Number Three?

Apropos of nothing, here is the ending of the first chapter of what may possibly be my third novel. American Henry Feather, father of the title character, Rose Feather, used to be a star of the green baize table. Proprietor now of the Brown Ball Snooker Club he's fading away under the influence of alcohol. Tonight he has played and lost a big money match against the arrogant young Italian, Roberto D'Amato. The club is now empty bar Henry himself and Bill Evans, his long time manager...

"He sat down with another cigarette as Billy assembled his defences against the weather: Long old army coat, cloth cap, knitted woollen gloves. All his life it seemed Billy had been wearing the same things.
Henry smiled in spite of the way he felt, remembering the billiards halls and the working men’s and political clubs; all those fine and not so fine arenas and all those winning years: The money spinning team of Bill Evans and American Henry Feather. Well, the team hadn’t been doing too much winning, too much money-spinning for some long time now. There was only this godawful being a loser that lived like a permanent cancer high up in his goddam stomach.
He sighed; “Come on, old Billy, you know why we needed to take him on.” He ticked off the reasons on his fingers. “One, we needed the money. Second, I play a better game of snooker than D’Amato ever heard of. Christ, I should have played the guy off the table tonight. Balls ran dead against me, did everything but get up and goddam laugh. Last and most, that arrogant kid could really have used a good whupping, am I not right?”
Billy looked at him sadly. “I know all about that. The Good Lord knows you’ve been a lot better than that fellow's ever going to be. Only trouble is, he don't know it and he don't bloody care. All he knows is what he sees and what he sees is an old bloke missing flashy shots in between knocking back the vodkas.” The long scarf went twice around his neck. “Hey, just listen to me, please? D’Amato deserved to win the money.” He turned away. “I just hope you have it for ‘em. Don’t know why, old mate, but I bloody well care what the hell happens to you.” He opened the door to go; “I’ll see you tomorrow, OK?” he cleared his throat, called back; “You won’t be forgetting you’re coaching the lads in the morning, will you?” He went out but immediately looked back in again. He said, “Oh, and I forgot to tell you, Rose was in earlier.”
“What?” he asked, “What did you say?”
“Rose. Couple of the boys told me they saw her. She didn’t stay long.” Bill smiled with unexpected warmth. “Cheer up old mate, you’ve still got a lot going for you. G’night now.”
In a moment the door to the street had banged shut. The tape deck was still running. A tragic harmonica sobbed, softly, around Dylan’s resolve to work no more on Maggie’s farm. After a while his eyes focused on the Edwardian etchings lined up on the wall by the match table. The snooker playing ladies smiled on, imprisoned in their gilded frames, filled with all that sweet erotica. Alone in the Brown Ball Billiards and Snooker club that everyone knew was Henry Feather’s place but that now might as well belong to Barclay’s Bank, plc, he poured himself a really good drink, turned out all but the bar lights, drew back the curtains and looked down on the shining, lifeless, inner-city street. He blinked a few times. Goddam dust. Shit gets in your eyes."

Only a hundred thousand or so more words!

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