dec 21, 2011
“Stephen seated himself noiselessly before the princely
presence. Framed around the walls images of vanished
horses stood in homage, their meek heads poised in air:
lord Hastings’ Repulse, the duke of Westminster’s
Shotover, the duke of Beaufort’s Ceylon, prix de Paris,
1866. Elfin riders sat them, watchful of a sign. He saw
their speeds, backing king’s colours, and shouted with the
shouts of vanished crowds.
—Full stop, Mr Deasy bade his keys. But prompt
ventilation of this allimportant question …
Where Cranly led me to get rich quick, hunting his
winners among the mudsplashed brakes, amid the bawls of
bookies on their pitches and reek of the canteen, over the
motley slush. Fair Rebel! Fair Rebel! Even money the
favourite: ten to one the field. Dicers and thimbleriggers
we hurried by after the hoofs, the vying caps and jackets
and past the meatfaced woman, a butcher’s dame, nuzzling
thirstily her clove of orange.
Shouts rang shrill from the boys’ playfield and a
Waiting in Mr. Deasy’s office, Stephen is transported by the art on the walls.