“’And Tegan Butcher rang back. She’s a bit of a fan of yours, by the sound of it.’”
“’Just what this case needs, another mentally disturbed witness.’”
“’Tasteless,’ said Robin, trying to sound amused. ‘Anyway, she’s living with her mum in Woolstone and working at a bar at Newbury Racecourse…’” (Lethal White, Chapter 57)
Strike and Robin drive out to Newbury Racecourse to interview Tegan Butcher, a former employee of the Chiswell family. During the drive, an unpleasant phone encounter with Geraint Winn leads to Robin opening up to Strike about her panic attacks and the status of her relationship with Matthew.
“The car park at Newbury Racecourse was already jam-packed when they arrived.” (Lethal White, Chapter 62) You’ll have to imagine a much more crowded lot than pictured below.
Strike and Robin make their way through the racecourse to find the Crafty Filly, the bar where Tegan works. “A painted sign showed the head of a dark, winking filly in a snaffle bit hung on the side of a one-story brick bar.” (Lethal White, Chapter 62)
“The Crafty Filly overlooked the paddock where horses would shortly be paraded, around which a further crowd had begun to congregate.” (Lethal White, Chapter 62)
“’Grab that high table,’ Strike told Robin, ‘and I’ll get drinks and tell Tegan we’re here.’
Robin sat down at one of the tall tables with its metal bar-chairs, which she knew Strike preferred because getting on and off them would be easier on his amputated leg than the low wickerwork sofas.’” (Lethal White, Chapter 62)
Before Tegan arrives for her interview, Strike and Robin continue their heart to heart over their personal lives and the future of their business. Strike tells her, “We’ve got to be honest with each other, or we’re screwed.” (Lethal White, Chapter 62)
“’…a half-bottle of Moet & Chandon landed unexpectedly in front of her and Strike sat down, holding a pint of bitter.
‘Doom Bar on draft,’ he said cheerfully, tipping his glass to her before taking a sip.
Robin looked blankly at the little bottle of champagne, which she thought resembled bubble bath. ‘What’s this for?’
‘Celebration,’ said Strike, having taken a sizable gulp of his beer. ‘I know you’re not supposed to say it,’ he went on, rummaging through his pockets for cigarettes, ‘but you’re well shot of him…’” (Lethal White, Chapter 62)
“As Strike turned away, Robin slid the champagne cork discreetly into her pocket.” (Lethal White, Chapter 64)
Possibly something like this…
After the interview, Strike buys them burgers and places a bet on the horse, Brown Panther, while they kill time.
“‘I didn’t realize you were a betting man,’ said Robin.'”
“‘I’m not,’ said Strike, removing the betting slip from his teeth and pocketing it, ‘but I’m feeling lucky today. Come on, we’ll watch the race.'” (Lethal White, Chapter 64)
Here’s a photo of Brown Panther below. You can read more about him here.
“Brown Panther came in second. They spent Strike’s winnings among the food and coffee tents, killing the hours of daylight until it was time to head for Woolstone and the dell.” (Lethal White, Chapter 65)
You can view the actual results of the race that day, 18th August 2012, at the link here.
You can find more information on Newbury Racecourse at their website here or find it on the map below.