THE LADY ANNE, OR A RUNAWAY HORSE. 95
"Oh, no. not at all," she replied, "but I am amiable enough to let you ride him for once, and I will try your charming Lizzie. You must confess that in size and appearance she is far more like a lady's horse than my own favorite."
" Do let me advise you not to mount her," he said ; "she is a charming creature, but she is too nervous for a lady. I assure you, she is not perfectly safe; let me beg you to have the saddles changed."
"My dear cousin," said Lady Anne, laughing, " pray do not trouble your good, careful head about me. I have been a horsewoman ever since I was a baby, and I have followed the hounds a great many times, though I know you do not approve of ladies hunting; but still that is the fact, and I intend to try this Lizzie that you gentlemen are all so fond of; so please help me to mount, like a good friend as you are."
There was no more to be said ; he placed her carefully on the saddle, looked to the bit and curb, gave the rein3 gently into her hand, and then mounted me. Just as we were moving off, a footman came out with a slip of paper and message from the Lady Harriet. " Would they ask this question for her at Dr. Ashley's, and bring the answer?"
The village was about a mile off, and the doctor's house was the last in it. We went along gayly enough till we came to his gate. There was a short drive up to the house between tall evergreens. Blantyre alighted at the gate, Mud was going to open it for Lady Anne, but she said, "I will wait for you here, and you can hang Auster's rein on the gate."
He looked at her doubtfully. " I will not be five minutes," he said.
" Oh, do not hurry yourself; Lizzie and I shall not run away from you."
He hung my rein on one of the iron spikes, and was