By Faith Out of Hope
D. K. FINDLAY
MR. CARMODY pushed his black felt back from his smooth, melancholy face. At one end of the halter-rope stood Jed, the oldest stableman, the color and smell of tobacco, and at the other end was Ransom.
Ransom, by Brigand out of Bright Gold, a tall bay. The light wimpled on his satin coat. He was big-boned and rangy and his slim legs had knobby joints. His neck and tail were carried with the curve of perfect balance. His nose was faintly aquiline and his eyes intelligent, with no white showing. Every line of him said speed, and the arched croup and developed quarters said power.
“You big, idle, stuffed picture,” said Mr. Carmody, delivering judgment. “I’m through with you. You couldn’t lick a calico horse.”
“Some folks would try a shot of suthin’,” said Jed despondently, “or a little licker.”
“Not while he’s in my stable. He’s not worth stableroom and he’s not going to get it.”
“He’s the best-looking horse we ever had,” offered Faith Carmody, sitting tar down in a shocking pair of breeches on the paddock fence.
Her father might not have heard.
“That Brigand strain cost me plenty and there isn’t a trainer in the country who would take him as a gift. Well, Mr. Ransom, I’ve found a buyer for you. You’ll get a chance to show your speed—in a delivery wagon.”
“Oh, dad! You wouldn’t! It would break his heart.” “He hasn’t got a heart. He’s almost broken mine, and he’s almost broke me. Take him away, Jed.”
FAITH slipped from the rail. Her father glanced from the shocking breeches to the scuffed Wellingtons.
. “How many times have I told you to polish those boots? I’ve got to, Faith. I’ve a bamful of horses eating their heads off, and we haven’t been lucky this year. I haven’t laid off any of the men, but I have to tighten up in other places. Ransom is one of the places. He’s had his chance.
In twenty starts he hasn’t finished in the money. And in the last one—the County Breeders’ Association, the smallest stake on the track and a field of donkeys—he finishes a nose ahead of the last cripple without a hair turned.”
“I hate to think of him in a cart, a son of Bright Gold. Give him to me for a hack, dad.”
“Since when have you stopped jumping gates? You wouldn’t ride him once a month.”
“Will you sell him to me?”
“Sure. I’ll make you a special price. A thousand dollars cash.” He turned toward the house.
“I’ll give you half.” She trotted after him.
“In money. I get Aunt Elizabeth’s money when I’m twenty-one.”
“H’m. Four years to wait.”
They were going up the path and his long legs came to a sudden stop. He was staring at her car. It was a raffish ensemble, consisting of an old racing engine, imperfectly
enclosed by a rakehell chassis. Its habit was to start with shattering detonations, belch black smoke and disappear at an unlicensed pace. It had darkened his front stoop on the day Faith had backed Gnat and Cairo Cat for the daily double, and Mr. Carmody disliked and feared it.
“How much cash would you put up?”
Faith looked wistfully at her car.
“I think. I could get three hundred for it.”
“Come into the office,” said Mr. Carmody. The deal promised to have ramifications. Parental authority, never strong with Faith, was definitely on the wane. He thought he saw a way to bolster it with a business arrangement. His old swivel chair creaked as he turned toward the girl.
“I’ll take three hundred cash and a note for two hundred payable on demand—if you’ll bum those breeches.”
“I’d rather give you three fifty and a note for the rest. Gross receipts are a bit higher this month on account of my birthday. What’s the matter with these breeches?”
“You’ll need that extra fifty. Feed bills, blacksmith’s bills, vet bills—oh, owners have expenses. They’re a disgrace, that’s what’s the matter with them ! They bag low and frighten my horses.”
He filled in a contract form and handed it to her. She read it through slowly, signed it, and stuck the pen in her mouth at the same angle as her father’s cigar.
“By gad, Carmody, I’m an owner now!”
“What are you going to do with him?” he asked curiously. “Going to race him.”
Mr. Carmody guffawed.
