Orrin Crear worked as a stable hand at a ranch that produced champions. He had a gift for choosing winners. Bookies paid him money for tips on horses.
“Crear was always right.” They said.
Cash Dakuten was a breeder who travelled the world looking for the best. One foal in his stable was born with a deformed rear foot. He ordered Orrin to put him down. Instead, Orrin signed paper and paid two-dollars for the cripple. Orrin named the colt Tripod. Each day he would walk Tripod then after cooling him down he’d massage his foot and rub Hyjonda Conqueror’s root on his leg. At night he would pray to Saint Lazarus.
“Don’t you worry none, just let Saint Lazarus do his work,” Orrin purred.
As a yearling, Orrin started trotting Tripod. In another three months, Tripod was cantering. At By the end of the season, he was ready to run on the track.
“He rides like the wind. I shouldn’t say anything, but your hoarse is the spitting image of the one Cash Dakuten’s got. He finds out you got him, he’ll be down here to steal him from you,” Phil the jockey warned.
“I bought him fair and square from Mr. Dakuten for two dollars on the barrel head. I got a bill of sale signed by him. He can think what he wants. Tripod ain’t for sale!” Orrin said.
“I heard last year he goes down to Brazil and buys two horses different from salt and pepper. Zeus is four years old and won no race he’s been in. He earned seven hundred and change the first year he runs. I hear Cash buys him for twelve hundred dollars. The other horse he buys named Jupiter, a world-class sprinter. A winner of seven out of eight this year. He lost by a nose to Starlight, the Pan American Champion his last time out. He plunks down eighty-five thousand dollars and has both shipped back here. The thing most people find odd is those horses are identical.”
That night Cash was on a ship headed to New York. He sent a cable to Ziggy Franks, a has-been trainer who gets a Western Union Check for Ten thousand dollars. Franks hooks up with a multi-millionaire named Justine Calloway, who lives in Bayshore, NJ. He arranges the sale, sight unseen for two-hundred and fifty thousand bucks. They shipped both horses to Calloway’s farm. The night both horses arrive, Jupiter dies of croup. Before they report it to the insurance company, they whisked away Jupiter to the dog food factory. Calloway collects on a two-hundred-thousand-dollar insurance policy.”
What happened to the other horse… Zeus?” Orrin asked.
Part two of story tomorrow: Zeus
This is a month long journey with the A to Z challenge. Each day the letter is the prompt for my short stories themed: “Thirty Ways to Kill …”
And keep on the lookout for my upcoming novel – “Lifeblood of the Dragon.” Lifeblood is set in the seedy alleys of post-war Los Angeles. The morgue is full more often than not. Cameo appearances by the well known gangster Mickey Cohen and his goons.
Way to end the month! Definitely tuning in tomorrow for the rest!
Just dropping in,
A fellow A to Z challenge taker!