Saturday, 30 April 2011

More Cart Racing

Jennospot 24  More Cart Racing

Ave yew ever been in a cart-race? Oi mean a real honest-ter-goodness, no-'olds-barred cart-race? Well no more 'adn't Oi until the day we 'ad this race down the Mountain Glide. Peter St John wrote about it in "Gang Rivalry", wot 'as jus' been put out on Amazon Kindle. Oi din't do too badly fer a beginner. Jus' as good as wot Peter did any'ow. Moi bruvver Braces were roight miffed about it 'cos Oi were racin' fer the Mob in 'is cart instead of 'im.  This is 'ow it began:

The Mob team appeared through the bushes with JJ at its head. Itchyprick and Stinky were there, together with Braces, Jenno and a couple of others. They had four carts.
‘We're racing three carts,’ said Roy.
‘Wot's the matter?’ said JJ ‘Yew blind or just plain scared? Oi c'n see four carts there.’
‘You didn't tell me you were going to be racing,’ whispered Winnie to me.
Roy challenged them only this morning— that's why,’ I replied.
‘The blue one's mine,’ said Winnie.
‘So wot?’ retorted JJ. ‘It c'n race can't it? Or is a dainty little girlie like yew scared yew might dirty yer pretty little dress?’
Winnie drew herself up—which was not saying much—she was even shorter and much rounder than I was.
‘I'm not scared to race. And I'm not scared of you either. I know some interesting things about you, John Jay, that your mother would be interested to know too. So you'd better speak politely to me or just shut your big mouth.’
JJ blinked and looked at the ground a moment.
‘Winnifred can't race, she's not a— ’ began Roy.
 ‘I think she can race,’ I cut in. ‘She's got a terrific cart. Besides, she helped us with the— with our project.’
It was Roy's turn to blink.
‘We've got four carts,’ said JJ. ‘So 'ave yew. If yew don't race yer four against ours we'll just say to everyone that yew chickened out.’
‘Yeah,’ said Jenno. ‘She's a girl, so she oughta have a chance to race.’
‘Reenie's racing for us,’ countered Roy.
‘Yeah— but she's big.’
‘And so is JJ,’ I said. ‘That makes us equal— or isn't he racing?’
‘Oi'm racin,’ growled JJ.
‘Are you racing Jenno?’ asked Roy.
Jenno shook her head.
‘Then kindly keep out of this,’ said Roy.
‘Aren't there any girls racing for the Mob?’ I asked mildly, knowing full well that Jenno was the only girl from the Mob present.
Roy seized on this: ‘Winnie can race if there's a girl on your team.’
‘Oi'll race,’ volunteered Jenno at once.
JJ didn't like this: ‘Braces is racin'— yew've never raced in yer life.’
‘Neither has Winnie,’ I said. ‘That makes our teams equal.’
Roy and JJ were perplexed. I took advantage of it: ‘Hands up all those in favour of Jenno and Winnifred racing.’
Everybody put up a hand except Roy, JJ, Braces and Dismal.
‘Ten in favour,’ I declared. ‘Any abstentions?’ Braces and Dismal put up a hand. ‘Two against and two abstentions. Motion carried.’
Winnie and Jenno grinned at me. I grinned back.
‘In that case,’ said Roy, ‘I want a contest of three races, the winner being the team with the lowest aggregate.’
‘Wot's that?’ asked JJ.
‘What's what?’
‘Lowest agga— wot you said.’
‘It means,’ said Jenno, before Roy could reply, ‘that the winner of each of three races scores one point— the second two and so on; wiv him or her wot comes last countin' eight. Yew add all up the points fer each team and the team wot 'as the lowest score at the end wins. Loike that everybody wot is in the race scores— got it?’
‘Won't we need a starter?’ asked Reenie. ‘We need to be alternately Mob and Lot on the start line. How about someone from the Mob to start us?’
JJ nominated Braces. He looked pretty sour about it, but that was probably because his sister was racing his cart instead of him.
Braces took a stick and traced a long line across the track at the top of the zigzag. The track was wide enough at that point to take the eight carts side by side. It rapidly narrowed down, however, to where it would only take three or at a pinch four, here and there, mainly on the bends. There would, in consequence be a fine old scramble at the start to be ahead before the track narrowed.

 ("Gang Rivalry" Chapter 8 – Amazon Kindle
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