Chapter 88383569

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter TitleTHE CONSPIRATORS.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88383569
Full Date1908-08-01
Page Number46
Corrections0
Word Count3040
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleChronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954)
Trove TitleHugh Colredge's Race
article text

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? aha' popular lit ndlbrd. s^i'&S-4i'^Di&*'/r'**B* ^dsothey.-wer*qjuiteMDnfi;*Utlii^ctifc-'1 ^versation tw» cametjUin^n -;Jpj^tane:tlia.t {sometime sank vto 4 iyhiM^Teveii. ^ i ', (fat'iaft earn -«a #iifltin£* the landlo*a

'was saying. ; 'Nobo^y^'round 'ere knows ?you iriucjiv' £ 'dotf fc'ifcuppoSe' you've; beetiib 'Oiley wore than Mree or four times, ,Wl ?tola/? .-?-?'?*?.-'' '?I; -?'-???'.. ? ? AT.- ? ? '??'.???t.i- ? '^i^/'reiiaM3ced-aiefireoiBffMr;idttt!B. I'l&xet Sine \t^6oro& to aee you '-was over that cup-tie affair. Three months ago to day; tfaaf'^Bs/': -And lie ^arised-.tliff ,re muuBcenceu'with a. -steady puU from tbe generous mug f-f beer before him. : '*¥efc Tommy, aa' Very nicely you .worked that, , too,' returned his host. ;'1Sou'-tc been -Very, useful to me aeyferal timeSj and I 'ope I ain't ungraceful to yer. Tjoirrfcp . r»m ' 1 irivp *at- for flint, didn't ?! T

? 'And very nice,' too — and worth It. Thk last ?wps an-aiterihouijht; ? 'HJuite lyarth it.' -But' this., job 6f...whicu weVc speaking- now will mean a fiver more ;thaii tkatrrflrowding, qf --bourse, that every thing's; earned out jsatisfactory like. .'Its like this.' Whit Monday's sports day 'ere, and as a sportsman'— and the wopd seemed . to give him peculiar satisfaction, and he said it twice-r'as ---a . sportsman, I'm in'- ierested ia a}l the events, and especially ip terpsted in. one partic'lar one— the . open

mile. ? ?- -r :. Mr. Little nodded his rather untidy head. 'Yes?'' he renwked. 'Yea/' the landlord went on, 'I've got a bit on. most of 'em, and a. big bit against one— it don't matter ? '-m much, but it's tnor' 'an I can afford to lose. Now, Ira very much afraid I'm against the -wrong irian, a young chap called Colredge. A fortnight ago when I took the T-et I give four to one against 'im, but now I ear that 'e's come on ivonderful and that Je'8 boiind to finish among the first three— ui fact it wouldn't be no great surprise if 'e was to come in first.' 'Then I understand,' said Mr. Little, 'that you want to make it impossible for thfe — this what's 'is name to win?' he said. 'You 'ave it in once. Tbmmy. my lad,' replied the landlord. 'I can't afford to s»e Coh«dp^ romp 'ome, and so trc-^-that's you an' me— 'ave got to do something to stop 'im Javjng the chance.' 'We 'ave,' agreed Tommy, visions of the t^'eihtv-nve sovereigns that were to be his doubtless floating before his mental vision; 'we 'ave, but wot?' J ?... 'Well, first of all ifs got to be some thing .,tha* won't incriminate me, and se nnnri it'c crnt. tn \vf TMWfieFlJ — T1D Violence,

d'ver understand?.' Mr, Little drummed his fingers idly on the table. Then he laughed— a hoarse, been' sort of laugh. ... '^ . 'If a all verv well for' you to look after number one,' he said, 'but wot about me? However, let's 'ear your idea, guv nor, '?Gh, .you'll be all right if you keep your head, Tommy,' replied Smith. Besides, he added, 'you don't expect I m goin to pay you £2.5 for a job that any ordinary man could do. do you?' ? The subtle flattery pleased Little. 'Well, no, not exactly.' he said, 'but, but ? 'But you'd like to know more about. it. Now you're talking sense. Just listen, to me, then. You can drive a motor, can't you?' ? ? Mt. Thomas Little admitted that he

