Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

42 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

TO-OAYt SHORT STORY.] The…

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

TO-OAYt SHORT STORY.] The Cesarewitch. I am—or, rather, was—a jockey! There! new I have lost prestige in the eyes of the many thousande of people who it ate "the tun" and all connected, with it; yet I am proud of the fact that I have been a. jockey, and prouder still to know that I was respected by my fellow professionals. Had I the inclination and the ability I could fill a book with facts gained from per- sonal experience and observation—facts which might possibly induce readers to suspect that jockeys, as a class. are as honourable as any other set of professional men; aye, perhaps even more honourable, for the path of no other professional man is so thickly studded with gaily-gilded temptations; and, after all, the successful resistance of subtle tempta- tion. is the best proof of honour. On the other hand, I must candidly con. fees that I could find more than enough material to fill a, book disclosing the dark side of the turf. The public knows all about that phase of turf life, however, and un- fortunately a certain section of the public— the uninitiated and therefore cne-tsided section—cannot discern the difference, so far as respectability is concerned, between the jockey and the sharper. But enough of this. Everybody has heard of Tom Kenyon, th once-famous jockey, but everybody has not heard a certain little story about him. Early one evening, many years ago, Tom Kenyon was informed that Lord Clanmore wished to have a word with him in private. Tom had just retired to rest, for he was in strict training for the Cesarewitch at the time. but he hurriedly rose a,nd dressed. Eis hurry was not due to the fact that his visitor wad L peer of thy i.C;illi. 1, joe key- often receive visits from the aristocracy: but Lord Clanmores father—the late Lord Clanrncre—had been Tom's patron. The turf never knew a more straightforward and honourable sportsman than the late lord, and no jockey ever had a better master. :'10 wonder thn tJ1at Tom Kenyon hastened to meet the .on of his old master. He wondered what could be the object of his visit, for it was generally understood that the young lord llad ionaken tho turf. GocxJ, evening, Tom." was Lord Cianmore's gre-et ing as he s-hook the jockey warmly by the hand. "Are you well?" Quite well, my lord. thank you." replied Tom; and then. observing hi3 viitor's care- worn appearance. he added, sorry to see you are noL in the best of health." I'm well enough," said Lord Clan-more; "but I came to see you on a matter of business. In an instant Tom wa-s all attention. Tom, I think I can trust you. I know that my father trusted you with many an important secret." Tom bowed. "You will remember that I sold my father's stable and every one of his much-prized horded when I came into possession of the estate ?" Perfectly, my lord. That is why I am with Sir Erio Marsden cow." "By-the-bye, how do you get on with the honourable member for Wæt Blankleigh ?" "Excellently, my lord-ahno-st as well as with the late Lord Clanmore." I am glad, but, of course, I expected as much. But I must get on with my confes- sion—for such it is. Do you know why I severed my connection with the turf?'' "Because you were disgusted with it, I ■understand. That was one reason, but not the only- one. The fact is, my father left me practi- oally penniless." Trmi stared at the speaker in undisguised astonishment. It is a fact, Tom. I gave up my horses, I but I did not give up backing others. The I result is, that I am now on the very verge of bankruptcy; and in a short time I am to marry Lady Florence Garthwaite. Con- sequently, within the next few months I must, by some means or other, raise at least Excuse me, my lord," interrupted Tom. "I—er—that is-well. of course, you a.re aware that I owe my present position and my little private fortune entirely to your father. I have about invested in Con- sols. I can soon realise it, and, if you don't mind, it's yours, and nobody shall know any- thing about it." Your generosity does credit to your heart, Tom, but, of course, I cannot accept your cha your offer, I mean. I beg your pardon, my lord—most immbly. I forgot." "Besides. I must raise at least £100,000. I can get a final mortgage of £10.000 on the estate, and if I lose that the mortgage will foreclose, a.nd I am ruined. I have explained this much, Tom, because you have a right to know it, as you are the one man who can help me to win the hundred thousand. I want you to—why, what's the matter?" Tom Kenyon had fainted- He had heard suoh yarns before, and the conclusion was always a suggestion to "prill" a horse and deliberately loee a, race, so that the pleader might retrieve his fortunes by foul means. The thought that the son of his old master- the old Lord Clanmore, the very soul of integrity—could stoop so low was too mudl for the jockey. Under ordinary circum- stances, perhaps, Tom would not have broken down so completely, but he had had a hard day, and for some time he had been com- pelled to trifle with Nature in order to reduce his weight so that he might ride the "dark" horse. Sir Erio Marsden'a Alpha, in the Cesarewitch. "What is the matter?" repeated Lord Clanmore, when Tom revived. Nothing—nothing," was the reply. "I've been over-training, I expect. Go on, my lord." Well, ae I was saying, I want you to do me a favour. You know a good horse when you see one. When next you get news of a good thing at long odds. 1 want you to let me know. My estate has been disbursed on the turf; I want the turf to pay a little back. I will back your selection for all I aan worth— or, rather, for all I can raise; and if I win I shall never back another horse as long as I live." Tom Kenyon could ecaroely believe his ears. Lord Clanmore had not come to bribe him to go wrong, after all. It was only a "tip" he wanted—an honest tip. The feeling of relief which passed over Tom is, to use the jockey's own words, simply indescribable. "11 y lord, you have asked me just at the Tight moment. I am to ride Alpha in the Cesarewitch next week. Beta and Omega are the first favourites, and, according to the betting world, I have practically no chance I with Alpha, whose price at present is fifteen to one." Do you advise me to back Alpha, then?" "Not yet, my lord. The only horse I am afraid of is Beta. Twenty-four hours before the race I shall .have a. very good idea as to the probable winner If you do not hear from me on the morning of the race, back Alpha. If I fancy any other horse is likely to beat me, you shall know its name by the first post on the race-day." "Thanks, Tom. I understand. If I hear nothing I put my money on Alpha; if Alpha is likely to lose I shall reoeive a. letter. Very good." On the night before the great race Tom Kenyon wrote and posted the following brief letter to Lord Clanmore: ——— Hotel, Newmarket. Alpha has been out of sorts for two days. Impossible for him to win. Advise you to support Beta. Short odds, but sure.— TOM KENYOX. The news of Alpha's indisposition was already widely known. On the day of the race scarcely any backers supported it, and it started at twenty to one against. Th." man who was most concerned and puzzled about the condition of Alpha waa Alpha's jockey, for, to Tom's surprise, the animal seemed to recover suddeniy, and at the starting-post Tom felt assured that the spirited horse would make a. good bid for victory. And Alpha did make a good bid for victory. Slowly, but surely, Alpha and Beta gained on their rivals until they were really the only two horses left in the race. The vast crowd cheered lustily for Beta. A hundred yards from the winning-post the pair ran neck and ueck, and Tom felt that, bar accidents, he would win. Then, and not till then, wac; Tom seized with that indefinable species of torture which one experiences when one's inclination and duty point in directly opposite directions. If Alpha lost no one would be surprised. Scarcely anybody except the "bookies" would be sorry, for very few of the thousands of spectators had backed Tom's mount. Above all, Lord Clanmore would be saved from ruin and disgrace-e,nd had not he him. self strongly urged the young lord to back Beta? Only for a few brief moments did Tom hesitate. He thought of his master. Sir Eric Marsden, who had long ago set his mind on carrying off this event, and he thought of his honour, which, up to that moment, had remained unsullied. That settled the matter. His mind was made up. With only one object in vi-cw- that of winning at all hazards—he urged Alpha on with whip and spur, and Alpha tobly responded, like the game Irorse he was. The winning-tpost was neared—reached— passed. A hoarse roar of disappointment, a confused hubbub, and a solitary cheer here and there told Tom plainly enough that Alpha had beaten Beta and won the Cesare- witch. And such wae the case. Alpha had won by a short head. Tom Kenyon's honour was saved. Lord Clanmore was irretrievably ruined. "I congratulate you, old man," said the jockey who rode Beta. "I thought I should have beaten you this time, but why, what's the matter? You don't look over well pleased at your victory." "Hearty congratulations!" exclaimed Sir Eric Marsden, his face beaming with smiles. "You never xode better in your life, Tom— soever." And then, to add to Tom's disoamCtaBe. LcHai daxu&ore—> loomed in sight. The winning jockey, feeling sick at heart, tried to avoid him; but Lord Clanmore was not the man to be avoided. Tom," excitedly whispered the young lord in his unwilling ear; "Tom, you have saved me!" The jockey started. "I put --210,000 on Alpha at twenty to one," continued Lord Clanmore, "and I have cleared £ZOO.OOV. I shall n-ever forget you, Tom." Tom Kenyon could scarcely believe his ears. Yet the excited per was evidently speaking the truth. What did it ail mean? He found out shortly afterwards. An envelope, marked "On Her Majesty's Service," reached him, and on opening it Tom found, to his intense astonishment, that it contained the letter he had written to Lord Clanmore, advising him to back Beta instead of Alpha. The letter had never reached Lord Clan- mare, for the very good reason that Tom Kenyon had. in a moment of iorgetfulness, posted it without any name or address on the envelope. It had, of course, journeyed to the "Dead Letter" department of the; General Post-office, where it was opened., Then, like thousands of similarly addressed —or. rather, unaddrea^od—missives, which are dropped into pillar-boxed every year, it. was returned to the writA-

