the players paused in their play and looked up. Again the line was blocked; the train stopped, but it had left London behind, and the next stoppage was in front of a thick meadow with a square weather-beaten church showing between the spreading trees, and all around green corn, with birds flying in the bright air, and lazy clouds going out, making way for the endless blue of a long summer's day.
IT had been arranged that William should don his betting toggery at the 'Spread Eagle Inn.' It stood at the cross roads, only a little way from the station--a square house with a pillared porch. Even at this early hour the London pilgrimage was filing by. Horses were drinking in the trough, their drivers in the bar; girls in light dresses shared glasses of beer with young men; but the greater number of vehicles passed without stopping, anxious to get on the course. And they went round the turn in long procession, a policeman on a strong horse occupying the middle of the road. The waggonettes and coaches had red-coated guards, and the ear wearied of the tooting of long brass horns. Every kind of dingy trap went by, sometimes drawn by two, sometimes by only one horse--shays half a century old jingled along; there were even donkey-carts. Esther and Sarah were astonished at the number of costers, but old John told them that that was nothing to what it was fifty years ago. The year that Andover won, the block began seven or eight miles from Epsom. They were often half an hour without moving. Such chaffing and laughing, the coster cracked his joke with the duke: but all that was done away with now.
'Gracious!' said Esther, when William appeared in his betting toggery. 'I shouldn't have known you.'
He did seem very wonderful in his checks, green necktie,