liverpool Autumn Cup; and in 1864 he
won the Chester Cup with the eight-year-old Flash-in-the-Pan.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The Croome Hounds had a good run on January 20th, during which the pack
got upon the railway and had the misfortune to lose a hound.

                  *       *       *       *       *

At the early age of forty-two years, Sir James Percy Miller, Bart., died
at Manderston, Duns, Berwickshire, on January 22nd, as the result of a
chill taken while out hunting the previous week. The deceased baronet
had a very successful career on the Turf, and in 1903 won the Derby with
Rock Sand; he was also well known in the hunting-field, and had been
from 1897 Master of the local pack.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Owing to the death of Sir George Shiffner, which occurred on January
23rd, in his eighty-sixth year, at his residence, Coombe, Lewes, the
Southdown Foxhounds did not meet for several days.

A painful incident occurred with the Meynell Hounds on January 25th. The
meet was at Brailsford Bridge, and Captain Frederick Livingstone
Campbell, superintendent of the Sheerness Dockyard, who was out,
suffered a seizure just as the fox was killed, and fell from his saddle,
dislocating his neck; hounds were at once called off.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The death occurred at Mython House, near Shrewsbury, of Mr. Alfred
Roqueir Candon. The deceased, who was an old member of the Cotswold
Hunt, was this season hunting with the Shropshire hounds. On January
30th, while exercising a hunter, after taking several fences the horse
bolted and threw its rider at a gate: Mr. Candon broke his neck, death
being almost instantaneous.

                  *       *       *       *       *

One of the best-known writers on natural history and country life
subjects, Mr. Charles John Cornish, died at Worthing on January 30th,
aged forty-seven years. The deceased was a keen lover of field sports
and wildfowling, and his experiences were most agreeably related in many
books and articles contributed to the _Spectator_ and other periodicals.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Lord Newlands, who was in his eighty-first year, died at Maudslie
Castle, Lanarkshire, on January 30th. For many years he was a keen
supporter of coaching, and was a member of the Four-in-Hand and also of
the Coaching Clubs, being elected President of the last-named in 1902.
Lord Newland was a prominent supporter of the Lanark Races.

                  *       *       *       *       *

On January 30th the death occurred of a well-known Yorkshire sportsman
and ex-M.F.H., Mr. John Hill. He was in his eighty-fifth year, and
passed away suddenly at the Low Hall, Brompton, Yorkshire. Mr. John Hill
and his father before him, Mr. R. Johnson Hill, hunted the country
around Scarborough, now known as Mr. Sherbrooke’s, from the year 1808.
Mr. John Hill took over the Mastership upon the death of his father in
1855, but sold the hounds in 1862 to the Duke of Grafton. Frank Beers
was well pleased with the pack, and their blood is to be found, says
_Horse and Hound_, in the Grafton Hounds to-day. Mr. Hill was succeeded
in the Mastership of the Scarborough country by Mr. Harcourt Johnstone
(the present Lord Derwent), for whom he hunted them for many seasons,
and another member of the family, Mr. Robin Hill, is at present acting
as amateur huntsman to Mr. Sherbrooke.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Mr. John Bell Irving, of Whitehill, Dumfriesshire, died on January 31st
in his ninety-fourth year. The deceased was the oldest Justice of the
Peace in Scotland, having been on the commission for sixty years. He was
a famous breeder of stock and a prominent coursing man, having owned
many well-known greyhounds, and was the only survivor of a band of
county gentlemen which started the Dumfriesshire Foxhounds. Last year,
at the age of ninety-three, he was present at the annual races. His
wife, who predeceased him eighteen months ago, was the sister of the
late Sir Robert Jardine.

                  *       *       *       *       *

On February 3rd Charles Littleworth died at his residence at Crediton,
aged seventy-six years. The deceased, who was born in Hampshire, entered
hunt service in 1854, when he became second horseman to the Earl of
Portsmouth, then Master of the Vine; later he went with Lord Portsmouth
to Devonshire as first whipper-in to the Eggesford, and was soon after
promoted to huntsman. He remained on active service in the country for
nearly forty years. In 1890 he was presented with an illuminated address
and a purse of 200 guineas. Charles Littleworth took a great interest in
the breeding of fox-terriers, and often acted as a judge at shows.

                  *       *       *       *       *

On February 3rd there passed away Major T. H. Preston, of Moreby Hall,
near York, in his eighty-ninth year. Very keen to hounds and a fine
shot, Major Preston was one of the few survivors of the disaster to the
York and Ainsty Hounds on February 4th, 1869, when Sir Charles
Slingsley, the Master, and other members of the Hunt lost their lives
through the capsizing of the ferry-boat on the River Ure.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Mr. John Arkwright, who was for many years Hon. Secretary to the North
Warwickshire Hunt, died on February 12th at his residence, Hatton House,
near Warwick, aged eighty-two years. Mr. Arkwright was presented with
his portrait a number of years ago, when there was a great gathering of
hunting men at Stoneleigh, and the late Lord Leigh made the presentation
on behalf of the subscribers. The present Master of the North
Warwickshire, Mr. J. P. Arkwright, is elder son of the deceased
gentleman.

                  *       *       *       *       *

A veteran Irish sportsman has passed away in the person of Mr. Philip
Blake, who died at his residence, Ladyrath House, Navan, aged eighty
years. He was well known with the Meath and the Louth Hounds, and in the
sixties was Master and owner of the Meath Union Harriers.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Some good prices for hunters have been obtained at the Leicester
Repository. Lord Chesham sold three: Patrick, 160 gs.; Goodman, 170 gs.;
and Dulcimer, 230 gs. Three sent up by Captain G. E. Belleville sold as
follows: St. Maur, 210 gs.; Oatmeal, 185 gs., and Samuel, 150 gs. Mr.
Alex. Browne, M.F.H., realised an average of £283 10s. for eleven
hunters; The Dub, 600 gs.; Daly, 500 gs.; Silver Cloud, 400 gs.; Galway,
350 gs.; Ludlow, 260 gs.; Grantham, 200 gs.; Leicester, 175 gs.; The
Chef, 160 gs.; Tinker, 130 gs.; Benjamin, 125 gs., and Jedburgh, 70 gs.
Other properties included Bay g. 125 gs.; Hall Weston, 200 gs.; Lady
Sissie, 120 gs.; Nimrod, 100 gs.; Princess Osra, 180 gs., and Buller,
110 gs.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Amongst the more important sales by Messrs. Tattersall at Albert Gate
during the last few weeks may be mentioned: Mr. E. W. Bradbury’s
Starlight, 105 gs.; Imperial, sent up by a lady, 130 gs.; Major
Sherston’s bay, 110 gs. From Mr. H. Thompson, Crossgar, the following
made three figures: Nine Pins, 100 gs.; Mullingar, 140 gs.; Gentleman,
105 gs.; The Stag, 120 gs.; Ebony, the property of Mr. J. Blackburn,
realised 130 gs.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Owing to her great age and increasing infirmity, it was found necessary
to destroy the famous old mare, Mowerina, at the Hunciecroft Paddocks,
Welbeck. Herself and her children have won just over £87,000 in stakes,
the offspring including Modwena and her brother Donovan, a very good
horse indeed, who won £55,154 in two years’ racing. Mowerina’s daughter,
Semolina, was a good early two-year-old; she won the Brocklesby Stakes;
and Semolina’s brother, Raeburn, was the only horse to ever beat
Isinglass, and is now in Hungary, having been purchased at the last
Newmarket December Sales by Baron Harkanyi.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Harvester, by Sterling-Wheatear, who ran a dead heat with St. Gatien in
the Derby of 1884, when the stakes were divided for the first time,
recently died at the Zabola Stud, in Hungary. Bred by Lord Falmouth in
1881, Harvester won as a two-year-old the Thirty-sixth Triennial at
Newmarket, and the Clearwell Stakes, and in the spring of 1884 was sold
to Sir John Willoughby, for 8,000 gs.

                  *       *       *       *       *

SHIP-BUILDING SURGERY.—The steamship _Forth_, one of the Carron fleet
running between London and Scotland for passenger and goods traffic, is
at present laid up for an extraordinary operation which will lengthen
the boat by 40 feet. She was hoisted on a large cradle and cut right
through just forward of the bridge deck. The cradle was also sawn
asunder, and the two parts with their respective portions of the ship
were drawn apart to a distance of 40 feet, which space was then built
in. The alteration will enable the _Forth_ to carry about 200 tons more
cargo, and her steaming capabilities will not be impaired. On the
contrary she will now rank amongst the finest steamers on the East
Coast.


                                 TURF.

                       MANCHESTER SECOND JANUARY.

 January 17th.—The Manchester Handicap Steeplechase of 200
   sovs.; two miles.
     Mr. C. Bower Ismay’s b. h. Theodocion, by
       Marcion—Minthe, aged, 12st. 3lb.                       A. Newey 1
     Mr. C. R. Hodgson’s b. m. Do be Quick, 6 yrs., 11st.
       13lb.                                                 Mr. Payne 2
     Mr. A. Coats’ b. m. Felspar, 6 yrs., 11st. 6lb.           R. Cowe 3
                        3 to 1 agst. Theodocion.

 January 18th.—The Cheshire Hurdle Race of 200 sovs.; two
   miles.
     Sir Peter Walker’s b. g. St. Evremonde, by St.
       Frusquin—Ejector, 6 yrs., 11st. 11lb.               E. Sullivan 1
     Mr. J. Tait’s br. m. Adelia, 5 yrs., 10st, 11lb.      E. Driscoll 2
     Mr. F. Straker’s ch. m. Consequence, 6 yrs., 11st.
       8lb.                                                  M. Phelan 3
                       9 to 2 agst. St. Evremonde.


                               HURST PARK.

 January 19th.—The New Year Handicap Hurdle Race of 150
   sovs.; two miles.
     Mr. A. Stedall’s b. g. Rassendyl, by Loved
       One—Princess, aged, 11st. 9lb.                        J. Dillon 1
     Mr. H. Rich’s ch. g. Hopeless II., 6 yrs., 10st.               G.
       11lb.                                                Williamson 2
     Mr. E. Christie Miller’s br. h. St. John’s Wood, 6         Mr. W.
       yrs., 11st.                                             Bulteel 3
                         5 to 1 agst. Rassendyl.

 January 20th.—The Middlesex Handicap Steeplechase of 150
   sovs.; two miles.
     Mr. P. Gleeson’s b. h. Lord of the Level, by
       Macheath—Mome d’Amour, 6 yrs., 11st. 8lb.              F. Mason 1
     Col. R. L. Birkin’s b. g. Springbok, 5yrs., 11st.          Mr. R.
       5lb.                                                      Payne 2
     Mr. T. W. Blenkiron’s b. f. Queen’s Scholar, 5 yrs.,
       10st. 9lb.                                            J. Dillon 3
                     2 to 1 agst. Lord of the Level.


                       NOTTINGHAM JANUARY MEETING.

 January 30th.—The Nottinghamshire Handicap Steeplechase
   of 400 sovs.; two miles.
     Mr. J. Gordon Houghton’s b. g. Desert Chief, by
       Spahi—Genista, by Exminster, aged, 12st. 12lb.      R. Chadwick 1
     Mr. F. Bibby’s ch. h. Wild Boer, 6 yrs., 10st. 8lb.      F. Mason 2
     Mr. P. Cullinan’s b. m. Little May II., aged, 10st.
       3lb.                                                 Mr. Walker 3
                        13 to 8 on Desert Chief.


                         GATWICK SECOND JANUARY.

 January 31st.—The Tantivy Steeplechase of 500 sovs.; two
   miles.
     Mr. T. Clyde’s br. g. Sachem, by Noble
       Chieftain—Talavera, 5 yrs., 11st. 10lb.              J. O’Brien 1
     Sir Henry Randall’s b. c. Frisky Bill, 4 yrs., 10st.
       10lb.                                                 J. Dillon 2
     Prince Hatzfeldt’s ch. g. Rathvale, 5 yrs., 12st.
       1lb.                                                  W. Morgan 3
                          9 to 4 agst. Sachem.

 The Surrey Steeplechase (Handicap) of 209 sovs.; two
   miles.
     Mr. C. Hibbert’s b. h. Royal Rouge, by Florizel                J.
       II—Red Enamel, aged, 11st.                          Nightingall 1
     Prince Hatzfeldt’s b. g. Cossack Post, aged, 12st.        Hon. A.
       1lb.                                                   Hastings 2
     C. T. Garland’s b. or br. m. Sudden Rise, 6yrs.,
       11st. 12lb.                                           W. Morgan 3
                        8 to 1 agst. Royal Rouge.

 February 1st.—The Stewards’ Steeplechase Handicap of 200
   sovs.; three miles and a half.
     Mr. C. R. Hodgson’s b. m. Do be Quick, by                  Mr. R.
       Speed—Danska, 6 yrs., 12st. 1lb.                          Payne 1
     Major M. H. Tristram’s Shaun Aboo, aged, 11st. 6lb.        Mr. W.
                                                               Bulteel 2
     Prince Hatzfeldt’s Deerslayer, aged, 11st. 5lb.           Hon. A.
                                                              Hastings 3
                        2 to 1 agst. Do be Quick.

 The International Hurdle Race (Handicap) of 500 sovs.;
   two miles.
     Mr. Thompson’s ch. h. Leviathan, by
       Isinglass—Galiana, aged, 11st. 12lb.                  G. Wilson 1
     Mr. Robert Campbell’s ch. g. St. Enogat, aged, 10st.
       9lb.                                                   F. Mason 2
     Sir S. Scott’s b. g. Series, 6 yrs., 10st. 11lb.         H. Aylin 3
                         8 to 1 agst. Leviathan.

 The Brook Hurdle Race of 200 sovs.; two miles.
     Lord Londonderry’s b. g. St. Florentin, by St.
       Simon—Wise Flower, 4 yrs., 10st.                      T. Fitton 1
     Mr. Edmund Lamb’s b. g. Ancaster, 6 yrs., 11st.       M. J. Harty 2
     Capt. F. Bald’s b. g. Rosebury, 5 yrs., 10st. 10lb.      F. Mason 3
                       9 to 4 agst. St. Florentin.


                              KEMPTON PARK.

 February 2nd.—The Middlesex Hurdle Race of 500 sovs.; two
   miles.
     Sir Peter Walker’s b. f. Therapia, by
       Tarporley—Rosemount, 4 yrs. 10st. 4lb.              E. Sullivan 1
     Mr. F. W. Phillips’ ch. h. The Chair, 6 yrs., 11st.         W. T.
       11lb.                                                    Morgan 2
     Mr. Imber’s b. h. Sandboy, 6 yrs., 11st. 11lb.            J. Hare 3
                        100 to 12 agst. Therapia.

 February 3rd.—The Coventry Handicap Steeplechase of 500
   sovs.; two miles.
     Mr. J. S. Morrison’s b. g. John M.P., by
       Britannic—Guiding Star, aged, 12st. 2lb.              W. Taylor 1
     Mr. F. Bibby’s b. g. Comfit, aged, 11st.                 F. Mason 2
     Capt. Michael Hughes’ b. g. Vaerdalen, 5 yrs., 11st.
       8lb.                                                   M. Harty 3
                         3 to 1 agst. John M.P.


                              SANDOWN PARK.

 February 9th.—The Sandown Grand Prize of 300 sovs.; two
   miles.
     Mr. A. Stedall’s b. g. Rassendyl, by Loved
       One—Princess, aged, 12st. 7lb.                        J. Dillon 1
     Mr. W. J. Crook’s b. g. Henley, 5 yrs., 11st. 1lb.    L. Sherwood 2
     Mr. C. Bower Ismay’s Theodocion, aged, 11st. 4lb.        A. Newey 3
                         4 to 1 agst. Rassendyl.

 The February Four-year-old Hurdle Race of 200 sovs.; two
   miles.
     Sir H. Randall’s ch. g. Magic Lad, by                          J.
       Common—Grammarge, 10st. 10lb.                       Nightingall 1
     Mr. R. Combe’s b. g. Cadwal, 10st, 10lb.                 H. Aylin 2
     Major E. Loder’s b. c. Maggio, 10st. 2lb.              A. Anthony 3
                       100 to 12 agst. Magic Lad.

 February 10th.—The Prince of Wales’s Steeplechase of 172
   sovs.; three miles and a half.
     Lord Sefton’s b. g. Canter Home, by
       Retreat—Canterbury, aged, 10st. 12lb.               E. Driscoll 1
     Mr. Hamilton Langley’s bl. g. Brian Born, aged, 11st.      Mr. P.
       1lb.                                                   Whitaker 2
                        7 to 4 agst. Canter Home.


                          MANCHESTER FEBRUARY.

 February 12th.—The February Handicap Steeplechase of 200
   sovs.; three miles.
     Mr. John Widger’s b. m. Northern Light IV., by
       Blairfinde—False Dawn, aged, 10st. 11lb. (car.           Mr. J.
       11st.)                                                   Widger 1
     Sir Peter Walker’s bl. g. Royal Drake, aged, 12st.
       41b.                                                E. Sullivan 2
     Mr. S. Pickering’s b. m. Johnstown Lass, aged, 10st.
       10lb.                                                  H. Aylin 3
                     7 to 4 agst. Northern Light IV.

 The Broughton Hurdle Race (Handicap) of 200 sovs.; two
   miles.
     Mr. R. B. Henry’s ch. g. Moonstruck, by
       Massacre—Diana, 6 yrs., 11st. 10lb.                    F. Mason 1
     Sir Peter Walker’s b. g. St. Evremonde, 6 yrs., 11st.
       12lb.                                               E. Sullivan 2
     Mr. J. Croxton’s b. g. Rapt, 5 yrs., 10st. 9lb.        G. Knowles 3
                        9 to 4 agst. Moonstruck.


                         ROYAL WINDSOR FEBRUARY.

 February 14th.—The Bracknell Handicap Hurdle Race of 200
   sovs.; two miles.
     Mr. E. J. Percy’s bl. f. Black Mingo, by Cherry
       Tree—Calista, 5 yrs., 10st. 2lb.                       F. Mason 1
     Mr. A. Hamblin’s ch. c. Orison, 4 yrs., 10st. 5lb        A. Birch 2
     Major Joicey’s ch. h. Plum Pecker, 6 yrs., 10st. 1lb  E. Driscoll 3
                        6 to 1 agst. Black Mingo.

 February 15th.—The Royal Handicap Steeplechase of 200
   sovs.; three miles.
     Mr. G. Auckland’s b. h. Drumkerrin, by Speed, dam by       Mr. W.
       Castlereagh—Sister to Rufus, 6 yrs., 11st.              Bulteel 1
     Mr. F. White’s br. g. Shaun Dhuv, aged, 11st. 4lb.    E. Driscoll 2
     Mr. J. W. King’s ch. m. Countenance, aged, 10st. 3lb.    J. Simms 3
                        4 to 1 agst. Drumkerrin.


                               FOOTBALL.

