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Chapter 10 – Runaway Winner

They ran downstairs and left via the back door from the kitchen. They were walking briskly, and the boys were struggling to keep up. “Let's not scare them, take it easy” said Marcus quietly. Mary nodded her head as they walked up the long driveway to the gate. The front gate was open and they walked out to a road. The road was narrow but had bitumen and appeared to be well used.

“Which way?” said Mary.

Marcus looked both ways. To the right there appeared to be a t-junction a few hundred metres up. “That way” he pointed. They got to the t-junction and started walking to what Marcus thought as west. “We need to flag down a car” he said.

“Maybe you can tell me what the hell is going on now” said Mary urgently. They walked slowly along the road and Marcus told her everything. Right down to his plot to hit one of the minders on the head with a lamp.

“I had no idea” said Mary. “John said he worked for the government and you were in some sort of trouble and we had to stay at this house until it was safe”

“That piece of shit” he muttered.

“I suppose you don't have your phone?” asked Marcus.

“No, he said we may be tracked and took it from me”

“Shit, we should have made a call from the house. But I didn't know who was there, we had to get out”

“As soon as we can flag someone down, we will call the police” said Mary.

“Not quite just yet” said Marcus. “We need to make another stop first”

After what seemed like hours but most likely only a few minutes, a van appeared in the distance. As it approached, Marcus and Mary waved and stepped out onto the road and it stopped just short of them. “Let me do the talking” said Marcus.

“You ok mate?” said the driver of the van.

“Yeah mate, sorry to stop you, we broke down around the corner there, do you think you can give us a lift?”

“Well I am only going as far as Leongatha” said the driver.

“Perfect” said Marcus and they climbed in. After a short drive, maybe ten minutes, they arrived in Leongatha.

“Where do you want to go mate?” said the driver to Marcus.

“Anywhere close to the middle of town is good thanks mate”

The driver of the van pulled up outside of a service station and across from a pub, the Railway Hotel. They thanked the driver and got out of the van. The boys were excited, this was all a big adventure for them. Marcus also noticed a car hire company next to the service station. He was hoping they were open today.

“Look, there's a police station just down there” said Mary pointing.

“There is something else we need to do first darling. Just relax and come with me. How much do you think is left on my credit card?” he asked Mary.

“I made a payment last week. We should maybe be able to use three or four hundred I guess. But let's just go to the police, please”

“You have to trust me. Please, you will see, just come with me”

They walked over to the car hire office and Marcus was relieved to see it was open. He walked in and after a brief conversation with the lady behind the counter signed some documents and picked up a set of keys. “Lets go” he said and the boys raced out of the front door. Mary looked subdued and still seemed keen to go to the police.


Leon and James had just arrived in Melbourne and booked themselves into a hotel in the city. “Hurry up” said James. “First race is in like 15 minutes”.

“I'm just taking a piss, I'll be right back” said Leon.

Leon came out of the toilet and his phone rang. He looked at James, waited a while and then answered. “John, how are you mate”

“Leon. Tell me you have good news”

“Yep, all done. Just finished the second batch as we speak. You won't have to feed your pets for a while”

“So there were no dramas I presume” asked John.

“Like clockwork”

“Good work. I will see you guys when we get back. We will celebrate big tonight”

“Sounds good” said Leon excitedly.

“Oh, and tell Andy thanks he can go home now”

“Who's Andy?”

“You know, Andrew, the guy who was upstairs”

“Ohh, Andrew, Ok will do. See you later on tonight”

“Bye”

“Well?” asked James.

“Not a worry bro. He is all good. We bought ourselves some time. Now lets go and put some bets on hey”


“Can you please just tell me where we are going?” asked Mary.

“Let's see” said Marcus, checking on the GPS of their hire car. “40 kilometres to Cranbourne. That will do”

“What are we going to do at Cranbourne? Let's go home, go to the police, anything”

“We will. Just take it easy. We will need to lay low until Monday or so, then we can do what we want. I just need you to trust me on this one hey” said Marcus. Mary just nodded her head. He could understand her, they had been through quite an ordeal. Luckily John had treated them pretty well, but it wasn't going to save him.

