as if they had lost them themselves

“I long ago lost a hound, a bay horse, and a turtle-dove and am still on their trail. Many are the travellers I have spoken concerning them, describing their tracks and what calls they answered to. I have met one or two who had heard the hound, and the tramp of the horse, and even seen the dove disappear behind a cloud, and they seemed as anxious to recover them as if they had lost them themselves.”

(Thoreau, “Economy” in Walden.)

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