could. 'Very well, then. Nojv, I've just bought a secondhand car from Martin's at Southam. It will be ready by Monday morning, and I want you to go there and fetch it for me. I'll, give you a note to Mr. Martin.' 'Yes, but what's all that, to do with the other idea?' interrupted Little. 'Everythinor.' returned the landlord quietly.' 'You get the car just before they close at 1. Takin' things easy— it's not mor' 'an ten miles by road from Southam to 'OxJey — you can be 'ere about 2, and the mile ain't run till 3.' 'Weil?' said Little. 'Very good. 'Aving previously removed the back number plate on the car, and 'aving put on motor goggles and a false moustache' (Mr. Little was clean shaved), 'you drive up to the sports ground, leave the car out of sight just round the Southam road, and come on to the ground very up

set line ana asu tor jyir. uoireage. opm 'im some sort of yarn and get 'im aboard. The' rest I leave to you.' Mr. Thomas LittJe whistled eoft3y to him self. 'Oh, so that's the game, is it?' he said, ?you mean I'm to ? ' 'Exactly,' remarked his friend drily, closing one eye as he spoke. 'Wot a won derful brain you 'ave.'

CHAPTER II.— KIDNAPPED. Unquestionably «porte' .day was the day of days, not only in Hosley itself, i-ut also in ^all the heighbormo1 vuiagets. '' People came to the quaint little country town almost as a. matter of course; They knew they could depend -upon se'eine, plenty of good and exciting. sport, ifor-fioxley -was the. Whit Monday rendezvous of all .the best athletes of the county,, as well ae of many from' further, afield. -K_ So by half-past 1 there was-quite a big crowd on the ground, and by 2, ..when, the first event' was timed to take place, the numbers had reached well over. fifteen hun dred people. One of the first to arrive at the dressing-, rooms set apart for the competitors waa: Hugh Colredge. He had a heat in the half-mile at 2 o'clock. Eighteen years old, and almost ideally built for running, Hugh immediately claimed attention when he' came out of the pavilion in answer to the starter's warning bell. Erom -the top of his red head to the soles of his neat feet he looked an athletei There was not an ounce of superfluous fat on him; his calves looked as hard as iron and as firm a§ a rock, 'land his whole body had that beautifully 'clean' look about it that is common 'to all who taboo excess of any kind and lead a healthly. manly, outdoor life. That he was as sound in wind as he ob viously was in limb was soon evident. Right from the start. of his heat he took the lead, running easily and with a delightfully rhyth mic motion he came in ail easy winner; He had nothing more oh till 3, _.when the open mile came on; so. like the sensible being he was. he wpnt back to the dressing room in order to get his light overcoat, for althcugh the day was pleasantly warm nnd summer-like, he recognised how. foolish jt. would be to stand about in thin running things and .a blazer only. . . . The competitors' 'rooms opened out at the back of the grandstand (they were built underneath |t)i' .and they, were practically deserted when ne went 4n. , ; ^lavitig donned ,1ub Overcoat Hugh was coming out again when Mr. Thomas little, admirably 'disguised as * chauffeur, ac costed bim. .?-????:? '? ? ' ???-:. :?;

?mm 5' r-^Pp your fath^'|sUvs £5$ comeTOUnd a. corner t©£- jiharpiM:e,J«ftaTre'waB on top tot: '*4m before I coula^pull Mi*' fP*$&£«?ffl: when he ipokeTiiis YQiise^mta strained, hjarshj ''andT.dry; . '? ? - ?'?'.? ?' -'^- ??' '-5^- ? \_-'l- am afield Ae .p,.. «r f T^jlied;^ Laffik. He '.Was certainly --doing J^^s^-.vBryr..'well indeed, and. jbe 4*t just v the ; proper ? in flexion into^iie jjroice. i, ? , , - - i ^jMn take, jne^tolim asjfasfriiwr you $**k . Kufl the boy, without 'a moment's hesitation. _.' ;' . , . , : .Mr. Colredge per© was tie manager .of the local bank At Norton, * busy little town some ,,ten miles from Hoxley, jn the opposite direction to Southam. and Hugh was his junior .clerk . there. \ : jbere was a venr ^etrbng bond of sym pathy between father and son, for. their tastes were :in .many -ways 'similar ones. Both were- very teen on all sorts of ath letics, for one thing, and Mr. Colredge's latest Craze, was inotor-bicycling. Hugh hadn't asked Mr. Litfle how the accident to his father had happened, but he imagined to himself as they whirled along to Norton that, the car must have xun down Mb father and his bicycle as he w*fr.0JrTnis way to Hoxley and the sports. Wishing to be left alone to his thoughts, the boy had taken bis seat in the back of the car, leaving Little to himself on the i front seat. For the first five minutes or

