It was a picturesque scene alluring to a sportsman, yet Coventry was conscious of a sudden satiety of sport and all its appurtenances. He had enjoyed the shoot, had been thoroughly keen throughout, but whether the fever was to blame, or his annoyance at missing the tiger, or the nostalgia for wife and home that had been on the increase the last few days, he now felt he wished never to hear of a tiger or find himself in a machan or a howdah again. He looked at his watch--it had struck him that if he could start to-night he might catch the mail train before the one by which he had meant to travel. Trixie would be so surprised and delighted to see him arrive before he was due; she must have had a dull, empty time, poor child, during his absence. He inferred as much from her letters, though she never complained; Trixie was not one to grumble or whine. He reproached himself for having left her alone, and determined to try and make up to her for his selfishness;
Eleanor did not appear to be in the least offended by this outbreak, but her voice had a new note of agitation in it as she said,—
MAMIE TAYLOR GEISSON.
Neyther Miss Claire or her mother cum doon to loonch.
“Dear me, that is a great blow to me.”
At the tap of the drum the battle began. Duane was first on his stride and showed the way around the turn. Here Boston made a run and shortly after entering the stretch was on even terms with him. Head and head they passed the stand. A mighty shout went up from the vast crowd and as they started on the second mile you could hear, “0 on Duane!” “A ,000 on Boston!” “Watch him run him out!” “Stay with him, old white nose!” and a thousand other such exclamations from the friends of each. Rounding the lower turn, Duane having the track, Cornelius took a slight pull on Boston, but on entering the back stretch he made a run and at the half they were nearly lapped. Rounding the upper turn, however, Duane shook him off. Another shout from the backers of Duane and more money goes up. Entering the stretch the game son of Timoleon makes another run at his flying antagonist, and, although he closes up the space, he can only get on Duane’s hip, and in this order, head and hip, they pass the stand and swing around the turn. Cornelius is content to hold this position until he enters the back stretch, when he again calls on Boston; slowly but surely the red coat of Boston inches up and at the half is hid behind Duane. So even are they running that it looks like one horse and one rider; in this position they ran around the upper turn, down the home stretch and enter the fourth mile as even as a carriage team with the deafening shouts of the multitude following them. Rounding the lower turn Steve for the first time takes a pull on Duane, evidently with a view of saving him for the finish; Cornelius on Boston moves to the front, intending to take the track, but Steve has no idea of giving up this advantage, and he keeps Duane moving just close enough to keep Boston on the outside. In this position they race to the head of the stretch. Here Steve begins to make a run; down the stretch they come, hip and head, but in spite of all Cornelius’ efforts and in spite of the long, tireless strides of Boston, the brown son of Hedgford overhauls him when half-way down the stretch, but it has taken the last remnant of his reserve power to do this, and head to head, leap for leap, they strain their hardened muscles. A child’s blanket would have covered them. Both riders were rolling in their saddles from exhaustion, but were lifting and urging all they could. Boston had been running purely on his courage. Cornelius had neither whip nor spur. Steve had on spurs that had more than once in the finish drawn the claret from Duane. “A dead heat!” “A dead heat!” shout the crowd. No. One more stride with a savage dig that sent the rowels home in the quivering flanks of his horse and at the same time lifting his head Steve sends Duane under the wire a winner by a scant head, in 7:52.
I found my father sadly changed; much more so than I had gathered from the news I had received; indeed, it was easy to see that his disease was fast nearing its end. He was greatly brightened by my return, and heartily welcomed Father O'Rourke, the more so when he learned his true character, and they took to each other at once.
“You don’t care to tell me what you
"Do I fulfil the requirements?"
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