Skip to main content

Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

side sonic farm buildings. Several people nodded to
me in a friendly manner, which made me feel more
confident, although it puzzled me, for I couldn't
remember that I had seen any of them before. The
first race was almost due to start, and the bookmakers
were creating a background of excitement with their
crescendo slioutings of "Even money the Field" and
"Two to one bar one".

"I'll lay five to one Monkey Tricks; five to one
Monkey Tricks," announced a villainous-looking man
under a vast, red umbrella—his hoarse and strident
voice taking advantage of a momentary lull in the
lung-bursting efforts of the ornaments of his profes-
sion on either side of him. "Don't forget the Old
Firm!'9 he added.

Looking down from above the heads and shoulders
of their indecisive clients, the Old Firms appeared to
be urging the public to witness some spectacle which
was hidden by the boards on which their names were
gaudily displayed. The public, however, seemed
vaguely mistrustful and the amount of business being
done was not equivalent to the hullaballoo which was
inciting them to bet their money.

There was u press of people outside the paddock;
a bell jangled, and already the upper halves of two
or three red- or black-coated riders could be seen
settling themselves in their saddles; soon there was a
cleavage in the crowd and the eight or ten com-
pctitons filed out; their faces, as they swayed past me,
varied in expression, from lofty and elaborate un-
concern to acute and unconcealed anxiety. But even
the least impressive among the cavalcade had an
Olympian significance for my gaze, and my heart
beat faster in concurrence with their mettlesome
emergency, as they disappeared through a gate in the