STOLL'S PANOPTICON.

I For Women Folk,I

Salmon & RhubarbWine

'• TOMMY ON THE TUB." I

--jVIEW OF THE ELY COLLIERY,

[No title]

A CURIOUS DILEMM- AI

Passing Pleasantries. I

Advertising

NEWPORT EMPIRE.

[No title]

A COURT ORATION.

BOWLS.

Advertising

I CARDIFF NEW THEATRE.

IROAD-REPAIRING AND ASSAULT.

Cardiff Football Club.I

Advertising

IPERILS OF THE PIT.

I KETCH SUNK OFF LYNMOUTH

Advertising

SUSSEX V. AUSTRALIANS.

ESSEX V. YORKSHIRE.I

WORCESTERSHIRE V. SURREY.

LANCASHIRE V. SOMERSET.

KENT V. LEICESTERSHIRE. I

HAMPSHIRE V. WARWICKSHIRE.

NOTTS V. DERBYSHIRE. I

WON BY 133 RUNS.,I

l -WIN FOR ST. FAGANS. I

jSUSSEX V. SWANSEA.I

IRUN OVER BY MOTOR-CAR.I

RECKLESS DRIVING.

Advertising

Billiards.-I Billi!rds.

I CARDIFF EMPIRE. I

IShipping Intelligence._I

I LOCAL TIDB TABLE. I

ROAD IMPROVEMENT LOANS I

ISMALL-POX ON A STEAMER I

Advertising