Vinny relieved as The Dodger gets caught in the act
Against the odds:CCTV evidence helps Angie turn the tables on her obnoxious employer
As the runners were engulfed by fog entering the straight at Navan, rendering the ever dependable Des Scahill silent, Vinny Fitzpatrick shouted across the shop floor at the knot of punters clustered around the screens: “Who’ll give me evens the one in front wins?”
Standing in for the indisposed Albert, who had worked in Boru Betting since Arkle was in his prime, the portly bus driver was on the bookies’ side of the counter for a change and enjoying his Sunday afternoon shift.
That his first two bets at Proudstone Park – placed on-line that morning – had gone belly-up didn’t matter a fig. He could have seven straight losers on this day and it wouldn’t wipe the smug smile from his choppy chops.
It had been the most wretched of times, which had threatened to sabotage his marriage to Angie, and almost led to a spell in the ’Joy for Christmas, with Sean Quinn for company. But the misery was behind Vinny now, and the spiteful Sir Roger Winston had been brought to heel by a quick-thinking act from Angie, which not only led to her prompt reinstatement as office manager, but also a five-figure sum in compensation.
As a turn-up for the books, it was akin to Bristol City winning at Middlesbrough on Saturday (which had scuttled Vinny’s accumulator and cost him €100).
Looking back, it all seemed slightly surreal. Sparked off by the dash back from Bunter’s into Boru Betting where Angie, cool as ice, had told oily Simon Temple-Doran, her heir apparent, she needed a few minutes in private in the back office to clear her things.
After Vinny and the hyphen made small talk, Angie emerged with a triumphant glint in her eye. “I’ve got him by the short and curlies,” she whispered to Vinny as Temple-Doran ushered them on to the Clontarf Road.
“Angie, you’re welcome back any time you know . . . .as a customer,” he called out as they left. Angie led Vinny home to Mount Prospect Ave where she’d slotted a disc into the computer and cautioned her husband that parts of what he was about see were X-rated.
Vinny witnessed the wickedness of Roger The Dodger on the closed circuit TV footage of events in the office that fateful Tuesday. His blood boiled as he saw The Dodger try to weasel his way into Angie’s affections, first by flattery, then by force.
It took a judicious knee in the groin from Angie to force The Dodger into a foul-mouthed retreat mingled with threats. Vinny now knew why Angie had been shaken and couldn’t speak to him about what happened when she appeared from her office that day. “You know, I’m glad I nutted the tosser,” he said, as he gave his wife a bear-hug.
“And I’m chuffed you had the cop-on to get the CCTV set up to include the office as well as the rest of the shop,” he added, eyes shining with tears.
The end-game had come quickly. Within 24 hours, Bilbo Baggins had two copies made of the incriminating recording, one of which he sent by courier to Harold E Hopcraft Co (Solicitors) of Northumberland Road.
Bilbo included a letter requesting the immediate restoration of Angie to her job as Boru Betting office manager, plus a demand for a five-figure sum in reparation given the ‘emotional turmoil’ she had been put through.