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dearer. Alfred follows them with claim his winnings. Five minutes his wild eyes. They pass like a pass, and no signal comes from the flash of lightning, so close together saddling paddock that it is all that he does not know whether he right. What can be the meaning has won or lost. His agony is in- of the delay? Another minute, and creased by the conflicting cries, another and another pass- and "The Cunning One wins! Don't then comes a cry from the paddock, Touch Me wins!' Which is right? Don't pay! An objection ! The A calm voice says, “I'll bet fifty to scouts take up the cry, and it is all one that pink came in first;' and over the field in an instant. “Don't the speaker receives a swift grate- pay! “Don't pay !' rings from one ful look from Alfred. What an age end to another; the bookmakers it seems before the black board is shut their books, and look impenehoisted that proclaims the win- trable; the excited backers of Don't ner! Here it is at last. Hurrah! Touch Me present their tickets for hurrah! The numbers proclaim payment to the keepers of the list Don't Touch Me first; the Cun- outside the ring, and all the satisning One second. Alfred gives a faction they get is ‘Don't you hear? great sigh of relief; his heart was there's an objection. The curses, almost bursting; he wipes his fore- the oaths, are dreadful to hear. head, and looks round with a tri- Alfred is dazed for a moment. It umphant air. The horse he backed is not possible that the cup can has won the race, and he wins a be dashed from his lips! He also hundred and seventy pounds. He staggers like a drunken man, and sees the man from whom he has to a sickening feeling comes upon receive the largest stake, and he him. What's the objection?' he walks towards him in an apparently asks of a bookmaker, in a tone unconcerned manner. The man is that sounds strange in his own studying his book with a serious ears. His lips are white, his limbs air. This man has a bulbous face, are trembling, his heart sinks within and every knob on it is aflame, him. "Don't Touch Me won the so that it looks like a mountain such-and-such Cup a month ago,' is dotted with signal fires. Many of the answer; 'incurred a penalty of the people are eagerly canvassing five pounds, and did not carry it. the race; some are radiant, some The stewards are settling the disare despairing. Here is one man pute now. We shall know in a few tearing betting - tickets with his minutes, but the Cunning One will teeth, and flinging the pieces away get it.' The feeling that is upon savagely. Here is another, shout- Alfred is like the fear that comes ing exultantly to an acquaintance, to some men whose lives have been 'Nipped him, this time, Jo! I ill spent, and who have not many put a tenner on ! Here is another, minutes to live. He walks about, scowling at every face that meets and hears vaguely the indignant his gaze. Here is one who staggers comments of the backers of Don't like a drunken man, but who Touch Me, and the hopeful annevertheless has not tasted liquor ticipations of the backers of the this day. Alfred has no eye for Cunning One. What is one man's any of these ; despair, joy, exul- meat is another man's poison. A tation, remorse, surge around him, partisan of Don't Touch Me is and he does not heed them. He especially noisy. 'Strike me blind,' thinks of himself only, and burns he cries, “if it isn't a plant! The with impatience to hear the magic owner didn't back the horse for a cry · All right!' so that he may shilling. He stands in with the
owner of the Cunning One; and
CHAPTER XXVI. if the Cunning One gets the race, as he's sure to, they'll divide four
SURPRISES. thousand between them.' How ALFRED remained silent for so the objection is settled is not long a time, that Lily had to reknown until after the next race is peat her question ; and again, in a run, and then a notice is stuck up timid tone, she asked him why their that Don't Touch Me is disquali- grandfather must not be told of fied, and that the race is awarded his troubles and joys. Alfred to the Cunning One. Thus Don't asked her, in reply, whether she Touch Me justifies the warning did not have confidence in him, that lies in his name, and thus whether she mistrusted him, wheAlfred's castle once more crumbles ther she thought he had not good into dust, and he is robbed of his reason for what he said? To all money. What a fool I was,' he these questions she answered, 0, groans, not to have been content yes, yes; she had full confidence with my winnings on Never Despair! in him; she trusted him thoroughly; What an idiot to back a horse with she knew that he must have the such a name! He sees the warn- best of reasons for his desire that ing now, and, almost blind with their grandfather should not be despair, stumbles against people, made acquainted with his seand is pushed aside roughly. But crets. he himself is not to blame, not he. “There isn't another person in Fate is against him ; ill-luck follows the world,' said Alfred, 'that I him. Who could have foreseen would confide in but you ; but I such a calamity as this ? If it had could not keep anything secret for not been for this piece of deliberate long from the dearest sister that villany—for so he settled in his man ever had, and whom I lovemind that it was—he would have well, you know how I love you, been able to make reparation for Lily.' his fault, and to be kind to those She answered sweetly, Yes, she he loved. "I did it all for them,' knew; had he not given proof of he groans. The pieces of paper it this day? She would be worthy with the names ofthe horses written of his confidence; he need be sure upon them are still in his pocket. of that. Alfred received these heartHe puts in his hand, and draws felt protestations graciously. the Cunning One. “If I hadn't 'So that was settled,' he said, been so hasty! he thinks. 'I and they were to each other what oughtn't to have settled it the first they ought to be.' draw. If I had only tried a second "And what we always were,' she time! I could have got a thousand added anxiously, and always will pounds to thirty, as that swell did! be.' I should have had two thousand 'That's so, Lil,' he said, more pounds in my pocket this minute! easy in his manner; 'I feel better And I could have done so much for having spoken to you, and now good with the money-for Lil, and I shall smoke a cigar. What do Lizzie, and all of us ! Fool that I you think Lizzie did the other night, was! Fool that I was ! And so Lil? I asked her in fun to light staggers away, and in these miser- my cigar for me, and she actually able repinings passes the day and did, and took a puff. She didn't the night that follow.
