Dick Francis's Gamble by Felix Francis

By Felix Francis

One of many youngest winners of the Grand nationwide, Nick “Foxy” Foxton suffered a near-fatal harm that lower brief his occupation. Years later, he’s out for an afternoon on the Grand nationwide races while his colleague, Herb Kovack, is shot at point-blank variety correct in entrance of him. just like the police, Nick is baffled: Why could somebody kill such an it appears light soul?

Then Nick reveals a threatening word within the useless man’s coat, and he starts off to doubt how good he fairly knew his good friend. And on studying that Herb named him beneficiary in his will, Nick wonders why he’s been entrusted with the legacy. is that this a beneficiant reward from a chum, or is it, in truth, a poisoned chalice?

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As a writer, I know how the right bad word at a crucial moment can purge ugly emotions and relieve emotional tension. As a guy who has been forced to struggle to survive almost as long as he has been alive, I also know that no word—even a really, really bad word—can prevent a blunt object from splitting your skull if it is swung with enthusiasm and makes contact. So having been driven to my knees by the second blow, and with my skull ringing as though the hunchback of Notre Dame were inside my head and pulling maniacally on bell ropes, I said the bad word, but I also lunged forward as best I could and grabbed my assailant by the ankles.

But I doubted that anyone patrolling the beach would have been able to catch sight of me in the deepening gloom. Nevertheless, when not throwing myself headlong into trouble and leaping off piers, I am a prudent young man. I suspected I would be wise to ascend farther into the webwork of wood. In some cozy high redoubt, I would roost until the thugs decided that I had drowned. When they went away to raise a toast to my death in whatever greasy barroom or opium den their kind frequented, I would safely go ashore and return home, where Hutch would be washing his face in sanitizing gel and waiting for the tsunami.

I propped the flashlight on his chest. Because his head was raised on a mound of sand, the bright beam bathed him from chin to hairline. If something like Godzilla woke in a Pacific abyss and decided to come ashore to flatten our picturesque community, this guy’s face would dissuade it from a rampage, and the scaly beast would return meekly to the peace of the deeps. With the fog-diffused lights of town to guide me, I slogged across the wide beach. I did not proceed directly east. Perhaps Flashlight Guy had told the pier crew that he was on the shore due west of some landmark, by which they could find him.

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