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Goodreads rating: 4.67

Paperback, Published in Oct 2008 by Vincent Press

ISBN10: 144375255X | ISBN13: 9781443752558

Page count: 224

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTORY My sporting associate and occasional client, Mr. Patrick Murphy, opened the door Belfast Office about twelve inches, inched himself through the aperture, and seating himself on the extreme edge of a chair, regarded me anxiously. I had seldom seen him so serious. The humorous twinkle in his eye was quenched momentarily for the first time in our acquaintance. I suppose ye hadnt time since mornin to look intil that, he said, nodding his head towards a pile of manuscript on my desk. Im sorry to say I hid, Pat, I answered. In fact, I read it all through. An what might ye think av it he asked cautiously. I think well print it, Pat, said I. But I want to know first if its all your own. Every word av it, Misther Doyle, . he said. Who wrote it all out for you then, Pat I said. Its not in your hand surely Ye may swear that, he answered. I wasnt that long at school. Wait an Ill tell you the whole story I was strollin along the road at me aise wan Sathurday afthernoon last October, when I heard the tootin av a horn behind me. Pat, sez I to meself, Yed betther take to the ditch till that fellow gets by for the same ginthry is no ways particular who they run down, from a hen till a human bein. So I tuk in to the side av the road, an twas well I did. Round the corner wi a whizz comes a fellow on a motor bicycle, shoots clear av me be about six inches, gives a couple av bad wobbles, an round the nixt bend in a cloud av dust, lavin a stink behind him fit to throw a thrain off the lines. Bad luck to ye, an the whole breed av ye, sez I, stampin and spittin for youre the curse av dacint counthry people that the roads was made for. A bad end to you an your ould machine anyway. Twas only an idle word av mine, but ye niver seen an ill wish come sooner to roost. I wasnt more than a couple of hundhred yards furdher on till I come on him sittin in the ditch. He got up very shaky lookin as I come near him. beg your pardon, sir, sez he, very polite, but would you mind givin me a shove -I got off, sez he. I could see that. He had rowled over a couple av times on the road aftherwards, too but whin he said nothin about that, neither did I. The bicycle was lyin again the side av the ditch, stihkin away as busy as it could but there was a kind av a publichouse whiff in the air, too, that I couldnt well blame on it. I took a hard look at the fellow an give a sniff or two, an it come into me mind at he was no teetotaler. Me heart softened till him a bit. Its bad enough, thinks I, to be over- taken in drink wi a horse an cart but whin it comes to a mothor bicycle it must be the very divil. Come on then, sez I to the fellow. But if Id ha been you, I wouldnt ha got off. I dont know how ye got on at the start, but ye should ha kept at it. Up wi ye, So I gets the machine out av the ditch, grips the handle wi me left hand, and gives him a powerful shove wi the right. Away ye go sez I. But I was wrong. To this day I dont know what wint asthray but whin I riz out av the ditch me boy was lying undher the machine in the middle av the road. Up I gets, pulls the machine off him, an gets him on his feet. He was in a lamentable state wi dust an bits av sticks, an the sate av his breeches all soakin where the paraffin had a seeped out av the till tank. That was a bad start, sez he, lookin at me very sayrious. It was, sez I, mortial bad. But itll make a brave finish if yell let it...

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