  January 20th.—At Cambridge, the University v. London Scottish,
    latter won by 30 points to 8.*

  January 20th.—At Richmond, Richmond v. Blackheath, latter won by a
    try to 0.*

  January 22nd.—At Oxford, the University v. Woolwich Arsenal, latter
    won by 4 goals to 0.†

  January 22nd.—At Leeds, North v. South, latter won by 2 goals to 0.†

  January 24th.—At Oxford, the University v. Casuals, former won by 4
    goals to 2.†

  January 24th.—At Cambridge, the University v. Tottenham Hotspur,
    former won by 3 goals to 1.†

  January 27th.—At Cambridge, the University v. Casuals, former won by
    3 goals to 0.†

  January 27th.—At Richmond, Richmond v. Oxford University, latter won
    by 4 goals to 2 goals 1 try.*

  January 27th.—At Richmond, London Scottish v. Harlequins, former won
    by 2 tries to 1.*

  January 27th.—At Cardiff, Cardiff v. Blackheath, former won by 2
    goals 2 tries to 0.*

  January 27th.—At Queen’s Club, Corinthians v. Oxford University,
    former won by 4 goals to 0.†

  January 29th.—At Oxford, the University v. Oxford City, latter won
    by 3 goals to 2.†

  January 31st.—At Oxford, the University v. Guy’s Hospital, former
    won by 16 points to 15.*

  February 3rd.—At Oxford, the University v. Lennox, former won by 24
    points to 9.*

  February 3rd.—At Cardiff, Wales v. Scotland, former won by 9 points
    to 3.*

  February 3rd.—At Queen’s Club, Corinthians v. Manchester City,
    former won by 4 goals to 1.†

  February 3rd.—At Richmond, Richmond v. Cambridge University, latter
    won by 3 goals 3 tries to 1 try.*

  February 3rd.—At Leyton, Old Reptonians v. Oxford University, latter
    won by 1 goal to 0.†

  February 3rd.—At Blackheath, Blackheath v. Harlequins, former won by
    2 goals 3 tries to 3 goals.*

  February 3rd.—At Richmond, London Scottish v. London Welsh, latter
    won by 7 points to 0.*

  February 5th.—At Oxford, the University v. The Navy, former won by 5
    goals to 0.†

  February 7th.—At Queen’s Club, Old Malvernians v. Oxford University,
    latter won by 7 goals to 0.†

  February 10th.—At Leicester, England v. Ireland, latter won by 2
    goals 2 tries to 2 tries.*

  February 10th.—At Oxford, The University v. West Norwood, former won
    by 2 goals to 0.†

  February 10th.—At Blackheath, Blackheath v. London Irish, former won
    by 1 goal 1 try to 1 try.*

  February 10th.—At Cardiff, Cardiff v. Moseley, former won by 4 goals
    4 tries to 0.*

  February 10th.—At Richmond, Richmond v. Rosslyn Park, latter won by
    1 goal 1 try to 1 try.*

  February 12th.—At Cambridge, The University v. North of Ireland,
    former won by 6 placed goals 1 penalty goal and 4 tries to 0.*

                       * Under Rugby Rules.

                       † Under Association Rules.


                            PIGEON SHOOTING.

  January 30th.—At Monte Carlo, the Grande Poule d’Essai, Mr. H.
    Roberts won the gold medal, and divided first and second with
    Count Chiericati.

  February 8th.—At Monte Carlo, the Grand Prix du Casino, Signor H.
    Grasselli won.

  February 10th.—Mr. Greig won the Prix de Monte Carlo Handicap.

-----

Footnote 4:

  The normal temperature of the dog is 101·4°.—EDITOR.

Footnote 5:

  “The Foxhounds of Great Britain.” Edited by Sir Humphrey de Trafford,
  Bart., and published by Walter Southwood and Co., 30, Craven Street,
  Strand, London. Price, £5 5s.

Footnote 6:

  John Wisden’s _Cricketers’ Almanack_ for 1906. Edited by Sydney H.
  Pardon. Forty-third edition. London: Published and sold by John Wisden
  and Co., 21, Cranbourn Street, W.C. Price 1s.

Footnote 7:

  “The Horse: Its Treatment in Health and Disease.” Edited by Professor
  J. Wortley Axe, M.R.C.V.S. Divisional Volume II. The Gresham
  Publishing Company.

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                            BAILY’S MAGAZINE

                                   OF

                          SPORTS AND PASTIMES.


 ┌─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐
 │                       DIARY FOR APRIL, 1906.                        │
 ├──────┬─────┬────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┤
 │Day of│ Day │                      OCCURRENCES.                      │
 │Month.│ of  │                                                        │
 │      │Week.│                                                        │
 ├──────┼─────┼────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┤
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │     1│ =S= │=Fifth Sunday in Lent.=                                 │
 │     2│  M  │Warwick, Usk and Retford Hunt Races.                    │
 │     3│ TU  │Warwick Races.                                          │
 │     4│  W  │Newbury, Monmouth, Ipswich, North Warwickshire Races.   │
 │      │     │  and Melton Hunt Races.                                │
 │     5│ TH  │Newbury, Monmouth, Croxton Park and Eglinton Hunt Races.│
 │     6│  F  │Derby Spring, Hooton Park, Banbury and Eglinton Hunt    │
 │      │     │  Races.                                                │
 │     7│  S  │Derby Spring, Hooton Park and Eglinton Hunt Races.      │
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │     8│ =S= │=Palm Sunday.=                                          │
 │     9│  M  │Nottingham, Hawthorn Hill and Folkestone Races.         │
 │    10│ TU  │Nottingham and Hawthorn Hill Races.                     │
 │    11│  W  │Leicester Spring, Maiden Erlegh and Grindon Hunt Races. │
 │    12│ TH  │Leicester Spring Races.                                 │
 │    13│ =F= │=Good Friday.=                                          │
 │    14│  S  │Plumpton Races.                                         │
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │    15│ =S= │=Easter Sunday.=                                        │
 │    16│  M  │Manchester, Cardiff, Torquay, Newcastle Spring,         │
 │      │     │  Portsmouth Park, Kempton Park, Hamilton Pk.,          │
 │      │     │  Birmingham, Market Rasen and Herefordshire Hunt Races.│
 │    17│ TU  │Manchester, Cardiff, Torquay and Wolverhampton Races.   │
 │      │     │  Royal Dublin Society’s Spring Show, Balls Bridge (4   │
 │      │     │  days).                                                │
 │    18│  W  │Newmarket Craven and Brocklesby Hunt Races.             │
 │    19│ TH  │Newmarket Craven, Catterick Bridge, Cowbridge and       │
 │      │     │  Hambledon Hunt Races.                                 │
 │    20│  F  │Newmarket Craven, Catterick Bridge and Royal Artillery  │
 │      │     │  (Aldershot) Races.                                    │
 │    21│  S  │Alexandra Park Races. Football Association Cup (final). │
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │    22│ =S= │=First Sunday after Easter (Low Sunday).=               │
 │    23│  M  │Southdown Hunt and Quorn Hunt Races.                    │
 │    24│ TU  │Epsom Spring, Bungay, Bridgnorth and United Border Hunt │
 │      │     │  Races.                                                │
 │    25│  W  │Epsom Spring, Bungay, Pontefract and Northumberland Hunt│
 │      │     │  Races.                                                │
 │    26│ TH  │Sandown Park, Pontefract and Ludlow Park Races.         │
 │    27│  F  │Sandown Park, Ludlow Park and Stockton Races.           │
 │    28│  S  │Sandown Park and Stockton Races.                        │
 │      │     │                                                        │
 │    29│ =S= │=Second Sunday after Easter.=                           │
 │    30│  M  │Lingfield, Hawthorn Hill and Midland Hunt (Nottingham)  │
 │      │     │  Races.                                                │
 └──────┴─────┴────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘



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]



                            BAILY’S MAGAZINE
                                   OF
                          SPORTS AND PASTIMES
             NO. 554.       APRIL, 1906.       VOL. LXXXV.



                               CONTENTS.


                                                                    PAGE
 Sporting Diary for the Month                                         v.
 Mr. Henry Hawkins                                                   259
 Recollections of Seventy-five Years’ Sport—II                       260
 In Memoriam—The late Captain J. T. R. Lane Fox                      265
 Spring Trout and Spring Weather                                     266
 The Towered Bird                                                    268
 Hunt “Runners”—IV. (Illustrated)                                    272
 “The Old Horse”                                                     276
 Some Novelties in the Laws of Croquet                               279
 True Fishing Stories                                                283
 A Hundred Years Ago                                                 287
 The Borzoi (Illustrated)                                            289
 Some Sport in the Transvaal in 1878                                 292
 A Song of Homage (Verses)                                           299
 Herod Blood                                                         300
 The Last of the Bitterns                                            303
 The Spring Horse Shows (Illustrated)                                305
 The Sportsman’s Library (Illustrated)                               317
 “Our Van”:—
     Racing                                                          320
     Hunting                                                         323
     Hunting in Yorkshire                                            327
     American _v._ English Foxhound Match                            329
     Breeding of Thoroughbreds                                       329
     Polo in the United States                                       330
     The M.C.C. Cricketers in South Africa                           330
     Death of Richard Humphrey                                       332
     Death of Mr. E. H. Buckland                                     333
     Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race                                  334
     Cross-country Racing                                            336
     Golf                                                            337
     “The Voysey Inheritance” at the Court Theatre                   338
 Sporting Intelligence                                               339

              WITH ENGRAVED PORTRAIT OF MR. HENRY HAWKINS.



                           Mr. Henry Hawkins.


The subject of our portrait, Mr. Henry Hawkins, of Everdon Hall, near
Daventry, was born at Kegworth, Leicestershire, in the year 1876. All
his life he has been devoted to field sports of every description, and
has played cricket seriously since he first captained the eleven of his
preparatory school at the age of ten years. Since 1901 he has played for
the county of Northamptonshire, and was one of those selected to play
against the Australians in August last; he also plays for M.C.C.,
Warwickshire Gentlemen, and other clubs.

For some years he went in for racing with no small amount of success,
owning Alpha, Hottentot, Bellamina, Stella III., and other well-known
steeplechase horses, but he has nothing in training at the present time.

It was in the year 1901 that Mr. Hawkins purchased his pack of harriers
from Mr. Horsey, and he has now hunted them at his own expense for more
than five seasons over the beautiful vale which surrounds Everdon. In
the Pytchley, as in every other country, much depends on the good-will
of the farmers, and with the farmers Mr. Hawkins is a great favourite.
He is a thorough good all-round sportsman, and is, in fact, immensely
popular with every one with whom hunting brings him into contact. He has
brought his pack, which consists of thirty couple of hounds, all in the
Stud Book, to a fine state of perfection, and has taken the highest
honours at Peterborough. Last season they accounted for more than twenty
couple of hares, and this year bid fair to exceed the average, for they
have been showing most continuous and wonderful sport.



              Recollections of Seventy-five Years’ Sport.
                                  II.


I seldom brought home a tired horse or had a fall. My good fortune in
the latter respect I attribute much to the practice adopted early in
life of riding steadily at fences other than water. Only men without
nerve go fast at their fences. One day with the Pytchley, jumping a
fence uphill, the ground broke away on the take-off, and my horse fell
back on me in the ditch. We had to be dug out. I had the misfortune to
lose a very fine horse close to Thorpe Trussels. Jumping quite a small
fence, he dropped his hind-legs in a grip on landing and broke his back.
I lost another good one (a mare) by a somewhat unusual accident.
Alighting on rotten ground over a very ordinary fence, she snapped a
fore-leg, and of course had to be destroyed.

One can take liberties with a sensible horse. In a run with the Pytchley
one day hounds crossed the Welland, and a man tried to ride over a board
footbridge. When he got to the middle one of the planks broke and he and
his horse fell into the river. Riding a horse of the sensible sort, I
gave him his head to follow; he stepped nicely across the open space,
and we had the rest of the run up to Loatland Wood to ourselves.

The Leicestershire farmers were rare good sportsmen. Once during a
gallop with Mr. Tailby’s across the oxers near Market Harborough my
horse, a young one, fell and broke the curb bit. While I was putting
matters to rights a yeoman came up, slipped off his horse, and seizing
mine by the head put his own double bridle on it, saying, “Look at my
horse, _he_ don’t want a bridle!” Certainly the horse had had enough for
one day, but the fact does nothing to qualify the kindly thought that
prompted his owner. The man was a tenant of Lord Willoughby de Broke’s;
few but a Leicestershire yeoman would have done such a thing. Another
anecdote to illustrate the same spirit:—

Riding along the Leicester and Uppingham road to draw the Billesdon
Coplow one morning, “Cap.” Tomlin, the rough rider, pulled up and
exclaimed, “Look here, gentlemen, you talk about riding; this fence (an
ox fence) has been jumped into the road.” “Yes,” said Sir Walter Carew,
“it has; and the man who jumped it is close to you.” The yeoman who
owned the land, a good friend enough to hunting, made his fences very
strong. On hearing who had jumped his ox fence he sent me a message,
saying he hoped I would never come within the parish without coming to
lunch with him. Most of the Leicestershire farmers gloried in the chase
in those days. The enthusiasm of the people for a good horse was shown
in a rather unusual way on one occasion. In a gallop up to Gumley Gorse
the fox was headed by the foot people. I happened to arrive alone, and
they seized my horse and kissed his face!

It is many years ago that our King, then Prince of Wales, while staying
at Althorp, came to the meet of the Pytchley at Holmby House. Lord
Spencer, thinking the horse His Royal Highness rode was rather too small
for the big fences, offered him a nice one of his own, which was
graciously accepted. In the course of the run the horse, to Lord
Spencer’s horror, came down. The Prince, however, was up in a twinkling,
and regaining his saddle was going again well in front, to the great
delight of the Northamptonshire farmers.

Lord Cardigan was a very bold rider, and got some heavy falls. In a
gallop with Sir Richard Sutton from Walton Holt, I jumped the white
locked gate on Gumley Hill, and had the run to myself. Lord Cardigan and
Colonel Steel, of the Guards, had very bad falls. Lord Cardigan told me
afterwards that the whole front of his body was as black as coal. On
another day, near the same place, he had a nasty fall in a ditch, his
horse lying on him. Lord William Beresford, seeing his plight, stopped,
and called on the Hon. and Rev. Robert Wilson to come and help,
shouting, “He is not half a bad fellow, and it would be a pity if he
died in a ditch.” They got to work, but Beresford found he could not get
hold of Cardigan, and said so. “Pull me out by the nose if you like,”
said the victim. The water was trickling over him, and without help it
is very probable that he would have been drowned in the ditch.

_Apropos_ of falls, there was a little man with a very wry neck who used
to bring some nice horses to hunt in Leicestershire. One day he had a
fall, and was stunned. There were plenty of people at hand to help, and
one man, who did not know him, took him by the head and began to pull at
it in the kindly but mistaken endeavour to straighten his neck. This
usage brought the poor man to his senses just in time. “Born so! Born
so!” he exclaimed, feebly. Another pull would have broken his neck.

Among the good runs I call to mind are two in which, thanks to my horse,
I had the fun all to myself. One was a splendid gallop across the Vale
of Dunchurch without a check to ground on Barley Hill in the Pytchley
country. I was entirely alone with the pack; and the field were so long
coming up that I went home before any one arrived. It was several days
before they discovered who it was had been with the hounds.

Another fine run was with the Cottesmore, when the hounds ran their fox
without a check to mark him to ground in Horninghold Lordship, quite out
of sight of the field. The earth being in the Quorn country, the fox had
to be left.

When I lived in the Atherstone country I had a small stick covert at
Bitteswell, a very sure find. Anstruther Thomson said I had made it too
strong, but I told him it was my business to have a fox and his to get
him out. As a matter of fact, foxes never hung there, though they seldom
afforded good runs; the old foxes used to lie out in the hedgerows.

I told Jack that he would have better sport if he hunted the country
thoroughly. He enquired what I considered would be “hunting it
thoroughly,” and on my saying, “Drawing it blank,” he replied that he
would draw me blank next season. I said I should be ready for him.

He came once a fortnight—no blanks.

The truth was, I had three earths, one natural and two artificial, and
Jack never found out the latter. I always stopped the one most used, and
put the others to in the morning. The last day of that season I stopped
all three, which rather confused him and his hounds. This covert was
very full of rabbits, which were caught in a pitfall, one side of it
being wired in. I have known a fox to be caught in it.

One day, when hounds drew my stick covert, I lost my usual good start,
as I was looking after the foot people. There was a good scent over the
grass, and hounds ran hard, but being on a very fast horse I soon got up
to them. Just in front of me a youth was going well till he came to a
rough fence with daylight in only one place, where an ash tree had been
cut down. His horse slipped on the roots and turned over into the ditch
on the other side, heels uppermost. “For goodness sake,” he cried, when
I asked him to let me come, “don’t ride over my horse.” There was no
help for it; my horse cleared the inverted animal nicely, and I went on
with hounds.

The young gentleman, however, thought he had a grievance, and, when the
fox was killed, reported me to his uncle.

The uncle was a near neighbour of mine, and a good sportsman. He told me
that his nephew over night had been “crabbing” the Atherstone men as the
slowest set in all England, and thanked me for what I had done. “He will
have a different tale to tell to-night,” he concluded.

In a run with the Pytchley a lady following me had a fall; hounds were
running hard, but as she did not get out of the ditch I felt bound to go
and help her. As I got near she jumped on to her horse, and I asked what
she had been about. She said, “I don’t mind telling you, my hair came
off.” She had beautiful hair of her own, and added the plaits which were
commonly worn in those days.

In the Northampton race week there was a very early meet with the
Pytchley at Cottesbrooke. The same lady came up to me and said, “I
reckon you will get a good start this morning.” I said, “Yes,
certainly,” and that with the wind where it was we should have to cross
the stream, which was unjumpable. There was a bridle-gate in the middle
of the ford, and I told her I meant to be in first, and if she was close
up would hold the gate open for her. When we reached the gate I looked
round; she was there, but without her hat. “Dear me, Mrs. A.,” I said,
“What have you done with your hat?” “Lost it following you under that
tree; and if this sort of thing goes on I shall soon lose my head,” she
responded. The acting master, the Hon. C. Cust, made a turban for her
out of his neck wrapper, and she hunted in it the rest of the day. The
gate in the ford became blocked, and we had an enjoyable gallop.

If there was nice hunting weather at Assize time there was often
difficulty in collecting a grand jury, and the judges threatened to fine
us. Going to the meet one morning I fell in with a pompous old neighbour
who was on his way to Assizes, and asked him, if my name should be
called, to respectfully address the judge, and say that I regretted my
non-attendance. “Some domestic affliction, no doubt,” said his lordship,
and he passed me over, and fined several others.

One London season I took up a pretty young horse; he was always full of
vitality and a pleasant mount in the country, but not suited to Rotten
Row, as he used to strike with his fore-feet at other horses cantering
towards him and frightened several young ladies. He seemed just the
horse for a charger. I offered him to a vet, who had a commission to buy
a chestnut horse for an officer, telling him he was more suited to a
younger man than myself. He went on nicely for a while, and became the
crack horse of the regiment. The day of inspection arrived. As he was
passing the general at the head of his troop, with the view of making a
proper display on the solemn occasion his rider touched him with the
spur. He plunged violently, and hoisting his heels exuberantly, cast his
rider at the feet of the general, amid the applause of the assembled
multitude.

It was in 1831 that I bought the small pack of pure harriers kept at
Shotesham. I hunted them for about twenty-five years at my own expense,
and then sold them to the Earl of Albemarle and Colonel Unthank. The
latter crossed the lot he purchased with the foxhound, and in my opinion
spoilt them. I kept as clear of foxhound blood as I could, having only
one or two old bitches from Sir Thomas Boughey all the time I hunted
them. They were fast, but close hunters; mine was the silent system,
rarely going to halloas, and the hounds were not too closely whipped in;
extra work was the cure for unruly ones instead of whipcord. They were a
capital working lot, and a good hare had not much chance if I wanted to
kill her. The country is flat, consequently the hares made better points
than they do where there are hills. They were scarce but stout, as only
those that outstripped the greyhounds and lurchers were left alive in
the greater part of my country.

At Sexton Wood, a fine covert hired by some farmers for shooting, a fox
was constantly seen. One February, when the shooting season was over, I
went to look for him. A large field was out, some in scarlet from
Suffolk. I was a little chaffed, the men asking what I was going to do
with the fox. I said I would make him ask for mercy before sunset, or,
if the wind had anything to do with it, perhaps hunt him on to the top
of one of their houses. As the wood was full of hares I had the fox
driven out by men. He went away directly, but was headed back into the
wood. I trotted to the other end at about the pace I thought he would
travel, and he broke again near me. I got a good start with him up wind,
and ran hard for a mile and a half, when he turned down wind; first
check, thirty-five minutes. He ran down the middle ride of Earsham Wood
with hares constantly crossing, but not a hound left the line. He
crossed the river Waveney into Suffolk, was headed in Flixton Park, and
turned back up wind over grass to the Waveney, fox and hounds all
swimming the river together, and got into a boathouse. I waited till the
field arrived, and they asked me if I had done with their fox. I told
them to look in the boathouse, where the fox was hiding in the boat.
They wanted me to kill him, but I refused, and had him turned into a
coppice close by. After releasing the fox I asked the field to come and
see hounds run a hare, as I must kill one to steady them for another
day. They told me there was a splendid hare close by, often hunted by
Mr. Chaston. As I was some miles out of my own country, I felt a
difficulty about hunting her; but as they promised no harm should come
of it, I gave way. As we entered the field she ran out at the far end;
the hounds settled at once, and killed and ate her in twenty-one
minutes. The field were well satisfied. They wanted me to keep some
foxhounds, and I said I would if they would promise me foxes, which they
failed to do.

