there's no money for 'em if they all bet on the same dog. Well, anyway, let's go'n' eat up the food."
They went slowly through the trees to the place where they had left the refreshments. It was empty of refreshments. Every cake, every bottle had disappeared. In their place was a piece of paper bearing the words :
" Thank you very much from us all for a good tea.
" Hubert Lane."
" Hope it poisons 'em," said Henry viciously.
But William's blood was up. It was a relief to be able to concentrate his bitterness upon a concrete enemy.
" Come on," he said tersely, " let's catch 'em up. Prob'ly they're still somewhere in the wood."
But they weren't. William, Ginger and Henry, lusting for the Hubert Laneites' blood, scoured the wood from end to end and even searched all the roads leading to Hubert Lane's house. There was no trace of the Hubert Laneites, but from an upper window in Hubert Lane's house they were rewarded by the sight of Hubert Lane making triumphant jeering grimaces at them and licking his lips suggestively. They pretended not to see him and returned morosely to the racecourse.
" Fancy that happ'nin' on the top of everythin' else," said William, " jus' as if it wasn't enough the whole race goin' wrong like that."
It seemed to the Outlaws that sometimes Fate lacked artistic restraint in her effects.
There were no traces of the greyhounds on the racecourse, but Douglas was there. He had managed to elude his pursuers and was breathless and indignant.
" No wonder you wanted me to do the bettin' part," he said bitterly. " I don't wonder you all shoved it