“Tacky and I will train him. We’ve got a theory about Ransom.”
“Get rid of it quick,” said her father. “A theory that Ransom can lick anything is too expensive to keep. Just one thing—before you enter him in any race, this note must be paid. I make that a condition.”
As Faith climbed regretfully into the raffish car for the last time, her father put his head out the office window. “And burn those breeches!”
SOLD WITH engagements.” Faith rolled the delectable phrase around her tongue. The transfer was duly registered, and Ransom passed into the tender care of Faith and Tacky, trainers.
Tacky was her partner, the son of a neighbor, the Reverend Dr. Braid. At the age of ten, Mr. Carmody had gravely enrolled Tacky as a member of his staff—the most fearless imp that ever walked under a horse instead of around. He had been one of the best riders the stable had ever had; but, as he pointed out Jed, who bitterly resented his growing up, a chap had to come to football size some day and he was going to college in the autumn. He was still light enough to make a good training weight for the big Ransom, and every morning at sun-up he was in the paddock when Faith issued out of the stable. She had been up at dawn, helping Ransom eat his breakfast.
The big bay was getting light exercise—Faith had heard her father say that more horses are ruined by too much work than by too little. Their theory was simple—to start over again at the beginning and build him up as if he were a colt.
He had been the most promising two-year-old the stable had ever seen—fast, tractable and gentle; almost too gentle. At the post, neither the crowds nor his flustered competitors excited him. But he would canter home, fourth or fifth, enjoying himself. Slow to take hold, horsemen said. But successive races showed no change. Mr. Carmody was faced with the realization that he had nurtured a sluggard without the racing instinct—more of a cow than a horse. Yet his
handlers were obstinate. He had speed, they said, if they
could coax it out of him. He had never extended himself and the day that he did . . . Every legitimate stratagem of the turf was employed—Ransom continued to come home in the ruck. He ceased to carry the green and gold; he was an alsoran, a sleeper who would never waken. All that Mr. Carmody hoped for him now was that the big skate would keep his impetuous daughter out of mischief.
Already Faith was beginning to wear the harassed face of an owner. Her financial structure was threatening collapse under the impact of feed bills, shoeing bills and costly racing equipment. And before she could get a cent back, she had to fulfill her promise to pay on demand the sum of $200.
She and Tacky went into a committee of ways and means. Tacky got a job driving a milk truck. Moanin’Low, the Carmody maid of all work, awoke one morning with an itching foot and warned the household of the imminence of one of her periodical flittings. Faith made haste to her father with a proposition.
“But you can’t cook!” said the surprised Mr. Carmody. It was a grievance of his that his daughter whom he had reared as a boy had not one scrap of domesticity.
“I’ve been reading it up. I’m at page ten already—all about apple fritters. But if you won’t engage me and pay me regular housekeeper’s wages, I’m going to work for old Mr. Halloran, introducing The Brighter Day paints and varnishes.”
Mr. Carmody looked at his daughter’s fierce little face. With that behind it. Brighter Day paint would spread over the countryside like a plague. He capitulated.
“Go to it, Abigail.”
r_PHE TWO youngsters no longer went to the movies in
town or the dances at the Lakeside Pavilion. That needed money and they had no car to take them about. Nearly every night they sat in the Carmody kitchen. Tacky with a Guide to the Turf in front of him, Faith scowling over the cook book. It often moved her to wrath.
“It’s a scandal the vague way these recipes are written. I’d like to see the form book they would make. ‘Tea Bread
Stakes; suitable for six horses. Melted Butter ran fast but
White of an Egg was beaten stiff. Carraway Seed, Vanilla and Salt came in last, or according to taste. The winner won when they stuck a fork into him. Time, twenty minutes to an hour.’ That’s about their style, and it doesn’t leave you much wiser. They don’t even give you the ingredients at the post.”
“Mr. Carmody says if you give him any more apple fritters, he’ll founder.”
Faith shut the book with a slam.
“Read me about the lombard y again, Tacky.”
