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24. CHAPTER XXIV: THE GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAY HOTEL (continued)
'Yes Plaistow is in Norfolk.'
'I suppose you'll leave it now and go into Somersetshire,' suggested Captain Aylmer.
'Certainly not. Why should I leave it?'
'I thought, perhaps as Belton Castle is now your own'
'Plaistow Hall is more my own than Belton Castle, if that signifies anything which it doesn't.' This he said in an angry tone, which, as he became conscious of it, he tried to rectify. 'I've a deal of stock and all that sort of thing at Plaistow, and couldn't very well leave it, even if I wished it,' he said.
'You've pretty good shooting too, I suppose,' said Aylmer.
'As far as partridges go I'll back it against most properties of the same extent in any county.'
'I'm too busy a man myself,' said the captain, 'to do much at partridges. We think more of pheasants down with us.'
'I dare say.'
'But a Norfolk man like you is of course keen about birds.'
'We are obliged to put up with what we've got, you know not but what I believe there is a better general head of game in Norfolk than in any other county in England.'
'That's what makes your hunting rather poor.'
'Our hunting poor! Why do you say it's poor?'
'So many of you are against preserving foxes.'
'I'll tell you what, Captain Aylmer; I don't know what pack you hunt with, but I'll bet you a five- pound note that we killed more foxes last year than you did that is, taking three days a week. Nine-and-twenty brace and a half in a short season I don't call poor at all.'
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