118 TYLNEY HALL. team, near wheeler lame behind" he continued, as he critically watched each horse as it went smoking and1 shaking its tail into the " stable-yard. Glad to see you,, Ringwood," here another slap. " Old Hilary hasn't rubbed off any of your bloom." The eye of the father made a similar remark that Ringwood looked rather more florid than usual, while the complexion of Raby was somewhat paler than common ; the natural results of too much port and claret, and an excess of Greek and Latin. As for St. Kitts, his cheeks wore the old brown, a tinge somewhat resembling that of an undoubted "portrait by Rembrandt" in a picturedealer's window. At the same time, the three faces were as different in expression as in colour, the Creole's im- plied indifference ; that of Raby beamed with the quiet enjoyment of a mind at peace with itself, somewhat heightened by the pleasure of meeting his father but, in spite of its healthy hue, the countenance of Ringwood was saddened by a cast of anxiety and gloom, hinting, too probably, that he looked back on time and money equally misspent at college. a glance the new His quick eye, however, detected at acquisition to the stable, and every thought of self-reproach for the follies or vices of the heir of Tylney was lost in the consideration of the many good points about the offspring of From Jiggumbob and Tolderol. this reverie he was roused by the voice of his father. " Well, how do you think he will carry you for he is all your own, my boy, from the bridle to the crupper?" (e If he's old Sparks's colt, sir, he's the very one I've long set my heart upon," answered " Ringwood. But if he's meant as a eollege-prize, sir, he belongs more to St. Kitts than to me ; and to Raby more than either." " Raby be d~d," the Squire was about to say, but he suppressed the words, and contented himself with tacitly expressing his opinion, by snatching the bridle of the horse in question and turning him round with his head to Ringwood and his tail to Raby. " For my part," said the Creole, " I disclaim any idea of rivalry in our studies and am pained to think my
TYLNEY HALL. 119 cousin has suggested any inquiry as to our relative progress at Oxford." " Sink the letter then," said Ringwood, in an under tone, at the same time shifting to the offside of the horse, and affecting to examine his fore feet. " You forget I am upon honour," replied the Creole, in the same tone and stooping into the same position. " " Why then take care of ! yourselves cried Ringwood, springing into the saddle, and striking the spurs into the horse with such suddenness, that St. Kitts only escaped, hy a desperate spring backwards, being thrown down and trampled under foot. " Confound the fellow he will start the mail," cried Sir Mark, catching the head of one of the leaders, who seemed inclined to improve upon the then rate of travel- ling, by running away with the coach. However Ringwood continued to spur desperately on, as if, Byron-like, he was under some excitement that was to be worked off by hard gallopping ; in fact, when he returned, he was covered with dust, and the panting steed was in a lather of sweat and foam. " He is not a roarer, that's certain," he said, as he dismounted and threw the bridle to the whipper-in. " " Who the devil said he was ! cried Sir Mark. " Dick, see him thoroughly rubbed down, and have him well clothed. Let them all have a good feed of corn and mind, Dick, see with your own eyes that the Green does not devour it for them. And now let's Dragon in-doors for two legs must have a bait as well as four." As they went in, Raby twitched his brother by the sleeve, and caused him to remain a little behind.