I had several first-class gallops after outlying stags, almost always
running up to them, but not trying to take them.

You ask about my shooting recollections. I have repeatedly killed 40,
50, and once over 60 couples of snipe on the Langley Marshes, by the
side of the River Yare. In August, 1846, with Mr. Everard, of Gosberton,
I killed 164 brace of grouse, and on the 27th of that month 103 brace by
myself. As regards the match between Mr. Stirling Crawfurd and Mr.
Osbaldeston, I “managed” for the former, Sir Richard Sutton performed
the same office for the “Squire,” as he was called.

The match came off at Rufford Abbey, between the two Newmarket October
meetings. Stirling Crawfurd gave him ten brace of partridges each day,
on account of his being somewhat older. They shot two days, changing
beats the second day. They tossed for choice of beats, both of which
were good, but one not so good as the other. I won the toss and took the
worst beat for the first day. Shooting began at eight o’clock, and the
men shot till dark. We were beaten by a few brace on the first day, but
on the second Crawfurd won the match by several brace to spare.
Osbaldeston wanted to shoot it over again for a larger sum, on the
condition they changed managers. Crawfurd was to walk all day, and
Osbaldeston, if he liked, to ride; no driving. Sir Richard had some of
the Duke of Rutland’s keepers, from Derbyshire, and some of his own
keepers from Lynford, and his whippers-in from Quorn. He overdid it. I
had only the head keeper’s son and walkers off the Rufford estate. Mr.
Crawfurd gave the value of the stakes among them.

My pointers were bred from two animals given me when I was at college,
by the then Lord Lonsdale, from his and another kennel, crossed with Mr.
Moore’s, of Appleby. When I gave them up I sold every dog I had to the
late Lord Wilton for £25 apiece.

Harking back to my athletic days when at college, I once jumped Mr.
Rhodes, of Trinity, a match over water by the side of Trumpington Road
and beat him. I believe, but am not quite sure, that my opponent was the
father of the famous Cecil Rhodes.

When at Melton, years ago, Count Hugo Nostitz asked me to jump a match.
Six jumps, each to choose three, and go first. If he did not clear it
the other not to follow on. First jump both got over. I cleared all of
Nostitz’s choosing. My second was the Melton Brook, with mud thrown out
on the far side; I cleared brook and mud. Nostitz cleared the brook,
but, to save falling back, had to put his arms up to his elbows in the
black mud. My third pick was the brook again with a rail in front of it.
The late Lord Lonsdale, mischievously inclined, told Nostitz to jump
high enough (the worst advice he could give). He cleared the rail well,
but alighted up to his armpits in the water.

Once he had rather a bad fall with hounds. We went to help him, as he
did not get up, and asked him if he was much hurt. He said, “No, only a
little more than usual.” He tried to get up, but could not for a while.
He was as charming a young fellow as ever entered the town.

                                                        ROBERT FELLOWES.



                              In Memoriam.
                  THE LATE CAPTAIN J. T. R. LANE FOX.


A sportsman has been taken from amongst us last month in the person of
Captain J. T. R. Lane Fox, the Master of the Bramham Moor Hounds, who
could ill be spared; and in whose memory it is fitting that a few words
should be said in your pages.

Captain Lane Fox was the second son of the late Mr. George Lane Fox, for
many years master of the Bramham Moor pack, whose strong personality
gave him a foremost place in Yorkshire and throughout the world of
sport, as well as among English country gentlemen. Captain Lane Fox had
therefore handed down to him a heritage of no mean character, when he
succeeded his father ten years ago.

Having acted as his father’s deputy in the hunting field for the last
few seasons of the old Squire’s life, his transition to the mastership
came almost as a matter of course, and was universally welcomed by the
most loyal set of sportsmen that we are acquainted with. Few such
elegant yet determined horsemen are to be found nowadays as was the late
Dick Lane Fox (as his familiars delighted to call him). From the day he
left Eton and joined the Grenadier Guards, serving in Canada and riding
many races and steeplechases there, until, on his retirement from the
army, he settled down, on his marriage, in the confines of Bramham Park
as his father’s right-hand man, he was the idol of all his friends and
neighbours.

Unfortunately, he had experienced a bad fall whilst in Canada, which
told upon his health and constitution ever afterwards. Indeed, this
would have been the cause of banishing many less ardent sportsmen
altogether from the hunting field, yet with the subject of our memoir it
was not so. There were times when I have witnessed with admiration the
pluck with which he seemed to triumph over his constitutional weakness.
It was then a treat to see him go to hounds; such a superb seat, hands,
and judgment as his made him conspicuous even in a large hard-riding
field like the Bramham, and demonstrated his superb talents as a
sportsman. It may well be said of Dick Lane Fox that from old Eton days,
when I first enjoyed his friendship, down to the sad event of last
month, that he never made an enemy but cemented many a friendship. He
had above all a natural aversion to obtrusiveness, which prevented him
often from doing himself justice; yet the shrewd, true-hearted
Yorkshiremen knew him too well not to appreciate him as a country
gentleman as well as a sportsman. He lived to see his eldest son George
take his place in the hunting field in a way that he could not fail to
be proud of; the veritable likeness of his grandfather; and beyond this,
in spite of one defeat, he rejoiced to see him elected as M.P. for the
Barkston Division of Yorkshire, after as big a fight as ever aroused the
political feelings of that district.

Mrs. Lane Fox was a Milmay, of excellent sporting blood, and a devoted
wife, who survives him, so that on both sides of the family the present
inheritor of Bramham (one of the finest estates in broad Yorkshire)
combines the makings of all that is best in the life of a country
gentleman and a sportsman.

Personally I mourn, in conjunction with innumerable others, over the
loss of a life-long friend, yet our sadness is tempered by the glad
reflection that such an unsullied name, such a bright example, and such
an ennobling compeer, should have gone to his rest so peaceably, and
have left behind him a splendid well cared-for estate, and a descendant
in every way worthy of upholding the fame of Bramham and its famous “25
couple,” and likely to fill yet another niche in the temple of fame
amongst Yorkshire worthies.

                                                               BORDERER.



                    Spring Trout and Spring Weather.


Surely the spring trout-fisher is the most hopeful of all the sanguine
and long-suffering brotherhood! How many bitter disappointments and how
much bitter weather is required to convince one spring fly-fisher that
he had better defer his attempts at sport till the blizzards are over?

Last spring was no worse than usual, but the feel of that cutting east
wind still haunts my dreams, and, worse than all, the trout taken were
both fewer and smaller than in the previous July on the same water.

Two days only out of six were really good, and even then the trout,
though numerous and lively, averaged but little over the quarter of a
pound. Certainly they took the blue upright with a will, and did not
require much stalking, and now and then a nice half-pounder gave a
really satisfactory bit of sport.

I see by my diary that the “coch y bondu” was almost as successful as
the “blue upright,” and that dry-fly fishing was nearly useless so early
in the season, though fish could often be seen rising on the smooth
glides. Sometimes not a fin could be stirred for hours, so that one had
plenty of leisure to note the exceptional beauty of the budding woods,
and to listen to all the love-notes of the birds. When sport is lively
all these things are only dimly felt, as heightening enjoyment. When
trout are sulky, then we feel the difference between the silence and
comparative gloom of late summer woods, and the joyous choruses of early
spring; and nowhere is this more marked than among the lovely sylvan
scenes on the banks of Somerset streams.

Among other advantages, water is generally plentiful and not too clear.
In the wild uplands on the borders of the moor the bushes and brambles
which line the streams are not yet developed into the impenetrable
thickets that bar one’s progress in the summer, and many a spot then
unfishable, even with the aid of waders, can now be reached at small
cost of scratches.

I must confess that these inner sanctuaries did not yield me many
victims, my basket on the day I went up the hills being the lightest of
the week, and the fish the smallest.

Nevertheless, I think the Horner Woods stream, near Porlock, a charming
spot, and worth another trial; for adverse winds may have been
responsible for the poor sport. It is easy, I believe, for the
fly-fisher to get leave on this water, and it is within a mile or two of
Porlock. I cycled from Washford, the other side of Minehead, and found
it a delightful ride. I think all anglers will find a cycle convenient
in this district, as roads are fairly good, and distances from stream to
stream often considerable. It is rather monotonous to fish one stream
continually, and the change of scene and novel exercise heighten one’s
pleasure. It also enables the angler to choose more comfortable quarters
than might always be obtainable close to the fishing; for a run of a
mile or two is of hardly any consequence, and it is not always that such
rooms as were secured for us (within the precincts of Cleve Abbey) can
be had.

This old ruin is close to the stream, and can be examined by the
wandering angler at very little cost either of time or money. It is well
worth a visit. Washford is the station, but it is within an easy ride of
Minehead, where comfortable rooms and good attendance can always be had,
and from whence excursions, by coach and boat, are continually going on
to many of the loveliest parts of Somerset and Devon.

One disappointment experienced during this spring visit was perhaps not
due to the time of year. A large and deep pool, formed by the stream
right down on the seashore, had sometimes yielded capital sport in July,
fish being large and plentiful, though very shy. Some shifting of the
sands had now greatly reduced its depth, and the trout had almost
deserted it, only two half-pounders falling to my flies. Last year
several of the fish taken here were ¾ lb. or more, and the novelty of
landing good trout (and not sea-trout) on the sands added to the charm.
I have only done so once before, and that was hundreds of miles away, at
the mouth of Crocket’s celebrated “Skyreburn,” in the north.

As it is possible that this sea-pool may have improved again this
spring, I advise any angler who finds himself near to give it a careful
trial, especially if there is a strong wind blowing; for this greatly
increases one’s chances. Curiously enough, a little black gnat is the
best fly here, but it is worth while to try larger flies if weather is
rough. I think that many of the mouths of trout-streams might be fished
carefully with good effect, the trout being often larger and better fed
than those in the stream itself. Probably they often go a little way out
to sea, and get shrimps, &c., in certain states of the tide. At the
worst it is a pleasant change to cast a long line over broad water,
after being somewhat cramped and hampered in a narrow and much bushed
stream. It must be remembered that permission is required from the local
landowners for these parts of the streams, as well as for the upper
waters.

                                                         J. PAUL TAYLOR.



                           The Towered Bird.


For upwards of twenty years it has been asserted that no towered bird
has been hit only in the head. It has become quite an article of faith
with some people that every towered bird is stifled by wounds or blood
in the organs of respiration. Quite lately it has been stated that it
has often been said that towering has been caused by a shot on the head,
but that this is never the case.

The writer has often fallen into this supposed error himself, and has
gone very fully into the subject. It is not only a very interesting
question in itself, but one that sportsmen should not be misled about.
At the last retriever trials there was reported to be a “towered bird,”
and upon the dog being sent for it a field away he found it quickly, but
the towered bird rose again and flew away, followed by the keeper’s
remark, that it was “a very lively dead bird.”

This shows that not all keepers are aware that towerers are not always
dead birds when they fall; for this keeper was surprised when the
towerer rose again; but I noticed that the judges were quite satisfied
that the escaped partridge was identical with “the towerer.” They did
not set the dog to hunt again, but turned their backs on the scene of
action, and credited the dog (which happened to win the stake) with the
find.

That bird had been hit in the head, not in the lungs, and he towered in
consequence. If he had been also wounded in the lungs he would have died
at the apex of his flight—they always do. It may be asked how I know
this, and my reply must be that I know it from the examination of many
towered birds of different kinds. Of course, I make no claim to be
telling experienced sportsmen anything they do not know already. I am
well aware that very many do know it, because I have gone out of my way
to ask them; but I think there is occasion for dealing fully with a
subject that has been misunderstood for twenty years.

This being so, I propose to glance, briefly, at the varying behaviour of
game when struck in different parts of the body; and this seems to be
all the more necessary, as wrong information is sure to cause many a
fruitless search, much loss of time, and perhaps some muttered thunder
directed against the supposed Ananias who saw the bird tower.

Young shooters are often confident that a towered bird is dead, and can
be picked up if looked for long enough. Probably they have read it, and
have confirmed the statement with a few observations of their own. The
partridge that is struck in the head usually falls at once, whether the
shot has actually pierced the brain or not, but this is by no means
invariable, as I have suggested above.

The several kinds of towerers behave as follows: A rap on the head from
a glancing shot may or may not damage the sight, but if it does not
completely stun the bird he will rise up and tower from the place where
the shot struck him; his is usually a very strong flight, and he is
likely to fly a good way, towering all the time, until the loss of
strength forces him to come down; he will not collapse at the apex of
his flight, but as he falls continue to beat his wings, more or less
slowly, nearly or quite to the ground. When he reaches the earth he may
die, or he may sit muffled up in a dazed condition. Generally he can be
approached and killed with a stick, but sometimes he will have a blind
side and a wideawake one; and it is not difficult to approach him by
selecting his dark side. In no case is such a bird likely to fly until
his enemy is within a yard or two of him. Often he makes no attempt to
save his own life, and many times I have allowed a retriever to pick up
such a bird, having the gun ready in case of his blunder. On several
occasions, probably not more than three, the towered bird on being
disturbed has _towered again_; but generally if he is able to fly at all
he is able to see where he is going to and to get away. Many birds of
this kind have no shot in them whatever, as I have proved by
_post-mortem_ examination; others have proved the same thing by being as
lively as ever upon being approached. Once, a few years ago, when a
controversy on this subject raged, X-ray photographs of three towerers
were published, but shot pellets could only be traced in two of them,
and consequently both sides claimed the victory. It is very likely that
laboratory examination never will find a shot pellet in the head of a
towerer, but that only proves that when a shot _enters_ the head it is
generally enough to bring the bird down at once. It is quite another
matter when a shot pellet strikes the head and does not _enter_. Then
the state of towering is frequently instantly produced.

This kind of wound, then, may be recognised by the towering of the bird
from the instant it was struck, also by some movement in its wings in
descent, and lastly, by its attitude of squatting when found upon the
ground.

A bird struck in the lungs or stifled by blood in the windpipe behaves
very differently. On receiving the shot it generally, but not always,
drops its legs as if they were broken; that will generally prove not to
have been the case. Then it flies on, from fifty to five hundred yards,
with nothing apparently the matter, except the dropped legs, then it
suddenly begins to rise or tower. This towering appears from the
shooter’s position in the rear, and far behind, to be straight up, but
that is optical deception, caused by the position of the shooter
directly in the rear. The angle of elevation is really about the same as
that of the head-struck bird, although, as the latter rises from only
forty or fifty yards away, his angle of elevation looks more oblique
than that of the bird a quarter of a mile away.

The stifled bird rises in spite of the fact that his head does not point
upwards like that of a pheasant rising to top the trees. The partridge
rises without any appearance of change of angle in his body, and when he
reaches the apex he does not turn over backwards, as has been said of
him, but starts to fall from the position of ordinary horizontal flight.
You will generally find him dead upon his back, but the reason of this
is that the resistance of his outstretched wings in falling turns him
over, and they cease to resist the air when he is on his back. It is a
case of movement in the direction of least resistance.

A bird which is brought down instantly by a shot in the head generally
jumps about or flaps his wings when on the ground; one would think that
he could not do this if he was entirely unconscious, but if he has any
degree of consciousness the head-struck towerer must have very much
more, just as the stifling bird has, so there must be many degrees of
semiconsciousness in wounded partridges.

It very often happens that the most experienced will mistake the dead
bird’s fall for that of a runner, and a runner’s for that of a dead
bird, but the latter is less frequent. The runner generally flaps a wing
as he falls, shows the white of the other one and holds his head up; but
all these signs taken together do not prove him to be a runner, because
he may have had a lung shot as well, and then he will die upon the
ground. Again, a runner may deceive in the other way, he will sometimes
fall as if unconscious and then recover and run away. The runner which
is just wing-tipped and can fly a long way, sinking slightly until he
touches the ground, will not fly again, but generally proves to be a
very strong pedestrian indeed.

Several different kinds of hits cause birds to drop their legs
instantly, and I fancy that when this happens they are always found
where they fall, near or far. The most common of these is the lung-shot
bird, then there is the back-broken bird, which does the same, and may
also be known by the wobble of his flight—an up-and-down movement, like
a boat in a heavy sea. Then there is the leg-broken bird which is likely
enough to fly again, but not to run, that day at least. A broken-legged
bird generally only has one leg down, whereas a dead bird generally
drops both, no matter how far he is to fly before he dies. I think a
bird very seldom bleeds to death from a shot wound in the neck vein, but
probably this must happen sometimes. I am inclined to think that when
the only wound is in the blood-vessels of the neck the bird would fly so
far, losing blood all the way; that when he was picked up the cause of
death would not be recognised, and I think this is the reason why this
kind of wound is so seldom seen. It does not follow that it infrequently
occurs.

A shot which breaks the spinal cord is as instantaneous in effect as one
which enters the brain, and brings the bird down at once, but not with
what is called a broken neck, for I never saw a broken neck in grouse,
partridge, or pheasant, unless the keepers had wilfully done it in order
to kill a wounded bird. It is a very bad plan to kill any game this way,
and especially grouse, for without the bone of the neck to suspend them
on the stick the weight often causes the body to drop and be lost in the
heather. The skin alone is not strong enough to carry, at any rate, the
young birds, especially when boys drag their feet and bodies through the
tall heather.

It has been said that the reason partridges “tower” is that they are
obliged to lift their heads upwards in order to get their breath, and
that their bodies follow where their heads point. This can hardly be the
reason, because we have two kinds of “towerers” to deal with, and
besides, many a blackcock on taking wing and going away horizontally,
nevertheless holds up his head and looks at his disturber over his back,
but he does not go upwards in consequence. I do not believe that the
upward flight is caused either by any rudder-like action of the tail,
although that is, perhaps, possible.

Probably the wings are so set by Nature that their beats not only
counteract gravity, but something more than this, and it possibly
requires the will of the bird in steering to make him keep a horizontal
course. The concave undersurface offers more resistance to the air than
the upper convex surface. Hitherto I have considered that this
arrangement was meant to negative gravity when the bird was urging its
forward course, but when one remembers that young birds with half the
power of flight of the old ones nevertheless can rise quite easily, and
seem to maintain a horizontal course quite comfortably—that is, their
inferior wings in ordinary up-and-down beats are equal to the resistance
of gravity—consequently, it appears almost certain that the ordinary
beats of better wings are much more than equal to the resisting of
gravity. Or, in other words, if partridges in a state of health did not
wilfully hug the ground they would rise up like “towered” birds.

I wonder whether this is the reason that day birds (which appear to
migrate in their sleep, and certainly cannot travel by night at any
other time than when the instinct is upon them) migrate at great
altitudes. That is to say, whether they go up because they cannot help
it. If so, there would be a certain altitude for each kind of bird where
the wing beats influence, on the more rarified air, in sending the bird
up, and the lessened power of gravity, would become equal, and at that
altitude the bird would travel forward without the will being called
into request to keep a horizontal course. Balloonists tell us that at
great heights birds thrown out fall like stones, so that there must be
an altitude where ordinary wing action ceases to overcome gravity. In
any case the partridge goes upward, whether either head or lungs deprive
him of part of his senses, probably of all the sense of direction except
that one of keel downwards, that no bird ever seems to lose as long as
he is alive.

Another reason for believing that the natural up-and-down wing beats
would take any healthy bird upwards as well as forwards is to be found
in the necessity of the moult. If the full wing beats only kept the
horizontal course then it would probably happen that the loss of a
single flight feather would have the effect that gravity would gradually
overcome the horizontal tendency and pull the bird downwards; but that
does not appear to be true, and this is additional reason for believing
that the up-and-down wing beats with a horizontal keel much more than
overcome gravity, and that consequently when a bird cannot direct its
own course it goes upwards, because it is built to do so, and to
overcome the downward drag of gravity by the mere up-and-down wing
action and a level “keel.”

