Dodger wins battle but war far from over
Against the Odds:Sir Roger may have all the aces but Angie has yet to play her trump card, writes RODDY L'ESTRANGE
The summit had been called for 10 bells on Monday morning and drew a field of six, three of whom, Vinny Fitzpatrick suspected, would find the going as sapping as it was for the runners at Cheltenham over the weekend.
Vinny, Angie and their solicitor, Tony Biggins, known in Clontarf as Bilbo, had been summoned to the offices of Boru Betting on the instructions of Harold E Hopcraft and Son, esteemed legal firm of Northumberland Road.
“Harold doesn’t cross the road for less than a grand, never mind cross to the Northside. This is serious,” warned Bilbo, as he ushered Vinny and Angie in through the front door of the betting shop on the Clontarf Road.
Inside, flanked by scores of silent TV screens, stood the scowling figure of Sir Roger Winston, whose black eye and busted nose suggested he’d gone three rounds with Katie Taylor.
On one side of him stood a white-haired gent Vinny took to be Harold Hopcraft, and on the other, a younger foppish-haired man, lean and lank, who smirked at the arrivals.
There were no good mornings, not even a curt nod. “Well, if it isn’t Jezebel and her Great Protector?” sneered Sir Roger. “I’ll be brief. Time is money as Harold here keeps reminding me.
“See this,” he said pointing to his misshapen hooter. “No one does this to me and gets away with it. Your bus driver buddy is lucky I’m not going to sue him for assault but I will unless you shift your pretty ass Angie and clear your desk before the first race at Leicester.
“Simon Temple-Doran, from our Dundrum office, is taking charge,” he added, nodding at the grinning dandy to his left.
“I’ve a chicken’s neck to cover your service here. It’ll buy you a nice frock or two but I wouldn’t spend it all in the one shop if I were you,” he said sarcastically.
As Sir Roger made for the door, Angie broke her silence. “Hold on a minute Mister Winston – I am afraid I don’t recognise the knights of the Queen’s realm in these parts,” she said in a steely voice which Vinny found admirable.
“‘My husband was acting in defence of the honour which you tried to steal from me in my office with your grubby, groping, hands.
“Your advances were unwarranted, unsolicited and a breach of my rights. Isn’t that right Bilbo?’ she said half-turning to her solicitor, who was studying his shoes.
Sir Roger’s bruised face contorted in anger. All of a sudden, his demeanour was more East End heavy than suave businessman.
“Where I come from, a lot of folk have turned up in the Thames wearing concrete slippers. If I were you, I’d button your pretty lips before something happens to them.
“It’s one person’s word against another and mine would count in every law of the land including this potato-pushing one.
“Back off Ms Mooney or you and your husband will go down like a burning Spitfire over Beachy Head. Remember, I have 48 witnesses who saw him nutt me. You’ve lost your job. Do you want Mr Blobby here to lose his liberty?” he hissed.