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'Neath the Mask
64 Spirit-Love, A
A CRACK COUNTY.
By Mrs. EDWARD KENNARD,
“A REAL GOOD THING,” ETC., ETC.
WELCOMING THE STRANGER.
F the natural stiffness of county gentlemen, their reserve towards
strangers, their curious reluctance to make fresh acquaintances, their distrust of every one who is not at least the friend of a friend, a scion of the aristocracy, or furnished with undeniable credentials Bob knew absolutely nothing. Cliques and coteries were to him empty, meaningless words.
Where he came from, such nice distinctions had not yet been introduced.
He had a kind of an idea that people who went out hunting were all “ hail fellow, well met; the sport united them in bonds of sympathy and companionship; the farmer was as good as the lord, the tradesman as the farmer. At least, such were Bob's notions.
They showed how ignorant he was, and how extremely little he knew of the Morbey Anstead Hunt. Democratic views were sternly suppressed by that self-approving body of gentlemen known as the Mutual Adorationites.
When Bob reached the end of the village, he found the cottages widened out on either side in order to inclose a small triangularshaped common of about two acres in extent. Here, of a summer's evening, the lads assembled in great force, pitched their wickets and enjoyed a good game of cricket.
Just now, the point of attraction proved to be a neat little whitewashed inn, over whose door hung a large and brilliantly painted signpost. Its yard was full of horses standing champing at their bits, or stamping restlessly as the groom in attendance tightened up the girths, preparatory to the mounting of his
VOL. LIII. NO. CCCXIII.