like it, though; but she'll do anything for me. There's one thing I've been thinking of, Lil. When
you and Lizzie are friends — as away, but for Alfred's starting toyou're sure to be directly you see wards him. Then he raised his each other—it will be nice for you ; hat, and walked on, Lily's cyes for now I think of it, you never following him until he was out of had a girl friend, did you ?
sight. 'Do you know the man, There's Mrs. Gribble,' answered Lily ?' asked Alfred. Lily, and Mrs. Podmore, and little “What did you say ?' was Lily's Polly
reply, dreamily spoken. O yes, they're all very well in Do you know the man ?' retheir way, but they're married wo- peated Alfred. men, and little Polly's only a child. Lily looked at him, at first withWhat I mean is, a girl of your own out seeing him; gradually the mist age-one that you can say all sorts before her eyes cleared, and she of things to that you can't say to said nervously, any one else.'
What were we speaking of, AlNo,'replied Lily, 'I have never fred, just now?' had a girl friend; it would be nice. Of Lizzie. You're not ill, Lil,
‘Lizzie's just the girl for you, are you?' said Alfred. “How I should like to O, no; what should make you be hidden somewhere, and hear think so ? you talking about me! Mind you “That man we saw just now; always look under the table when you seemed to be so strangely fasyou're talking secrets, Lil, for I cinated by him. shall look out for an opportunity Lily looked on the ground in to hear what you two girls have to silence for a few moments before say about me.'
she spoke. They made merry over this, and “I am quite well, Alf. Do not extracted from it all kinds of gay let us speak of the man again. He possibilities to suit their humour; seemed to me to come out of the but in the midst of her mirth a ground suddenly, or out of the light, sudden change came over Lily, and I didn't see anything but him and a look of fear stole into her as he stood before us.' face. Alfred, looking up for the One of your fancies, Lil.' cause, saw nothing but a man gaz “Yes, dear; one of my fancies. ing at them, at a very few yards' Girls are not so strong-minded as distance from where they were sit- men, you know.' ting. The man had been walking He laughed, and quitted the subtowards them, and had paused on ject, thinking no more of it. But it the instant that the change came was not so with Lily. Although she over Lily. He was a stranger to did not speak again of the stranger, . Alfred, and Alfred saw nothing in she thought of him during the whole his appearance to cause alarm. of the day. She knew him immeAn ordinary-looking man, brown- diately she saw him ; he was the bearded, and with a remarkably man who had performed as an elecclear gray eye.
tro-biologist at the music-hall, and “What's the matter, Lily ?' cried who had fascinated her then in the Alfred.
same singular manner as he had But Lily did not reply, her done now; the same man described eyes being fixed upon the man's by old Wheels to Felix. She made face. The man himself, evidently a strong effort to remember what surprised and pleased at the im- Alfred had been talking about, and pression he had created, stood still, soon succeeded. and would not have moved quickly “You said a little while ago, Alf, that you could make a thousand not expected to understand these pounds as safe as, as safe as—' things. As to its being not right,
"As safe as nails, Lil. And so I that's neither here nor there. What could, and more perhaps, over the you've got to do is to find out the Cesarewitch.'
secret, get into the swim, and make “The Cesarewitch !' she repeated, money. And that's what I've got curious to know the meaning of so the chance of doing. But I haven't strange a word.
explained it all. Here am I with 'It is a big race that will be run the tip; I know the horse that's soon — a race worth thousands of going to win. Well, what do I do, pounds—and I know the horse naturally? I bet on that horse. I that's going to win.'
put as much money on that horse "That's very clever of you, Al- as ever I can scrape together, and fred.
when the race is over, there I am Alfred nodded, taking full credit with my pockets full. I can get to himself.
