Driving Force

By Dick Francis

New York Times bestselling grand grasp of crime fiction

Jockey Freddie Croft discovers a high-stakes conspiracy that exposes the seedy underside of horse-racing-and faces deadlier odds of survival than in any steeplechase run.

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Reckoning that every one strong horse humans through that point will be away from bed, I phoned Jericho Rich’s daughter and advised her that her delivery used to be rolling and she or he must have her new horse along with her through the following night, quickly after 8 o’clock, if that may swimsuit her. “So quickly? What carrier! ” she exclaimed. “Did you ship that groom—Dave, is it? —that my father prompt? ” “Not Dave, yet anyone nearly as good. ” “Oh, good, nice. thanks. ” “A pleasure,” I stated, that means it. And that’s what it was once: a excitement to get a neat activity performed and greater than fulfill consumers. one other more-than-satisfied client at that second drove into the farmyard in a jeep from which each and every convenience were stripped by means of time and difficult utilization. Marigold English, back in simple outfits and woolly hat, jumped out of her automobile virtually earlier than it had stopped rolling and appeared approximately her for symptoms of lifestyles. I went out to fulfill her. “Morning, Marigold. How are you settling in? ” “Hello, Freddie. consider as though I’ve lived the following for hundreds of years. ” Her smile got here and went. Her voice, as regularly, used to be geared to the deaf. “I’m on my means as much as the Downs yet i presumed I’d simply name in for a short notice. I phoned your home yet a few lady acknowledged you have been the following. ” “My sister,” I acknowledged. “Oh, convinced? good, glance, what are you aware approximately this John Tigwood and a few type of historical horse retirement scheme? the man desires to rope me in. What do I do? inform me frankly. nobody can overhear you. supply! ” I gave it to her as frankly as appeared prudent. “He’s a committed type of guy who persuades lots of people around right here to offer previous horses reliable houses. Michael Watermead’s taking of the recent batch we dropped at Pixhill the day past. So is Benjy Usher, except Dot places her significant foot down. There’s no damage in it, if you’ve acquired room and grass. ” “Would you assert certain to him, then? ” “It’s a customary charity in Pixhill. ” i assumed for a second and acknowledged, “Actually, certainly one of this new lot is a horse I used to experience in the past. a superb performer. an exceptional blood brother. may possibly you ask John Tigwood to allow you to have that specific horse? His name’s Peterman. If you’d feed him oats usually to maintain him fit and hot, I’ll pay for them. ” “So there’s a delicate center inside of there! ” she teased me. “Well . . . he gained races for me. ” “OK, I’ll mobile this Tigwood and provide the deal. Peterman, did you are saying? ” I nodded. “Don’t point out the oats. ” She gave me a slanted look of pleasant enjoyment. “One of those days your solid deeds will locate you out. ” She sped again to the jeep, revved up the engine and tore one other millimeter off the tire treads. Out of the place there may well as soon as were a window she yelled as she rolled ahead, “My secretary will touch yours approximately Doncaster. ” I shouted thank you which she most likely didn’t listen above the whine of historic gears. i assumed she will be strong for Pixhill and was hoping she may prosper. quite a few drivers got here to paintings and went into the canteen. Harve’s account of my nocturnal stories had all of them coming outside back, gaping, wearing espresso mugs and analyzing me as though I have been by some means unreal.

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