“The Lombardy Stakes. For three-year-olds and up. By subscription of $25 each, starters to pay $50 additional to the winner, with $1,500 added, of which $300 to second horse, $150 to third and $50 to fourth. Entries close, etc. Weights to be announced ... A silver cup will be presented by the Association to the owner of the winner. One mile and a sixteenth.”
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful,” said Faith, with the eyes of a dreamer, “if we could win a stake like that? Our troubles would be over. Gee, we’d be rich ! I’d buy a new car and a sequin dress. What would you do?”
“It would be a load off my mind.” said Tacky. “College fees all paid up. Dad thinks he isn’t giving me a fair chance if I can’t go, and it looks pretty dubious right now. He worries about it.”
Mr. Carmody endured many surprises that summer. Many of them came to the table in dishes. Once it was the appearance of a rather flushed Faith in a remarkable garment of her own sewing, but a worse shock was in store.
“Dad, may I have my colors registered? Same as yours -green and gold—but with a maroon cap?”
“Sure. When are you going to run him?”
She hesitated. “I was thinking of the Lombardy.”
Mr. Carmody was disgusted and disappointed. Faith used to be a level-headed little trick.
“Why, child, some of the best horses in the East are nominated for the Lombardy. You’ll be a laughingstock. Besides, you can’t afford the entry.”
He removed his cigar and studied it.
“Listen, Faith. You and Tacky have been good children this summer. You gave up your car and racketting about when you should have been in bed, and you’ve worked hard. And you have learned something about owning, which was what I aimed at. Now, if you want to run Ransom, pick out a cheap selling race at Bolingbroke and I'll pay all expenses.” Faith wandered out into the sunshine and sat on the fence. The more she thought, the more she 3aw that her father was right. It was a sinful waste of money she didn’t have, to enter Ransom in an expensive race where he didn’t have a chance. There was only one thing more sinful and that was to waste a living, breathing, passionate hunch.
Mr. Carmody, with more reason, was also considering the Lombardy. One of his three-vear-olds, campaigning in the South, was showing sensational form. He had won his last three starts with a decisiveness that marked him as a coming champion.
Faith was in the paddock when he was brought in. Deer Fly was a tall, short-bodied black, thin to emaciation, with his withers set at an unusually flat angle* But it was his head which caught the eye. It was thin and narrow, without the breadth between the eyes which distinguishes the thoroughbred. Snaky-looking, thought Faith; a horse not to be trusted.
“He’s right on top of his wurruk,” said the groom in answer to a question, “and when he’s wurruking, sure a babe could handle him, but”—he stepped suddenly back to evade a sudden sweep of the thin, wicked head—“but he’s not what you would call a kind horse at all. Took the sleeve out of me jacket last week. We’ve been keeping him in rack chains.”
“Cranky, is he?” asked Mr. Carmody. “Well, he comes by it honestly. There is a streak of madness in that strain. One of his grandsires killed a man; sheer viciousness it was. Put him in number seven without the chains. Rack drains are one sure way of making a nervous horse worse.”
The groom hesitated.
“He was gettin’ a bad name in the stable, sir, and without the chains—”
“All right, all right! Put him in the box beside Ransom then. He can’t pick a fight with that bum.”
“Hey!” cried Faith, but Deer Fly was led away.
“You still got that funny idea of entering Ransom in the Lombardy?” asked her father.
Faith admitted it.
“I’ve got the same idea myself. I offer you a match— Deer Fly against Ransom over the same distance. Weights-” “Never mind the weights,” said Faith. “Give your horse a feather. Weight doesn’t mean a thing to Ransom.”
r'PHE CARMODY horses were trained on turf and seldom had foot trouble. Faith and her father stood in the dew one morning and watched two heads pricked against the sky. Mr. Carmody had given his orders to his boy. “At the three-quarters, shake Deer Fly up and let him run. I want to show Miss Faith just how punk her horse is.”
“There they go!”
