Winning big at the Races

by Stredwick
Winning Big at the Races
By
Austin Mitchell
As I drove in that Monday morning the first person I saw was our caretaker, Circle Denny. Some persons said that Circle got his nickname because of his habit of telling his friend that he would circle them later. What he really meant was that he would see them later in the day. Circle was a man of medium height and was probably in his late fifties. I knew that he lived with a woman in Portmore. They had two teenaged children. His real wife had left him years ago and was living in the United States.
I parked my car, took up my briefcase and came out of the car. As I was locking up the car he came over to me.
“Missa Carl, I win it at last.”
He opened the newspaper and showed me.
My name is Carlton West and I was working with Jack Winston Insurance Brokers. I was a senior broker with the firm. We were a medium sized brokerage with our offices on Half Way Tree Road. This was my tenth year. Circle was there a year before me. Circle was of the opinion that Winston was robbing him by underpaying him. As I looked at the paper I saw where he had ticked off his winning horses. Sure enough, he had all eight winners.
Several other staffers had by this time arrived. I had long ago congratulated Circle and gone to my office. I could hear the peals of laughter outside and knew that staffers were congratulating Circle on his good fortune.
Some of the female staffers were trying to get promises out of Circle, all god naturedly I thought.
When Jack Winston arrived, I went out in the office and noticed that the air had become tense.
Circle rode his motorcycle to deliver some letters and make lodgements. Actually the form had lent him the money to buy the bike about five years ago. I think he had finished repaying the money a year ago. I remembered because, knowing Circle, he wouldn’t have let something like that go unnoticed. When he
returned he barged into Winston’s office, shouting.
“Pay me off, Winston. I can’t bother work for you any longer. You’ve been robbing and underpaying me for the past eleven years.”
“Circle, resign if you want, but I not going to fire you.”
“All right, sir, I resign,” Circle said and moved out of Winston’s office.
Several staffers, including myself, tried to get Circle to change his mind. I was not a gambling man. I had tried the game when it first started but never won anything and soon gave it up.
Circle left to go on the road again, having resisted all our efforts for him not to resign.
Over lunch, Ingrid Davis, a senior secretary, told men that she had seen multiple winners of the pools.
“Carlton, try and talk Circle out of it. He doesn’t know how much money he has won and he is behaving like that.”
“You know how Circle is. If he is set on doing something, then it’s almost impossible to get him to change his mind,” I told her.
She knew that I was telling the truth, but I still promised to try to stop Circle.
At around four o’clock that evening I heard shouting from Winston’s office. Circle had handed in his resignation letter!
“I want my leave pay and whatever money you have for me this month.”
Circle was unwilling to return the next day for his pay. Winston ordered the accountant to prepare Circle’s pay for him.
“I hope you know what you are doing, Circle,” Winston told him as the accountant handed Circle an envelope.
Cirlcle took the letter and opened it. He took his time in going over the documents before folding the letter and putting it in his pocket.
“Me all right. I know what I’m doing, but you’ll hear from my lawyer, Winston,” Circle told him and was gone.
That evening when we went up to Lita’s Sport’s bar in Half Way Tree there was no sign of Circle. We knew that he came there sometimes for a game of dominoes and a beer or two. He must have decided to have an early night as he prepared to celebrate winning his fortune tomorrow we all thought.
The next morning, I arrived late. As I got out my car I saw our accounting clerk, Denson Hall, coming over to me. He had a glum look on his face. He had a newspaper in his hand. He opened it and showed me the pool winnings. There were twenty first prize winners! Circle had made a monumental mistake in resigning.
A few staffers had glum looks on their faces while others were expressionless. Then Winston arrived. He had his copy of the morning papers. He spread out the pool’s section on a desk in the foyer.
“A big man like that, look how he behaved. Circle’s been playing the pools for years. He must know that dozens of persons have shared the first prize before.”
“If he wants back his job will you give it back to him?” Andrea Lloyd, a senior broker asked.
“He resigned from the job. I didn’t force him. He made the thought of winning the pools get to his head.”
Winston folded up his newspaper and went into his office. During the week the accountant told me that the Ministry had called her.
“We paid Circle all we owed him; that man is just bitter because he lost his job. But whose fault was it? He was the one who resigned,” Winston declared as he sat in the foyer one lunch time.
I saw Circle a month later when he came to Lita’s to have his usual drinks and play a few domino games. No, he hadn’t found a job, but was hopeful that he would soon find one. He was of the opinion that he had been robbed for how Circle argued, had so many people won at the same time as he. Several persons nearby said it had happened before, but Circle didn’t believe them.
Suffice to say that Circle found a job at a car-mart a few weeks later. Nothing seemed to have come out of visit to the Ministry and it is doubtful if he contacted any lawyer. There is no doubt that Circle would have learned his lesson.The End. Please visit my blog at:http://stredwick.blogspot.com
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