Over Happisburgh beach the crimson in the sky blossomed to scarlet and coloured the waves pink. There were fewer cloud streaks than the week before, fewer brilliant gold halos against the vermilion. We would merge the two sunrises, I thought.
Away to our right, far behind Moncrieff and his cameras, the trainer of the Viking horses had spread out on the sands great bowls of horse-nuts: the wild horses would race, on our signal, to reach their breakfast, as they had been trained.
Moncrieff, raising meters high, greeted the dawn like an ancient prophet. When he lowered his arms, I was to cue the action.
The blinding sun swam upwards. Moncrieff's arms swept down.
I said, 'Action, Ed,' and 'Now, Ziggy,' into my walkie-talkie, and away down the beach the horses began their run.
We had dressed Ziggy in an all-over body suit of grey lycra, to which, ballet trained, he'd adapted instantly. Over the body suit he wore a floating shapeless gown of translucent white silk voile, and on his head the light blonde wig. His own dark features had been transformed to blondeness by the make-up department, and he was riding, as he'd promised, without shoes, saddle or rems.
The horses accelerated, bursting into the wide silence of the deserted seascape with the thud and suction of their galloping hooves.
Ziggy knelt on his horse's withers, his head forward above the horse's straining neck. Gown and hair streamed out, gathering to themselves all the light, the grey-clad man inside seeming almost invisible, a misty shadow.
Moncrieff ran two head-on cameras, one set for a speed of thirty-six frames a second, slow motion.
The rising sun shone in the horses' eyes. Light gleamed on the flying manes. The heads of the wild herd plunged forward in the urgency of racing, in the untamed compulsion to be first, first, to lead the pack. The herd parted and swept round Moncrieff, the plunging bodies close, the Viking heads wild and free. to lead the pack. The herd parted and swept round Moncrieff, the plunging bodies close, the Viking heads wild and free.
Ziggy rode between Moncrieff and the maximum brilliance of light. On the finished film it looked as if the flying figure had evaporated there, had been absorbed and assimilated in luminescence; had become a part of the sun.
'Jesus Christ,' Christ,' O'Hara said, when he saw it. O'Hara said, when he saw it.
I cut some of the shots of the hanging scene into the wild horse sequences for the ending of the film.
Y vonne's scream dissolved into the high thin forlorn cry of a wheeling seagull.
The young woman of the fantasy lovers dreamed she was riding the wild horses as she swung to her death.
Books by Dick Francis
THE SPORT OF QUEENS (autobiography)
IN THE FRAME.
LESTER: The Official Biography BOLT.
COME TO GRIEF.
TO THE HILT.
IO-lb PENALTY FIELD OF THIRTEEN.