202 TYLNEY HA.LL. boiled at tlie disparaging terms thus delivered : he took several angry turns up and down, muttering fiercely to himself; and, at last, stopping short in front of Davis, with his face almost in that of the affrighted groom, he said, in a deep imperative tone, " Saddle his own horse immediately." " For God's sake, Mr. Walter," began poor Davis; but the Creole cut him short by sternly asking " whether he was to do a groom's duty with his own hands ; " and, with a deep sigh of reluc- tance, the man proceeded on his ominous task. Devoutly did he pray for the return of Brown Bastard's master, before the favourite could be mounted ; and he wisped, and sponged, and combed, and brushed, and trifled with the stirrups, and dallied with the girths, till a volley of oaths from St. Kitts proved that his patience would bear no more stretching. " Remember, Sir, I wash my hands of it," said the foreboding Davis, as he took his place at the horse's head ; but the West Indian made no answer ; he seized the bridle, settled himself in
TYLNEY HALL. 203 the saddle, and scornfully dashed the rowels into the flanks of the steed, as if he had been planting thorns in the side of its owner. The gallop never slacked as far as Davis could keep him in sight. In fact, the excited rider had gone half way to Hollington before he pulled up then, for the first time, he remembered the brown woman's advice, that he should conduct himself fairly and smoothly towards his cousins, and he blamed his own precipitation which would probably involve him in a quarrel too serious to be concealed from Sir Mark, who might recal the opinion he had formerly entertained of his nephew's modera- tion and forbearance. Besides an ultimate and full revenge had been promised in atonement of whatever slights or offences he might endure at the hands of Ringwood, and the most politic course would be to return with the horse to the stable, and to bribe Davis to secrecy. But it was now too late: at the very instant, while he was in the act of turning, Ringwood appeared in the lane ; his quick eye detected his favourite at a glance, and in a twinkling the two horsemen confronted each other.