True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 116
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116 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
he can't keep away from faro bank and that game gets all his
winnings. Of course, everybody has an explanation of how he
wins all the time. They know his play is straight, for they
watch him too closely for there to be any crooked work. They
charge it up to luck and predict that it will change and run
against him the same as it does with everybody else. But it
doesn't and he continues to win. An old fellow named Wagner
puts out a theory that becomes very popular. It is that Weston
is a mind reader and that when he is ruminating over his cards
he is reviewing the minds of the gents who are sitting in with
him and finding out what cards they hold. If he has kings up
and finds aces in some gent's hand he goes to the discard, while
if he finds his hand is the best he raises them out of their boots.
Wagner cinches his theory by pointing out that when Weston
goes against farobank the box ain't got any mind to read and
that Weston stands to lose and does lose the same as anybody
"Finally it gets so that nobody will sit in the game with Wes.
ton. But he must play poker and he gits to going against the
public poker games, where one man does all the dealing and anybody
can sit in who has the price of a stack of chips. His luck,
or mind-reading, follows him there and he continues to win. He
ibuld tote off a wad every night. Finally the fellows who were
running the games got tired of it and concluded to put up a job
on him. I had nothing to do with it, but they let me in to see
the fun. The plan was to ring in a cold deck, give out four or
five stiff hands and give Weston the next to the best one. When
they mentioned it to me I suggested that Weston might not
stand for a flimflam and as he always toted a gun there might
be trouble. They told me they were on to that and had provided
against trouble by giving Donovan, a big Irishman, who acted as
bouncer, a sawed off billiard cue and telling him to stand behind
Weston's chair and if he reached for a gun to pacify him with
"That night Weston took his seat and placed a big roll of bills
by the side of the chips he bought. The game opened and
dragged along with no plays of any interest for some time. Then
I saw Happy Jack shuffle the cards pretty fast, put them down
like he was going to cut them and pick up a deck one of the
house men had slipped near him, and I knew the play was on.
Jack dealt out the hands and almost before he got through a
little shoemaker, who was playing a five-dollar stack, opened the
pot. A butcher, who is next to the shoemaker, raises and the
next man, who is a booster, tilts her again. The next man just
comes in. The play then reaches Weston. He comes in and
boosts her a fifty-dollar bill. The next man hesitates a long
time and then drops out. The next one, who is a booster, comes
back at Weston with a hundred-dollar bill, after looking up at
Jack. The shoemaker who had opened the pot shoved in what
chips he had left and claimed S show for his money. The butcher
quits. Then the first booster raised her $200 and the man be-
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Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., book, 1913; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/m1/116/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .