Jennospot 11 It Ain't Fair
We went on up The Street towards Hibberd's general store. Four Streeters were already there, including Arthur and Albert. They had drawn a chalk line across the width of the road.
‘Oy!’ exclaimed Arthur. ‘No girls.’
‘Winnifred's not racing,’ said
‘Wot's she doin' 'ere then?’
‘Since she's not racing, she can be the starter,’ I said.
Arthur pushed his face aggressively into mine. ‘Ain't yew got no ears? Oi said, no girls; 'n Oi meant, no girls.’
I was severely tempted to hit him, but after an inner struggle, contented myself with a glare.
‘Who's going to start us then?’ asked
. ‘Where are the rest of your gang?’ Roy
‘They've gorn down Water Mill Lane ter the finish by the bridge. Oi'll start us.’
‘That's not fair,’ objected Dismal. ‘That gives you an advantage.’
‘Just yew shut up, dimwit Dismal. If'n yew lot come up on our territory, yew'll do things our way.’
‘Let it drop Dismal,’ said
. ‘We'll beat them anyway.’ Roy
‘Huh, sez yew,’ replied Albert.
‘How are we going to score?’ asked Brian. ‘Lowest aggregate wins?’
‘First past the post is the winner,’ said Arthur.
‘With you as starter? Not likely,’ said Dismal. ‘I want lowest aggregate wins.’
‘Me too,’ I said. ‘First over the line scores one, the second two, and so on. That way everyone in the race counts.’
‘Yeah— okay,’ said Arthur reluctantly. ‘So let's get started. Everyone get 'is cart behind the line. Get outta the way with yer stupid cart, Winnie.’
‘My name is Winnifred,’ said Winnie with dignity. ‘Miss King to you. And I'm not in the way, Mister misogynist Haflin.’
‘Wot's misogynist?’ said Albert.
‘Look it up in a dictionary,’ retorted Winnifred. ‘That is, if a great intellect like yours even knows how to read.’
‘Just yew shut up, Winnifred King,’ snarled Arthur. ‘Or else—’
‘Or else what?’ said Winnifred mildly. ‘Don't you threaten me, Arthur Haflin. Unless, that is, you want Mr Trundle to learn of certain things that you'd rather he didn't hear about.’
‘Yeah— well— okay— just stand to one side.’
‘Please,’ said Winnifred.
‘Please,’ echoed Arthur.
We lined our carts up along the chalk line. The extreme left was the most advantageous position, but the four Streeters had already positioned themselves on the left.
‘Oi'm goin' ter call, ready, steady, go,’ announced Arthur. ‘Nobody's ter move until the go. Ready— steady—’ Arthur pushed off. ‘Go!’
. ‘You cheated. It's a false start.’ Roy
Arthur glanced back with a grin. ‘We're racin'.’ he yelled. ‘See yer at the finish.’
All the Streeters punted on.
‘After them,’ yelled
. But the Streeters had already gained a stolen five-yard advance. Roy
(Gang Petition chapter 13)