                                                 G. T. TEASDALE BUCKELL.



                            Hunt “Runners.”
                                  IV.
                     BUTLER OF THE NORTH COTSWOLD.


There are few more picturesque hunting scenes than the country around
the Cotswold Hills in the fair county of Worcestershire, which is hunted
by Mr. Charles McNeill and his famous pack of Belvoir-bred bitches. This
Eden of foxhunting is a much sought after possession, wild and rugged
with variety of scene on hill and dale, pasture and woodland. It has
often been said that farmers are the backbone of foxhunting, and these
Worcestershire sportsmen, bred and born to it, are a community whose
fame for staunchness to sport is known far and wide. The majority of
them, or their sons, ride to hounds, and wire is practically unknown in
their country, whilst foxes are preserved as they ought to be, the best
of good feeling prevailing between sport and agriculture. All the same,
we did not expect to find a farmer in the capacity of runner to the
hunt.

Many countries are going begging for a master, but not so the North
Cotswold, which has been so successfully presided over by Mr. Charles
McNeill for the past five seasons, the announcement of whose retirement
was received with universal regret. When it became known there was a
vacancy for next season, twenty-two applicants for the mastership came
before the Hunt Committee; showing how hunting men appreciated a
community of farmers who plump solid for sport. Sir John Hume Campbell
is to be congratulated that he has been chosen to succeed Mr. McNeill.

Butler, the runner to the Hunt, wearing the cap and scarlet coat of
office, is a typical Worcestershire dairy farmer. Born in the Heythrop
country close by, he has followed the hounds on foot for the past twenty
years, which occupies the reign of three masterships—Mr. Algernon
Rushout, Captain Cyril Stacey and Mr. Charles McNeill. Before that time
he had five years in the saddle making young horses, “hunting oftener
than his master did,” as he put it, and a coachman’s place for six
months in the heart of Birmingham was the last straw that compelled him
to give up domestic service, and take to the wild, free life of a
runner, with farming as a mainstay. On a hunting morning Butler is up
before daybreak to get his cows milked, pigs and poultry attended to, so
that the institution of a bicycle to ride the long distances to and from
covert has been a great saving of time and exertion.

Our first sight of the North Cotswold Hunt in the field was at a
picturesque fixture, Cheevering Green, in the hill district, and there
we made Butler’s acquaintance when he stood holding open the gate as
horsemen drew up from far and near. A middle-aged man, with a dash of
grey in his side whiskers, and keen, penetrating brown eyes, foxhunting
is written in every line of a face evidently intended by Nature for a
hunting cap. Sporting the primrose collar of the Hunt, and the coronet
on his button dating back to Lord Coventry’s mastership, Butler, with
his sturdy black and white terrier, makes a pleasing adjunct to a Hunt
which is appointed in Leicestershire style. There is no gainsaying the
fact that the countryside appreciates a Hunt that is well found in all
departments, and a scarlet coat is still a passport which will admit its
wearer where others would be less welcome. It was the late Duke of
Beaufort who used to say that every man who goes hunting ought to pay
the chase the compliment by putting on his best clothes, even if it be
his Sunday suit. Though the North Cotswold is a Hunt far distant from
Leicestershire, yet Mr. McNeill has aimed at perfection in every
department, and by doing so won everybody’s gratitude; for, after all,
the pomp and pageantry of the chase tends to its popularity in a marked
degree, which more sterling qualities can hardly boast. When the
Master-huntsman rode up in the middle of his pack of seventeen and a
half couple of bitches there was a cheery word all round, and expectancy
which preludes a good day’s sport. As usual, the Hunt runner had a quiet
word for the ear of the Master, news of an outlying fox which a
neighbouring farmer had viewed every morning for the last week. These
North Cotswold bitches, for Mr. McNeill has no doghounds in his pack,
have done well this season, killing seventy-two foxes up to the middle
of January, in a country that is fourteen miles long and eight miles
wide in the middle, being a good deal less top and bottom. All Belvoir
in colour and type, they are triumphs of breeding, proving their worth
by winning prizes on the flags at Peterborough, and golden opinions in
the field, where they are remarkable for tongue and drive, a pack that
mean catching their fox at the end of a gallop. Mr. McNeill is a
Leicestershire man, who acquired the greater part of his skill as a
huntsman studying the methods of Tom Firr, and he is as quick as
lightning, inspiring hounds and followers with confidence.

For the first draw we commenced hill-climbing to the larch plantations
up above, an experience that made one appreciate the sagacity of a
well-trained hunter.

These hill districts must require a considerable amount of stopping
before a day’s hunting, but it is not a duty now performed by the
runner. Butler’s mission is to bolt the foxes when they get to ground,
and for this he receives half-a-crown on every successful occasion.
Years ago he carried a big, white buck-ferret, and worked him on a line
when foxes sought the shelter of stone drains. Unfortunately, the ferret
came to an untimely end; making a hole in the bag in which he was being
conveyed home one wet night, he escaped and, perishing of cold, was
found dead next morning.

From the hill-top we were rewarded with a beautiful view of a
far-stretching panorama of country in the vale beneath, and quickly the
sonorous music of the big-framed bitches lent enchantment to the scene.
A second or two later the whipper-in’s silver whistle was ringing out
the glad “Gone away,” and Butler, with a smile of satisfaction on his
face, was holding up his cap; there were no confusing halloas. Though
the North Cotswold country is anything but a good scenting one, except
when there is a bite of east in the wind, the bitches rattled their fox
out of covert, and keeping his head up wind as they slipped down into
the vale, spread-eagled their field in a hunt of thirty minutes to the
Croome country on the opposite hillside. It was a ride full of new
experiences, giving us, alas, but a distant view of the Master and
hounds as they skimmed over the stone walls that divide the seventy-acre
pastures. A rain-cloud blotted us out at the finish, enveloping the
hillside in a dense wall of fog, robbing the pack at a critical moment
of well-earned blood.

[Illustration:

  WITH THE NORTH COTSWOLD.
]

Stone-wall jumping is a characteristic of the North Cotswold country,
and it is surprising how well hounds’ legs and feet stand the trial,
proving the worth of good bone and breeding, which, like first-class
machinery, can go at the highest pressure and last. In the vale there is
a beautiful line of grass with upstanding fences, equal to anything to
be found in Leicestershire, so that a hunt is seen under all sorts of
conditions, and a pack that can do well here is fit for any country.

Talking of runs brings up a wealth of reminiscences, for it is a
district in which the keenest interest is taken in the doings of hounds
by the non-hunting fraternity, who are sportsmen to the very core. To
set the runner and his friends talking hunting is like putting a match
to gunpowder, and two brilliant bursts we noted down would make the
fortune of a season’s sport. Finding a fox near Hyatt’s Spinney, the
bitches, with tuneful chorus, drove him along into the open country of
large acred fields surrounded by stone walls. There was a burning scent,
and so good was the pace that hounds could keep their fox travelling up
wind, whilst Mr. McNeill was viewing nearly the whole of the journey in
a hunt of twenty minutes.

It was a regular Belvoir burst, and the pilot had to go straight in the
race for his life, losing no time over the walls, he ran up the middle
of each field in a desperate effort to gain on his pursuers. Such a high
state of tension could not last for long, and the huntsman at last saw
the fox miss his footing at a stone wall and fall back from distress.
Though the mistake only made a matter of a few seconds, it cost a
gallant fox his life, for before he could clear in a second attempt, a
bitch called Housemaid dashed up, and seizing hold of his brush, pulled
him back, but herself went over the wall, where she lay, knocked out. An
electrifying cheer from the master put a finish to the fastest burst of
this season, under the wall near Springhill.

Another good gallop this season, both from a thruster’s point of view as
well as the huntsman’s, was from Gallipot Gorse in the Vale. An old
customer, who had on several occasions led the pack a dance, always to
save his brush by getting to ground, was not so fortunate on this day.

Getting away close at him, they drove along to Toddington without
touching a cover, and running by Worrington Village they crossed the new
railway below Laverton. It was evident to those with hounds that the
pilot meant the earths on the hillside in Burrill Wood, but two fields
from that point the pack suddenly viewed their fox. Up went their
hackles, and giving utterance to that cry of delight which proclaims the
death-knell, their language seemed to convey its meaning to the hunted
one. A curious incident occurred at the finish, which was witnessed by
several members of the Hunt. In the last field, a grass one, when this
gallant fox knew the end had come, he turned round and met the pack with
his hackles up, and made the best fight he could, a game old warrior,
indeed. With gleaming ivories shining defiantly, he died facing the foe,
his teeth meeting in a death-grip directly the leading hound seized him.
So good a fox was honoured with full funeral rites, all wanting a bit of
him, and the Master would not have been half sorry if he had just
managed to beat them at the finish.

When it comes to dislodging a fox, Butler is not the first man with the
spade, for the staff has one better in Padison, the first whip, who is
determined, in the saddle or out of it. Where there is any chance of
handling a fox he goes to work with the fire and dash of a fox terrier,
stripping to his shirt in the effort to get under ground. The kennel
huntsman is old Dan Reid, who looks quite classic in appearance, riding
a long-tailed black thoroughbred; and being of Irish extraction, he has
the dry humour of that race. On one occasion when they were out a
badger, some one remarked that Mr. Brock was scratching in faster than
they were digging him out. Dan replied: “No, but he’s not, for I’ve put
a tarrier dog in to keep him amused.”

One story more about the runner and we have done, for there is always
chaff flying about with the wheat, and this belongs to the lighter
quality. After a mark to ground in a drain, the runner was left with
instructions to get the fox out, whilst hounds went on to draw
elsewhere. Unfortunately, it occurred to him to give the neighbouring
villagers a little entertainment on his own, and soon tremendous
holloaing was heard in the distance. To the master’s horror he saw a
crowd of village women round a red-coated figure who was wheeling a
barrow, in which was a cider barrel containing the unfortunate fox in a
bag. All the party were halloaing, delighted at the prospect of making a
Roman holiday of the arch enemy. It was a moment when the Master showed
his royal displeasure, and the fox was at once enlarged, such a mistake
never happening again.



                            “The Old Horse.”


Yes, taken all round, he was, without doubt, the best horse I ever
owned. Good at every kind of fence; bold, yet clever as a cat; never
sick or sorry after the hardest day; and nothing too big for him. Oh,
yes, I had a few falls off him. For myself, I have always thought the
horses that never fall rather mythical animals. It has always seemed to
me that the hunter of whom the fond owner proudly says: “He doesn’t know
how to fall,” can scarcely know how to jump. For a horse that can cross
a difficult country without sometimes making a mistake must really be
somewhat uninteresting, like the good people who always do and say the
absolutely correct thing.

That is his picture just above the mantel-piece. Made all over like a
hunter; blood, bone—and look at his girth. Ewe-necked? Just a trifle;
but he put on a lot of muscle there after the picture was done, and I
have noticed that a horse with that formation, or fault, is often a real
stayer.

Perhaps so; those good bits of the past always look a good deal brighter
than when they made our present; but still, I will insist that the old
horse—he will always be “the old horse” to me—was the very best I ever
rode. He had a little temper; but, then, the best horses and men have
that—and women? rather!—and when they are, all through, the right sort,
and generous, it improves them. And the old horse _was_ generous! Why,
if he had been a man, I always thought he would have made an ideal one.
It is just ten years ago to-night since I lost him. Bless me! how time
does go. I had returned, well pleased, after a good day’s hunting. We
had had one of those real old-fashioned sporting runs in which hounds
hunt steadily on, though nothing very brilliant in the way of pace
occurs. I had dined, my coffee had been slowly sipped, my cigar had been
under way some fifteen minutes, and was being enjoyed with that feeling
of extraordinary contentment which a long day in the open air gives to
the sportsman. I had tried several favourite books, and found all
impossible, as usual after a hard day’s hunting; BAILY’S had just
dropped from my hand, and I had given way to a reverie on the
performances of my friends and myself during the day. The wind had been
rising gradually, and now blew in strong and fitful gusts, and again,
with faint moaning “sough” through the trees. I must have been dozing;
but a tap at the door suddenly roused me, and Stablem entered the room
and said: “Please sir, the old ’oss ain’t nearly so well to-night.” I
was alert then. The old horse! He had not been well for some time;
indeed, latterly, he had been failing fast. I had bought him as a
four-year-old, and had ridden him for twelve seasons, but only two or
three days at the beginning of this. He had suddenly seemed to lose all
his form, and got listless, and then he became, all at once—old. He had
since been given only gentle exercise, and passed his time in his box;
and the “vet.” said he could not do very much for him. So, very sadly, I
rose and followed my man to the stables. The old horse was lying curled
up in a corner, more in the way one sees a dog lie. He was moaning, in a
low, crooning key, which to me seemed terribly human. When I spoke to
him he raised his head and tried to prick his ears. I stroked his muzzle
and looked into his eye, once so prominent and bright, now so sunk and
dull. Yet I felt he was glad to see me. Ah, he and I had ever been on
the best of terms. Other friends had sometimes been far from true. We
had found them—those whom we had trusted—mean, and not running straight;
but the old horse, he had ever been the same—brave, generous, and
cheery. He stretched himself out, and lay stiff and flat. Poor fellow!
He looked so small and “gone”; his once rich coat, a mahogany chestnut,
was dry and colourless. He was the mere shadow of his former self—the
slashing, sixteen-hand hunter had shrunk to this.

A hundred memories rushed through my brain of the halcyon days he and I
had spent together. The best runs I had ever ridden had been on his
back. The longest day had never been too long for him. Of course, you
know he was thoroughbred, and up to fourteen stone, and I ride only a
little over twelve, and how game he was! He only refused once, and we
found there was a great quarry hole behind that fence! He was always so
flippant and free, and now—and the thought struck me like a knife—he
would never hunt again.

In perfect health the thought seldom occurs to us that we may never do
this or that thing again; never again see some loved face, nor hear our
friends’ cheery chaff, nor again gaze on some familiar scene. If we
_could_ know, how miserable we should be long before our misery comes.
So it was with the old horse and me, I had ridden him so long that I
somehow seemed to think I should go on riding him. Nothing much had ever
happened him; a few slight cuts, but nothing serious, in all the years
we had been together. A fine feeder, he had gone on like clockwork; but,
at last, the wheels had run down; and I realised, with a grief that some
may consider out of place when only a horse is the object, that our
friendship was being severed. It seemed so strange that we should part;
we who had only parted in our falls; we who had galloped through so many
brilliant bursts and struggled on to the end of so many long runs. It
was hard indeed; but the very strangeness of it seemed greater than my
grief. I had never known how fond I was of the old horse.

To watch a dumb animal die is, in one sense at least, more pathetic than
in the case of a human being. In a way it seemed harder, more cruel,
than if a man lay dying, for then there would be some consciousness of
the coming change or end of things; and, if not, humanity has all along
been educated for this inevitable termination. This is the looked-for
goal, which lies—always far off, of course, but still ever there—at the
further side of life; a something to be seldom thought or spoken of. But
the old horse did not know these things. He did not know that life was
slipping from him. The future, at any rate, had no terrors for him, and
the past brought no remorse. He was even hardly unhappy in the present;
and of pain he had little or none. With him it was almost an euthanasia.
If he thought at all, it was probably of finer and happier hunting
grounds than any he had ever seen; fields that he would cross without
tiring, and where “the going” was all grass and no plough. Perhaps he
dreamt of this as he feebly neighed. I hoped he did. I hoped that, in
some vague, mysterious fashion, the old horse felt that he was going to
be at rest. For surely one who had been so dear to me could never be
allowed to die—to go out—unaware like that he was going to something
better? And, as I watched him, I thought that he was one of the few
hunters who never seemed to have “bad days.” Poor fellow! What pleasure
I owed him! For what pleasure in life is there to be compared to that
which we owe to our hunters? And this union, wherein lay so many
exquisite memories, was to be dissolved. I would still have the
memories, but the old horse was going. He even now seemed suddenly to
get further away from me. A stupor had fallen on him, and, once or
twice, I fancied that he thought he was galloping hard in the same field
as the flying pack. I hoped he did, for it seemed good and right that he
should be there in spirit, as he passed away from me. A few minutes more
and I was alone, for the old horse had gone.

                                                             HUGH HENRY.



                 Some Novelties in the Laws of Croquet.


The Committee of the Croquet Association metaphorically, at any rate, do
not let the grass grow under their feet, and the new edition of the
“Laws of Croquet,” recently issued by the governing body of the game,
will be studied with interest by the ever-increasing army of croquet
players.

It was certainly a good move on the part of the members of the Croquet
Association in January, 1905, when the Associates vested the authority
to alter and add to the laws of the game in the hands of the Committee
of the Association, instead of leaving reform, as before, to the hurry
and disorder of a general meeting of the Association.

On January 26th and February 8th last, the Committee for the first time
exercised their legislative authority, and in accordance with Rule xxi.
several alterations in and additions to the laws of croquet were passed
by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting, the necessary
quorum of sixteen being present.

Perhaps one of the most important matters is the alteration to Law 8,
which now reads: “In commencing, each ball shall in turn be placed on
the central line of the ground within three feet of the spot marked A in
the diagram of the setting.”

The central line of the ground is, of course, an imaginary straight line
passing through both pegs and extending to the boundary, and the spot
marked A is on the boundary immediately behind the winning peg.

Now this appears to be a great improvement, for the old method of
starting the game with the balls a foot in front of the first hoop was
not satisfactory. It required a great effort of clumsiness for a player
not to run his first hoop to start with, although many a good player has
been “had” once at least over the tricky opening credited to the fertile
mind of Mr. Eveleigh, which consisted in playing one’s ball back into
the first hoop, so that the following player was compelled to take
croquet before running the hoop.

A great merit of the new starting point is that it will do away with the
wear and tear of the ground in front of the first hoop, and the holes
and “rabbit-scrapes” which have disfigured the ground in front of the
first hoop should be things of the past. Moreover, the hoop itself used
to suffer damage from the attacks made upon it at the point-blank range
of a foot (and frequently less) not only by the ball, but too often by
the mallet of an impetuous player.

It will be very interesting to see what openings will be adopted by the
experts under the altered conditions, and at all events the start of the
game is likely to be more interesting than before, and for the makers of
breaks there is the likelihood of occasionally including another point.
But obviously in the case of very moderate players, the game might be
considerably prolonged by this method of beginning the game.

According to the laws for 1906, however, there is no need for moderate
players to play the full and most arduous setting, for Law 6 authorises
two shorter settings, which may be used at discretion; and these should
be most welcome to mediocre players, and in fact to all who would like
to shorten the game. With the standard setting, the game of course
consists of fourteen points for each ball.

[Illustration:

  DIAGRAM No. 3.
]

[Illustration:

  DIAGRAM No. 4.

  (From the “Laws of Croquet.”)
]

A modification which has now been made optional is to play with this
same setting, but after the fourth hoop has been made, instead of going
down “the ladies’ mile,” through the two hoops in the middle, the new
plan is to take the turning peg next, and then take the penultimate and
rover hoops up to the winning peg as usual. Now here is a pretty little
game of just eight points per ball, every hoop once and each peg once.
The rough diagram, No. 3, will explain itself.

But the most interesting short setting is, to our mind, the one with no
turning peg, and the winning peg in the middle of the ground.

As will be seen from diagram No. 4, on the opposite page, this setting
entails the shifting of the penultimate and rover hoops farther apart
from one another, each of them being about three and a half yards
distant from the spots which under the standard setting would be
occupied by the two pegs. The game here is as usual until after the
fourth hoop has been run, and then the player has to come up through the
penultimate and rover hoops, and afterwards back to the winning peg in
the middle of the ground. Here there are only seven points to be made by
each ball, and the presence of the winning peg in the middle of the
ground seems to us an excellent idea, because not only will it require
some skill on the part of the players to avoid embarrassment from this
in the course of a break, since the peg will be exactly where the middle
ball should be found in the academic four-ball break, but also the
finish of the game has to take place in the middle of the ground. Now
this is likely to make a great difference to the game.

