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Odds Against

By Dick Francis

Former hotshot jockey Sid Halley landed a place with a detective enterprise, merely to capture a bullet from a few penny-ante thug. Now, he has to head up opposed to a box of thoroughbred criminals--and the percentages are opposed to him that he will even continue to exist.

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I got here immediately to the purpose, with courtesy. ‘Do you recognize you might have a reflect on your tree? ’ ‘Don’t be silly,’ stated the lady, smiling as at an fool. She had flat wavy gray hair and used to be donning a sloppy black cardigan over a brown wool gown. No color feel, i assumed. ‘You’d greater take a look,’ I recommended. ‘It’s no longer a reflect, you know,’ acknowledged the husband, questioned. ‘It’s a placard. a kind of commercial issues. ’ ‘That’s right,’ acknowledged his spouse contrapuntally. ‘A placard. ’ ‘We agreed to lend our tree…’ ‘For a small sum, fairly… in simple terms our pension…’ ‘A guy submit the framework…’ ‘He acknowledged he will be again quickly with the poster…’ ‘A spiritual one, i feel. a superb cause…’ ‘We wouldn’t have performed it otherwise…’ Chico interrupted. ‘I wouldn’t have concept it used to be an exceptional position for a poster. Your tree stands extra again than the others. It isn’t conspicuous. ’ ‘I did think…’ all started the fellow doubtfully, shuffling in his checked woolly bed room slippers. ‘But if he was once keen to pay hire in your specific tree, you didn’t are looking to positioned him off,’ i stopped. ‘An additional quid or isn’t anything you must move on round the corner. ’ They wouldn’t have placed it so bluntly, yet they didn’t demur. ‘Come and look,’ I acknowledged. They me around alongside the slim direction beside their bungalow wall and into their very own again backyard. The tree stood part option to the racecourse boundary fence, the solar slanting down during the leafless branches. shall we see the wood again of the replicate, and the ropes which fixed it to the tree trunk. the fellow and his spouse walked around to front, and their puzzlement elevated. ‘He stated it was once for a poster,’ repeated the guy. ‘Well,’ I stated as topic of factly as i'll, ‘I anticipate it truly is for a poster, as he acknowledged. yet in the intervening time, you spot, it's a replicate. And it’s pointing directly out over the racecourse; and also you know the way mirrors replicate the daylight? We simply idea it may no longer be too secure, you recognize, if somebody acquired dazzled, so we puzzled in the event you could brain us relocating it? ’ ‘Why, goodness,’ agreed the girl, taking a look with extra wisdom at our driving outfits, ‘no one can see the racing with gentle shining of their eyes. ’ ‘Quite. So could you brain if we grew to become the replicate around a piece? ’ ‘I can’t see that it will damage, Dad,’ she acknowledged doubtfully. He made a nondescript assenting circulate along with his hand, and Chico requested how the reflect were publish within the tree within the first position. the fellow had introduced a ladder with him, they stated, and no, they hadn’t one themselves. Chico shrugged, positioned me beside the tree, placed one foot on my thigh, one on my shoulder, and used to be up within the naked branches like a squirrel. The aged couple’s mouths sagged open. ‘How some time past? ’ I requested. ‘When did the fellow submit the reflect? ’ ‘This morning,’ acknowledged the lady, getting over the surprise. ‘He got here again simply now, too, with one other rope or anything. That’s while he stated he’d be again with the poster. ’ So the reflect have been hauled up into the tree whereas Chico and that i have been obliviously sitting within the timber, and altered later whilst the solar was once on the correct perspective within the sky.

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