A rustle of clothing and a slight breeze on the back of Valentine’s neck suddenly made him aware of a person walking by, only this person didn’t walk by but turned and sat down on the barstool next to Valentine.
“You watching the races mate?â?, he asked. Valentine turned and looked over the man. He was a neatly dressed Maori man with a big smile on his face.
“Not really, just something to look atâ?, replied Valentine.
“Ah, mind if I sit here and watch?â? the Maori asked, “My brother-in-law’s horse in running in the next race.â?
“Sure, be my guest,â? said Valentine.
“The name’s Mike,â? he said, reaching out his hand. Valentine reached out and shook his hand firmly.
“Valentine, but everyone calls me Val.â?
“Interesting name you’ve got there. You from around here?â? asked Mike.
“Yeah, my mother’s side of the family is Italian,â? replied Valentine dismissively. He turned back to his beer and drank deeply.
“So what do you do?â? Mike asked as he tried to attract the bartender’s attention.
“Nothin’â? was the reply.