Bred in the Bone by James Payn Page 1 of 468


Had you lived in Breakneckshire twenty years ago, or even any where in the Midlands, it would be superfluous to tell you of Carew of Crompton. Every body thereabout was acquainted with him either personally or by hearsay.

You must almost certainly have known somebody who had had an adventure with that eccentric personage - one who had been ridden down by him, for that mighty hunter never turned to the right hand nor to the left for any man, nor paid attention to any rule of road; or one who, more fortunate, had been "cleared" by him on his famous black horse Trebizond, an animal only second to his master in the popular esteem.

There are as many highly colored pictures of his performance of this flying feat in existence as there are of "Dick Turpin clearing the Turnpikegate." Sometimes it is a small tradesman cowering down in his cart among the calves, while the gallant Squire hurtles over him with a "Stoop your head, butcher."

Sometimes it is a wagoner, reminding one of Commodore Trunnion's involuntary deed of "derring-do," who, between two high banks, perceives with marked astonishment this portent flying over himself and convoy.

But, at all events, the thing was done; perhaps on more than one occasion, and was allowed on all hands not only as a fact, but as characteristic of their sporting idol. It was "Carew all over," or "Just like Carew."

This phrase was also applied to many other heroic actions. The idea of "keel-hauling," for instance, adapted from the nautical code, was said to be practically enforced in the case of duns, attorneys, and other objectionable persons, in the lake at Crompton; while the administration of pommelings to poachers and agriculturists generally, by the athletic Squire, was the theme of every tongue.

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