To the ordinary player the end of the game is about the most difficult
part of it. Obviously no one has had so much practice in finishing a
game of croquet as he has in beginning it, for although two people begin
a game, only one finishes it, and it is by no means easy to win the game
even when you have got both balls at the rover stage or hoop, with the
winning peg at the end of the ground. With the winning peg in the middle
of the ground, it will be more important than ever that a player should
win the game as soon as ever he can, without any delay in the centre of
the ground in the middle of his adversary’s game.

_The Croquet Association Gazette_ draws attention to three great
advantages offered by these short settings:—

(1) They will enable managers of tournaments to arrange for the “best of
three” games to be played in cases where, with a longer setting, there
would be time for single games only. The final could be either the best
of five (short setting) or best of three (long setting.)

(2) The monotony of long breaks will be abolished.

(3) The shorter the game the larger the proportion of start to
finish—the two most interesting periods of the game.

One of the worst features of the game of croquet as practised at
tournaments of late years has been the practice of close wiring, by
leaving the next player stuck in the middle of a hoop or up against the
wire. A usual finish up to a break was to leave the next player tight in
the blue hoop after the player had himself run it, and many a first-rate
player has been beaten by 26 points without ever getting an open shot
throughout the game. Last season some of the leading players, notably
Mr. Arthur Gilbey, at Swakeleys, adopted a system which should defeat
the methods of the close wirer, and this system has now been
incorporated in the laws of the game. The new law reads as follows:—

  “If at the commencement of a turn the striker’s ball is “wired” from
  all the other balls, either through the interposition or
  interference of any hoop or peg, such ball being distant less than
  one yard from that hoop or peg and having been placed there by the
  stroke of an adversary, the striker may at his option lift his ball
  and play it from any spot within a yard of where it lies. A ball is
  “wired” when (1) any part of it cannot be driven in a straight line
  towards every part of the ball aimed at; or (2) a wire or peg so
  interferes with the backward swing of the mallet that the striker
  cannot freely aim at every part of the ball.”

_The Croquet Association Gazette_ points out four drawbacks to this law,
viz., two measurements, lifting the ball, and the problem of deciding
whether a ball be wired or not.

Also the definition of wiring demands careful attention. The whole
target presented by the ball must be open; if the left-hand edge of the
striker’s ball cannot be driven in a straight line so as to hit the
right-hand edge of the object ball then the balls are wired. So this law
gives the open shot to everyone who is not wired by his own mallet or
that of his partner, should his ball be placed within three feet of a
hoop or peg by an adversary. There still remains the chance of safely
“masking” the balls from the shot of an opponent who is left in the
open, and the leading players were quite equal to doing this last
season. But “masking” the balls requires considerable ability, whilst
any fool could jam an adversary’s ball in a hoop.

The law with regard to “taking off” without moving both balls has now
been remodelled, and now that part of Law 17 reads: “In so doing
(_i.e._, taking off) he must move or shake each ball perceptibly, should
he fail to do so the balls are to remain where they lie or be replaced
at the option of the striker, and the turn ceases. The striker, if
challenged, must be prepared to assert definitely that he saw both balls
move or shake, and in default of such assertion the balls shall not be
considered to have been perceptibly moved or shaken. If the two balls do
not touch before and in the act of taking croquet the adversary may
require the stroke to be played again. In taking croquet the striker’s
ball shall not be in contact with more than one ball.”

The result of this law is that this offence is no longer regarded as a
foul stroke, but is treated much the same as the offence of driving one
of the balls over the boundary in a croquet stroke; except that in the
case of not moving the balls the offender can elect whether he will
replace the balls as they were before the stroke was made, or whether he
will leave them where they are at the end of the stroke.

It is quite right to make the penalty for non-moving or shaking less
severe than formerly, for since it must generally be a matter of rather
close observation to determine whether a ball has moved or no, and since
the striker is obviously in the best position to observe this, it was
difficult enough for some strikers to confess that they had not moved
the ball, and it is to be hoped that the lightening of the punishment
may lead to more pleas of guilty.

Of a verity there seems to be no end to the laws of croquet, and it
requires quite a gifted head to carry them all, with their various
alterations and additions; and the edition of the “Laws of Croquet” for
1906 is likely to revive the industry of the painstaking man who learns
up the laws by heart as well as he can, and always carries a copy of the
book in his pocket with a view to winning an occasional bet over some
well-engineered discussion about the laws of croquet.

An interesting feature of the plans of the Croquet Association for next
season is that the Committee have decided to use composition balls in
all Association tournaments instead of wood, which up to this year has
been the standard ball for tournaments.

Certainly the composition balls are in every way more satisfactory than
wood: they are absolutely accurate as to shape, weight and size, the
colour does not come off, and they are impervious to wet, whilst they
are more durable and cleaner in all weathers than the wooden balls.
Composition balls are, moreover, easier for running hoops than are those
made of wood, they have greater resiliency and more drive about them; on
the other hand, their resiliency is so great that it is very difficult
to “roll up” two balls together across the ground. But since this
rolling-up is nine times out of ten a foul stroke, to the extent that
the mallet has more than one contact with the ball during the stroke,
the more the roll-up is discouraged the better for the game. It is a
counsel of perfection, but we know some players who go so far as to say
that under favourable conditions the composition balls make the game of
croquet too easy.

                                                                   QUID.



                         True Fishing Stories.


Some years ago an acquaintance of mine solemnly assured me that he had
once, when fly-fishing for trout, hooked a rabbit on the bank behind
him, and with his forward stroke brought it over his head and dumped it
down among the trout he was seeking to capture. Possibly he was using a
“hare’s lug,” and let his imagination do the rest. Of course, I was too
polite to question the performance. It is surprising what a good fly-rod
will stand in this way. Fishing in wooded streams you now and then get
very fast in a branch behind, and you do not find it out till the full
force of your cast comes into action, and then the tree seems to be
almost coming up by the roots, while rod and tackle do not give way, and
are not a bit the worse. This reminds me that one day a few years ago I
lent my rod for the afternoon to a man, a more or less distant cousin,
who had come without one. He was a fisherman of long experience, so I
had no misgivings about it. When I came in towards evening I found that
he had been unfortunate enough to catch up in a tree and break the top
just at the ferrule, and had had it mended by the village joiner.
Accidents will happen in the best regulated families, but I did wish he
had let the joiner alone. He then proceeded to add insult to injury by
telling me that it was _my_ fault for having such a “rotten” rod, and a
good deal more in the same strain. I have had worse rods and I have had
better ones in my possession, but I had caught a great many trout with
it at one time or another, and it was the only one I had with me. No
doubt it is a good thing we are not all turned out of the same mould,
but had the positions been reversed I am certain that I should have
absolutely grovelled abjectly in my desire to avert his wrath and obtain
his forgiveness.

But to go back to the rabbit. The nearest approach I ever made to this
feat was when on a certain occasion I was fishing just above the town
bridge at Marlborough, and my pal was standing on the bridge looking on.
I suddenly heard a yell from him, and—well I did not throw _him_ over my
head impaled on the hook of a “red quill,” but only a piece of his nose!
It was at this very same place, possibly the same day, that I was
drawing in a fish of quite a respectable size, when a small boy in the
gallery sung out “Whoi don’t cher chuck down the rod and ketch ’old o’
the string?” I daresay the method might have been quite as successful. I
know it is not, or was not then, a very attractive spot to be fishing.
It is an unsavoury place, but I was there all the same, and some one ate
the trout: _I_ did not. Then here is another incident bearing on the
subject. When I was at Winchester, alas! many years ago, I was down
“Water meads,” and saw a cow tearing along at full tilt, pursued at a
distance of about thirty yards by a youth with outstretched arm, and a
rod presented horizontally in the direction of the animal, also going
for all he was worth, and he looked as if he soon would be worth very
little. He had hooked “the coo,” which not unnaturally took to its
heels, and he was no doubt anxious to save some of his cast, or haply
his fly, or even land the coo. I do not remember how it ended, but
possibly in after years he may have related to his sons, who I hope are
also Wykehamists, how he once threw a coo over his head with a
“Hammond’s guinea rod” into the Itchen!

Many of your readers have probably occasionally hooked a swallow or
martin; on the two or three occasions on which this has happened to me
the bird has not been hooked in the mouth, but round the neck, the fly
forming a running noose on the gut. But I do not think many will have
bagged a duck with a fly. It was a large bushy fly, and the wind caught
it as I cast, and instead of its falling under the opposite bank, about
two yards of gut stood straight up out of the water, and then fell over
up stream just in time to meet an old Aylesbury duck with a brood of
ducklings paddling down stream. It fell by the side of her, and though 1
tried to pick it up before she got it, she was too quick for me and
snapped it up. There was “such a row as never was.” She quacked and
splashed, and beat with her wings, and dived and did all she knew. This
time I did “chuck down the rod and ketch ’old o’ the string” for fear of
breaking my top joint. I hand-played her and landed her, and she was no
worse for her adventure, being only just held by the skin of the mouth.

I lately saw a note in the _Field_ about a trout which had been hooked
twice in the same day, having got the fly the first time, both flies
being found in its mouth. I once came across a good trout rising in a
still mill-tail; the wheel was at rest and all the water going round the
other way; I rose him and left my fly in his mouth. As I observed that
he did not seem to have taken much interest in the proceeding I put
another fly on as quickly as I could, cast over him, hooked and landed
him, and took both flies out of his mouth. His size, so far as I can
remember, would have been somewhere about 1½ lb. Evidently he could have
suffered no pain, and there can be little doubt that when the hook gets
hold of just the skin of the mouth, which happens the most frequently in
fly-fishing, though sometimes painful places are pierced, the fish feels
only the resistance and the pull which tells him he has to fight for his
life. One would think that a trout of about ¾ lb. could hardly swallow a
pebble 2 inches across without, if not pain, at least some
inconvenience. Yet it took my fly and appeared fairly healthy. One
wonders why or how it came to get such a thing inside it. Last spring I
twice caught in a north country river, in the same pool but not on the
same day, a trout weighing 6 oz. or 7 oz., with a big stone loach jammed
tight down its throat, and the tail sticking out of its mouth. It was
quite a question whether the loach could be pulled out without breaking.
Yet both of these trout took the fly with a dash, and made a gallant
fight in the rather swollen stream, considering their inches. Those who
know the Broad Water at Wansford in the East Riding are aware that the
field on the west side slopes abruptly down considerably below the level
of the water. I was once casting over a rising fish some distance out,
and in drawing in for a fresh cast my line had to travel back over the
edge of the bank itself, so that the fly might very easily get hung up
tight on a snag or plant: this was what I supposed had happened, so I
began pulling to see if it would come away without my having to go and
release it and so scare the fish, when to my astonishment the line flew
off in the direction of the opposite bank. I had actually hooked in the
belly a fish lying under the bank, which was played and duly brought
into the net.

I one day hooked a fish in Foston Beck, which dived straight into a bed
of weeds from which no persuasion could move it. I tried hand-lining,
but could do nothing; then an idea occurred to me: I spiked the rod in
the ground, reeling up the line till it was just taut without any strain
on, and strolled a couple of hundred yards down the bank to where my
friend was fishing. I told him what had happened and stayed with him a
bit, and then by-and-by returned to my place. Nothing was changed; the
line stretched straight from the top ring to the weed as if purposely
fastened there. I picked the rod up very carefully, and putting on a
sudden strain hauled down stream, when out came the trout before he knew
what was up, to be towed over the weeds into the net, and finally the
basket.

Foston Beck reminds me of an incident which I would have gone a long way
to see, but which I had the good fortune to witness while I was sitting
on the bank under a thorn-bush eating sandwiches. I suppose I must have
been very quiet, for a kingfisher came and pitched on a twig of the
thorn, and remaining there a short time presently quitted it, hovered a
moment over the water, pounced down, and came up with a little fish in
his bill, just steadied himself on the twig, and then flew off. It was a
pretty sight, and one that it is not often given to an angler to see,
although he sees many pleasing things which no one else does. And now I
must bring my rambling paper to an end; but just one more story first.

Every one knows what a bore it is to have to seem amused at sallies of
wit which do not appeal to one, but a bit of unconscious humour from one
who would be astonished to be thought funny makes one sometimes want to
shout with laughter. On a certain day I was counting the spoil
preparatory to going home. I do not think the bag was anything very
striking, but there was a long, black, unwholesome fish among the
others, which I suggested to the keeper had better be thrown away. “Oh,”
said he, “there’s a gentleman there who has come a long way and has not
got anything; I think he would be rather glad to have it to take home.”
So he took it off and entered into negotiations with the said angler who
was taking down his rod close by. I did not hear what went on, but just
caught one sentence, viz., “H’m, the gentleman must be an ‘eepi-kewer,’”
and he put it in the bag.

                                                             GAMMEL MAN.

P.S.—Since writing the foregoing notes there has recurred to my mind
another amusing fish story. A friend of mine, he, forsooth, whose nasal
organ I hooked on Marlborough Town Bridge, having had a day given him on
a very fine stretch of preserved water, killed with dry fly a nice
basket of trout from about 1¼ lb. up to 2 lb., which I saw and much
admired. The best of these fish he sent to his old father by the hands
of a man who had just come home from India, and who, to distinguish him
from his brother, was spoken of as Mr. —— from India. They were duly
delivered, but with the message that a gentleman had brought some fish
from India! Whereupon my friend’s father, who would have greatly
appreciated such trout, promptly ordered them to be thrown away. And
thrown away they were, to the sore vexation of the successful and
dutiful fisherman when he heard thereof.



                          A Hundred Years Ago.


                (FROM THE _SPORTING MAGAZINE_ OF 1806.)
                                BOXING.
                         D. MENDOZA AND H. LEE.

Friday, March 21st, 1806, being appointed for the above pugilists to
exhibit themselves in a pitched battle for 50 guineas, the same took
place at Grinstead Green, three miles and a half through the town of
Bromley in Kent. The combatants met in a 25-feet roped ring, formed on
the Green soon after one o’clock, attended by their seconds, Bill Ward
and Bill Gibbons for Mendoza, and the Game Chicken and Gulley for
Lee.... Current betting in the ring was 3 to 1 on Mendoza....

The battle was continued until the fifty-second round, very much to the
disadvantage of Lee, who, however, showed himself game by the very
severe beating he had received. In the fifty-third round, which ended
the fight, he fell without a blow, and Mendoza’s seconds did not choose
to give away a chance as they had done several times in the course of
the battle; and the matter being referred to two gentlemen who acted as
umpires, they declared Mendoza the winner, after a sharp contest of one
hour and ten minutes.

OBSERVATIONS.—In this contest, which it was supposed would be the most
hollow thing ever attempted, the spectators were very agreeably
surprised. Lee, although he did not act the part of a game man in the
strict sense of the word in falling without a blow, yet he was not
deficient in skill and resolution so as to disenable him to rouse the
admiration of the amateurs. He never had a chance of winning, although
he made a very good fight; for the odds, to nearly the end of the
contest, were treble against him to what they were at the commencement,
and at the end, when Mendoza became weak, they were never less than four
to one. He got himself miserably beaten in the former part of the fight
by making play, but his seconds did not suffer him so to act at the
latter part. He had the advantage in stature and length of arm, and he
fought with his left hand extended, constantly sawing. Mendoza had a
decided advantage over his opponent in the knowledge of bruising, which
the beating Lee received will most fully demonstrate. Dan stopped most
admirably, and he seldom hit with his right hand without the desired
effect. With his left he sometimes led himself into an error, for he
generally hit over his man and left his right side exposed. He showed
himself a pleasing fighter, as he always has done, and his fatigue at
the end of the fight was no more than momentary, for he was quite fresh
after the contest was over, and his only suffering was a blow he had on
the left eye and another on the nose, which was broken in a fight many
years since.

Another account says the contest between Mendoza and Harry Lee was much
more serious to the former than has been generally described. About the
thirtieth round the odds changed from five to even betting; and though
Lee declared himself compelled at last to give in, on which his seconds
advised him to drop without receiving a blow, which decided the battle,
Mendoza was so severely beaten that he was immediately put to bed with
both eyes closed and his face mangled in a shocking manner.

[Illustration:

  BORZOI SANDRINGHAM MOSCOW.
  Winner of First Prize. Property of Her Majesty Queen Alexandra.

  _Photo by Dexter & Son._]
]

It is almost incredible the number of spectators that were present....
The following were the leading amateurs: Lord Albemarle, Lord Sefton,
Count Beaujolaise, Sir Watkin W. Wynn, Sir John Shelley, Sir Edm Nagle,
Captain Halliday, Mr. Thornhill, General Keppel, Mr. Buxton, Mr.
Fletcher Reid.



                              The Borzoi.


Of the several breeds of foreign dogs that have been introduced into
England, the Borzoi has obtained a considerable amount of popularity. It
is, however, not more than fifteen years ago that the breed was first
seen in any numbers, and was accorded a separate classification in the
Stud Book. He is the most aristocratic in appearance of all the canine
race, but, although so gracefully and slenderly built, has a most
powerful jaw, and is very muscular, as he needs to be, when he is
required on occasions to tackle a wolf single-handed.

The Borzoi is the favourite of Royalty. He is to be found in the
Imperial kennels of Russia, and also in those of the Grand Dukes and
others of high degree, and among the first seen in this country were a
brace that were presented, upwards of thirty years ago, to the Prince of
Wales (now King Edward VII.), which hounds were occasionally exhibited
on the show bench, and were bred from; but as there is no record of
their names appearing in the pedigrees of the present generation of
Borzois, they and their produce seem to have been lost sight of. Still,
now and again in the years which intervened between that period and the
time when the breed became firmly established here, a specimen or two
then known as the Siberian or Russian wolfhound appeared in the classes
confined to foreign dogs, but these were very indifferent
representatives of the breed when compared with the beautiful animals
that were afterwards imported by her Grace the Duchess of Newcastle, who
at the present time owns the largest and most successful kennel that has
probably ever been seen out of Russia, or with Alex, who was presented
in 1895 to the Princess of Wales (now Queen Alexandra). A more
magnificent animal than the Borzoi Alex has scarcely ever been seen.

With the advent of Alex the breed, which has already been recognised by
the Kennel Club, and for which a specialist club had been formed to look
after its interests some three years before, quickly took a prominent
position amongst our show dogs, and now large classes of Borzois are to
be seen at all the principal shows; and Her Majesty was successful in
winning a first prize in a group of thirty-two at the Crystal Palace,
and also at Birmingham, with a young dog bred at the Royal kennels at
Sandringham. That the Borzoi has now become thoroughly nationalised in
England is proved by the fact that the whole of the animals shown on
these occasions were home-bred. In addition to Her Majesty and her Grace
the Duchess of Newcastle, Mrs. Borman, of Billericay, has a large kennel
of these dogs, and other prominent breeders of them are Princess Sophia
Duleep Singh, Mrs. Kilvert, Mrs. E. A. Huth, of Wadhurst, and Miss
Robinson, of Tewkesbury. Mr. H. Murphy, of Padiham, also has a few
valuable specimens, and so has Mrs. Aitchison, whose kennels are at
Wallsend-on-Tyne.

[Illustration:

  BORZOI PUILAI.
  Winner of First and Champion Prizes. The Property of Mrs. Ebsworth.

  _Photo by Bowden Brothers._]
]

Although largely used for coursing the wolf in his native land, the
Borzoi is only kept as a companion in England. He is useless for
coursing the hare, as he is not so fast, nor can he turn so quickly as
the greyhound. At work with the wolf, however, the Borzoi has no equal,
as he holds on much more tenaciously when he has seized his prey than
either greyhound or Scottish deerhound, both of which have been tried in
Russia. When wolves are to be coursed, the dogs (generally two or three)
are held in slips by a keeper on horseback at the corner of a covert
whilst the latter is being drawn by foxhounds. On the wolf breaking
covert he is given a start of two hundred yards, when the hounds are
slipped, who before they have gone a mile, and sometimes considerably
less, are up with their quarry, which they seize on either side by the
neck. The wolf is then powerless, and the rider, after dismounting,
either muzzles the animal, if it is a large one, or dispatches it with a
knife, if it is small and not of any use to be kept for the purpose of
practising the young dogs. During the muzzling operation the seasoned
dogs keep fast hold of the wolf, but young hounds, when first entered,
will sometimes seize the wolf by the back or leg, when they run the
chance of being terribly mauled. They, however, soon learn the fact that
the only safe place to get hold of is the neck, and that they must not
let go their grip till the wolf is muzzled.