so tney went along smoothly and well, but then their pace began to slacken gradually. - . 'What's the matter?' cried Hugh after the driver had pulled first one lever and then another without apparently having succeeded in increasing the speed. . 'For heavens sake do hurry up, man.' * 'Sorry, sir,' said Little, ever bis shoul der. Tm doing my best, but I'm afraid ehe must have got ? a bit damaged in the collision. Shell go better in a minute when we get on the flat.' Once more on level ground they certainly did go better, and it was not long before they passed the 'half-way' signpost— .Norton, five rhilee.' .? Tlirjee. minutes later the distance iad been decreased bv another mile nnd. .ivitii flip

car now going excellehtly, it was not loiig before they had come within sight of She four cross roads, which are just two miles irom Norton. ? ?? i- Then they stoped suddenly and without any warning; ' : ?'. ? :; Mr. Little got down and did eomethroa to the engine, after which he resumed Tus seat. _ i .. : -? 'I think we'll go all right now sir/' lie remarked cheerful!}'. . But there was apparently still something wrong, for the car somehow did not start. He tried to make her go for a few moments and then be addressed Hugh. '?' ^If ycu wouldn't mind getting out and givih' *er a 6hov« be'ind, sir, she^d go; if a a start she wants.' -^ ? '?? ? Unsuspecting, Hugh hopped out of the car and proceeded to push from behind;' ? Suddenly the motor gave a start, went forward at a smart pace, and before the boy quite realised what was happening it was disappearing in' a -cloud of 3uBt round the left-hand cross road. '.. CHAPTER HI.— A RACE TO EACa Mr. Colredge had been unavoidably and unexpectedly detained at home after lunch, and instead of'being able to start for Hoxley about 2 as he intended.- ~ond thus

be there in. comfortable time to see »is. son run in the race of the day at 3, he was something like 45' minutes late ni get tinc: off. _ ? ? . - Even with his motor-cycle going at its utmost speed the whole time the odds against his covering; the ten miles which separated the bank from the sports' ground in 16 minutes were very big; but, always : an optimist, he cheerily set out. determined in his own mind that only an accident to I his machine should prevent him 'doing it. I The road between Norton and Hoxley was. except for one slight incline, level 1 or else slightly downhill, and this was one I distinct point in his favor. Another was i that practically all the young and active ) people were at thp snorts, and «o tTipri» ;

was no traffic which might prove a i hindrance to him. j So he ''let her rip' immediately on : mounting. In two minutes he had passed : the first milestone, and 90 seconds later he was in sight of the four cross-roads which marked his second mile 'out.' So far hr had met no one; but as he ap proached the cross-roads, he saw a pedes trian hurrying alona: towards him. As they neaped each other Mr. Colredge sounded his horn several times, and the fijjure moved to the eide of the road. Then they, crossed, j and though ihe' glimpse that, each caught of the other was only momentary, fche re cognition was mutual. '- ? , '?;??? Father! '^ed Etugh in a startled tone. Mr. Colredge immediately slut off Bis .; motive power and applied his brakes, but' before he 'had come' to a standstill his son j had turned round an'd caught him up. -In reply, to 'T»is, father's first- question, Hugh briefly and somewhat breathlessly explained his presence oh the road. A dastardly ..plot, that's clear,'' ex claimed the quidc-witted bank manager. : 'But we may defeat it vet.' He looked at the 'watch -fixed.. -to his handlebars. ''Eight miles to Kn and 12 minutes to do it in.