Into the circle of their glasses came the dipping heads,
Continued on page 45
Continued from page17
—Starts on page 16
the stretching flanks. At the half-mile, they were running level. At the three-quarters, Deer Fly opened a lead. One length, one and a half, two. For a brief space he held it, and then steadily the interval was closed. One length—a half. Ransom drew even, neck and neck. As they flashed by the finish, he had dropped back to Deer Fly’s girth.
But for the evidence of the stop watch, Mr. Carmody would have believed that his horse had failed in the stretch. Then he recollected that Ransom had once or twice before shown unexpected form in two-horse tests. The time was remarkable. As a trainer, he said nothing at all. As a father, he felt bound to say severely:
“That should settle your hash, young lady.”
But Faith had her own stop watch. She was radiant. Tacky got down with a puzzled face, paying no attention to her elation. It was hard to excite Tacky when he was wrestling with a problem.
“It was just as if I had moved a lever. He ran Deer Fly off his feet—and then relaxed. No further interest. Now why the heck?”
A groom came up to walk Ransom and they sat down and chewed grass stems.
“This is the only explanation I can see: Ransom seems to think a race is just a friendly gallop. When Deer Fly left him flatfooted, he was surprised and hurt. ‘Oh, is that so?’ he says to himself, and humps himself to show what he can do when he likes. But he isn’t roused enough to go out and lick the boots off him.”
“But Tacky, we know now that he can run ! He’s got the speed and stamina. His great-great-grandsire didn’t win a race until he was five, and after that he was unbeatable. All we have to do is rouse him.”
“All? All! Your dad has tried everything he knows, and he knows more than anyone on the turf.”
“Oh, I feel as if I were standing over a gold mine with a teaspoon,” cried Faith. “There must be some way.”
Tacky turned to look after the retreating horses.
“That Deer Fly,” he said: “he’s got the meanest eye that ever looked through a bridle.”
That afternoon the summer peace was shattered by the scream of a horse. It was followed by a tempest of hoof thuds: and Faith and Tacky, arriving at the double, found two grooms manhandling Deer Fly into rack chains, and another quieting Ransom. At sight of her horse. Faith cried aloud in anger. The blood was streaming from a wound in his neck.
Jed was witness to the unprovoked assault.
“I been watchin’ Deer Fly on account of he’s strange yet, and I sees Ransom poke his nose over the wall and snuffle friendlylike. Deer Fly pushes out as if to nose him - and back goes his lip and the hellion gets Ransom in the neck !”
Ransom stood quietly while his wound was dressed, an ugly gash tom by teeth made for tearing, and his eyes never left that other impatient dark form which stamped and rattled his chains.
“You’ve got to get Ransom out of this, Faith,” said Mr. Carmody. “I can’t keep a horse of Deer Fly’s temper in chains.”
5k) Ransom was banished from his airy box to solitary confinement in an unused grain shed. Horses are social creatures, and it was only to be expected that he would miss the communal life of the stable where there was always something to keep him from boredom—the comings and goings of his mates, the voices and movements of the humans. But there seemed to be something else. His wound troubled him little and began to heal at once. He had no temperature, as Faith assured herself frequently with the big stable thermometer, but for the first time in his life he left grain in the manger. And when he was loosed in the tiny yard behind the storehouse, he
stood about listlessly, looking toward the other boxes.
• “Off his feed, is he?” said Jed, who had been called into consulation. “Now, that’s a queer thing for Ransom. Give him a day or two to get used to his stall.”
rT'HE DAY or two passed without improvement. Faith and Tacky sat on the lane fence watching him, and their spirits touched a new low. The big bay was definitely off color.
“I’d like just one good wallop at Deer Fly,” said Faith vindictively. “Everything was all right till he came. There he is now, the dirty killer.”
A groom loosed Deer Fly into a near-by paddock for his afternoon airing. He spied Ransom across the way, whickered an insult and let fly with both heels at the paddock gate.
