The Mott Street Poker Club
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The Mott Street Poker Club

 

Mr. Gin-Sing's Plug Hat

It Gives Rise to Acrimony and Dissension

 

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THERE was blood in Mr. Gin-Sing’s eye and a brand new plug bat on his head when he came in at the Club and found them already assembled in session, with forty-one cents up on a jack pot. Mr. Gin-Sing’s gait might have been steadier, too, and his tongue clearer. However, he was not too debilitated to sit down and take a hand.

“Whey you catchee bat?” demanded Mr. Hop-Sam.

“Blettee on laces,” stuttered Mr. Gin-Sing; “me glo it blind.”

And he closed his eyes and began to snore softly.

“You no sabbe game?” asked Mr. Hong-Lung. Him jack pottee.”

“Me go him blindee,” repeated Mr. Gin-Sing, opening his eyes and commencing to whistle an air from the latest comic opera in Pekin.

“You go him blind dlunk,” retorted Mr. Hong-Lung contemptuously. “Why you no go mashee gals allee samee Melican man, now you catchee plug hat?”

“What mattel with hat?” asked Mr. Gin-Sing, in a pugnacious voice. “Him no good hat?”

“Maybee him no good Chinaman undel hat,” returned Mr. Hong-Lung sneeringly. “You catehee him at flah?”

Mr. Gin-Sing’s Mongolian blood began to simmer at this reflection on his new headgear, which was really the price of a bet with Marc Antonio Maccaronico, the Italian barber in City Hall Place. He removed the aspersed object, carefully placed it on the window-sill, and then grabbing up a wash-stick proceeded deliberately to whack Mr. Hong-Lung over the head with it.

“Hi yah!” he yelled; “you no likee plug hat? Why fol you no likee plug hat?”

“Him clazy, by glosh!” cried Mr. Hong-Lung, grabbing at the wash-stick. “Callee pleece.”

“You no likee hat?” repeated Mr. Gin-Sing, executing a Hong-Kong jig in the middle of the floor, and whirling his weapon like a shillalegh. “Him plenty good hat. Him allee samee Melican man hat. Why fol you no likee hat?”

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Each question he emphasized by a lusty application of the wash-stick to Mr. Hong-Lung’s person. That gentleman, by the exercise of an agility worthy of an acrobat, managed to elude one attack out of three till he tripped and fell into the wash-boiler on the stove, where he commenced to stew, while Mr. Gin-Sing took muscular advantage of the situation, and the crowd which had gathered outside encouraged the combat with ribald cries.

Only the breaking down of the stove prevented the conversion of Mr. Hong-Lung into a choice quality of Cannibal Island bouillon. This accident permitted him to roll free, and he lost no time in dodging out by the back entry and climbing the fence. Mr. Lee-Tip had crept under the table, where Mr. Gin-Sing prodded him with the stick till he crawled out again, just as the police and the fire-engines arrived. Mr. Hop-Sam had, meanwhile, disappeared. So, too, had the forty-one cents on the table.

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