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I "A RACE FOR A IDEANERY."

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I "A RACE FOR A I DEANERY." II WHEELING" (published by Harry Ethrington, 152, Fleet-street) is the title of a periodical devoted to bicycling and tricycling. In connec- tion with it this year has been published an annual choke full of capital tales, most of them referring to adventures on the bike" or "trike." Mr Coleman and other handicappers have also prepared a list of the records for the year, together with a return of the winners of the various pro- fessional and amateur championships, with the times and distances. The Wheeling Annual" is one of the most attractive we have seen this year, W" take the liberty of quoting one of the best of 4 :-it is entitled A RACE FOR A DEANERY." Take it all in all, there is no finer exercise than wheeling, and, unlike some doctors, I can speak from practical experience, for I have fol- lowed my own prescription for more than ten years." Such was the dictum of my old friend and col- lege chum, Walter Marsh M.D., to whom I had pleaded gullto to sundry misgivings that I was getting into a bad way through insufficient exercise, and yet could not make up my mind as to what kind of exercise would be best for me. "Yes, my boy, wheeling is the exercise for you buy a tri., and use it, and your doctor's bill will be considerably shorter than you have been accustomed to see it, and if this isn't disinterested advice, I don't know what is." Here the doctor paused to light a cigar, and I followed his good example. The silence, however, was of short duration, for Marsh had mounted his hobby, and was off again. By the way, did you see the announcement of my uncle's appointment to the Deanery of Aylcester last week Yes, and I was uncommonly glad to see it; worth about £ 2,000 a year, I fancy." ■ Well, what would you say if I told you the old boy won his preferment by a bi. ride, eh ?" Oh I should say you were having a joke at my expense. Dr. Osborne on a bi., indeed, and racing for a deanery No, no I can't swallow that, old fellow." Don't you put a wrong construction on a man's words. I didn't say he rode the machine in point of fact, I did the riding, and he gained the prize. Would you like to hear the story ?" Very much, indeed," was my response. Well, fill your glass this is Glencoe,' and this prime do Irish mix for yourself. Preliminaries having been arranged to our mutual satisfaction, the doctor commenced. "Two years ago, I had a very pressing invita- tion from my uncle Osborne to stay a month at his place in Devonshire you know he was vicar of Elmwold—a scattered rural parish, five miles from the railway station. I didn't feel over well at the time, and really required a holiday, so away I went, forwarding my luggage by rail, and following on my bi. I'm not going to describe my ride, more than by saying I enjoyed it un- commonly well, and met with very civil treatment en route. "My welcome, both from my uncle and aunt, was all that could be desired, and within a week I had found out all the picturesque spots within a radius of 20 miles. I was rather struck, though, with my uncle's pre-occupation whenever we were together, and his scarcely disguised eager- ness to seek refuge in his study, and I half sus- pected he was preparing to embark on the troubled seas of authorship. My aunt, however, quickly undeceived me on my broaching my suspicion to her. Is it possible, my dear Walter, that you have not heard that your uncle is to preach before the Ethical Congress at Ambluston, on the 21st I thought he had told you, if, indeed, you require telling. I am sure it has been announced in all the papers I have seen." "Oh that is the secret of Uncle Frank's learned meditations. Well, I must confess I had not heard of it, and I suppose the London news- papers omitted to publish the interesting fact, or I must have overlooked it. So the dear old gentle- man is going to edify the learned pundits. I sup- pose, by the way, you will be in attendance Of course, I shall be there, and you also I trust," was my aunt's reply. Well, at length the eventful day arrived, and the sermon (enfolded in a new case specially worked for the purpose by my aunt) had received its last finishing touch. A fly from the nearest inn was at the door, and shortly after eight o'clock we were off. The nearest station, as I mentioned, was five miles away, and the train that was to convey us to Ambluston started at nine, covering the distance to our destination in the wonderful time of 43 minutes, the said distance being no less than fourteen miles. In due course we arrived at the station, being about 20 minutes before the train. Those minutes seemed about the longest I ever knew; the vicar fidgetted, Aunt Helen fidgetted, and both feared the train would be late. At last the wretched apology for a train rumbled into sight, and we took our seats, and presently were off. If you will excuse me,' began my uncle, I think I will just glance at my sermon,' and in another moment the MSS. was in his hand. A hasty exclamation burst from his lips, and the sermon fell to the floor of the carriage. In a moment my aunt and I bad seized his hands, and were about to loosan his cravat, fearing he had fainted, but he waved us off, and gasped out, The sermon, the wrong serman "Before I could utter a word, my aunt had the sermon in her hand, and had grasped the whole situation. The grand discourse, in its new case, had been placed on the library table, near his old familiar one, containing his last Sunday's exhortation, and by force of habit he had taken up the onfe to which he was accustomed. "Here was a pretty muddle! The savants would meet expecting an intellectual treat, and would be sent empty away, unless by some means the sermon could be placed iu the preacher's hands by half-past eleven. I made a hurried calculation the train would stop at a station about three miles away, thence to Elmswold would be seven miles. Elmswold to Ambluston, by the nearest road, 16 miles, total. 