A bay thunderbolt leaped the two intervening fences and fell upon him. There are few things so shocking as a fight between horses. Their intolerable screaming rent the air. Standing on their hind legs, they struck with their fore feet, biting viciously. Blood streamed from their mouths and down their necks.
Tacky was the first to reach them. He got a rope over Ransom’s head and the men dragged him off. And not an instant too soon, for Deer Fly was down and halfstunned. They got him to his feet and led him away, his head hanging. Mr. Carmody was furious with a grand rage that included horses and men, his daughter and all creatures within his gates. When he was through it was settled law that a certain two horses would never get another chance to fight.
With hot water and trembling hands, Faith and Tacky examined the damage. It was surprisingly small. There were tom patches on Ransom’s neck and flank, his lips were cut and both knees were swollen. But unless there was an injury to the bone, hot water and rubbing would put that right. And Deer Fly, they learned with relief, had escaped almost as lightly. He had lost skin and blood, but not a bone or a tendon seemed to have been injured.
At evening stables a rejuvenated Ransom greeted Faith. He blew hungrily at the back of her neck and straightway plunged his sore nose into the manger.
Faith’s spirits gave a bound.
“Why, you old scamp! I believe all you wanted was a chance to get back at him. Well, you whaled the tar out of him, boy.”
The feud between the horses became an accepted part of the stable life. Ransom never passed his old box without an aggressive snort. When his knees returned to normal and he came back to the track for light gallops, he held his head up, snuffling and looking about. When Deer Fly reap.peared one morning, he was met by a shrill challenge. Deer Fly, game as he was mean, answered him and got a crop between the ears for his pains. Thereafter the pair took their exercise with the width of the track between them.
There was no need to urge the big bay these mornings. No watch was required to show how he was taking hold of his work. Tacky was jubilant.
“He’s eating it,” he crowed, “simply eating it! He goes like a machine. That scrap was the best thing that ever happened to him. Hang it, with Deer Fly in the race, he might run his fool head off.”
“Might,” said Faith, with the pessimism of an owner.
“I got three hundred dollars in the bank,” said Tacky tentatively.
“But that’s your college money.” There was a touch of panic in Faith’s voice. “Oh, Tacky, we can’t touch that; we might lose.”
“He’s pretty well seasoned. How about a trial run? Let him decide for himself.”
Next morning with an apprentice up, | Ransom ran the fastest trial of his career.
Faith’s heart went out to him. Descendant of a long line of illustrious ancestors, he was bred to run. Was he always to be an ignoble son, always a bum? Or was that fighting strain coming to life?
She drew a long breath.
“Tacky, let’s give him a chance.”
Tacky slid off the fence.
“I'll see Dicky Brant.”
Not a spectacular jockey, the veteran Dicky Brant was rated as thoroughly capable. He was an excellent judge of pace, never bothered his horse’s mouth, and could i be trusted to obey orders. The Carmody I stables had given him his first mount—some’ thing he had never forgotten. Tacky found ! him in his favorite poolroom.
“Dicky, would you take a mount for the ' Lombardy?”
“It’s Ransom. Miss Faith owns him now.” “She’s enterin’ Ransom for the Lombardy?” Brant rubbed his head with the butt of his cue. Jockeys have to listen to many a flight of fancy. “What are the Carmody stables hatchin’, Tacky? There’s a lot of talk goin’ round. Deer Fly is better than they think, eh?”
“He’s good. I think I can tell you where the rumors started. He and Ransom ran a match the other day and Deer Fly won by half a length, going up. The time was hot.” “It don’t add up to sense—Deer Fly and Ransom in the same race. But tell Miss Faith I’ll ride her horse for her—and I hope she hasn’t more than a dime on it.”
“Thanks, Dicky. Who will be favorites?” “Cheseldine, Kendal Green and Illusion. And that’s the way they’ll finish—barring Deer Fly. Got something up your sleeve, Tacky?”
Tacky recalled an old superstition of the track.
“Did you never hear.” he asked, “that some horses will run for a lady?”
