THE HUNT. 13
And soon the dogs were all tearing down the field of young wheat next to ours. I never heard such a noise as they made. They did not bark, nor howl, nor whine, but kept on a"yoI yo, o, o ! yo ! yo, o, o !" at the top of their voices. After them came a number of men on horseback, some of them in green coats, all galloping as fast as they could. The old horses snorted and looked eagerly after them, and we young colts wanted to be galloping with them, but they were soon away into the fields lower down; here it seemed as if they had come to a stand; the dogs left off barking and ran about every way with their noses to the ground.
" They have lost the scent," said the old horse; " perhaps the hare will get off."
" What hare ?" I said.
" Oh, I don't know what hare; likely enough it may be one of our own hares out of the woods; any hare they can find will do for the dogs and men to run after;" and before long the dogs began their " yo ! yo, o, o !" again, and back they came all together at full speed, making straight for our meadow at the part where the high bank and hedge overhang the brook.
"Now we shall see the hare," said my mother; and just then a hare, wild with fright, rushed by and made for the woods. On came the dogs; they burst over the bank, leapt the stream and came dashing across the field, followed by the huntsmen. Six or eight men leaped their horses clean over, close upon the dogs. The hare tried to get through the fence; it was too thick, and she turned sharp around to make for the road, but it was too late; the dogs were upon her with their wild cries; we heard one shriek, and that was the end of her. One of the huntsmen rode up and whipped off the dogs, who would soon have torn her to pieces. He held her up by the leg, torn and bleeding, and all the gentlemen seemed well pleased.
As for me, I was so astonished that I did not at first see