True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 175
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* HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 175
right, for both the good and the bad are problematical and each
is likely to prevail. Therefore it is just as superstitious to belitve
in the good as in the bad, so far as the influence of Friday
But I am not going to write about superstition from a scientific
viewpoint, but am going to tell of some of the pet superstitions
of some of my friends. I dbubt if there are many telegraph
operators except Colonel Phil Fall and Colonel D. P. Shepherd
who remember little Jack Graham, the best operator and the
gamest sport that ever handled a telegraph key or bet on a fourflush.
Jack loved a "quiet little game" better than anything on
earth and would have resigned the presidency of the Western
Union had it come between him and a nice game. He was not a
plunger, but loved a small game better than he loved to eat, and
could always be counted on to take a hand when anything was
In those days there were a number of us who had more money
than sense, so we organized a small club and we had regular
Saturday night games, which generally extended over until nearly
daylight Monday morning. Jack was always there and among
the first to get there, too. As I have said, it was a small game,
and being table stakes, it was a safe gaine a's well.
One Saturday night we had been playing for some time and
Jack was having the most outrageous luck. Every hand he got
he found that some one had a larger. He had visited the "lamp
post" (which in plain English means that he had gone out and
floated a check or borrowed some money) two or three times
and was fast losing his patience as well as his wealth. He got
cranky and tried all the tricks of a poker game to.change his
luck. He swapped seats, turned his chair around, and did everything
else he could think of. It was no use, and he continued
to lose. Finally, after about the fourth visit to the "lamp post"
he found he had misplaced his bag of tobacco and, searching
for it through his pockets, he found a rabbit foot that he had
put away and forgotten all about. You should have seen the
smile that lit up his countenance when he found that foot. It
restored his confidence and he was a new man at once. He
came back and, taking his seat, he carefully dusted every one
of his chips and then heaped them over the rabbit-foot.
"Watch me do you wolves now," he said. "From this moment
you are my meat."
Actually, I felt sorry to see an intelligent man give way so
blindly to superstition as Jack was doing, for he showed absolute
confidence in the potency of his talisman. He did not
have a doubt.
Four or five hands were played with no features of interest
about any of them, as a rule the opener taking the pot without
opposition. Finally I skinned my hand and found four eights
pat. A man named Bright just ahead of me opened the pot and
I simply trailed. When it reached Jack he came in and tilted
the opener modestly. One other man came in, but merely stood
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/175/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .