About two months ago, we began a read-along of sorts: small weekly morsels comprising the chapter on tandem driving in the first volume of  The Sports Library (by Mr. T. F. Dale), published in 1899. We missed last Saturday’s installment because I was out of town and reporting on our CAA International Carriage Symposium at Colonial Williamsburg, but Mr. Dale is back this week!

If you didn’t start reading along with us from the beginning, you can catch up by reading part of the book’s introduction (and the introduction to our look back at this nineteenth-century book) and parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight of Chapter 10.

Today, the ninth part:

… Many amusing little incidents I recollect, but only two adventures.

On one stage the evening journey ended at a little police-station. There was no regular rest house, but there were a couple of rooms for the use of European or superior native officers when traveling. This stood in the middle of a wide and treeless plain. One day I was driving along quietly as usual when my attention was attracted by thunder growling on the horizon. I looked up, for rain is rare in those parts, but there on three sides were three separate storms creeping along towards us. Tropical thunderstorms and rain are not pleasant to be out in on a bare plain, besides I had my bedding strapped on under the driving-seat and the nights were chill, so I decided to race the storm. I think the ponies were a bit frightened, for they laid themselves out to gallop well, and soon I had them at full stretch. The thunder growled, the crimson lightning ran along the ground, the darkness swept down over us till I could barely see my leader’s ears, and it was all I could do to keep the team on the road. Soon I did not know where I was, when I saw the dark square of the little police post loom up, pulled up, unstrapped the bedding, and bolted for shelter just as the rain came down in sheets. As it happened the little post was the very center of the disturbance and we were lucky to get the horses and ourselves into shelter. …