Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chapter 3

     Catherine roding side-saddle struggled to keep pace with John Beavers. The sight of it afforded  a splendid view of her skirts drapped across the saddle and stirrups and a long red scalf blowing from her neck.  But when the fox crossed the road into a hedge of wiry brambles and Beavers' took the jump, she followed. But alas her horse landed in a ditch on the other side, then limped along the ravine of the ditch and stopped.  Beavers charged forward, he did not glance back.
     Angus, whose eyes had observed and followed at a distance reasoned to ignore her, except that the Colonel had loaned her one of his thoroughbred mares for the hunt. Angus recognized the mare  as being a colt of the mare he'd taken into Virginia.  Angus found her in the ditch, unable to free her foot from the stirrup.  He saluted, then saying nothing helped remove the tangled foot and lift her  bulky skirts to the ground.  He removed his leather gloves while the mare hoofed the dirt. Then he slipped his bare hands around her neck and gently took the reins.  "Now, now," he said softly as he knelt to the ground to examine the injured fetlock and dig out some briars out of the hoof.
     "Well?" Catherine demanded.
    "Her fetlock is tender and swollen. It needs a good linement rub  and wrapt tight."
    "You cannot ride her.  I shall walk her back to the stable."
    "What am I supposed to do?" Her voice was taughtly impatient, and angry.
     Angus stood to his feet and choosing to avoid further confrontation, commenced walking the mare across the road.
     "You are going to just leave me here?"
     "Take my mare," he called over his shoulder.
     "But I am in a hurry," she said, "leastwise help me mount!" He did not answer.  She was furious.   "You are no gentleman!"
     "Aye, I am no gentleman of your liking, but ye are a selfish bitch," he murmured under his breath.

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