fifty to one on my tip. Think of “But how can you make a thou- that, Lil. Fifty to one against the sand pounds by that, Alf? A thou- horse that's sure to win! If I had sand pounds! I never heard of so twenty pounds to-day, I could get a much money.'
thousand to twenty, and win it. ‘Little simpleton ! I'll show you Only think what I could do with a as much one day, and more thou- thousand. I've got my eye on two sands at the back of it. How can lovely gold watches and chains for I make it? Why, I'll tell you. Here Lizzie and you, and I know where I am with “the tip.” The tip,' he there's a stunning diamond ring to continued, noticing her puzzled be almost given away. look, “is the secret that some of us “But tell me, Alf! Isn't that get hold of as to which horse is gambling ? and isn't gambling going to win a race.'
wrong? I've heard grandfather say O, was Lily's simple reply. it is.' “That's what the tip is,' said Al- Gambling! Wrong! Grandfred, with a confident air; he was father!' exclaimed Alfred contempin his glory, airing himself on rac- tuously. “What does grandfather ing matters. "And I've got it for know of such things ? When he the Cesarewitch.
was a young man, things were dif'Do they know, then, before- ferent. A young fellow didn't have hand what horse is going to win a the chance he's got now of making race ?
a fortune in a day, if he's wide "Sometimes pretty nearly, you awake. That's why I don't want know. Some horses that run haven't grandfather to know anything of a chance; some are not intended this, nor anything that I've been: to win—'
speaking of. And of course you'll “Is that right, Alf?'
not tell him, Lil, for you've pro"Of course it is. If a man has a mised. horse and can't back it, perhaps he 'You may depend upon me, backs another; then of course he dear Alf. It's for your good.' doesn't want his own horse to win, But she said these last words in for if it does he loses his money.' a doubting tone. Lily shook her head.
“That it is, and for yours, and 'I can't understand it; it doesn't for Lizzie's, and for grandfather's seem quite right to me; but of too. As to its being gambling and course you know best.'
wrong—now, look here, Lil. You Of course I do, Lil. Women are know what grandfather thinks of
the newspapers. You know how "going to be run for soon. All the he's always speaking in praise of best horses in England are entered. them, and saying whāt capital There won't be less than three things they are, and what a bless- columns about each race in some ing it is that a poor man can get all of the newspapers, and people get the news of the world for a penny. to know which horses have the best You know that, Lil.'
chances, and which horses are sure “Yes, dear.'
to run straight. Though, to be "Why, it was only last week that sure, you never can depend upon grandfather said that the cheap that. You must keep your eyes newspapers were the poor man's open. But come now, Lily, ain't best friend and best educator, be- you satisfied that there's nothing cause they taught him things and wrong in a young fellow doing a showed him truthfully what was little betting now and then ? going on round about him, and that 'I don't see how there can be they were doing more in their quiet any wrong in it after what you've way for the improvement of the told me, Alf.' people than anything he ever re- ‘And after what grandfather membered in his time.
said," he added. “Yes, dear, I heard him say so. “Yes, and after what grandfather
“To be sure you did. Well, then, said, my dear.' you look in the newspapers, and “So then,' he summed up, 'that's see what they say of racing. Why, where it is.' they give columns upon columns Which was Alfred's almost inabout it. They employ regular variable way of disposing of a prophets and tipsters, and pay 'em question. handsomely-regular fly men, who ‘And here I have a chance,' he think they know every move on the presently resumed, ‘of getting out board ; and they tell you what of all my money troubles, and of horses to back, and what horses making everything straight for you are going to win. They are edu- and Lizzie, and all of us. cators and improvers, I can tell 'But,' insisted Lily, 'I am very you, Lil! And they tell a fellow happy, Alf.' lots of things worth knowing Well, I'm going to make you though I don't follow them always; happier, Lil. But you can't be not I! I know as much as they quite happy, Lil, when I am in do, sometimes, and a little more, trouble.' perhaps. But I read them; I read “O, no, my dear,' she said quickevery word the prophets write. ly : 'I forgot. Forgive me for my Why, I spend sixpence a day often selfishness. But you'll be out of it in papers ; if it wasn't for what the soon.' prophets write in them, I don't 'It depends a good deal upon suppose I'd spend a penny.
you, Lil.' If Alfred had said that the col- 'How upon me, dear?' umns devoted in the newspapers "Well, I don't quite know if it to the vaticinations of the prophets depends upon you, but it may, and were his Bible, he would have been of course I'm anxious; for to tell as near to the truth as he ever was you the truth, I owe some money in his life. The lessons they taught which I must pay very soon, or it were bearing bitter fruit. Not for will be all up with me.' him alone; for thousands of others. 'O, Alfred !
“There's the Cambridgeshire and “It's true, Lil, every word I'm the Cesarewitch,' continued Alfred, telling you. My contemptible screw