20 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
of the boys next day. I went to my room and got to thinking
about the races. Everybody was betting so free and easy that
I saw a good killing could be made if I could hatch up a scheme.
Before long a plan suggested itself to me. The Devil helped me,
and before I went to bed I had one of the 'surest-sure things'
that any sport ever got his claws onto.
"The next morning I tapped one of the boys for a stake. He
was not very strong, having only $80, but he split that with me.
It was not much, but I was satisfied, for my 'sure thing' was so
good that all I wanted was to get my first bet down and it would
work itself after that.
"I got out to the race track early so as to size up the crowd.
There was a big bunch of redhot sports there and they were
all howling to get their money down on a big horse that was a
favorite at 2 to 1. I didn't make any bets, but just walked
around looking for the right man to help me out. Finally I
found him. He was a long, lanky fellow and had only one arm.
I took him off on one side and interrogated him.
"Sawmill or gin?" said I, pointing to his absent arm.
"'Army,' says he.
"Infantry or cavalry?" says I.
"'Infantry,' says he.
"Then you ought to be able to walk like hell," said I.
"'I can,' said he.
"I saw he was a man of few words and determined to trust
him. Then I unfolded my plan to him. It was simple. I would
make a bet and he would hold stakes. He would slip the money
back to me and I would bet it all again. When the horses got
started good he was to slip over the hill and meet me next day
in Seguin and we would divide up.
"He agreed and I went out to slaughter 'em. I saw a sport
waving a big bunch of bills he wanted to get down on the 4year-old
that was the favorite at 2 to 1. I took him promptly,
he putting up $80 against my $40. I remarked that I was a
stranger and looked around for somebody to hold the stakes.
'Here's the right man,' I said; 'he hasn't got but one arm and we
can know him easy.' The sport agrees and the one-armed man
gets the money and then slips it back to me and I puts the $120
against $250 another sport is howling to get rid of, and my onearmed
man holds stakes again.
"I don't know how many times I bet that roll. Finally the
sports conclude from my betting so freely that I know something
against the 4-year-old and I can't get any more bets. Then I
force things and give odds against him-anything to get action
on my money. Before the race started I had the whole bunch
bet to a standstill. Finally the race started. Everybody is
Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young.. Galveston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/. Accessed March 9, 2014.