40 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
members, for it would give me great pleasure to write them
A HARD LUCK STORY.
I READ a "hard luck" story the other day and it reminded
me that Frank Le Mott had once told me one of the best
stories of the kind I have ever heard. One day Frank said
to me: "Did I ever tell you about Limpy Lewis' hard luck?"
and when I answered in the negative he told me the following:
"This Limpy Lewie gets his name from having a wooden leg
that is always wearing off at the bottom, so that it is too short
for his good leg. He walks lopsided when he prances along the
street and the boys get to calling him 'Limpy.' He is a nocount
kind of a fellow, a tramp soldier of fortune, and a gambler.
When he wins he rolls in good things to eat and when he loses
he bums for his grub. It's chicken one day and feathers the
next with him. He is a good-natured sort of chap and the
other gamblers help him along occasionally, when they have
anything to help him with. The men who own the games give
him a commission on all the customers he can bring them, so
he generally hangs out around the hotels early in the evening,
looking for suckers.
"One morning Limpy got hold of a greenhorn and when the
bank got through with him Limpy had a real good stake coming
to him. He thought he was in such good luck that he would go
against the bank himself and did so. At first he won and had
a big pile of chips in front of him for an hour or two. Then
his luck changed and he lost everything he had. He got up
dead broke and concluded to go out and find another sucker.
While going to the nearest hotel to look over the situation, he
met a tall stranger, dressed like a cowman. The stranger asked
him If he could direct him to a square game. Limpy told him
he knew exactly where to put his finger on it and invited him
to go with him. As they started the stranger told him he
wanted nothing but a square game, and if he would lead him to
one of that kind, he would give him a quarter of what he won,
if he did win. He did that to protect himself, for with that pros.
pect in sight Limpy would pull for him to win, even if he were
playing against Limpy's best friend. There was no mixing of
sentiment and business when Limpy had a case like that. Limpy
was going to take him against a brace game, but when the
stranger mentioned that quarter share for him he changed his
mind and took him to the best and squarest game in town.
"When they got there the stranger bought $500 worth of chips
and wanted to make two bets of the whole thing. That
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 July 31, 2014.