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Sid Halley's glory days as a jockey are over, but he still finds a certain satisfaction in successfully solving a case. His latest one, though, could prove to be his undoing.
sidetracked in her tidying, and was sitting on the floor intently reading a book. ‘Oh, hallo,’ she said, looking up vaguely as if she had forgotten I was there. ‘Have you finished?’ ‘There must be other papers,’ I said. ‘Letters, bills, cash books, that sort of thing.’ ‘The police took them.’ I sat on the sofa, facing her. ‘Who called the police in?’ I said. ‘Was it Jenny?’ She wrinkled her forehead. ‘No. Someone complained to them that the charity wasn’t registered.’ ‘Who?’ ‘I don’t know.
as normal as rain on Sundays. ‘And what about Bethesda, the year before?’ She glared at me vehemently. ‘Top two-year-old filly. Favourite for months for the One Thousand and the Oaks. Terrific. She went down to the start of the One Thousand looking a million dollars, and she finished tenth. Tenth, I ask you!’ ‘George must have had them all checked,’ I said mildly. ‘Of course he did. Damn vets crawling all round the place for weeks on. end. Dope tests. Everything. All negative. Three brilliant
Tri-Nitro’s heart, for good measure. My little dolly typist said you could’ve heard George Caspar blowing up all the way to Cambridge. He’s really touchy about those horses.’ Trevor Deansgate, I thought coldly, had been at George Caspar’s for breakfast, and had heard every word. ‘Of course,’ Chico said, ‘some time later they checked the studs, Garvey’s and Thrace’s, and found you’d been there too. My dolly says your name is mud.’ I rubbed my hand over my face. ‘Does your dolly know you were
intent. ‘After that I … er … went away for a week, and I also lost the notes, so I had to come back here and do them again, and Eddy Keith discovered I’d been seeing his files, and complained to you, Sir Thomas, if you remember?’ ‘That’s right. I told him not to fuss.’ There were a few smiles all around, and a general loosening of tension. Inside me, a wilting fatigue. ‘Go on, Sid.’ Sir Thomas said. Go on, I thought. I wished I felt less weak, less shaky, less continuously sore. Had to go
today?’ he said. ‘The brass.’ ‘They listened. Lucas resigned. End of story.’ ‘Not for us.’ ‘No.’ I moved stiffly on the chair. ‘What’ll we do?’ he said. ‘Have to see.’ ‘I couldn’t …’ He stopped. He looked tired and sore, and dispirited. ‘No,’ I said. ‘Nor could I.’ ‘Sid … I reckon … I’ve had enough.’ ‘What, then?’ ‘Teach judo.’ And I could make a living, I suppose, from equities, commodities, insurance, and capital gains. Some sort of living … not much of a life. In depression we