THE NEW GAME 53
o2 on to me. I'm jus' about wore out with it all. I can't think what people see in bettin'."
When he heard of the latest catastrophe his gloom changed to consternation.
" Gosh ! " he said, aghast. " Jus' to think of it. Me wearin' myself out sawin' wood an' earnin' money for him—for that Hubert Lane."
" Let's go home, anyway," said William. " I've had enough of it all."
" If only he'd done a bit of sawin' for it, but gettin' it all for nothin' like that, stealin' it. ..."
"There's that dog," said Ginger, suddenly, "that dog we borrowed. We'd better be takin' him back."
At that moment Jumble and a fox-terrier came leaping through the trees.
William seized the fox-terrier and inserted a grimy handkerchief through his collar.
Douglas looked at him with distaste.
" Can't think what they wanted—all bettin' on him ! " he said.
" Come on," said William impatiently. They went out of the wood and down the road to the house from which they had taken the dog. Ginger kept looking at the dog thoughtfully. They crept in by the back gate, which was still open, and fastened the dog to the chain. Then they came out and hurried down the road. Ginger was still very thoughtful.
" Where are we goin' now ? " said Douglas.
"Back to the wood," said William. "I've left the bits of the mouse there. I bet I could mend it all right. An' I bet if we trained Jumble a bit he'd be able to race after it all right. It was only that he didn't quite understand-----"
William's optimism was boundless.
" William," said Ginger very slowly and thoughtfully, " I don't think that was the right dog."
" What was the right dog ?" said William impatiently.