Lord Milburn, a somewhat ponderous gentleman, well-known with the Quorn, a representative Imperialist statesman, was at his best. And if his best was never very good, at least his references to Mocassin brought down the house.
“She is something moa than the best steeplechaser that ever looked through a bridle-ah,” he announced in his somewhat portentous way. “She is—in my judgment—the realization of a dream. In her have met once more the two great streams of the Anglo-Saxon race. You have every right to be proud of hah; and so, I venture to say, have we. For we of the old country claim our share in the mare. She comes, I say, in the last resort—the last resort—of English thoroughbred stock. (Cheers, Counter-cheers.) And if she wins to-morrah—as she will (cheers), ’Given fair play’” came a voice from the back. “That she will get—(cheers and boos)—the people of this country will rejoice that another edifice has been laid to the mighty brick—ah of Anglo-Saxon fellowship on which the hope, and I think I may say, the happiness of the world depends.”
The evening ended, as the Liverpool Herald reported, at two in the morning, when Abe Gideon, the bark-blocks comedian, was hoisted on to the table and sang the Mocassin Song to a chorus that set the water in the docks rocking.
The Sefton Arms
Old Mat never stopped in Liverpool for the big race.
That was partly because everybody else did, and partly because he always preferred The Sefton Arms upon the course. When his little daughter first took to accompanying her dad to the National she used to stay the night with a Methodist cousin of her mother’s and join her father on the course next morning.
This time she refused point-blank to favour Cousin Agatha, and further refused to argue the matter. She was going with her father to The Sefton Arms. Mrs. Woodburn was genuinely distressed, so much so indeed that Silver heard her hold forth for the first time in his knowledge of her on the modern mother’s favourite theme—the daughter of to-day.
Old Mat gave her little sympathy.
“She’s said she’s goin’, so goin’ she is,” he grunted matter-of-factly. “No argifyin’s no good when she’s said that. You might know that by now, Mar.”
He added, to assuage his wife, that Mr. Silver was going to stop with them at The Sefton Arms.
“He’s better than some,” said the old lady almost vengefully.
“Now then, Mar-r-r!” cried the old man, “You’re gettin’ a reg’lar old woman, you are.”
When his wife had left the room in dudgeon:
“It’s silly,” grunted the trainer. “’Course she wants to be on the course. It’s only in Natur. It’s her hoss, and her race. She ain’t goin’ to run no risks. And I don’t blame her neether. There’s only one way o’ seein’ a thing through as I’ve ever know’d, and that’s seein’ it through yourself.”