If the worst comes to the worst, we can get back to Stamford by
rail. On Wednesday we shall have everything very comfortable. They're
out beyond Stilton and will draw home our way. I've planned it all
out. I've a trap with a fast stepper, and if we start to-morrow at
half-past nine, we shall be in plenty of time. You shall ride Meg
Merrilies, and if she don't carry you, you may shoot her."
"Is she one of the pulling ones?"
"She is heavy in hand if you are heavy at her, but leave her mouth
alone and she'll go like flowing water. You'd better not ride more
in a crowd than you can help. Now what'll you drink?"
They sat up half the night smoking and talking, and Phineas learned
more about Lord Chiltern then than ever he had learned before. There
was brandy and water before them, but neither of them drank. Lord
Chiltern, indeed, had a pint of beer by his side from which he sipped
occasionally. "I've taken to beer," he said, "as being the best drink
going. When a man hunts six days a week he can afford to drink beer.
I'm on an allowance,--three pints a day. That's not too much."
"And you drink nothing else?"
"Nothing when I'm alone,--except a little cherry-brandy when I'm out.
I never cared for drink;--never in my life. I do like excitement, and
have been less careful than I ought to have been as to what it has