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The Pursuit
written by "Savile, Frank (Frank Mackenzie)"
...dash;I, who, till to-day, have never seen a wild pig save, perhaps, as bacon!" Aylmer dropped the reins upon the mare's neck, lifted his hand, and wiped his forehead. "All things must have a beginning, my friend," he said. "You have the sailor's eye and, no doubt, the sailor's steady hand. And, above all, you ride—as sailors do not always ride. I have every reason to believe that I shall be proud of you before the day is out." Rattier lifted his shoulders with a little shrug. He did not speak, but he left the impression that he deprecated this point of view, found the arguments futile, and disposed of the question finally. The attention of the riders was suddenly drawn elsewhere. A couple of men emerged into view from behind a clump of argans. They held two horses by the bridles. One of them signalled with outstretched hand. As Aylmer reined in the mare almost upon her haunches the man dropped his hand, relinquished the horse he held into the care of his companion, and approached. He made a dignified gesture of welcome and pointed to a basket on the ground. "Sid' Anstruther sends breakfast, Sidi. They drive the bush beyond the hill and the marsh. If you will refresh yourselves here you will avoid climbing the hill to the camp. You can then take these horses and join the spears who wait at the tongue of the jungle in the plain." Aylmer slid to the ground. "It is well thought of, Absalaam," he said, and turned to explain matters to his companion. The Moor beckoned forward his underling, who quickly tethered the fresh horses to a broom stump and then led away the other two in the direction of the tents which gleamed white upon the slope a mile or so above them. Absalaam, meanwhile, was deftly setting out the meal in the shadow of the argan branches. The two began to eat and drink with appreciation but quickly. They did not exchange much conversation; their attention, indeed, seemed concentrated on matters outside ...

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