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THE ALPHINGTON PONIES
the gardener, Tosse, came in hot haste to father and complained that the Alphington Ponies kept coming into the grounds and picking the flowers, that when remonstrated with they declared that they were related to the owner, and had permission. 'Well,' said father, 'the next time you see them entering the gate run down and tell me.' In a few days Tosse hastened to say that the ladies were again there. Father hurried up to the grounds, where he found them flower-picking. Without the least ceremony he insisted on their leaving the grounds at once. They began the same story to him of their relationship to the owner, adding thereto, that they were cousins of the Duke of Wellington. 'Come,' said father, 'I can believe one person can go mad to any extent in any direction whatever, but the improbability of two persons going mad in identically the same direction and manner at the same time is a little too much for my credulity. Ladies, I beg you to proceed.' And proceed they did."
After some years they moved to Exeter, and took lodgings in St. Sidwell's parish. For a while they continued to dress in the same strange fashion; but they came into some money, and then were able to indulge in trinkets, to which they had always a liking, but which previously they could not afford to purchase. At a large fancy ball, given in Exeter, two young Oxonians dressed up to represent these ladies; they entered the ballroom solemnly, arm in arm, with their parasols spread, paced round the room, and finished their perambulation with a waltz together. This caused much amusement; but several ladies felt that it was not in good taste, and might wound the poor crazy Misses Durnford. This, however, was not the case. So far from being offended at being caricatured, they