They arrived at Cranbourne just after lunchtime. “Here's what we are going to do. We will find a caravan park and check into one of the cabins they have there. They usually have playgrounds and swimming pools. Plenty for the boys to do. Drop me off at one of the pubs, and see if you can find some shops, grab some basic clothes for yourself and the boys”

“The pub? Why the hell would you want to go to the pub, with all this going on?”

“There is something I need to do” he said. “I promise you, after today, everything will be different”

They didn't have to drive far to find what they were looking for. A big caravan park, just off the main highway. The pub would have been maybe three hundred metres away. “This is perfect” said Marcus. “Ok, we will check in here for two nights. I will walk over to the pub, and you go to that shopping centre we passed earlier. Grab some spare clothes for yourself and the boys. I will meet you back here at around five o clock”

“Ok, but are you sure no one will be looking for us? Are we safe?”

“I'm pretty sure. They will be looking for us later, but most likely not at the moment. Having said that, just be alert, but I am pretty sure we are ok”

They checked into the caravan park and Mary and the kids drove off to the shopping centre. Marcus walked over to the pub, and pretty soon found what he was looking for. After withdrawing fifty dollars from the teller machine, he walked into the sports bar. He looked up at the screens and saw that Flemington race three was around ten minutes away. Plenty of time he thought as he found a win/place ticket. Remembering what Dave had showed him, he managed to fill it out. Fifty dollars for the win on number 2, Toliver. He did lie to Mary somewhat. He didn't quite have a plan as yet, but if things went as expected, a lot would change. The horses were filling the barriers and the race started. Toliver was running just behind the leaders, and upon straightening the jockey went for a needle eye opening along the rails and pushed through, winning narrowly. Marcus smiled as he looked up at the screen. It had paid $6.10, so after a quick calculation he worked out it was just over three hundred. 'That will be plenty' he thought.


Meanwhile at Flemington in the corporate box, “Three from three” said Jimmy, smiling.”How much did you have on that?”

“Just a few thousand” said John. “We don't want to look too conspicuous. The pick six is the real one we are after”

“How much have you thrown on that”

“Not much. Have you seen the horses that idiot picked? Mostly roughies. No one else will go close to it. I did it for five hundred, if someone happens to fluke it, we will get most of the share anyway”

“Nice” said Jimmy. “Here's to the late Marcus”

“Well to tell you the truth Jimmy” said John lowering his voice. “I am in a bit of a hole mate. More than twenty million. If I don't come up with the cash by the end of the month, the house, the business it's all gone”

“Shit John. What happened? This is a multi million dollar business”

“We have been going bad for ages. That advertising deal I did went shithouse. Also all the property stuff over in the states. Anyway, after today, its all sweet” he said, raising his beer.

Jimmy raised his beer also “Cheers”


Meanwhile in Melbourne, Leon and James were also having a pretty good day. They had also backed the first three winners, and drank their fair share of beer. “Mate, after today, we will be kings back home” said James.

“Not wrong bro. Have you done the pick six yet?”

“Yeah mate. Chucked five hundred on it. Mostly long odds so I am guessing John will have done the same. I can handle splitting it with him” said Leon with a wink.


Back at the pub in Cranbourne, Marcus was also having a good day. He managed to work out how to fill out the ticket for the pick six. He was careful not to attract too much attention, so he tried to limit the amount of money he was taking from the cashier to a few hundred dollars at a time. For each race he would fill out a ticket to win approximately that amount, plus another which he put most of his money on that he would cash out at a later date.

As the afternoon progressed, Marcus did a quick calculation in his head. Six races had passed, and he he had uncashed tickets worth over twenty thousand, plus about two thousand in his pocket. 'After race nine there won't be enough room in my pockets' he thought. The last winner that he backed had paid nearly forty to one. The next one was at around sixteen to one too. 'I wonder what Dave is up to at the moment' he thought. If he could remember his mobile number he would have given him a call and gave him a few tips. 'Not to worry, I will catch up with him later'.

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