vin THE PALMER TRIPLETS 83
Horsfield tells us that " the beechwoods in this parish [Patching] and its immediate neighbourhood are very productive of the Truffle (Lycoperdon tuber). About forty years ago William Leach came from the West Indies, with some hogs accustomed to hunt for truffles, and proceeding along the coast from the Land's End, in Cornwall, to the mouth of the River Thames, determined to fix on that spot where he found them most abundant. He took four years to try the experiment, and at length settled in this parish, where he carried on the business of truffle-hunter till his death."
Angmering, which we may take on our return to Arundel, is a typically dusty Sussex village, with white houses and thatched roofs, and a rather finer church than most. On our way back to Arundel, in the middle of a wood, a little more than a mile from Angmering, to the west, we come upon an interesting relic of a day when tables bore nobler loads than now they do : a decoy pond formed originally to supply wild duck to the kitchen of Arundel Castle, but now no longer used. The long tapering tunnels of wire netting, into which the tame ducks of the decoy lured their wild cousins, are still in place, although the wire has largely perished.
At an old house near the Decoy (now converted into cottages), which any native will gladly and amusedly point out, lived, in the reign of Henry VIIL, Lady Palmer, the famous mother of the Palmer triplets, who were distinguished from other triplets, not only by being born each on a successive Sunday but by receiving each the honour of knighthood. The curious circumstances of their birth seem to be well attested.