Huara, wen try it. liet auoara.' The cycle bad one of those racks behind the driver's seat for carrying parcels;, and here Hugh -took his place, holding on primly to the saddle in front of ? him, oria loot resting on Ihe back step, the other daneling just clear of the ground. ? i With a' two hundred yai'ds' etretch : slightly downhilJ. the maebine got a: :'good start, and, despite -^ts double load, was eoon humming alonjrin great style, ' ' j But the first mile took them two minutes. ? and Hugh, who kept glancing anxiously at^ the little timepiece in front of him. cal- I cukted to himself that -unless his father could get a bit more speed out of her that j their race aK«inst the clock would hjj use less after all. Mr, Golredgfi realised this, too, but still he kept his bike just within its .utmost power. He wanted to have a litile extra bit in hand for a final rushing effort' if necessary. ?., ? . . J3ix miles : to coyer, and ei«rht.a«d a half minutes to do it in now!, Was it possible?' That was the question in the mind of eaclu They were simply flying along now, abso lutely, annihilating space, and tlie sensation was extraordinary, exciting, and exhilarat ing. Objects by' the ^roadside were ±p all intents and purposes uhseealjle. , Luckily the road itself was. absolutely clear,' how- i ever, anq' so they hhd nothing $o: tio but to keep in t;he iniddle, sit,.tight; iand^let the machine dp ips best. ,,,,/ ,-;'?' . Ppth' Jiaipl given' up waid3in4^he^inie by now, and it w'wIonly.MrfCdfredgeyiinow: edge of tte road 'm&£ in'at enltilfid- bun k).ca!cu)ijte whiff tb7'lfet lier #&' ;-*; ' T^tTxtra!1)ifkbf:^ee4-wMc^iiM been kept in reserve just pulled them through, j

heard the harsh claigdf a' bell-^-the started wrninff'te^e-fipeniitofleV^f' ?-?; . -. ?..'??. ';3!ie*ik^, panting ftom it« exertions, was' n»w running by its own impetus, Tvith the. brakes half on. Just before they reached the gate Hugh slid off iis seat, flung his coat and blairer to his father, and next mo ment war dashing towards' the Btartini pjamt.' r.-- ,??:??'.'.?.. .-?' -; -*'-?' ''?? ^T- '? _.i&ll the other runners had began to take their positions when he arrived there birt beyond a glance at ;the late-sonier ndthing *?* ? ?^v v^bably »one Imew anything of what had befallen him during the last 'hour..;' _? ' ?.?' ??- ???-?' ?'? '?-,'??.'.' ? '^fe' Sanr Brown, in ibis comfortable seat in the grand stand, was dumfounded. Hera was the youngster he had seen (from a con venient and obscure jpost of vantage), 'kid- napped by that crafty and hithertoVwholly dependable vilkin; Mr. Little, actually go ing to run after all! Wiat could have happened to make this possible. Certainly fle would hai'e a hard reckoning: with Mr. Little presently. But tfle-ace had .begun now, and the landlord of the Black Swan, dismissed Mr. Little and lis neghgence from his mind in the excitement aroused by the contest. rt ? lerS ^ere ^ne runaers, and of all these Hugh Colredge ;got off the mark worst. No floubt ins ^te adventures- were to Wame ' tor this, for a great mental and a great physical strain, both within one hour, do not constitute the best preparation for a big race. ~ v Gradually, however, bis reserve' energy came to hii assistance, and he began to fto^ycreePHU, the front. At tlie end ot the first Jap he was running fourth: at the end of the second, third: and whrin the bell rang for the- last lap he was only four yards behind the leader and favorite, Knux. Then the -duel began in real earnest. Knox was an experienced runner: he had got the lead and the inside of the track, and he meant to keep each. But Hugh had more vitality and was better- trained tuaa his older opponent. Inch by inch he gained on Knox. Now he was only three yards behind; now two; now by a great -effort 'he .had gained another- foot. The excitement was terrific. Could-, the popular county champion shake off his com paratively * unknown antagonist, or would the . red-haired, youngster .get ;in fipont ? '' .Now tbeyi had: only a yard' between them! Both men were sprid'ting'fpr all they were worth, Hugh with bis' head weH thrown back and his mouth slightly open. A hundred yards mars, arid both men al most abreast! Never had there been euch' a race in Hoxley! .' : -? , ;. '?. , And then Jtnox suddenly did a very, foolish thing. He just glanced backwards over hiii shonidp.r

That gave Hugh. his chance, and like a flash be iras in front, and three seconds later had touched the. tape, six inches in advance of the champion! Of «mrse, the, stoiy of Hugh's 'kidnap- ping' and Mr. Colredge's wonderful feat ui getting him back in time for the race «oon got noised abroad, and th« youug : bank clerk had a great reception when lie went up to get his prize after the sporta were over. Mr. Brown was not present -at this func tion, however, and there was more than might meet the, casual eye in his remark to a friend that he had' ad enoligii of races for one day.' — 'The. Scout.'