THE NEW GAME
still further in the matter, " Jumble's not exactly a greyhound either so it's prob'ly quite all right."
The first difficulty was to find a race track. They finally decided on an open space in the wood near William's home.
" We'll let 'em out at this tree," said William with a business-like air, " an' let 'em run to that tree. That'll be the winnin' post an' Ginger 'll stand there with a note-book puttin' down which comes first."
" S'pose they catch the mouse before they get to this tree," objected Ginger.
" The hare ? " said William coldly. " They never do that, I don't think. Anyway," optimistically, " we won't let 'em do that. And Henry will see to the bettin'."
" I don't know how to," said Henry. " I've never done it. How do you do it ? "
Henry's helplessness and lack of initiative seemed to irritate William.
" It's quite easy," he said. " You—you sort of stand with a note-book an' say ' bet you a penny Jumble wins' or ' bet you a penny that the other one wins ' to everyone, and if they take it on put down their names in the note-book."
" An' if Jumble wins the ones that said he wouldn't give me a penny ? "
" An' if he doesn't I give 'em a penny ? "
" I s'pose so."
" Where do I get it from ? "
" You get it from the pennies that the people who don't win the bets give you."
Henry considered this for some minutes in silence, then said :
" Let Douglas do that part an' I do somethin' else."
" All right," said William coldly. "It's ever so easy, Douglas."
" An' who'll come to the race ? " demanded Ginger.