An occasional hound can take a wolf single-handed, but it is only the
most practised hunters that are allowed to do so. When one dog only is
sent in pursuit of the foe, on the latter being caught the two roll over
together, but the dog always comes up at the top, and it is quite the
exception for the latter to receive any injury. Sometimes, in places
where difficulty is expected in finding, bagged wolves are brought into
requisition, but the quarry that is disturbed from his native haunts
generally shows the best sport. Under any circumstances the pastime is
most exhilarating, travelling to the scene of action on the snow at
break-neck speed, over hill and dale, and sliding down the sides of
miniature mountains on the sledges, the atmosphere so cold that unless
the sportsmen are well wrapped up in furs there is a considerable chance
of their getting frostbitten.

There are two varieties of the Borzoi, one with flat, the other with
rougher coat; but the latter is the favourite, and is certainly the more
handsome. Those in the Imperial kennels being chiefly of the
rough-coated variety, they are exactly the same in general contour, the
only difference being in the texture of coat. A representative of the
greyhound tribe, the formation of the Borzoi is characteristic of great
speed, endurance, and strength. As already stated, associated with the
snake-like head is a most powerful jaw; a perfect specimen has immense
depth of chest, but perhaps the most noticeable feature is the power
that is to be observed in his loins and quarters. He is a much bigger
dog than the greyhound or deerhound. In height he will sometimes measure
as much as 31 inches, and Korotai, a well-known winner in the last
decade, drew the scale at 110 lbs. The largest dogs are not, however,
always the best workers, as those that are an inch or two less in
stature are generally more sturdily built.

Colour in the Borzoi is an important item, as it naturally would be in
an animal that is made on such graceful lines. On the body white
predominates, with patches of orange, fawn, or blue, sparsely
distributed, and the hair is soft and silky to the touch. Black-and-tan
is an objectionable colour. Others that are self-coloured are also
equally objectionable, as also are black markings of any sort. Patches
of brindle with white ground, on the other hand, are admissable. The
winner at the show of the Imperial Gun Club at Moscow was so marked.

As regards the foot of the Borzoi, opinions appear to differ. We in
England prefer the cat foot, the same as that of the greyhound and other
sporting dogs, but in Russia many of the chief winners have the hare
foot, which is considered in that country to be better adapted for
galloping on the snow. The following are some of the other points that
are characteristic of the breed: In general appearance he should show a
combination of nobility and elegance, and his every movement should be
graceful. The head should be very long and snake-like, the skull narrow
and flat, but not receding; the muzzle tapering from the eye to the
nose, and slightly arched when viewed in profile; the eyes dark hazel in
colour, and almond shaped; the ears thin and small, and carried like
those of the greyhound; the teeth level (an overshot mouth is a great
defect). The neck is somewhat short for a dog of his size, and the chest
narrow; but there should be plenty of heart room, as seen by his great
depth of brisket; the forelegs straight and rather fine in bone; the
back arched, with flanks cut up; the loins muscular, with broad quarters
and strong hind-legs; the hocks not quite so much bent nor close to the
ground as those of the greyhound; and he has the peculiarity of
appearing to be rather higher behind than in front, but this is probably
caused by his arched loins.

                                                         FREDK. GRESHAM.



                  Some Sport in the Transvaal in 1878.

                   BY LIEUT.-COLONEL ALSAGER POLLOCK.


Before proceeding to describe the pleasant little trip which will
furnish the principal subject of the narrative that follows, it may be
as well to explain, briefly, the conditions under which I had found my
way into the Transvaal and what I was doing there. During 1876 and 1877
the Transvaal Republic had been at war with Sekukuni, and by the close
of the former year had become hopelessly bankrupt. The operations
against Sekukuni had been the reverse of successful; the Zulus were said
to be restless, and a large proportion of the Transvaal Boers declared
themselves in favour of annexation by Great Britain. Sir Theophilus
Shepstone—“Somsteu” as the Kaffirs named him—went up to Pretoria, as
Special Commissioner, in January, 1877; and in March my regiment (the
1st Battalion 13th Light Infantry), with two guns and a small detachment
of Royal Engineers, marched up country. A halt was made at Newcastle,
pending the result of the negotiations at Pretoria; but eventually we
reached the latter place, where the British flag was hoisted on the
Queen’s birthday. The march, as a military movement, was uneventful, and
the opportunities for sport as a rule scanty. We had some excellent duck
shooting near Newcastle, and just beyond Standerton we saw what can no
longer be seen, but what those who have seen it can never forget, the
annual migration of all kinds of game from the “High Veldt” to the “Bush
Veldt.” From as far westward as the eye could reach the great procession
kept coming, whilst its head was beyond the horizon in the east. All
kinds of antelopes, quaggas, &c., were to be measured not by hundreds or
thousands, but by _miles_. It may here be mentioned that the animal
which the Boers call a “quagga”—pronounced “quaaha”—is really Burchell’s
zebra. To me it has always seemed a shame to shoot these beautiful
creatures, except when scarcity of meat demands the sacrifice.

At first, after our arrival at Pretoria everything was quiet, but very
soon it became necessary to send four companies to Utrecht, on the Zulu
border, and in the absence of this detachment a party of some 1,500 Boer
malcontents assembled, armed, at Pretoria, where they held an
indignation meeting under our noses. Our strength was limited to about
350 men, lusty old soldiers indeed, yet a mere handful. Luckily,
however, the local military authorities were neither clever enough to
understand the danger nor foolish enough to provoke a contest. We had no
entrenchments of any sort; our camp was within 300 yards of the town,
and probably about ten minutes’ fighting would have sufficed for our
extinction. Perhaps the Boers assumed from our attitude of calm
indifference that a trap had been set? At all events no trouble ensued,
and the assembly dispersed.

Round Pretoria there was very little shooting to be had, but by trekking
northwards, to Warm Baths and Nylstroom, in the Waterberg district, some
fair sport was met with; and there a party of four of us spent a most
enjoyable month.

Meanwhile the 80th Regiment arrived in Natal, and a detachment having
been sent up to Utrecht relieved our four companies, which rejoined
headquarters at Pretoria, March 28th, 1877. On April 16th, three
companies, of which my own was one, marched off to Middelberg and
Lydenberg. Sekukuni had broken out once more, and it had been decided to
send up an expedition to suppress him. Our three companies were not to
go at once to the front, but to afford some protection until an
expeditionary force could be assembled. Thus it was that on July 16th,
T., W. and myself had the good fortune to start on a trip to the
district about the Sabie River, some sixty miles distant from Lydenberg.
Operations against Sekukuni were already imminent, and we were lucky in
obtaining even a fortnight’s leave under the circumstances. Indeed, it
was only three weeks after our return, namely, on August 22nd, that we
actually entered upon the campaign.

During our stay at Lydenberg we had been lucky enough to make friends
with a Mr. G., of Krugerspost, a British settler, a great sportsman, and
a right good fellow. Mr. G. had been in the habit of shooting on the
Sabie every season for many years, and upon this occasion very kindly
permitted us to join him, he providing everything—waggons, Kaffirs, &c.,
whilst we merely paid our share of the expenses. Our party consisted of
T. and myself, who were already at Lydenberg, and W., who arrived by
post-cart from Pretoria the day before we started. In order to economise
time the waggons had been sent on three days in advance, but in
consequence of a breakdown they had failed to reach their destination,
with the result that we caught them up about five miles east of the
Spitzkop Goldfields, and about thirty-five from Lydenberg. The waggons
were still trekking when we reached them and we continued with them to
the outspan about six miles further on. During this last part of the
day’s trek W. achieved a reputation as a shot by killing a paauw as it
flew overhead about one hundred yards up. W. fired from his horse’s back
with an ordinary service Martini-Henry rifle, and the feat was therefore
a notable one.

During the next two days we found ourselves rather unprofitably employed
in crossing a wide belt of country that had been burned by a party of
Boers just before our arrival. We met with lots of spoor of rhino,
giraffe, buffalo, &c., but saw nothing except small buck and quaggas,
and one troop of hartebeeste. Of these we shot a few, as we wanted meat.
During the time we were out on Friday 19th, an old Boer who had attached
himself to our party, whilst walking along about a mile from camp,
suddenly came upon the fresh spoor of a buffalo, which he proceeded to
follow in hopes of a shot. All at once, however, he heard “pooph, pooph”
_behind_ him, and in a moment the buffalo had tossed him clean over a
small mimosa bush on to another beyond. In the confusion the old man’s
rifle went off, and the buffalo, tail on end, sailed away without taking
any further notice. The Boer got off without any broken bones; but, as
may easily be imagined, not with a whole skin. Mimosa thorns are
somewhat retentive, and the descent from that tree, which took some
considerable time, was a painful process. Next morning, whilst searching
for buffalo, we passed over some of the ground that had been visited the
day before in pursuit of the quagga, and found that two carcases had
been appropriated by lions, but of the lions themselves we saw nothing,
nor did we meet any buffaloes; later, to our great satisfaction, we came
upon the fresh spoor of a considerable troop—too late in the day,
however, to follow it up.

Starting from camp at daybreak on Sunday, with niggers and dogs, we took
up the spoor, and after about two hours reached the spot where a lion
had killed a cow buffalo during the night. Jackals or hyenas had had the
leavings, and the horns, bones and skin were all that remained. At last,
about 10 a.m., the herd was sighted on the other side of a big donga,
into which any number of smaller ones ran from both sides. It was a very
bad bit of country from every point of view, and the bush in parts was
inconveniently thick. However, after a good deal of riding about we got
the herd on the move towards the more open veldt—not, indeed until after
they had given us a good deal of excitement, sometimes running in view,
but more often lost in the bush. Once they had their opportunity, and
had they taken advantage of it they might have bagged the whole lot of
us, as we crossed a donga in single file not more than a dozen yards
from where they were all standing. Having allowed us to cross in safety,
the buffalo made off in the opposite direction.

During this time some three or four of the buffalo had fallen before our
rifles, and at last out they came across a fine stretch of decently good
ground, beyond which was a wet donga with thick bush on the other side.
Midway was a small “pan.” I happened to be on the left, and in the best
place, with the result that I arrived first over a swell of the ground
and saw below me the buffalo in the act of lying down in the pan to cool
themselves. My appearance caused a wild commotion, during which,
however, I fired one shot off my horse into the back of a big bull just
as he was rising, and down he went to my great delight. But I had been
very foolish not to dismount: my horse was excited and so was I, with
the result that I missed my second barrel. The bull I had hit was
struggling below, and just as I was about to get off my horse and give
him the _coup de grace_ G. came galloping up. He cried, “don’t finish
him, he is quite safe, his back is broken, come on after the others.” I
complied, but looking round after I had gone about half a mile I saw my
bull on his legs and commencing to make tracks. The donga was only a
couple of hundred yards from him, and slowly as he went he was right on
the top of it before I came up with him, when he promptly turned to bay.
Thirty yards from a wounded buffalo I was discreet enough to take my
chance of a shot from the horse’s back. Just as I raised my rifle the
bull gave a “pooph, pooph,” and came at me. My horse shook his head and
I missed clean. The reins were on the animal’s neck, and before I could
gather them he had gone a couple of hundred yards. The bull charged only
a very short distance, turned and made for the donga. I returned quickly
and jumped off on the bank. I could just see the bull going through the
reeds and bush, and whether I hit him or not I cannot say. At all
events, I never saw him again. I got another soon afterwards, but this
did not comfort me for the loss of a far finer pair of horns. We bagged
nine bulls altogether, but none of them so good as the one I had failed
to secure. The Kaffirs afterwards tracked that bull for a long way, but
eventually lost his spoor in that of the rest of the herd.

Probably the poor brute died later on. My shot must have been close to
the spine, since it crippled him for the moment, and may or may not have
penetrated his body. Possibly it glanced off his ribs, but at a distance
of only about twenty yards this does not seem likely. At all events, he
was not brought to bag, and except to the poor bull himself the nature
of his wound was therefore of very little consequence.

Meanwhile we had killed a lot of meat, and it took us some time to go
round and make all the carcases safe against jackals, vultures, &c. Mr.
G. wanted to make biltong, for which purpose he left the Kaffirs on the
ground whilst we all rode slowly home to camp.

Next morning we found that both of Mr. G.’s horses had got loose during
the night, so that in addition to sending a waggon for the meat, the
recovery of the horses—assuming neither to have been eaten by lions—had
to be attended to. Mr. G. borrowed one of our horses, and with all
remaining Kaffirs, except one, started off; we three staying to guard
the camp. It was well that we had not persisted in setting forth
ourselves; for had we done so the whole camp would have been burned by a
veldt fire. Working frantically, it was all that we could do, after
burning the grass behind us, to carry or drag the whole of our
belongings to a place of safety. Scarcely had we finished, when the fire
came up and went past like an express train. Fortunately the grass in
the donga close at hand was green, and therefore escaped, but we had
much difficulty in keeping the horses and oxen in it; had they broken
away they would of course have galloped for miles before the fire, and
some not impossibly have been caught by it.

In the evening Mr. G. returned with his horses, and the waggon also came
in laden with meat; the greater part of the latter, however, was
useless, owing to the intense heat of the sun and the distance that had
been covered in bringing it to camp. Mr. G. regretted much that instead
of sending for the meat we had not shifted camp to where the buffalo had
been killed.

The following day we had some excellent sport with a troop of
wildebeeste which gave us a rare gallop. One of my horses was a grey
half-bred Arab and rather fast; the ground was fairly good going, and I
made up my mind to try whether I could get alongside for a shot off the
horse’s back. To my great delight, after about three miles as hard as we
could go, I raced up alongside the bull I had selected, and, firing from
the hip, bowled him over like a rabbit, shot through the heart. All
things considered, I am certain that next after a fast forty minutes
with hounds at home there is nothing to touch a gallop after antelopes
in South Africa. With a reasonably good horse it is fairly easy to get
within fifty yards, and then jump off and shoot, but only a very smart
horse can actually bring you alongside anything except a fat bull eland.
The last I believe is easy to catch up with, but I cannot speak of this
from personal experience. Riding homewards on the evening of the day I
have just mentioned I met T. As a rule, from the moment we started
galloping after the first troop of buck we met with, we seldom saw
anything more of each other until we had reached the camp. Every man
rode his own line towards any point of the compass, and it was long odds
against any two of the party afterwards falling in with each other.
Well, as we were riding slowly along, T. suddenly exclaimed, “Lions!”
and scrambled off his horse. In a moment I was off too, but being a
second behind was just late. What I saw as I was about to dismount was a
magnificent great lion, accompanied by two lionesses, on the edge of a
donga about 120 yards to our left. As I hastily put up my rifle they had
turned round and were just disappearing. I pulled the trigger at the
lion, and I always think that I was dead on him and must have got him.
But, horrible to relate, the rifle was on half-cock! The chance was
gone! T. meanwhile had missed. We jumped on to our horses and galloped
hard to the donga, but not a sign was to be seen. The lions were no
doubt lying down. T. had but one cartridge left, and I had only three;
otherwise by shooting at random here and there amongst the tall reeds we
might have moved the game. We were only about a mile from camp, and the
wind was blowing in that direction, so we were afraid to set fire to the
grass. There was, therefore, only one thing to be done, and this we
promptly did. We galloped home as fast as we could to fetch Kaffirs and
dogs, and get more cartridges. The dogs picked up the line at once, but
after following it for about a couple of miles we were obliged to whip
off, as it was nearly dark. These were the only lions we saw during the
trip. Spoor of them was plentiful and their voices could be heard in the
night, but that was all. Lions are very shy and very clever. To get a
lion one must, as a rule, trust to the chapter of accidents; looking for
them, as we often did upon this and other occasions, a chance seldom
comes. Upon the other hand, when game is not plentiful, it is well known
that lions make themselves a great nuisance prowling round the camp at
night looking for a chance to bag man, horse, or ox, and to keep them
off a good fire is very necessary.

A few days afterwards we made an excursion to the border of the “fly”
country. Several specimens of the murderous insect settled on various
horses, but as we took care to sheer off whenever a fly was seen, no
harm was done. A few bites are of no consequence. Here we stumbled upon
the camp of a Mr. S. whom we had seen at Pretoria months before, but not
since. He had been trekking all over the place, and it was rather
remarkable our meeting with him. He had had good sport in the “fly”
country, into which he had gone with a light kit and a few Kaffirs to
carry it. Finally, after a number of quite enjoyable days’ sport, during
which, however, nothing really remarkable took place, the time came for
us to return to Lydenburg. We had for the last three days been working
towards home, and in the end had only some sixty miles to ride. Leaving
the waggons to follow, we started at daybreak, and reached Lydenburg in
good time for dinner.

There is one matter to which it is worth while to call attention, in
reference to life on the veldt. It is wonderful how quickly and
accurately the “homing instinct” becomes developed. Every morning Mr. G.
would explain to us that the waggons would trek during the course of the
day to the banks of a certain river, or to a pool of water, say twenty
miles distant, in a direction that he pointed out. There might or might
not be some guiding landmark. Within a couple of hours it would
certainly have happened that no two of the party were together. All
would have ridden in various directions, wherever the game led them. Yet
throughout the trip not one of us ever failed to find the waggon in the
evening! The nearest approach to any one being lost was when W.,
actually heading straight for camp, was overtaken by the darkness when
still about a mile distant. He was just about to light a fire when,
becoming anxious about him, we began to fire shots to attract his
attention; he replied, and twenty minutes later walked in. Of course, I
must admit that this was not our first trip, and that we had all of us
ridden about the veldt a good deal during the previous two years. Yet
this power of finding the way from a place that one had necessarily but
slight knowledge of to another, fifteen or twenty miles distant, that
one had never seen at all, and there find, in the bush, a waggon, is
sufficiently remarkable. Clearly the result was not dependent upon
reasoning, not upon ordinary “lump of locality,” but simply upon
_instinct_. It should be remembered that this was not a case of riding
straight for a point; upon the contrary, one had been galloping hither
and thither, and not until the afternoon was the horse’s head directed
homewards, where, as a rule, all arrived before dark.

At the risk of being tedious I will quote an example of “homing
instinct” that in my opinion is rather curious. A year before the trip
which I have been writing about, I was one of a party of four shooting
in the Waterberg district. The ponies belonging to F. and myself were
both in need of a day’s rest, and F. and I walked with the others to a
place where some game had been killed the day before, in order to get
the horns and send them to camp, carried by Kaffirs. This done, F. and I
took a line through the bush with the idea of looking for guinea-fowls,
and after shooting a few to walk home. We had been about two hours on
our way when I was seized with a conviction that we had arrived close
home, and I said so. F. instantly replied that he had been just about to
make the same remark. The bush was very thick, and it was impossible to
see more than fifty yards. We agreed that F. should stand where he was
whilst I made a cast to the right. Two hundred yards brought me to the
open ground, and there by the waterhole, a hundred and fifty yards away,
was the waggon! This find was clearly due to instinct and nothing else;
we were neither of us prompted in the very least by any familiar
feature. All around us was bush of precisely the same character.

Perhaps even more remarkable was the power of finding next day the
carcase of a buck killed during the course of the previous day, perhaps
ten miles from camp, and covered where it lay with a few branches to
keep off the vultures and jackals. We ourselves, I admit, sometimes
failed in this, but G. never; nor did a Boer called B. who guided our
party to the Waterberg. Yet how strange it is that men who have been on
the veldt more years than we spent months, and who year after year have
been doing as I have described, have yet been lost hopelessly and died
miserably of thirst! In a word, however practised the instinct, it must
not be trusted always. The golden rule, I have been told, to follow when
lost is to sit down, light a fire, discharge your rifle from time to
time, if you can spare the cartridges, and there wait until some of your
party find you. To advance, once you have ceased to feel certain that
you are going the right way, is fatal. To attempt walking in the dark
when not absolutely sure of the direction almost always ends in
wandering in a circle.