23 miles, time about two hours and a quarter. Could it be done? I would try. Uncle, I said, cheerily, don't be too sure that you will disappoint the pundits. Tell me exactly where the sermon is (and the text to prevent mistake), and I think I can undertake to put it into your hands by half-past eleven, if that will be early enough.' I No! no You can't do impossibilities; there are no more trains till the evening.' No trains but you forget my bi. at Elms- wold. See, uncle, the train is going to stop, tell me quickly where I shall find the sermon." Oh my boy, if you could do it-but no-, Again my aunt's good sense came to the rescue. There is a chance, Frank, let us try it. Give Walter your keys, and tell him where you left the sermon.' 'On the library table, and the text is "Paral- lelisms of Thought in the Writings of Ancient Greece and the Sacred Scriptures. to Seizing the keys, I leapt from the train before it had come to a standstill, and hurried out of the station. My object was to borrow a horse at the nearest hostelry, ride as speedily as the animal would go, to the vicarage, and thence by bi. to Amltmlston. As good luck would have it, I managed to get a tolerable horse at the Langley Arms, and within a few minutes was galloping towards Elmswood. Fortunately, I was tolerably well acquainted with the road, and knowing the importance of my errand, I had no hesitation in urging my steed to the utmost of his powers. The clock in the old church tower struck 10 as I rode up to the -vicarage door. I fancy I can see now the astonishment depicted on the homely countenance of old dame Perkins, my uncle's servant, as I burst upon her view, my horse covered with foam. and showing bv his heaving flanks how severe his task had been. Don't ;say a word Perkins,' I cried, 1 but send this moment for Teddy Giles, and let him rub down the horse, and then trot him back to the Langley Arms, at Langley Abbas. "In two minutes more I had the precious sermon in my pocket, and wa3 busily engaged scanning my trusty bi. Yes, it seemed thoroughly sound; a little oil might not be amiss, and then for the race—16 miles in 80 minutes. At first the roads seemed very fair, and I made good progress, causing, however, no little scandal to the stolid country folk wending their way to church or chapel. After the first three miles my difficulties began an ugly cross road, deep in ruts, and heavy with stones and'mud, intervened between me and the high road to Ambluston. To ride my machine, would be, I plainly saw, out of the question. There was no alternative but to walk and push my machine. The wretched lane seemed interminable, but like most things, it came to an-end. "With a sigh of relief, I gained the high road, and within five minutes had the satisfaction of passing a milestone, indicating 11 miles to Am- bluston. On I sped, as if a kingdom's safety depended upon my success, and now the old daring feel ing or recklessness and exhilarating sensation that I had so often experienced when riding to hounds, possessed me. The next five miles was covered in little more than 20 minutes, and I calculated that the an- them was just begun. If I could but keep up the pace, I should have a few minutes to spare. A steep hill now presented itself, and I elected to dismount and walk my machine up the incline rather than expend my muscular energy in riding. From the brow of the hill I had a fine view of my road for nearly a mile. In a moment I was in the saddle, and dashing along at racing speed. Three miles to Ambluston, and, bar- ring accidents, plenty of time to accomplish my task. I could reckon on 17 minutes at least. Presently the stately spire of the old church appeared in sight, and I imagined the Litany would now be well in hand. In turning a corner I almost ran into a gipsy encampment, and earned, or at least gained, a sandwich of oaths and curses, accompanied by a few stones, which, fortunately, did no damage, as I was out of range by the time the missiles were sent after me. "As I rode up to the church door, I saw a decent looking countryman strolling about the churchyard, who readily took charge of my machine, while just within the sacred building my aunt was seated, with one eye on my uncle and the other on the door. The gospel was just concludedoand I took advantage of the people rising to place the important sermon in my aunt's hands. Such beaming gratitude as she looked I never wit- nessed before or since. A discreet verger was close by, and by his agency the MSS. was speedily in my uncle's possession. I was rather disappointed at first with the discourse, but when I saw the close and intelligent attention the savants bestowed upcn it, I began to think that possibly I was not so competent to appreciate a learned sermon, as to convey it over a distance of 16 miles (walking and riding), in an hour and 12 minutes. Well, the sermon was fully reported in the Guardian, and led to a learned correspondence between my uncle and the Premier. A great deal of ink was used, and much Greek quoted, and the deanery followed. Take another glass, and don't forget my advice, buy a machine and use it.

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