Never was a horse watched over with more devotion than Ransom in the remaining days; and never a horse needed it less. A favorite pulled up lame; Ransom remained sound. Another refused his oats; Ransom refused nothing and looked for more. Deer Fly ran a temperature; Ransom remained as cool as a cucumber, and Mr. Carmody slept soundly while Faith tossed restlessly until dawn.
WEATHER clear, track fast. Tacky was early at the course and found Brant waiting for him outside the jockeys’ room.
“Miss Faith isn’t giving any orders, Dicky. You knoW Ransom as well as we do. Let him run his own race. There is a tender spot on his neck—keep off it.”
The jockey nodded.
“One thing more. Ransom hates Deer Fly like poison. It might be a good idea to lay him up where he can see him. That’s all. See you at saddling-up.”
Tacky went through the crowd in search of Faith. Mr. Carmody was also looking for Faith. She had been very quiet on the journey down. He had imparted to her some shrewd calculation on the merit of a certain chestnut gelding in the second race, but she had refused to bet and had gone off by herself.
He drew all her favorite haunts without success. Finally he found her sitting on an old bucket behind a row of boxes. She was as white as paper.
“What’s the matter, honey?”
She clutched his sleeve.
“Oh, dad, I’ve been a fool; such a fool! I thought we had a chance. Ransom was shaping so well I’d forgotten his record. I borrowed Tacky’s money for the note and the entry—all the money he had saved for college. Now he won’t be able to go—and his father worried so. Oh, I feel so wretched about it.”
The crowd had been unkind to Faith. She had gone among them humbly, seeking one small scrap of encouragement and been rebuffed. Each horse, be it ever so unlikely, had its supporters except hers. It was their derisive opinion that the presence of Ransom in the Lombardy was a stroke of humor, and under the impact of their
exuberant conviction her last despairing hope had vanished.
“It wasn’t the wisest thing to do.” said Mr. Carmody, “to borrow money to back a horse. I would rather you had come to me. But we’ll see about it later. They will be saddling-up now and you don’t want to miss the race. Have you bet?”
“I haven’t any more money. That’s why I didn’t back the chestnut.”
“Never mind. I backed him.” He closed her hand about some bills. “Play your fancy and get some fun out of the race.” Faith stood up and blew her nose with a small dismal toot. Her father went to see Deer Fly saddled, and she made her way to the nearest pari-mutuel window. She glanced at the list of starters, which she knew by heart, weights included. Around lier jostled the lady betters.
“Cheseldine, my dear. He’ll walk it.” “Cheseldine. Mr. Goldman always picks the winners and he told me in confidence. He knows all the big trainers, you know.” “Cheseldine,” said the lady two places forward.
“Cheseldine,” said the lady in front. Faith’s chin went up. A sudden anger with these silly, chattering creatures swept her. They knew all the winners, did they? “Ransom,” she said clearly, at the wicket.
T-TER FATHER was waiting under the -*• approximate odds board. Ransom had dropped from twenty to sixteen.
“Probably because Dicky Brant is riding him,” he commented. They joined Tacky on the rail.
“I couldn’t go to the paddock,” she whispered. “How did he look?”
“Sleepy,” said Tacky. “He was hungry, too. Here they come.”
Fragile, dancing, dynamic, the parade filed by, each small hoof put down as daintily as a hand by a joint as flexible as a wrist. Deer Fly had drawn number six. The big bay head of number seven was pulled down on his chest and his jockey was having difficulty holding him in line.
“He’s not sleepy now,” said Tacky.
It was a big field and there was trouble at the gate. The horses milled, crowding together. Deer Fly, always excited at the start of a race, was near to frenzy as he was shouldered and pressed upon. A horse blundered into his quarters and he lashed out with his heels. They were too close to do much damage, but the racing irons raked Ransom’s near leg. Instantly he reared above the black, but his jockey deftly swung him aside.
