shape—got it from Stegman & Wilks—excellent old
firm in the City". But his eye wandered away from
Gockbird; his sympathies were evidently strongly
implicated in Jerry, who was as unperturbed as if he
were being put into a brougham to fetch someone
from the station.
Near him, Nigel Croplady was fussing round his
horse, with quite a crowd round him.
The terrific "Boots" Brownrigg was puffing a cigar-
ette with apparent unconcern; his black cap was well
over his eyes and both hands were plunged in the
pockets of a short blue overcoat; from one of the
pockets protruded a short cutting whip. His boots
were perfection. Spare built and middle-sized, he
looked absolutely undefeatable; and if he had any
doubts about his own abilities he concealed them well.
Stifling another yawn, I did my best to imitate his
demeanour. The bookies were bawling "Two to
one bar one". Cockbird, stimulated by publicity,
now began to give himself the airs of a real restive
racehorse, chucking his head about, flattening his
ears, and capering sideways in a manner which caused
the onlookers to skip hastily out of range of his heels.
"I say, that's a classy looking quad!" exclaimed
ayouth who appeared to have purchased the paddock.
He consulted his card, and I overheard his companion,
as they turned away, saying something about "his
jockey looking a bit green". "We'd better back
Nigel's horse. They say he'll win for a cert."
For want of anything else to do at this critical
moment I asked Dixon whether he'd put Homeward's
half-crown on. He said, "Yes, sir; Mr. Gaffikin's
man has just done it for me, and I've got a bit on
for myself. Ifs a good thing; they're laying five to one
about him. Mr. Stephen's horse is at two's."