“Well, I think it’s a bloody stupid idea.” Bob took off his cap as he went through the door, and shook off the snow. Both he and Fat John stamped their boots loudly on the doormat, which was already soaked from other men doing the same.
“Come on Bob, man. Cheer up. At least this way we get to place a bet.” The snow had lain thick on the ground since the turn of the new year, and things had become desperate. No horse racing for weeks, and no sign of it coming back anytime soon.
“It’s not like betting on the horses is it, though?” Bob joined Fat John at the big table in the middle of the Bookie’s.
“Place your bets gents, they’re off in two minutes.”
“Two bob each way on number five please, Doris.” Fat John laid his money down.
“Half a crown, number three.” Bob muttered.
“And they’re off!” Doris called as she lifted the wooden barrier from the tiny traps at the end of the table. The mice emerged, slowly at first, startled by the overhead lights. Then, seeing the men crowded round, they bolted in all directions. None of them went in a straight line. Within seconds the men were hurtling after the mice, trying desperately to catch the precious thoroughbreds.
“I told you it was a bloody stupid idea.” Bob said, cradling number three in his cap