South Africa in the seventies was not a bad place for sport, but what
must it have been in the fifties! A certain Colonel B., late of the 45th
Regiment, told us, in Maritzburg in 1876, that twenty years before he
had shot _elephants_ within a day’s ride of Durban. In our day there was
just one elephant south of the Zambesi; it was in Zululand, and poor Guy
Dawnay, one of the best fellows and one of the best sportsmen that ever
lived, killed it in 1875 or 1876—I cannot remember which. Ten years
later poor Dawnay was himself killed by a wounded buffalo. This rather
disjointed yarn has now reached the useful limit, and must therefore
end.



                           A Song of Homage.


         Along the country lanes I bear her gaily,
         Between deep hedgerows where the wild flowers spring,
         Where hawthorn blooms, where trees grow greener daily,
         And mounting skylarks sing.

         Nature thus decked in glorious robes, forgetting
         The sombre weeds of winter laid aside,
         Makes for my mistress but a proper setting
         When she goes forth to ride.

         For she so young and fair, yet never thinking
         How fair, gives promise of more wondrous grace,
         With kind grey eyes from wells of sunshine drinking,
         Set in a perfect face.

         I, Blacky, am her slave, well-groomed and sightly,
         Who loves—nay life without it were a blank—
         The feeling of her habit flapping lightly
         Against my shining flank.

         I am her willing slave; in doing blindly
         Her smallest pleasure lies my pleasure too,
         Content because she ever treats me kindly
         As friend and comrade true.

         How could I be a rogue with her or idle?
         Nay, how could horse do aught except rejoice
         To feel a hand so gentle on the bridle,
         To hear so sweet a voice?

         And often when I stand at leisure feeding,
         Shut in my box, from all excitement barred,
         I catch the sound of welcome footsteps speeding
         Across the stable-yard.

         “Blacky,” she calls; I whinny as she presses
         Her face to mine with words I understand,
         While, mingling with the sweets of her caresses,
         Comes sugar from her hand.

                                                       BLACKY.



                              Herod Blood.


During the last few years there has been a great deal written on this
subject. It has been put forward that the necessity exists in England
for the resuscitation of the male line of Herod; that this blood is
gradually declining in prominence not only in England but in all other
countries where thoroughbreds exist; and that, if breeders do not tackle
the question seriously, the probability will be that Herod in the male
line will become extinct.

Now, although it is an undoubted fact that the male line of Herod is
gradually being pushed on one side by the descendants of Eclipse, it
does not seem that that fact _alone_ is a sufficient argument in favour
of an attempt to reinstate the blood in the position which it once held.
It is a curious fact that although the male line of Herod is slowly
dying out, while the male line of Eclipse is becoming so prominent, yet
that if the pedigree of any horse of the present day be carefully
examined it will be found that the blood of Herod predominates in the
most marked degree. For instance, the pedigree of St. Simon contains
ninety-one crosses of Eclipse, and no less than one hundred and
forty-six of Herod, and there is not a single thoroughbred horse living
to-day which does not possess a greater number of Herod crosses than of
Eclipse. And this is true not only of the horses of to-day but of the
horses of one hundred years ago.

Yet, in spite of this, the male line of Eclipse since the year 1800 has
been successful in seventy Derbies as compared with twenty-five won by
representatives of the Herod male line. In the Oaks sixty-two winners
are sired by direct male descendants of Eclipse, while only twenty-eight
can be claimed by Herod during the same period. Nor is the superiority
confined to the winners of these races themselves. If we take the
pedigree of the dams of Derby winners we find that the dams in
fifty-five instances are got by Eclipse horses, and in only thirty-six
cases by Herod horses. Putting the same test to Oaks winners, we find
fifty-nine of them got by Eclipse horses and thirty-five by Herod
horses.

                                 Derbies Oaks St. Legers Total
         St. Simon (E)                 2    5          4    11
         Sir Peter (H), 1784           4    2          4    10
         Stockwell (E), 1849           3    1          6    10
         Highflyer (H), 1774           3    1          4     8
         Melbourne (M), 1834           2    3          2     7
         Waxy (E), 1790                4    3          –     7
         Touchstone (E), 1831          3    1          3     7
         Isonomy (E), 1875             2    1          3     6
         Pot-8-os (E), 1773            3    1          1     5
         Sorcerer (M), 1796            1    3          1     5
         Birdcatcher (E), 1836         1    1          3     5
         King Tom (E), 1851            1    3          1     5
         Lord Clifden (E), 1860        –    1          4     5
         Eclipse, 1764                 3    1          –     4
         Herod, 1758                   –    3          1     4
         Florizel (H)                  2    –          2     4
         Whalebone (E), 1807           3    1          –     4
         Adventurer (E), 1869          1    2          1     4
         Buccaneer (H), 1859           1    2          1     4
         Emilius (E), 1820             2    1          1     4
         Hermit (E), 1864              2    2          –     4
         Hampton (E), 1872             3    1          –     4
         Scud (E), 1804                2    1          –     3
         Bay Middleton (H), 1833       2    –          1     3
         Justice (H), 1774             2    1          –     3
         Tramp (E), 1810               2    –          1     3
         Phantom (H), 1808             2    1          1     3
         Orville (E), 1799             2    –          1     3
         Newminster (E), 1848          2    1          –     3
         Whiskey (E), 1789             1    2          –     3
         Selim (H), 1802               1    2          –     3
         Velocipede (E), 1825          1    1          1     3
         Muley (E), 1810               1    1          1     3
         Sultan (H), 1816              1    2          –     3
         Volunteer (E), 1780           1    2          –     3
         Blair Athol (E), 1861         1    –          2     3
         Voltaire (E), 1826            1    –          2     3
         Sweetmeat (H), 1842           1    2          –     3
         Barcaldine (M), 1878          1    1          1     3
         Woful (E), 1809               –    2          1     3
         King Fergus (E), 1775         –    –          3     3
         Priam (E), 1827               –    3          –     3
         Beninghough (E), 1791         –    2          1     3
         Petrarch (E), 1873            –    2          1     3
         Macaroni (H), 1860            –    3          –     3
         Gallinule (E), 1884           –    1          2     3

The above table shows a list of the horses that have sired three or more
classic winners, _i.e._, Derby, Oaks, and St. Leger. The letters E, H,
and M after a horse’s name denotes whether it is of (E) Eclipse, (H)
Herod, or (M) Matchem descent in the male line.

This list, which covers a period from the birth of Herod to the present
day, contains forty-six names, of which thirty-one are male descendants
of Eclipse, and only twelve of Herod.

The following horses have headed the list of winning stallions since
1850:—

Epirus (H), Orlando (E), Birdcatcher (E), Melbourne (M), Touchstone (E),
Newminster (E), Stockwell (E), Buccaneer (H), Thormanby (H), King Tom
(E), Blair Athol (E), Adventurer (E), Lord Clifden (E), Speculum (E),
Flageolet (E), Hermit (E), Hampton (E), Galopin (E), St. Simon (E),
Kendal (E), Orme (E), Persimmon (E), St. Frusquin (E), Gallinule (E).

From this it will be gathered that Herod horses have headed the list in
three years, Matchem one year, while Eclipse horses monopolise all the
other years.

So we now have the following facts, that although Eclipse horses have
won the Derby, Leger, and Oaks nearly twice as often as Herod horses,
and have sired the dams of the winners of these races in about the same
proportion, and have further headed the list of winning sires almost
without break for the last fifty years, yet in the pedigree of every one
of these Eclipse horses mentioned above the name of Herod occurs oftener
than that of Eclipse.

Now, surely it is very significant that although all our thoroughbred
horses of the present day possess more crosses of Herod blood than
Eclipse blood, yet the Herod male line is being slowly and surely pushed
out by the Eclipse male line. One might almost regard it as a logical
consequence that the extra crosses of Herod should give the Herod male
line an increased strength and prepotency, but, as a fact, we find the
exact opposite to this is the case.

A few illustrations taken from contemporaneous sires will best explain
the force of this. For instance, let us take Whalebone and Phantom,
winners of the Derby in consecutive years, 1807 and 1808. Whalebone, a
direct descendant of Eclipse in tail male, contained one cross only of
Eclipse and two crosses of Herod. Phantom, a descendant of Herod in the
male line, contained four crosses of Herod and two of Eclipse. Phantom
to-day has very few tail male representatives at the stud, while
Whalebone is represented by the whole of the Newminster and Stockwell
line, backed up by the Isonomy line in later days. A comparison between
Birdcatcher and his nearest Herod contemporary, Bay Middleton, works out
with much the same result. Birdcatcher’s pedigree contains four crosses
of Eclipse and nine crosses of Herod; Bay Middleton six of Eclipse and
thirteen of Herod. Yet we have to go to France to find any prominent
representatives of the Bay Middleton male line; while two Birdcatcher
horses (Isinglass and Gallinule) are top of the list of winning sires
to-day.

All these facts would seem to go to prove that in spite of the
preponderance of Herod blood in our horses, in spite of the occasional
prominence of individual members of the Herod male line, there is some
natural force which is always working to place the Eclipse male line on
top. It is quite evident that the male line of Eclipse cannot be
“swamped,” and that the blood gets stronger and stronger the older it
grows.

Many contemporary writers on the history of thoroughbred horses have
commented on this ascendancy of the Eclipse male line, and some have
attempted to account for it by ascribing it to chance and fashion. Mr.
W. Allison, in his interesting book, “The British Thoroughbred,” devotes
a whole chapter to the subject, and is quite satisfied that the “great
success of Eclipse is due to Sir Hercules, Camel, and fashion.” He also
points out the necessity which seems to exist of reviving the blood. But
just how this revival is to be effected is what is puzzling, and always
will puzzle, breeders.

Perhaps the most feasible explanation of why the Herod blood in the male
line is dying out, and why the Eclipse male line is so preponderant, can
be found in a close analysis of the pedigrees of the two horses, and by
comparing the results with the conditions which prevail among horses in
their natural state. It will then be found that the dying-out of the
Herod line is more a working out of the laws of Nature than anything
else, and is probably beyond human control.

Let us first take the pedigree of a wild horse, and see how he is made
up. It may seem an anomaly to talk of the pedigree of a wild horse, but
every animal has a pedigree if we could but trace it. The horse in a
state of Nature is a gregarious animal, living in herds or groups, each
group having its premier stallion, who is literally “lord of the harem.”
A stallion remains at the head of his group until he gets too old to be
effective, and he is then driven away by one of the younger stallions,
probably one of his own sons. In a wild state the mare breeds young,
dropping her foal when about three years old. A wild stallion will
probably remain vigorous and capable of holding his own until ten or
twelve years old. He will then probably be breeding with his own
daughters and possibly granddaughters. When he is ousted and his son
reigns in his stead, he in his turn will be cohabiting with his sisters,
aunts, and cousins, until eventually you have the whole herd very much
in-bred. In fact, the wild horse is a very much more in-bred animal than
the tame horse, and Nature evidently intends the horse to be an in-bred
animal.

Now let us take the pedigrees of Herod and Eclipse, and analyse them.
Without going too deeply into detail, which might be bewildering to
those unskilled in pedigree lore, it will be sufficient to state broadly
that Herod is a cross-bred or out-bred horse; while Eclipse is an
in-bred one. We have to go back six generations in Herod’s pedigree
before we get the same name occurring twice, as that of Spanker, and the
same name occurs in the seventh and eighth generations. Herod,
therefore, has four crosses of Spanker, and no other instances of
in-breeding. Eclipse, on the other hand, has crosses of Hautboy at his
fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth removes—nine of them in
all—while he also possesses seven crosses of Spanker.

A curious point about the pedigrees of both Herod and Eclipse is that
this same Spanker blood has been handed down to us through only one
channel, and that by the incestuous mating of Spanker and his dam. The
produce of this mare was the grand-dam of Betty Leedes, who in her turn
was the dam of the two Childers. This piece of incestuous breeding seems
to have been the rock on which the British thoroughbred was built, for
it will be found, on examining all the old pedigrees, that their
strength lies in their in-breeding to the two Childers (the No. 6
family).

We have already seen that the wild horse is incestuously in-bred, and we
know that, of Herod and Eclipse, the latter was the more incestuously
in-bred of the two. Does it not seem, then, a simple working out of the
laws of Nature that the Eclipse male line should be more prepotent than
the Herod male line, bearing as it does, though artificially produced, a
closer resemblance to the breeding of the horse in a state of Nature?

The fact that Herod’s name occurs more often than that of Eclipse in
modern pedigrees would seem to go to strengthen this theory, for the
Herod blood is more diluted, so to speak, than that of Eclipse, and
seems unable to resist the concentrated force of the more incestuously
in-bred Eclipse line.

                                                            S. C. BURKE.



                       The Last of the Bitterns.


Although the hawthorn in the valley was opening its leaves and
disclosing the rosy-tipped buds of May, there were but few signs of
returning spring on the marshlands of the mountain slope. The scanty
grass was withered with the searching winds of winter, and the wild
thyme had scarcely yet begun to creep over the lichened stones; but
through the entanglement of beaten-down reeds and rushes by the
waterside fresh green spikes were pushing their way up to the light.
Here and there some flecks of gold enlivened the whin bushes, and, far
away in the distant valley, a thrush was singing. The song floated up
the still air of the valley as the blue mists of the late afternoon
paled into the evening grey; the last flush of sunset faded over the
rugged mountains of the west, and the melancholy marshland sank into the
shadows of the coming night. Then the thrush’s song died in the
gathering darkness, and all was still, save for the bark of some
shepherd’s dog in the distance and the faint murmur of a trout
stream—sounds that only seemed to intensify the quietude.

Suddenly the desolate marsh was awakened by a ringing, booming voice
that pierced the misty darkness and vibrated in the still air. No echo
followed that weird, mysterious call, that deep metallic ring, “as when
a bell no longer swings,” but the desolation of the moors seemed the
more desolate as I listened and wondered what the sound might be. The
night hugged the silence, Nature held her breath, until again that
lonely booming voice broke the stillness and died in a tone of
despairing lament. Passion was in the voice, and love; a challenge was
there, yet a sublimity and a loneliness that haunted the very breath of
spring. Once more the vibrating tones were swallowed up by the darkness,
but once again they pierced the night air and rang in a cadence of
passionate, deep-toned booms that shook “the sounding marsh” and
awakened the desolate places of the sleeping earth. Even as the
lightning smites the heavy laden cloud and disperses it in drops of
rain, so that penetrating voice struck the brooding darkness of the
moor, and the abiding peace, in little fragments, was shattered and
forgotten in a multitude of thoughts.

Those who are acquainted with the bird-life of our islands need not be
told that the deep-toned, booming cry of the last of the bitterns was
heard a very long while ago. Marshes have been drained and rough lands
cleared, cornfields and rich pastures cover the earth which once swayed
and rustled with bulrushes and tasselled reeds, and the birds and
flowers—the aborigines of the marshlands—have been driven away from
their old haunts. Yet one would not stay the cultivator’s hand that the
secluded retreat of the bittern might be left undisturbed. Time brings
many changes, and the well-cleared dyke, the uprooted reeds and willows,
the burning of scrubby wastes, were inevitable, and once the nesting
place—the home of a species—is taken away extinction becomes a matter of
years. So the noble bittern that stalked heron-like in the shallow pools
and streams of the fens and marshes, whose pencilled plumage of rich
browns of varying shades blended so beautifully with the surroundings,
and whose weird notes resounded in the spring nights of long ago, year
after year, became a less frequent visitor. It is probably twenty-five
years or more since the last love-song of the bittern was answered, and
some eggs were laid, in the land that it had inhabited for so long. Now
some few stragglers drift into our shores, but the booming note—the
love-song only uttered at nesting time—is no longer heard, and those
lonely migrants that casually seek refuge here only too quickly fall a
prey to the loafer’s gun.

But there is no reason to suppose why, if suitable places—

                   Not where along unlovely ways
                   The roaring tide of trouble flows—

but secluded tracts of land, such as still exist in many counties of
Wales particularly, were protected, many of our partially extinct birds
would avail themselves of the opportunity of breeding again in the old
home of their ancestors. In these days of cheap cartridges, few birds
that are not catalogued as common, are suffered to exist, and the rarer
the species so much the less chance has it of surviving. Speaking
generally, the sportsman—I mean the man who is fond of a gun and who
protects rather than exterminates those birds and animals not really
destructive—is the friend rather than the foe of our wild life, but the
class of gamekeeper who, often against his employer’s instructions,
kills anything that his imagination can conceive to be harmful or
uncommon is responsible for much of the extinction now going on. The
loafer who “pots” seals and swallows on Sundays, and earns his beer by
selling skins of kingfishers (for the kingfisher is yet another that
must now be considered rare) and other rarities to local “naturalists”
is a tyrant of the meanest order, a parasite upon his own kind and a
terror to all things beautiful and rare. In speaking upon this subject
one wishes to refrain from any sickly sentiment, of which there has
already been a super-abundance. The effect of much that has been written
and spoken on the extinction of our wild birds has been neutralised on
account of the rabid and ultra-sentimental way in which enthusiasts have
expressed their views and feelings, and, as in the case of
“vivisection,” many people who might have been workers for good have
been reluctant to join forces with those who have clamoured and preached
so extravagantly. Owing to the efforts of private individuals and the
various societies, a great deal has been done to protect the wild life
that is annually becoming scarcer; but much remains to be done, and most
particularly in the case of those few straggling remnants of our
avifauna, viz., the bitterns and bustards, hen-harriers and
marsh-harriers, eagles and kites, hoopoes and ravens, and others of that
sad, long list of birds, the most beautiful and noblest that ever gave
lustre to our avian population.

It is strange, too, that all, or nearly all, these declining races were
denizens of the marshlands or the mountain where the voice of a bird is
ever such a welcome sound, and to-day when the chilly winds of a March
evening drive through the lank, dry grass with a whistling sound, or
surge and whisper in the heather, to which still cling last year’s faded
flowers, when the curlew and the plover break the solitude with their
wild, yet plaintive cries, when the last dipper has shot like a black
dart round the bend of the stream, and the skylarks, that have been
joyously singing far up in the sky the day long, have sank silently into
the beds of rushes, then, when the wind sinks away into the still dark
valley below, one feels that Nature is still waiting and listening for
the ringing boom of the bittern to herald the birth of the marshland
spring. But only the shepherd’s dog barks intermittently in the
darkness, and a voice like that of some belated sheep falls dreamily
upon the air of night. Up there, where the club moss stands sturdily in
the crisp snow, the grim old rocks that have witnessed man’s coming, and
will, perchance, witness his passing, look down upon these “haunts of
ancient peace,” and we ponder over the changes that time has wrought in
the solitary spot.

                                                          A. T. JOHNSON.



                        The Spring Horse Shows.


At no other times, perhaps, have there been such opportunities to obtain
lessons in almost everything that concerns horses than at the three
shows, for the Shires, the Hackneys, and the hunters. For the last
quarter of a century the right roads have been taken to develop and
improve the English breeds, and in that comparatively short space of
time the effects of sensible and scientific breeding have been quite
wonderful on materials existing years, almost centuries, ago, but
neglected by past generations, and often enough nearly lost. Now it
happens again that everything is in its pristine excellence, but even
better, and presenting really a great British industry in which no
rivals can be feared, and one that might help the ever difficult problem
of what to do with young England, the over-population that want new
lands for farming, and more especially for breeding and rearing horses.
Englishmen can do it better than others, as has been seen at these
shows, but they want lands that are not over-rented, rated and taxed,
and under such conditions thousands might leave these shores with
altogether unsurpassed stock to breed horses for the mart of the world.
Will South Africa, Canada, or other territories at present belonging to
the Empire, be made available? But that is a political question;
governments must see to it. All the public has to think about is that
the English breeds are now perfection; and, to begin with, there is
nothing greater than those known far and wide as

                              THE SHIRES.

[Illustration:

  MESSRS. FORSHAW’S PRESENT KING II. 19948.
  Champion Stallion at the London Shire Horse Show.

