MALABAR AFLAME : Lesson 14 – (Karoor Soman)


Amazon Best Selling Novel  “Malabar A Flame” in Lima World Library

14. Jackpot

The great horse race in London. Peter Scot’s globally
acclaimed horse King arrives. King is the first winner in all
the races in Europe. When Antony saw the posters on the
buses, a long cherished wish raised its head. He must attend
the race. Not any race but the King’s.
It was a blessing that he got the chance to feed King for
years. Race fans bet thousands of pounds on the horses. The
top bidding fell on King. The cashless borrowed money and
bet on him. Among them some pledged their paramour!
Horses from Spain, France, Italy and members of the
British kingdom have reached. The horses from the British
royal family had also arrived. Antony came with his family.
All were excited as it was their first experience of a race of
that kind.
Antony’s eyes fluttered over King. Mary and kids were
also curious. The betting parties and lords were present.. The
profile of horses came over the mike.
The race began. Doors opened. Horses ran at lightning
speed trampling the pulse of the earth. The ruckus of the
spectators was as crazy as to make the horses fly. Peter Scot’s
King and the horses from the royal family ran neck to neck.
There was a white stallion from the royal family that ran the closest to King. While the frenzy was at its height, one of
the leading horses tripped t\its legs and fell flat on the track.
So shocking was the sight but after a flutter all eyes fell back
on the race. A thousand hands waved their small; flags and
cried in unison.
Although Ali was there where horses are tethered, he did
not expect Antony and his fanmmily among the spectators.
When Antony left the job of rearing King, Ali was given an
Indonesian as his helper. Leaving the horse in his charge Ali
used to go to make love to Caroline.
Tennse moments ahead. The horses reached the last lap
of the race. Those who hailed King became mum. Their
beloved King came in the third. Second place was bagged by
the horse from France. First winners were the horses from
the British royal family. All predictions went awry.
Antony was dejected. His eyed welled up. Seeing him,
Mary and children also went gloomy. “Do you know I know
that I loved King like my own child. But he failed in front of
me. I could not bear it,” Antony said. It came as a shock to
Danny. He never thought that side of his father, so tender so
caring even for a horse.
When the race was over, Antony asked his family to wait
outside the gates and went to the spot where the horses
stood. A security person stopped him. But a worker in the
stavle knew him and along with him he walked to the right
There he saw Peter Scot, his old muthalali, talking to
someone. King’s failure had taken the sheen out of his face.
Suddenly something unexpected happened. King’s furtuive eyes land on his old keeper. He scurried to him and growled
something. Was it a cry of happy tiding or a cry of anguish,
Nobody knew. Antony kindly patted King on his mane. His
finger tips rutted its body. He felt an animal was more loyal
and loving than another man..
The horse keeper was baffled. What the devil is this!.
King is known to lick a friend and kill a foe. Antony stood
there caressing his friend’s face. King was not ready to leave
Antony. Antony muzzled him as gestured him to move away
and he readily obeyed.
`Antony…”. It was a call from Scot, his old muthalali who
was intently watching the scene. He called his old worker
once again. “Antony, you should pardon me. I mistook
you. You were truthful and sincere. I know that you were
innocent.” For sometime they looked at each other without
speaking a word.
“You’re a great man. Your words are like corals shining
for me. I should not have deserted you.. You’re still in my
heart and always i\you will be,” he said.
Without batting an eyelid Scot told him “I know you
could not forget me and I too. You’re beloved not to my
family alone but to this country too.’’
In spite of the cold wind, words poured from the
muthalali: “Can you Antony, rear the horses as you did
before?”. Scot’s words had a tint of remorse embedded in
them. The horse keeper was watching. So was Ali at a safe
distance. What was going on between the muthalali and
former worker?It was he who taunted Caroline for the burglary. She also
saved him by not naming him to the police. But now things
might change for the worse. Will he call Antony back to the
horse stack?
“Antony, you didn’t tell me if you would come back?”
muthalali asked once again.
“You know I was alleged to have committed the burglary.
Thereby Ilost my job, lost my house, lost my dignity and lost
every thing. And yet with your help I could buy a house. I am
always thankful to you. But it is not good that the old burglar
