His eyes were wistful and smiling as they dwelt upon her figure that drooped a little.
“Hadn’t a bean on,” he said.
She did not seem surprised.
Her hand was on the wet neck of the horse, her eyes on her hand.
Then she raised them to his, and they were shining with rainbow beauty.
“I know you hadn’t,” she said.
Her hand touched his.
* * * * *
Close by them a black mass was seething round something upon the ground.
“That’s Joses,” she said. “Stop the worry, will you?—and send Monkey Brand to take the horse.”
Jim Silver turned. Somewhere in the middle of that tossing mass was a human being.
Using his strength remorselessly, the young man broke his way through. By the time he reached the centre of the maelstrom the police had cleared a space round the fallen man.
He lay panting in the mud, a desolate and dreadful figure, his waistcoat burst open, and shirt protruding, his shock of red hair a-loose on the ground.
Jim was not the first to get to the fallen man.
Monkey Brand was already kneeling at his side, bottle in hand.
“Oh, my! Mr. Joses, my!” the little jockey was saying. “What you want is just a drop o’ comfort out o’ me bottle. Open a little, and I’ll pour.”
Silver was just in time.
“That’ll do, Brand,” he said. “I’ll see to this. Give me the bottle. You go to Miss Boy.”
A doctor was called in and reported that the fat man’s condition was serious. An ambulance was brought, and Joses removed.
Silver saw it off the ground.
As it came to the gate, Chukkers, on his way to his motor, passed it.
“He deserves all he’s got,” he said. “He’s a bad un.”
“He’s served you pretty well, anyway,” answered Jim angrily.
The Fat Man Takes His Ticket
In Cuckmere, that quiet village between the Weald and the sea, in which there was the normal amount of lying, thieving, drunkenness, low-living, back-biting, and slander, there dwelt two souls who had fought steadfastly and unobtrusively for twenty years to raise the moral and material standards of the community.
One was the vicar of the parish, and the other Mrs. Woodburn. The two worked together for the common end unknown except to each other and those they helped.
Mr. Haggard was something of a saint and something of a scholar. Mrs. Woodburn had been born among the people, knew them, their family histories, and failings; was wise, tolerant, and liberal alike in purse and judgment. Her practical capacity made a good counterpoise to the other’s benevolence and generous impetuosity.
When the vicar was in trouble about a case, he always went to Mrs. Woodburn long before he went to the Duke; and he rarely went in vain.