When they go out to hunt, the members of Jorrocks’ Surrey fox hunt do not always keep their minds on the sport. As they gather, their talk includes shouts to the dogs, quotations on the price of cotton, advice on horses, and warnings of bank policies. While waiting for the dogs to run the fox closer, they all eagerly pull out bread and meat from their roomy pockets.
One morning, a new man joins the veteran Surrey hunters. He is plainly an aristocrat. The others are paunchy and stooped, but he is thin and straight. His handsome mount contrasts sharply with their skinny nags. They all watch him enviously. He is evidently new in Surrey, for he drives his horse at a fast clip through the bottomlands, heedless of the numerous flints. The riders are glad when he retires from the chase with a lame horse.
As he leaves, Jorrocks rushes up with the news that the stranger is no less a personage than a Russian diplomat. The whole hunt joins in heartily wishing him back in Russia for good.
In town, Jorrocks runs into agreeable Mr. Stubbs, a footloose Yorkshireman. He invites Stubbs to the hunt on Saturday morning. As long as Jorrocks pays the bills, the Yorkshireman is glad for any entertainment. On the appointed foggy morning, Jorrocks is on time. He is riding his own bony nag and leading a sorry dray horse for his guest. The fog is so thick that they bump into carriages and sidewalk stands right and left. The Yorkshireman would have waited for the fog to lift, but doughty Jorrocks will tolerate no delay. Mrs. Jorrocks has a fine quarter of lamb for supper, and her husband was sternly ordered to be back at five-thirty sharp. Jorrocks is never late for a meal.
On the way, Jorrocks’s horse is nearly speared by a carriage pole. The resourceful hunter promptly dismounts and chatters a bit with a coach driver. When he remounts, he has a great coach lamp tied around his middle. Thus lighted, the two horsemen get safely out of town.
The hunt that day holds an unexpected surprise for both of them. Jorrocks put his horse at a weak spot in a fence to show off a little for his younger friend. He wants to sail over in good time and continue after the fox. Instead, he lands in a cesspool. His bright red coat is covered with slime and mud for the rest of the day. The Yorkshireman, however, notes that Jorrocks carries on until the end of the hunt and gets home in time for his lamb dinner.
As usual, Jorrocks goes hunting in Surrey on a Saturday. When his horse goes lame, he stops at the smith’s shop for repairs, and his five-minute delay makes him lose sight of the pack. Consequently, he loses out on a day’s sport. As he sits brooding in a local inn and threatening to withdraw his subscription to the Surrey hunt, Nosey Browne enters. Jorrocks is delighted to see his old friend and willingly accepts an invitation to a day’s shooting on Browne’s estate.
A few days later, he collects the Yorkshireman and sets out eagerly for the shooting. He is saddened to find that Nosey’s estate is little more than a cramped spot of ground covered with sheds and other outbuildings. Squire Cheatum, learning that Nosey is...
(The entire section is 1298 words.)