The fourth Ballyloch Story – Never Trust a Dealer
Ok, my dear friends, now I start being mean! No more free stories. Well, maybe on special occasions. But only if ye’re good.
Anyhow, here’s the first couple of pages from the next Ballyloch story. If you want to find out how it ends, you can visit Amazon.com and download the story in its entirety for the very reasonable price of €0.99.
If anyone has a non-Kindle reader and would like to download the Ballyloch stories, let me know and I’ll do my best to get them into the correct format and the correct vendor for you.
You don’t have a reader at all? Kindle can be downloaded for smartphones and computers.
You like a real book with pages that you can hold in your hands? It’ll happen, but not for a while.
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Just a small paragraph in the middle of The Irish Horse magazine, but it made my day. My week, even! Hell, it made my year! As I parked the lorry, I glanced at it one more time, lying open in between the seats.
“How long do you think it will take?” I asked my helper, Fiona, who was sitting in the passenger seat. She’s still in her teens, but she’s been involved with Ballyloch Flyer – Toby – since the start.
“I’d give it five minutes,” she laughed, as we opened our doors and jumped down into the lorry parking area at the Millstreet show grounds.
It took less than two minutes. I didn’t even have time to open the ramp before I heard his voice.
“Well now, missy.”
I looked up to see Jeremiah Sullivan’s stout figure bearing down on me.
“How’s it going, Jerry?” I asked innocently. I knew he hated the diminutive form of his name and I took a malicious pleasure in using it.
He attempted to smile in a friendly way and succeeded in pasting an expression somewhere between a leer and a grimace on his broad pink face.
“Congratulations on the big sale,” he said.
“Thank you,” I replied.
He waited for me to continue and, when I didn’t, he carried on.
“I believe, young lady, that a token of thanks is in order.”
“A what, now?” I asked.
His face reddened. “A token of thanks, girl. My share from the sale of that foal I sold you. It’s what any dealer would do and it’s what any man would expect in my shoes.”
“Really,” I replied. “What any dealer would do? Sure don’t you know you can never trust a dealer, Jerry.”
I pressed the button to lower the ramp and nodded at Fiona.
“Will you unload Jacko and give Sarah a hand tacking up?”
She nodded and set to work with little Sarah and her pony, while I stepped to the other side of the truck to talk to Jeremiah.
“And you say it’s what any man would expect in your shoes, Jerry. What exactly would that mean, ‘in your shoes’?”
If it was possible, his face reddened some more.
“I started you off in this business, missy. I gave you ponies to jump when your parents were too hard up to give you your own.”
“Yes,” I said. “And you made a tidy profit on each and every one of them. What about that bay fellow who went to the European Championships? He paid for the extension on your house, if I remember rightly.”
“And I looked after you, didn’t I?” he asked.
“An Easter egg? A book token at Christmas? Well, ok, if you like – which would you prefer?” I asked with a saccharine-sweet smile.
His cheeks seemed to expand. There was definitely a hint of purple about his complexion now.
“And didn’t I see you right when you were buying ponies for your riding school? Didn’t I sell you the fine mare that produced that horse and made all that money for you?”
I paused. I’d been rehearsing these words a long time and I didn’t want to get them wrong.
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