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TO-OAVS SHORT STORY.] The…

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TO-OAVS SHORT STORY.] The Cesarewitch. I axm--or, rather, was—a jockey! Tbore 1 now I have lost prestige in the eyes of the many thousacdfi of people who hato "the turf" and all connected with it; yet I son 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, bui everybody has not heard a certain little story about him. Early one evening, many years ago, Tom Kenyon was informed that Lord Clammore 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, bnt he hurriedly rose and dressed. Good evening, Tom," was Lord Clanmore'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, "I'm sorry to aee 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 I important secret." Tom bowed. "You will remember that I sold my father's 8ta.ble and every one of his much-prized horses when I came into possession of the estate?" Perfectly, my lord. That is why I am with Sir Erio Marsden now." ny_the-bye, how do you get on with the honourable member for West Blankleigh ?, Excellently, my lord-aJmo5t aa well as With the late Lord Clanmore." 44 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 severied 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- cally penniless." Tom stared at the speaker in undisguised & £ tr>n ishmiPnt. It is a fact, Tom. I gave up my hordes, but I did not give up backing others. The Teeult 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 otRer. raise at least Excuse me, my 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 £ 20,000 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 keart, Tom, but. of course, I cannot aceep: your cha your offer, I mean." I beg your pardon, my lord—ccnoet humbly. I forgot." "Besides, I must raise at least £100,000. I can get a ftnel mortgage of £10,00(} 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 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 such yarns before, and the conclusion was always a. suggestion to "pull" a horse and deliberately lose 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 much 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 Eric Maxsden's Alpha, in the Cesarewitch. "What is the matter?" repeated Lord Clanmore, when Tom revived. "-Not hir-g-ziothing, 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 rood 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 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 eara. Lord Clanmore bad not come to bribe him t-o go wrong, after all. It wa<f only a "tip" he wanted-an honest tip. The feeling of relief which passed over Tom is. to use the lockey's own words, simply indescribable. "My lord, you have asked me j,ust at the right 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 with Alpha, whose price at present is fifteen II 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 iê likely to lose I shall receive a letter. Very good." On the night before the great race Tom Ken y on 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 man who was most concerned and puzzled about the condition of Alpha was Alpha's jockey. for, to Tom's surprise, the animal seemed to recover suddenly, 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. lowJy. but surely. Alpha and Beta gained on their rivals until they were really the only two horses left in the race. Thd vast crowd cheered lustily for 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, wa,3 Tom seized with that indefinable species of torture which one experiences when one's inclination and duty point in directly opposite directions. If Alpha loet 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 ClanmoTe would be saved from ruin and disgrace—and 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 view- that of winning at all hazards—he urged Alpha on with whip and spur, and Alpha wobly responded, like the game horse he was. The winning-post was ne&red-ieached- passed. A hoarse roar of disappointment, a confused hubbub, and a solitary cheer here and there told Tom plainly enough that Alpha ha-d beaten Beta and won the Cesare- witch. And such was the case. Alpha had won by a short head. Tom Kenyon's honour was saved. Lord Clanmore was irretrievably ruined. "I congratulate you, old ma-n," 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 Sric Marsden, his face beaming with smiles. 'You never rode better in your life, Tom- a-ever. tJ And then, to add to Tom's discomfiture, Lord Clanmore—the ruined Lord Clanmore— loomed in sight. The winning jockey, feeling ;ick at heart, tried to avoid him; but Lord OlairmoTe was not the man to be avoided. Tom," excitedly whispered the young lord n his unwilling ear; "Tong, you have saved no!" The jockey started. "I put LIO,000 on Alpha at twenty to one," continued Lord Clanmore, "and I have beared £ 200,000. I shall never forget you, Tora." Tom Kenyon could scarcely believe his -3ars. Yet the excited peer was evidently speaking the truth. What did it all mean? He found out shortly afterwards. An snv-elope, marked "On Her Majesty's Service," reached him, and on opening it Tom found, ;0 his intense astonishment, that it contained :he letter he had written to Lord Clanmore, 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 forgetfulnese, posted it with-it 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, unaddressed—missives, which are dropped into pillar-boxes every year, it was returned to the writer.

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