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We drifted into small talk, about the weather, about the track, about the race. The old man's name was Cosgrove.
"Mr. Cosgrove," Larry said, "we're going to level with you. We have hitchhiked down here from Massachusetts to see this race, and now we have no money to buy tickets. I wonder if you would let us in."
"I couldn't do that, boys."
"But in two or three minutes if I was to unlock this gate here and then step over to my shack there to grab a cigarette and you were to move inside real quick and then just disappear, say over toward that low gray building which is the track kitchen, well then, there wouldn't be much I could do, would there?"
Two minutes later he unlocked the gate.
"God bless you," Larry said.
"Don't bet Candy Spots," he whispered. "Shoemaker can't ride this track."
Once we got inside, Larry had delusions. Just because we were wearing madras jackets and he was carrying a newspaper under his arm he thought we looked like owners. He insisted that we walk up and down all the rows of stables, nodding to the sleepy grooms and saying things like, "Well, this is the big one." He even patted a couple of horses on the head.