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By Dick Francis

For a beneficiant fee, ex-prize-winning jockey Jonah Dereham reluctantly concurs to bid on a tender steeplechaser on behalf of a filthy rich American girl. yet his existence is thrust into hazard instantly following the public sale, while he gets a blow to the pinnacle through thugs challenging possession of the pony. regrettably, that’s simply the beginning—and now Jonah needs to work out the high-stakes online game being played…before he turns into its subsequent casualty.

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5 mins will do. That’s no longer a lot in case you imagine what you stand to lose if I don’t get it. ’ I gestured around his vibrant room and out to the luxury pool. ‘Built on Polyprint’s coverage, without doubt. ’ He banged his fist down at the table, making the pins rattle. ‘Bloody Fynedale advised you,’ he shouted. ‘It should have been. I’ll homicide the little rat. ’ I didn’t precisely deny it, yet in its place I stated matter-of-factly, ‘One calculation you disregarded… my brother Crispin labored for prime energy. ’ 15 Crispin stood within the backyard at domestic having a look depressing and broody. i finished the auto on my go back from Vic’s and climbed out to satisfy him. ‘What’s the problem? ’ I stated. ‘Oh…. ’ He swung an arm vast in internal frustration, indicating the flattened sturdy zone and the recent scaffolding hiking as much as the burnt a part of the roof. ‘All this. … If I hadn’t been under the influence of alcohol it wouldn’t have occurred. ’ I checked out him. ‘Don’t fear approximately it. ’ ‘But I do. If I’d been round… if there have been lighting fixtures on in the home… that guy wouldn’t have set fire…’ ‘You don’t recognize that he wouldn’t,’ I acknowledged. ‘Stands to cause. ’ ‘No. Come on in, it’s chilly out the following. ’ We went into the kitchen and that i made espresso. Crispin’s temper of self-abasement flickered on fitfully whereas he watched me placed the water and occasional grounds into the percolator. ‘It might were greater in case you had enable me die. ’ ‘It was once an exceptional activity you handed out within the bathroom,’ I stated. ‘It was once the single room which had common air flow via an airbrick. ’ He wasn’t cheered. ‘Better if I’d snuffed it. ’ ‘Want a few toast? ’ ‘Stop bloody speaking approximately foodstuff. I’m asserting you will have allow me die. ’ ‘I comprehend you're. It’s rattling foolish. I don’t wish you useless. i need you alive and good and dwelling in Surrey. ’ ‘You don’t take me heavily. ’ His voice was once packed with injured criticism. i assumed of the entire different conversations we’d had alongside these traces. I should have enable him drown within the tub, the time he went to sleep there. I should have permit him force right into a tree, the time I’d taken his motor vehicle keys away. I should have enable him fall off the Brighton cliffs, the time he tottered dizzily to the sting. Blaming me for no longer letting him die used to be his method of laying all his problems at my door. It was once my fault he used to be alive, his brain went, so it was once my fault if he took safe haven in drink. He may paintings up his resentment opposed to me as a justification for self-pity. I sighed inwardly and made the toast. both that day or the following he will be afloat back on gin. there has been no notice from Vic. I spent all day operating within the place of work and observing racing on tv, with Crispin doing his most sensible to place his brain to my bills. ‘When you labored for top Power,’ I stated, ‘Did you've got something to do with a declare for a horse known as Poly-print? ’ He sniffed. ‘You be aware of rattling good i used to be in Pensions, now not Claims. ’ ‘Just suggestion you have heard…. ’ ‘No. ’ We drank coke and fizzy lemonade and low, and that i grilled a few lamb chops for supper, and nonetheless Vic didn’t cell. similar factor the following morning. an excessive amount of silence.

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