Read Books Online, for Free
|Shorty Dreams||Jack London|
|Page 1 of 2||
"Funny you don't gamble none," Shorty said to Smoke one night in the Elkhorn. "Ain't it in your blood?"
"It is," Smoke answered. "But the statistics are in my head. I like an even break for my money."
All about them, in the huge bar-room, arose the click and rattle and rumble of a dozen games, at which fur-clad, moccasined men tried their luck. Smoke waved his hand to include them all.
"Look at them," he said. "It's cold mathematics that they will lose more than they win to-night, that the big proportion is losing right now."
"You're sure strong on figgers," Shorty murmured admiringly. "An' in the main you're right. But they's such a thing as facts. An' one fact is streaks of luck. They's times when every geezer playin' wins, as I know, for I've sat in in such games an' saw more'n one bank busted. The only way to win at gamblin' is wait for a hunch that you've got a lucky streak comin' and then to play it to the roof."
"It sounds simple," Smoke criticized. "So simple I can't see how men can lose."
"The trouble is," Shorty admitted, "that most men gets fooled on their hunches. On occasion I sure get fooled on mine. The thing is to try, an' find out."
Smoke shook his head.
"That's a statistic, too, Shorty. Most men prove wrong on their hunches."
"But don't you ever get one of them streaky feelin's that all you got to do is put your money down an' pick a winner?"
"I'm too scared of the percentage against me. But I'll tell you what, Shorty. I'll throw a dollar on the 'high card' right now and see if it will buy us a drink."
Smoke was edging his way in to the faro table, when Shorty caught his arm.
"Hold on. I'm gettin' one of them hunches now. You put that dollar on roulette."
They went over to a roulette table near the bar.
"Wait till I give the word," Shorty counselled.
"What number?" Smoke asked.
"Pick it yourself. But wait till I say let her go."
"You don't mean to say I've got an even chance on that table?" Smoke argued.
"As good as the next geezers."
"But not as good as the bank's."
"Wait and see," Shorty urged. "Now! Let her go!"
The game-keeper had just sent the little ivory ball whirling around the smooth rim above the revolving, many-slotted wheel. Smoke, at the lower end of the table, reached over a player, and blindly tossed the dollar. It slid along the smooth, green cloth and stopped fairly in the centre of '34.'
The ball came to rest, and the game-keeper announced, "Thirty-four wins!" He swept the table, and alongside of Smoke's dollar, stacked thirty-five dollars. Smoke drew the money in, and Shorty slapped him on the shoulder.
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004