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TO-OAYS SHORT STORY.] The…

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TO-OAYS SHORT STORY.] The Cesarewitch. I a-m—or, rather, was-a jockey! There t new I hav loit preetig-s in the eyes cf tha many thousand*- of people who hate "the turf" and all connected with it; yet I proud of the fact that I have been a jockey, and prouder still to know that I was respected by my fellow professionals. Bat enough of this. Everybody has heaxd of Tom Kenyon, the once-famous jockey, but everybody has not heard a. certain little story about him. Early oue evening, many years ago, Tom Kenyon wa.s informed that Lord Clananore 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 and dressed. Good evening, Tom," wad Lord Cla-nmore's greeting as he shook the jockey warmly by the hand. "Are you well?" Quite well, my lord, thank you," replied Tom; and then, observing his visitor's care- worn appearance, he added, "Iill sorry to see you are not in the beet 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 was 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 horses when I caane into pos3e:¡;ion of the estate ?" Perfectly, my lord. That is why I am with Sir Erio Marsd-en now." "By-the-bye. do you get on with the honourable member for West Blankleigh ?" Ex recently, my lord— almost well as with the Lord Clanmore." I am glad, but, of course, I expected aa 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 my father left me practi- caiiy p.ennile:3s." Tom stared at the speaker in undisguised astonishment- It is a fact, Tom. I gave up my heroes, but I did not give up backing others. The res a It, that I am now on the very verge of bankruptcy: and in a short time I am to marry Lady Florence Garth waite. Con- eequently, within the next few months I inu.t, by some means or other, raise at lea.st Excise me. ¡r,V lord." interrupted Tom. "I—er—that is-well. of course, you are aware that I owe my present position and my little private fortune entirely to your father. I have about =t20,OCO invested in Con- sols I can soon realise it. and, if you mind, it's yours, and nobody shall know any- thing about it." Your generosity dees credit to your heart, Tom, but, of course, I cannot your cha your offer, I mean. I beg your pardon, my lord—most humbly. I forgot." "Besides, I must raise at least I can get a fincil mortgage of £10.000 on the estate, and if I lose that the mortgage will foreclose, and I am ruined. I have explained this much, Tom, because you have a right to know it, as you ere 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 such yarns before, and the conclusion was always a suggestion to "pull" a, horse and deliberately lose a race, so that the pleader m.ght retrieve his fortunes by foul means, Th thought that the son of his old master— the old Lord Clanmore, the very soui of integrity—could stoop so low was too much for the jockey. Under ordinary eircum- 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 Eric Marsden's Alpha, in tlw Cesarewitch. "What is the matter?" repeated Lord Clanmore, when Tom revived. Nothing—nothing," was the reply. "I've been over-training, I expect. Go ûn, my lord. Well, as 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 nuf; I want the turf to pay a little back. I will back your selection for all I am 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 scarcely 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 ef relief which passed over Tom is, to U£09 the jockey's own words, simply indescribable. "My lord, you have asked me just at the right moment. I am to ride Alpha in the Cesarewitch next week. Beta and Omega are the firs favourites, and, according to the betting world, I have practically no chance with Alpha, whose price a.t present is fifteen to one." Do you advise me to back Alpha, then?" "Xot 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 ioi likely to lose I shall receive a letter. Very gjod. On the night before the great race Tom Kenyoa 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 KENYON. 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. The mall 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 suddenly, and at the starting-post Tom felt assured thai 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 their rivals until they were really the only two horses left in the race. The vast srowd cheered lustily Icr Beta. A hundred yards from the winning-post the pair ran neck and neck, and Tom felt that, bar accidents, he would win. Then, and not till then, wxs Tom seized with that indefinable species of torture which experiences when ene's inclination and duty point in diredJy opposite directions. [f Alpha lost no one would be surprised. Scarcely anybody except the "booki,3" would 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—and had not be him- self strongly urged the young lord to back lkta Only for a. few brief maments did Tom hesitate. He thought of his master, Sir Eric Marsden. who had long ago set his nund on carrying off this event, and he thought of ais honour, which, up to that moment, had remained unsullied. That settled the matter. His mind was Made up. With only one object in view — Shat of winning at all hazards—he urged Alpha on with whip and spur. arid Alpha nobly responded, like the game horse he was. The winning-post was nt>a red--reached— passed. A hoarse roar of disappointment, a oonfuscd hubbub, and a solitary cheer here and there told Tom plainly enough that Alpha had beaten Beta and won the Cesare- witch. And such wad 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 smdea. "You never rode better in your life, Tom- never." And then, to add to Tom's discomfiture, Lord Clanmore-the ruined Lord Clanmore-- 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. "1 put £ 10,000 on Alpha at twenty to one," continued Lord Clamrore, "and I have cleared £200,000. I shall never forget you, Tom." Tom Kenyon could scarcely believe his ears. Yet the excited peer was evidently speaking the truth. What did it all mean? He found out shortly afterwards. An envelope, marked "On Her Majesty's Service." reached him, and on opening it Tom found, tc his intense astonishment, that it contained the letter he had written to Lord Clan-more, advising him to back Beta instead of Alpha. The letter had never reached Lord Clan- more. for the very good reason that Tom Kenyon had, in a moment of forgefrulness, 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 -? rather, nnaddre?ed-miM?es. WhlC ?e dr?ped into pill?-bo? every year, it was returned, to the writer.

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