“I’m just one hundred dollars better off than I was three minutes ago,” he said. “I’ve really had a most remarkable day.”
Mayfair was his choice for the fourth race, and she was selling at three to one. Van Bibber determined to put one hundred and seventy-five dollars up on her, for, as he said, he had not lost on any one race yet. The girl in the box was very interesting, though, and Van Bibber found a great deal to say to her. He interrupted himself once to call to one of the messenger-boys who ran with bets, and gave him one hundred and seventy-five dollars to put on Mayfair.
Several other gentlemen gave the boy large sums as well, and Van Bibber continued to talk earnestly with the girl. He raised his head to see Mayfair straggle in a bad second, and shrugged his shoulders. “How much did you lose?” she asked.
“Oh, ’bout two hundred dollars,” said Van Bibber; “but it’s the first time I’ve lost to-day, so I’m still ahead.” He bent over to continue what he was saying, when a rude commotion and loud talking caused those in the boxes to raise their heads and look around. Several gentlemen were pointing out Van Bibber to one of the Pinkerton detectives, who had a struggling messenger-boy in his grasp.
“These gentlemen say you gave this boy some money, sir,” said the detective. “He tried to do a welsh with it, and I caught him just as he was getting over the fence. How much and on what horse, sir?”
Van Bibber showed his memoranda, and the officer handed him over one hundred and seventy-five dollars.
“Now, let me see,” said Van Bibber, shutting one eye and calculating intently, “one hundred and seventy-five to three hundred and fifty dollars makes me a winner by five hundred and twenty-five dollars. That’s purty good, isn’t it? I’ll have a great dinner at Delmonico’s to-night. You’d better all come back with me!”
But She said he had much better come back with her and her party on top of the coach and take dinner in the cool country instead of the hot, close city, and Van Bibber said he would like to, only he did wish to get his one hundred dollars up on at least one race. But they said “no,” they must be off at once, for the ride was a long one, and Van Bibber looked at his list and saw that his choice was Jack Frost, a very likely winner, indeed; but, nevertheless, he walked out to the enclosure with them and mounted the coach beside the girl on the back seat, with only the two coachmen behind to hear what he chose to say.