Excerpt from Sons of Fire: A Novel The meet was at the Pig and Whistle, at Melbury, nine miles off. Rather a near meet - compared with the usual appointments of the South Sarum hounds - the ostler remarked, as Allan Carew mounted a hired hunter in the yard of the Duke's Head, chief, and indeed only possible inn for a gentleman to put up at, in the little village of Matcham, a small but prosperous hamlet, lying in a hollow of the hills between Salisbury and Andover. He had only arrived on the previous afternoon, and he was sallying forth in the crisp March morning, on an unknown horse in an unfamiliar country, to hunt with a pack whose masters name he had heard for the first time that day. "Can he jump?" asked Allan, as he scrutinized the lean, upstanding bay; not a bad kind of horse by any means, but with that shabby, under-groomed and over-worked appearance common to hurelings. "Can't he, sir? There ain't a better lepper in Wiltshire. And as clever as a cat! We had a lady staying here in the winter, Mrs. Colonel Parkyn, brought two 'acks of her own, besides the colonel's two 'unters, and liked this here horse any of 'em. She was right down mashed on him, as the young gents say." "I wonder she didn't buy him," said Allan. "She couldn't, sir. Money wouldn't buy such a hunter as this off my master. He's a fortune to us." About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.