coming back to work again. I am sorry,”
Scot was shocked but he was reconciled to the reply from
a worker he has wronged. A ful;ly loyal and sincere worker
he had doubted and booted out. Police apprehended the
culprit. Recovered the booty. It was the conspiracy between
Caroline and Glast. Court convicted them and jailed them.
Their service was terminated.
Muthalali was serious. Antony was astonished. What do
I hear?
“Since you had shifted from the residence I could not
meet you and intimate you the developments. But I had
intimated Ali to inform you and ask you to join duty again.
Didn’t Ali tell you?’’
Antony was perplexed.
Why did not Ali inform him? Perhaps he might have
thought of saving Antony’s railway job. “Yes Ali had told me.
There is a steady job job in the railway. I could not do both
simultaneously, “ Antony replied.“It is me who honoured you; and then expelled you. Your
service would not have been terminated. A sincere man who
shows devotion to his job by words and deeds. Now why
should we discuss all this?”. Scot walked away disappointed
and a bit disgusted.
A train passed by hooting a long and short whistle.
Antony walked slowly perplexed by the thought why
Caroline should burgle the store. What was in it for her to
make him the culprit? He reached the gates to explain to Mary
what happened. Mary was relieved that her husband’s name
has been cleared. But Antony was not that happy. He could
not abandon his horses though their owner had abandoned
him. He should get back to them as and when it is possible, at
least on the holidays or off days.
Antony went to the old stable on the next Sunday. He
could not meet them on their regular pastures. King had
been taken to the mare for mating. Scot was eager to have
King’s colts. His two colts already grew there. It was Ali who
had taken the horse away. Antony wanted to meet Ali also.
He had not met him since moving away though he had tried
to meet him on occasions.
Ali was watching the mating process with intent. So he did
not see the taps of the horse that brought Bear Earnest John
behind him. Beer alighted from his horse and approached
Ali with blazing eyes. Caroline was his bit it was Ali who
enticed her from him. He must show who he was. His hornlike moustache trembled in rage. Ali shivered with fear. On
horse back, Bear was a colossus. If he got a blow from him
that would be the end of him.“Did you want my girl, didn’t you?” he shouted raising his
hand. Ali evaded his first blow. He fell down on the second.
But still coughed up all energy to do a counter blow. The best
defense was throwing some sand on the enemy but there was
no sand on the dense grass.
“Caroline?, ” Ali feigned ignorance. He ran for his life.
Saw Antony coming. He ran towards him for help. “What
happened?. Did the horse stack burn?” Antony shouted
back. “Save me, Antonyachhaya. He is a notorious bandit
here. He was the one who burgled the store” He shouted
again. “If you knew the burglar, then what did you do?”
Antony countered. “ I hinted his name to muthalali,”
Bear jumped down from the horse with a bang. Nearing
them in lightning speed, he bent down. for a big blow. Antony
stood between them. “Don’t touch him”, Antony warned.
“What’s the matter? We may find solution”, Antony told
Bear. Antony humbly said.
Bear started shouting. A torrent of abuses followed.
But Antony was not behind in using all the cockney he leart
during the railway work. Ali blinked when Antony accosted
Bear with the same ferocity and punch. Bear’s hand rose
against Antony. But Antony was tall and husky. He shrugged
it off Antony shot a heavy blow on Bear who staggered and
fell on the thicket. Ali advanced to him with a raised hand.
But Antony blocked him.
“No. We will finish it off between us. Not manly to face
one by two,” Antony shouted. Ali could not believe what
he saw. Antony was thought to be a timid gentleman. Buthe never knoew that his forefathers were among notorious
thugs in Cochin!
Bear stood up and stared sharply at Antony. “Come
on,” Antony challenged him. Bear knew that the tables had
turned. It seemed he had a bitter and better foe in Antony.
His fury had ebbed away, replaced by fear. He climbed back
on his horse and rode away as fast as he came.
He saw Ali had blood on his legs. “I fell down running.
In fact Bear came looking for the African in charge of the
horses. Not me.. He wanted to know where the African is. I
did not tell him and that is why,” Ali uttered another lie to his
Antony did not believe him But offered his towel to him
and said, “Go wipe the blood off.. Or your second wife’s
child will have no father!”. Ali stood there in stunned silence
while Antony walked off.

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