“What’s the matter with that horse?” yelled the starter. “Put him on the outside. ” The handlers gripped Ransom by the nose and whirled him, plunging and fighting, to the outside of the line. The big bay was thoroughly roused.
“Spang!” said the tapes.
A medley of bobbing heads, working boots and rippling flanks was flung across the track. Clods whizzed through the air. Haunches, fat with effort, fled away from them.
“He wasn’t left anyway,” cried Tacky. “Go it, you big red devil !”
“Go it, you big red devil,” repeated Faith in a small, dry voice.
The cloud of running horses diminished with distance, tilted with the tum and lengthened into profile. Mr. Carmody put up his glasses.
“Quadroon, Manatee, Cheseldine—well, it’s a long way round.”
It was all a merciful blur to Faith. She was one quaking prayer. She fixed her eyes on the quarter-mile post, and a smear of color and dust obliterated it. At the halfmile, she waited for them again. The manylegged troop had thrust out a pair of outriders, dropped a rearguard. Nowhere in the main body could she see a maroon cap over green and gold. Galloping furiously, so far behind that she overlooked him, was the forgotten man. He wore a maroon cap, and she passed quietly away. But the silks were not green and gold. She took up the burden of living again.
At the three-quarters, Mr. Carmody said
“Ah, good boy!” and Tacky uttered a wordless cry. Cleverly rated behind the three leaders and going well, with plenty in hand, was Deer Fly—and stride for stride with his stablemate, ran Ransom. For once the big bay had picked a trier. The angle of the track lumped them again, dosing out the hard-won daylight.
Into the small end of the stretch they shot, spreading across it like a mounting wave. The wave gathered itself and rolled on, growing in height and motion, until it suddenly split into bobbing units.
“Cheseldine!” roared the crowd.
Cheseldine was on the rail, ahead. Kendal Green and Illusion, both in distress, seesawed at his flank. Deer Fly with his nose pointed at the post, made his move. It was a supreme effort; the calculated, driving finish of a great thoroughbred. Kendal Green and Illusion fell away, whips flailing. Cheseldine, unable to meet the challenge, faltered and was beaten. They were all done, all but Ransom. He had fallen back for a moment and now he came on—flattened, nostrils flaring, the embodiment of speed and fury. There was no holding that drumming rush. He caught Deer Fly, lie strode at his girths, they were neck and neck. He had the heart and stamina to stay. Then Brant, making the ride of his life, took hold and with boot and hand and voice lifted him to the finish.
“Oh !” said the crowd and was silent.
The winning numbers went up.
Ransom, Deer Fly, Cheseldine.
“He’s clipped three-fifths of a second from the track record,” said Mr. Carmody, staring. “And by the lord, my horse made him do it!”
Tacky ran out to catch the whip.
Her father nudged Faith fiercely.
“Go down and lead him in. And thank your lucky stars the judges know his sire and dam.”
"DAITH drove Tacky to the station in her
new roadster. As they sped through the blue and gold of a September morning, she j reflected that she was going to miss Tacky.
“When you come back,” she said, “I’ll bet you know the Latin for giddap.”
“Your ignorance is refreshing,” said Tacky, already quite the college man. “Didn’t you know it was the Romans who invented the starting gate?”
The train was signalled and he dragged his shiny bags from the rumble seat. Faith felt dismal. He was going away to be surrounded by beautiful girls who would fall for him because they couldn’t help it. She looked at him hopefully.
“Next year, we’ll get a likely two-year-old and train him for the sprints,” he said. “Then we can have a regular campaign.”
“You bet we will.” She still looked hopeful.
“Well, g’by, Faith.” He stuck out his hand. “Thanks for the ride. If I write and let you know the date, will you come down for the First Year Ball?”
Faith’s face lit up. Tacky was a comfort. He always said the right thing, if you gave him time.
“I’ll be there with my hair in a curl. And in the meantime, Tacky, you stick to those books. There’s a mighty lot of information in books, and if we’re going to stay on the turf—and that’s where we’re going to stay—
-—we’ve got to know practically everything.”