Cette publication ne fait pas partie de la bibliothèque YouScribe
Elle est disponible uniquement à l'achat (la librairie de YouScribe)
Achetez pour : 9,99 € Lire un extrait

Téléchargement

Format(s) : EPUB

sans DRM

Venom

De
176 pages
Sixteen-year-old Spencer loves his job at the local racing stable, but when he becomes convinced that someone is drugging the racehorse Lord of the Flies, no one believes him. In an effort to find out who is behind a dangerous race-fixing scheme, he takes on some of the most unsavory members of the track community. By refusing to turn a blind eye, Spencer risks losing those he cares most about, including Em, the stableowner's niece.
Voir plus Voir moins

Vous aimerez aussi

Venom

de orca-book-publishers

Scarlet Thunder

de orca-book-publishers

Maverick Mania

de orca-book-publishers

Venom
Nikki Tate
Copyright © 2009 Nikki Tate
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Tate, Nikki, 1962 Venom / written by Nikki Tate.
(Orca sports) ISBN 9781554690718
I. Title. II. Series. PS8589.A8735V45 2009 jC813’.54 C20089074203
Summary:Spencer is sure someone is doping the racehorses at the stable where he works, but no one will listen to him until he gets some proof.
First published in the United States, 2009 Library of Congress Control Number:2008941143
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover design by Teresa Bubela Cover photography by Getty Images Author photo by E. Colin Williams
Orca Book Publishers Orca Book Publishers PO Box 5626, Stn. B PO Box 468 Victoria, BC Canada Custer, WA USA V8R 6S4 982400468 www.orcabook.com Printed and bound in Canada. Printed on 100% PCW recycled paper.  12 11 10 09 • 4 3 2 1
For Cyd, muck bucket queen
This page intentionally left blank
c h a p t e r o n e
“You’re îred!” I step back and kick over a feed bucket. The horses answer with a chorus of whin-nies. They’re expecting breakfast. “After you clean up that mess!” Scampy spins away from me and stalks off. “You can’t—” I yell at the trainer’s back. Scampy wheels around. His face is purple and the veins in his temples look like they might pop.
1
N i k k i T a t e
“I can do what I want. This barn”—he waves his arm at the horses on both sides of the wide aisle—“this barn has room for one trainer. And that trainer would be me!” Scampy jabs his thumb into his chest and bugs out his eyes. Then his jaw starts working.Chomp. Chomp.He mashes his fat wad of gum like he wants to destroy it. “Understand?” There’s no chance to answer. Scampy is gone. The sound of his cowboy boots clicking on the concrete fades as he stomps off down the barn aisle and around the corner. “What was that all about?” Em steps out of the tack room behind me. It’s chilly this time of the morning. She’s wearing one of those wool caps with earaps and a pom-pom. “Your uncle just îred me.” I’m impressed by how calm I sound. I’ve never been îred before. “What did you do?” “Nothing. Why do you always have to take his side?” I’ve worked for Jacob “Scampy” 2
Ve n o m
Scallopini’s Racing Stable for a little more than a year. Em’s been here forever. Her parents own a couple of horses, but it’s her Uncle Scampy who is always at the barn. Em tips her head to the side, making her pom-pom swing. “Scampy wouldn’t îre you for nothing.” My gaze slides over to the big bay gelding whose head pokes out of his stall. Lord of the Fires watches us intently, waiting for someone to start feeding him. “Spencer, you are an idiot,” Em says. “There is nothing wrong with Lordy.” My jaw clamps shut. Thereissomething wrong with Lord of the Fires. I’m his main exercise rider, and I know. The horse hasn’t felt right for weeks. “How did he do on Saturday?” Em asks, her îsts jammed against her hips. “Hmmm?” She doesn’t really expect an answer. I don’t give her one. We both know that Lordy ran well. He came in second, just behind the favorite. “What did you say to Scampy?” 3
N i k k i T a t e
The scene replays in my head. I had arrived at 4:30amto start work. The lights were on and Scampy was already here. He came out of Lordy’s stall and slipped some-thing—a syringe, maybe—into his pocket. All I did was ask what he’d given the horse.I didn’t say the wordsillegal doping. I didn’t say anything about cheating. I asked a simple question.What did you just give the horse? That’s when Scampy lost it. That’s how I got îred. “Well?” Em demands. “Nothing. I didn’t say a thing.” Em sniffs and tosses her head. “Fine.Be like that. Scampy will tell me.” She marches off, leaving me to sweep up the mess of spilled grain. How can it be that my day is already going so badly? It isn’t even 5:00am! I fetch a broom and start sweeping.The short conversation with Scampy and the longer one with Em repeat in my head. “So the old man gave you the boot?” Tony Harper, Scampy’s other groom, shows up as I sweep up the last of the grain. 4
Ve n o m
“Word travels fast,” I say. Tony folds his beefy arms across his chest. “I heard Scampy talking to Em outside the barn. Want some advice?” I don’t. Tony gives me some anyway. “You’re a good rider, Spencer. And people know you’re a good worker; they like it when you help out.” I sense there’s abutcoming. “But you have to learn when to keep your mouth shut and your nose out of other people’s business.” Tony reaches out to give my shoulder a squeeze. His hand rests there a little longer than it needs to. When he squeezes, it hurts. I’m careful not to let anything show in my face. Tony doesn’t need to know that he creeps me out. He doesn’t need to know how ticked off I am. Or how worried. Word does travel fast here in the barns at Hilltop Racetrack. Most people never see the backside of the track. It’s like a world of its own. The last thing I need is to get a reputation as a troublemaker in this tight community.
5