He turned back to
fixing Rommel's lunch. "Did you notice the way I slipped the honey in,
specially," I told him.
"I warmed the
spoon so it would slide off quick. If you've got a nine till 5:30 job like me
and a kennelful of greyhounds as well, you find that every second
Joan Brennan had
come in behind us. "He's well used to that," she said. "He's a time
and motion man down in the Dungarvan leather factory. You ought to see the way
he has it all worked out. As he's driving home in the evening he whips his tie
off, and his cuff links, and he's wriggling out of his jacket before the
motor's switched off and rolling up his sleeves as he runs in through the door
to boil milk for the pups' tea. Honest to God, he's animal crazy. We went to
Dublin last summer for a fortnight's holiday and the first day he moped around,
the second day he took us to the zoo and the third day we were back in
Dungarvan. He said he'd go crazy if he had to stay in the city any longer."
Oddly, though, she didn't look as if she minded too much.
'way," said Michael. "You were as glad to be back as I was." He
turned to me. "Don't let her be codding you. She loves the dogs as much as
I do, watch her tomorrow night. If we couldn't have got a baby-sitter and she'd
had to stay home, she'd be listening for us coming back and have the front door
open the minute she heard the car, wild to know if we won. She feeds those pups
twice in the day and she exercises the racing dogs...."
time and motion here as well," said Mrs. B. "Do you know he's up every
morning at half-six and he's feeding and exercising the dogs and grabbing his
own breakfast. He takes 10 minutes to bolt his lunch and spends the rest of his
break on the dogs. Then in the evening he's up with them till midnight. We have
a long lie-in on Saturday mornings—till eight—and there's Mass on Sunday
morning, but the rest of the weekend...."
there's no racing on Sundays, you see," said Michael reasonably, "so it
gives you the chance to school and train the dogs and sort out the kennels and,
er, look after their nails, and so on."
It was time for
me to withdraw again. "Six-thirty tomorrow then," I said. "Rommel's
is the last race," Michael told me, "but we'll see the whole card. I've
got one or two ideas we might toy with."
looked at me as if she thought I ought to spend the intervening period in a
penitential hair shirt to make sure my baleful influence changed for the
better. "Three times in a row, he's won," she said significantly. I got
"I'm on your
side," I said sincerely.