  _Photo by F. Babbage._]
]

It was not so much in regard to the numbers as the quality that made the
show of these farmers’ friends so great, and it may be that the
development of this element is so noticeable in the Shire as to make it
a very satisfactory occupation to breed him; it has specially fascinated
many great personages and sportsmen, from His Majesty the King
downwards, the exhibitors now including the Duke of Westminster, the
Duke of Marlborough, Marquis Campden, Earls Ellesmere, Egerton of
Tatton, Bathurst, M.F.H., Spencer, M.F.H., Beauchamp, Lords Middleton,
M.F.H., Southampton, M.F.H., Rothschild, M.S.H., Iveagh, Winterstoke,
Hothfield, Sir Berkeley Sheffield, Bart., Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart., Sir
William Cooke, Bart., M.F.H., Sir Edward Stern, Sir Albert Muntz, Bart.,
the great welter of the Midlands, the Hon. R. P. Nevill, M.F.H., and
others of rank and wealth. The extension of the movement in regard to
improvement is indeed very marked. That the patrons of foxhunting should
ally themselves so closely with the Shire interest is possibly owing to
the desire to see the noble pastime identified with agriculture. It is
doing good to promote such a breed, both for the cause of the landlord
and the tenant.

From the yearling colts to the oldest of the stallions it was all
quality, and although the examples are bigger to-day than they have ever
been, they have more agility in their movements, are cleaner cut about
their heads and jowls, and more majestic in carriage. For the enormous
class of sixty yearling colts it was an honour indeed to take the first,
which fell to Mr. Frank Farnsworth from a great hunting district for the
promising young son of Lockinge Forest King hailed from Tooley Park,
Hinckley, within easy access of the Quorn and Atherstone. Leicestershire
appears to be the land for Shires, as besides Mr. Farnsworth’s stud,
which must be of great fame to include such colts as Ratcliffe
Conquering King and Ratcliffe Forest King (the latter very nearly the
winner of the two-year-olds, as he was second in a class of seventy),
there were several others from the hunting county. In Warwickshire also
they seem to thrive, as few more beautiful exhibits were seen at the
show than those of Sir Albert Muntz from Dunsmore, his three-year-old
mare winner, Dunsmore Fuchsia, being quite a model of her sort; all Sir
Albert’s ten exhibits were in the money or amongst the commendations.

Lord Egerton of Tatton sent up some very notable entries from the old
Cheshire cheese country; the defeat of the grand six-year-old stallion,
Tatton Friar, was much regretted by many onlookers: but it followed a
very notable victory in the two-year-old class of 70, in which Tatton
Dray King was the winner: it is something for one stud to take the
two-year-old colt and the two-year-old filly class, for the latter fell
to Lord Egerton with Tatton May Queen, a great beauty.

[Illustration:

  MR. RAMSAY’S DIPLOMATIST, 7043.
  Champion at London Hackney Show.

  _Photo by F. Babbage._]
]

His Majesty, who goes in for everything useful on his Sandringham
estate, was an exhibitor of five, and a popular success was that of
Ravenspur, the thickest of horses on the shortest of legs; and here
again it was Leicestershire soil that claims credit for this success, as
the winner was bred by Sir Humphrey de Trafford at Hill Crest, Market
Harborough, making good the saying that where bullocks can fatten and
hounds can run, is the ground for the Shire. Lincolnshire, though, is
always a likely quarter, and the champion of the show hailed from this
county in the shape of Present King II., a very remarkable horse;
although eight years old this grass, he has been unknown to the general
public until now, and it says something for Mr. James Forshaw’s judgment
to have found him. He was bred by Mr. Joseph Phillipson, of Hainton,
Lincoln, and as he is a coal-black horse, with very little white about
him, and his dam is by Black Prince, he is living evidence of the old
Black horse reported to have been almost lost in its purity. Anyway, he
is a very bold, fine horse of quite the biggest size.

Lord Rothschild was not in the same lucky vein as he was last year, in
that the defeat of his champion, Girton Charmer, by an unknown quantity
like Present King II., was irritating; that the hitherto unbeaten
Childwick Champion should be beaten for the Special Cup by the
two-year-old winner, Tatton Dray King, was hardly expected. The great
Tring Park stud, though, won in other classes amongst the mares. It was,
in all, a very great show, though not without its disappointments, as
horses previously undefeated went down before new-comers. Among the
mares, as among the others, Mr. James Forshaw had found another in the
grey, Sussex Blue Gown, to win in her class, and she beat Lord
Rothschild’s Princess Beryl for the Champion Cup, the famous
Nottinghamshire stallion owner thus taking both cups for the horses and
the mares. The sales were good but not sensational, the only exception
being when Lord Beauchamp gave 510 guineas for the champion mare alluded
to.

[Illustration:

  MR. W. SCOTT’S MENELLA 16799.
  First and Champion in Harness at the London Hackney Show.

  _Photo by F. Babbage._]
]


                           THE HACKNEY SHOW.

The same view must be taken in regard to success of the Hackneys. The
progress made with this breed is perhaps more noteworthy than that made
with the Shires, as in the absence of so much patronage from the
greatest people in the country, the breed has been brought to a
wonderful state of perfection, and evidence of the same sensible and
scientific breeding can be easily traced. Moreover, signs were not
wanting to show that the foreigners are keener in their endeavours to
get possession of our Hackneys than they are at present to purchase our
Shires. Two large Government commissions were noticeable, at any rate,
namely from France and Germany, for the purchase of a goodly number of
stallions, and Holland took the champion of the Show for 1,000 guineas.
This desire to get the best of English sorts is not due entirely to the
demands for cavalry breeding, but the wise councils of other European
countries consider that an industry to give the means of prosperity to
thousands of subjects is well worth cultivating. This, too, on
circumscribed lands with little or no colonial extension; but England,
with her millions of acres in all parts of the globe, possessing better
animal stocks than all the rest of the world put together, is neglectful
of her opportunities. Why cannot her sons be set up in far-off lands to
breed horses for the world? But to these magnificent Hackneys: It cannot
be denied that the Dutch have got possession of a very grand specimen in
Diplomatist, whose lot it must have been to do good in a variety of
countries. He was first of all shown at the Hackney Society’s Show as a
yearling; then, after doing some service in England, he was sold to
America, where he got some stock of note before Mr. Heaton brought him
back to England and sold him to Mr. Ramsey, of Kildalton, Port Ellen,
Islay, N.B. And here let it be said that Scotch breeders have done
uncommonly well at this Show. Mr. Ramsey, a prominent breeder in the
northern country, won the Champion Cup last year at the London Show with
Diplomatist, and now repeated the victory before selling the dual
champion to Holland. Diplomatist is a very beautiful horse of about
15.2, with extraordinary action; his pedigree contains some of the best
blood in the Hackney Stud Book, for he is by His Majesty out of Garton
Birthday, by Garton Duke of Connaught. There were several fights in the
Show between the North and the South. Sir Walter Gilbey equalised the
pretensions of Yorkshire and Norfolk, when he brought Danegelt down
South, at a cost of 5,000 guineas. Since then the champions of Essex and
Norfolk have held their own with those of the many-acred county. Sir
Walter has won the championship twice with Royal Danegelt, a son of
Danegelt, and it looked as if the Essex baronet might score again in
another generation, as Bonny Danegelt stood in a long time with Langton,
a grand twelve-year-old horse by Garton Duke of Connaught, and many
thought should have won. It was not to be though, and this particular
prize went to the north, Langton being the property of Mr. E. C.
McKibbin, of the Heaning, Windermere, though bred by Mr. Thomas Hall, of
Copmanthorpe, the owner of the great Garton Duke of Connaught, who was
summed up to me last year at the Yorkshire show as the greatest hackney
sire in the world. He was certainly in the full order of success now, as
the Messrs. Hall, father and sons, showed some beautiful stock by the
veteran, including the two-year-old colt winner, Copmanthorpe Performer,
a truly symmetrical animal with singularly beautiful action. There was
also Administrator, owned and exhibited by Mr. Walter Burnell Tubbs,
another son of this Duke of Connaught, a wonderfully handsome horse who
showed grandly in harness. Last year and the year before he won the
Champion Cup for his then owner, Mr. Galbraith. He is nearly, if not
quite, as good as Diplomatist.

[Illustration:

  MR. T. SMITH’S PINDERFIELDS HORACE.
  Champion Hackney Pony Stallion at the London Show.

  _Photo by F. Babbage._]
]

The points that struck one throughout the whole show was, that breeders
have got to a type that comes down quite as regularly as in the
thoroughbred horses of the General Stud Book. Royal Danegelt was the
copy of his sire, Danegelt, and the former at this Show had a number in
precisely the same form in shape and action. They are getting a bit
bigger, as in Class 8, for horses over 15.2, there were sixteen in the
ring, and several must have been very close on 16 hands. It is notable
that the foreign buyers were very interested in this class, and made two
important purchases from it in Forest Star, who was placed third, and
the above-named Diplomatist. A suggestion is given here that the size
attained in the Hackney is a useful element in regard to success. It was
generally thought that the horses made a better show than the mares;
and, in truth, there were fewer mares than usual, but whether from the
fact that a great many were sold last year, or that breeders are chary
about sending their valuable breeding stock to shows in the spring, it
is difficult to say. Many of those that were seen though, were beautiful
animals. Sir Gilbert Greenall’s Colleen Rose, by Garton Duke of
Connaught, could scarcely be excelled as a fine carriage mare of
quality, and Menella, the champion harness mare, was a great beauty with
action of a most superb order. An extraordinary horse must be her sire,
Mathias, as, to judge him from a photograph he gets all his stock
exactly like himself, and with the same wonderful movement. Another as
remarkable in this respect is Sir Gilbert Greenall’s Sir Horace, under
14 hands, as he had nine winners at the Show all looking the exact types
of perfection—bloodlike heads, beautifully laid shoulders, round
barrels, moulded quarters, and limbs set under them in the same stamp.
What has the breed come to from the shapely Diplomatist and Bonny
Danegelt, to the ponies, Pinderfields Horace and Little Woman, for all
these and many more the word beautiful cannot be misapplied—and the Show
might well have been watched for the full four days to see by the
pedigrees, the make and shape and the action more real now than
artificial, and to wonder whether the present conditions of the
so-called Hackney can ever be surpassed.


             THE ROYAL COMMISSIONS—THOROUGHBRED STALLIONS.

The progress so noticeable in regard to the thoroughbred stallions forms
an important feature of the great spring shows. There was first of all a
better entry than those of the past three years, and it would appear
that the owners of horses have been educated into the exact ideas in
respect to the requirement. It was a movement in the right direction
certainly to give some evidence in the catalogue as to what horses had
done on the turf, and still more to empower the judges to act upon the
information provided. The net result of all being, that there was hardly
a stallion exhibited that was not perfectly suitable for the purposes of
the Commission. With but the fewest exceptions the horses had all been
winners; some that had been known on the racecourse for over seven
years, and others that had won very important events. There were 107 in
all, and as this did not include any from Ireland, we have the
satisfaction of knowing that we are very well off for useful sires at
the present time.

[Illustration:

  LORD MIDDLETON’S STALLION WALES.
  Winner of a King’s Premium in District Class E (Yorkshire).

  _Photo by F. Babbage._
]

There were some splendid classes brought into competition on March 13th,
the one scheduled D perhaps being the best, as here was the beautiful
horse Battlement by Enterprise, out of Ivy Mantle by Mask. He is the
winner now of four premiums, and has done a great deal of good. When the
property of Mr. A. O. Haslewood, of Buxton, he travelled in Derbyshire
and Staffordshire, and since his owner has been Colonel Jago Trelawny he
has done service in Cornwall and the South of Devon. The farmers of
these western counties swear by him already, and there will be great
rejoicing round Plymouth, as, besides Battlement, there was a very good
four-year-old called Rockaway, by the good Australian Trenton, son of
Musket, belonging to Mr. Bickell, of Tavistock. So clever did the judges
think Rockaway that they gave him one of the four premiums. Mr. Bickell
also showed the well-bred Mon-Roy, by Orme, out of Mon Droit by Isonomy.
And another Devonshire candidate was Flaxby, quite a hunter-getting sort
by Barcaldine, out of a Palmer mare. So Devonshire is evidently well off
in hunting stallions. Then, still in this D class, too much cannot be
said of Rightful, improved into quite a charming horse. Rightful comes
from such a handsome family by Rightaway, out of Repletion by Satiety.
He is one, too, for whom racing merit can be claimed. Kano, another
Trenton, and a good winner, had also much to admire about him, and as
one of the reserved, he became available for one of the classes not so
overstocked with merit. It is always well to see Yorkshire to the front,
and really there was little to surpass the magnificence of Wales in the
whole show. Big and powerful, with plenty of timber, and blood-like
withal, besides the knowledge that he was a right-down good horse on the
flat and over a country. To show what he can get, too, Lord Middleton
made a great hit in the group of young hunters by Wales; they were quite
away from the stock of other stallions, albeit very good ones by Red
Prince II. and Pantomine were shown. But to the Yorkshire class: There
was also Frobisher, a very nice horse by Mr. H. Waring’s Buccaneer, made
a premium winner: and although he did not quite get into honours, save a
reserve, I thought there were few better than the Manchester Cup
dead-heater, Roe O’Neil, by Sweetheart, who used to get almost as many
jumpers as Victor, out of a Ben Battle mare. The Yorkshiremen are sure
to take to Roe O’Neil. Garb d’Or was also unlucky to get a reserve only,
as he is a very handsome son of Bend Or, and quite in the family type,
Birdcatcher spots and all. In the Gloucestershire, Herefordshire,
Warwickshire, Worcestershire, &c., Class it was a treat to see the long,
low level Curio win again, after knowing full well the good he has done
in Warwickshire; and a charming young horse was shown here by Mr.
Haslewood, of Buxton, and that gentleman invariably picks up the best,
as Red Eagle once belonged to him, then Battlement, and now Landsman, a
son of Ladas, and a Gallinule mare; and so what blood for a hunter!
Another that kept haunting me with his blood-like outline and quick,
sharp action, was Mr. C. M. Prior’s Rathburne, a winner of the Brighton
Stakes in his time, and the judges rightly took to him. The executive
was very wise to get Sir Charles Nugent and Mr. J. M. Richardson on
their bench of enquiry, as they were not likely to make any mistakes.

[Illustration:

  MR. DRAGE’S KING EDWARD.
  First and Champion at the Hunters’ Improvement Society’s Show.

  _Photo by F. Babbage._]
]

After much had been seen in regard to the hunting sires themselves, it
was all the more interesting to follow in the steps of the Hunters’
Improvement Society, and at no show has the results, in the shape of
produce, come out so satisfactorily. The four-year-old winner, Splasher,
bred and shown by a tenant farmer, was by Burnock-Water, four times a
King’s Premium taker, and the three-year-old filly, and champion of all
the young hunters, namely, Watercress, belonged to the same owner, and
was by the same sire. This was precisely what the Royal Commission has
aimed at, to enrich the tenant farmer. There were many other results to
observe in the same direction, notably in the case of Battlement,
presented with two Premiums in the past career for Staffordshire,
Shropshire, Warwickshire, South Wales, &c., and from Shropshire came the
beautiful Bandetta, by Battlement, who was unlucky not to have won in
her class. Then there was Havoc, well known at the Royal Commission
Shows, and the sire of Destruction, a winner in this; and the second to
the champion filly, Watercress, was Paleface, by Ringoal, who was
introduced into Huntingdonshire by the Royal Commission. Added to this
also, there was stock of great value seen by Wales, including four in
the group, and the second and third in the three-year-old class, won by
Destruction. The champion of the show, Mr. Drage’s (now Mr. Cory
Wright’s) King Edward, had unfortunately no pedigree given, though
doubtless extremely well bred, and the question arises as to whether all
the societies now are not strong enough to insist on pedigrees at entry
_pro bono publico_.

One might go on writing in BAILY for ever about these shows, as they
have taught us a great deal in the last few weeks; and something might
be said to the Government about the horse-breeding industry, and of its
vast importance to the British empire.

                                                             G. S. LOWE.



                        The Sportsman’s Library.


Mr. Rawdon Lee’s work established its claim to place as the best and
most comprehensive book published on dogs when it first appeared. The
third edition of “Modern Dogs (Sporting Division)”[8] is now before us,
and the contents bear evidence of exercise of all those qualities which
stamped the earlier issues: wide and intimate knowledge, patient and
exhaustive enquiry.

The title may be said to fall short of the scope of the work; for the
author’s pages contain much relating to the history of the older breeds
which lends additional interest to his remarks on their modern
descendants, and additional value to the work as one of record.

[Illustration:

  KERRY BEAGLES.

  From the drawing in “Modern Dogs (Sporting Division).” (Reproduced by
    permission of the Publisher, Mr. Horace Cox.)
]

Certain new features are noticeable in the third edition. The portraits
of those famous greyhounds Master M’Grath and Fullerton were well worth
inclusion, the more so as given on one plate which, as Mr. Lee observes,
affords opportunity to compare the remarkable dissimilarity in build and
conformation between the two most celebrated dogs of their respective
periods, the seventies and the nineties. Admirers of the Welsh foxhound
will appreciate the inclusion of Mr. Wardle’s clever drawing of two
couples of representatives of this breed, famed as far back as the tenth
century, if the hounds appraised in the Laws of Howel Dha were the
ancestors of the modern animal. The author believes that the Ynysfor
pack, owned by Mr. Jones, of Penrhyn Deudraeth, is the one which boasts
the greatest purity of Welsh blood, but he does not think there exists
in Wales or elsewhere “an entire pack of the pure Welsh hound, either of
harrier or of foxhound stamp (for there are two varieties) with the
wire-haired crisp coat.” The hounds which furnished Mr. Wardle for his
portraits were from the otterhunting establishments of Mr. Wynn, of Rug,
now given up, and from that of Mr. E. Buckley. The value of the Welsh
hound for otterhunting has long been appreciated in the Principality.
Mr. Buckley considers those he possesses better than the otterhound, as
they feel the cold less, and their shorter coats dry more quickly.
Summing up all the evidence for and against the Welsh hound, Mr. Lee
holds that a capital case in his favour has been made out. Another new
illustration is that of examples of the Kerry beagle; this breed
survives, so far as is known, only in the kennels of Mr. Clement Ryan
(the Scarteen). In that of Mr. Aubrey Wallis, Master of the recently
established Millstreet Harriers, the blood of the Scarteen black and
tans has been used. The Kerry beagle’s origin has been traced to the
south of France, whence Mr. John Ryan brought them some time during the
latter half of the eighteenth century. Among the new matters which has
been added to the gun-dog section we must notice the Welsh springer,
which in 1902 was accepted as a distinct variety, and allotted separate
classes by the Kennel Club.

The author reviews the evidence advanced by the advocates for this step,
and the Welsh spaniel takes his place among modern dogs; deservedly, for
this is a hardy, courageous, docile dog, and possesses excellent nose.
The Welsh variety stands out much higher on the leg than other spaniels,
and Mr. Wardle’s picture gives the idea of a dog at once sporting and
handsome. The third edition of Modern (Sporting) Dogs is in every way a
worthy successor to its forerunners. Higher praise could not be given.

The building of cottages in the country is a matter that has attracted
much attention latterly, and this little work,[9] though it embraces the
erection of buildings other than the labourer’s cottage, will be found
of practical assistance to all who may contemplate building as a
business. The authors display practical knowledge of their subject, from
foundation to roof, if we may use the expression, and they show up in a
lurid light the wanton absurdity of the building laws now in force in
some localities. This is a subject to which public attention was drawn
by the public-spirited action of Sir William Grantham not very long ago;
and in the interests of the poorer classes it is much to be hoped that
the more unreasonable clauses of these bye-laws will be revised to make
cottage building possible. All classes of small dwellings, from that
which costs £1,000 downwards to erect, are considered; and most of the
materials in general use are dealt with. An exception occurs in the clay
blocks, which, protected by weather boarding, Sir Walter Gilbey has so
successfully employed on his Essex property. This method of
construction, cheap, efficient, and picturesque as it has proved,
deserves to be more widely known. The pictures, drawings, and
photographs are admirable, and the plans are clearly and well drawn.

Bridge is said to be losing some of its vogue, but the appearance of a
fifth edition of