The Mott Street Poker Club
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The Mott Street Poker Club


Mr. Gin-Sing Backslides

He Wastes his Substance on the Fair Sex


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FOR some days the demeanor of Mr. Gin-Sing had been so singular as to provoke suspicion on the part of his fellow-members. At first he was observed to betray a lack of interest in the game, to gaze at the window more frequently than at his cards, and to give tokens of agitation and excitement whenever a member of the opposite sex went by outside. Next he commenced to display a reprehensible tardiness in joining the conclave, several times keeping it waiting for fifteen minutes after the appointed time for opening the game. Finally, one day lie did not appear at all.

Mr. Hong-Lung appointed himself a committee of one to go in search of him.

After having sought him in vain at the little opium-joint around the corner, at Tom-Lee’s cigar shop and Sim-Skin’s fan-tan establishment, Mr. Hong-Lung was on his way back to the Club when a singular object in advance of him arrested his attention.

This object wore very tight pantaloons, of a gay check pattern, a cutaway coat, a shiny silk bat and patent-leather shoes, and carried in one hand a cane, which it swung by a tassel from its finger at the imminent risk of blinding every passer-by within reach. On the other arm of the object reposed the arm of a female, the rest of whom promenaded beside him in a red jersey and a blue and white polka dot skirt. The object was conversing with the female, while most of the population of the street followed the movements of the pair with great interest.

Mr. Hong-Lung’s heart stopped beating when he recognized the familiar pigtail that meandered gracefully from under the brim of the shiny silk bat, down the cutaway coat, till it terminated among the checks of the tight pantaloons. In all New York there was but one pigtail of these dignified dimensions,
and it belonged to Mr. Gin-Sing.

“Him clazy,” gasped Mr. Hong-Lung to himself. “Him dlinka Melican man dlinks. Him getta jlim jlams.”

Mr. Gin-Sing halted his fair companion at a street corner, and gracefully waved his hand to a passing street-car. When the car halted, Mr. Gin-Sing handed his fair companion aboard, got on himself, and was a moment later swallowed up by the turmoil of the Bowery. Before the vehicle vanished, however, Mr. Hong-Lung read, stenciled on a little muslin banner that fluttered from the roof,—


Take this Car for the






Stunned as he was by this dreadful discovery, Mr. Hong-Lung’s feelings still found eloquent and scornful expression.

“Him thinkee him dlude,” he said.

And he set his face gloomily towards the Club-house, where fraternal confidence was awaiting a shock.

“You no findee him?” demanded Mr. Lee-Tip, a few minutes later, when Mr. Hong-Lung stalked in.

“Me findee him,” replied Mr. Hong-Lung, in accents full of despair.

“Why fol he no come?” asked Mr. Lee-Tip, with a responsive tremor in his voice.

“Him no come,” answered Mr. Hong-Lung, as before.

Mr. Hop-Sing commenced to dance with suppressed curiosity.

“No bavee mon?” demanded Mr. Lee-Tip, turning ashen pale as the forebodings of a great disaster stole upon him.

“Havee plenty mon,” replied Mr. Hong-Lung, wildly, through his tears. “Havee too muchee mon. Takee Ilish woman to picnic. Dlessa like dlude. Buya ice cleam. Spenda mon allee samee dlam fool.”

The vision of Mr. Gin-Sing at a picnic, squandering his substance for soda water and cakes, instead of losing it, like a gentleman, at poker, was too much for the club. An adjournment was made to the little opium joint around the corner, to court oblivion by the magic of the narcotic bowl.

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