The Mott Street Poker Club
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The Mott Street Poker Club


A Lesson in Bluff

The Club Has a Caucasian Visitor


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THE appearance of a Caucasian young man, with ferret eyes and a cigarette in his mouth, broke in upon the second hand of the Mott Street Poker Club, and interrupted Mr. Hong-Lung in the midst of a most artistic deal which would have resulted in the favor of somebody in whom he took a strong personal interest. The ferret-eyed young man produced a very dirty dickey, two ditto collars and a pair of cuffs, whose edges Time’s lacework garnished liberally, and announced to Mr. Lee-Tip, whom he greeted affably as “Hello, John,” that he wished them purified and done up in the highest style of the art at once, as they were destined to adorn his person at a hop of the Gentlemen’s Sons of the sixth ward day after tomorrow night. Mr. Lee-Tip received the commission with small favor, and commanded Mr. Gin-Sing to write out a check for the new customer’s valuables. That person, meanwhile, advanced to the table and asked:

“What’s the game, John?”

“Polkel,” replied Mr. Lee-Tip curtly.

“Ah,” said the ferret-eyed young man, coolly sitting down on Mr. Gin-Sing’s vacant soap-box, “that’s your ticket. Now, then, I’ll make it a blind.”

Mr. Hong-Lung and Mr. Lee-Tip looked their emotions, but the sanguine and unreflecting spirit of Mr. Hop-Sam endorsed the stranger, who by this time had taken up Mr. Gin-Sing’s cards.

So they all came in on the blind.

The ferret-eyed young man lighted another cigarette and called for a card, Mr. Lee-Tip wanted two, Mr. Hop-Sam three and Mr.

Hong-Lung stood pat. The ferret-eyed young man surrounded himself with smoke and bet a dime. Mr. Lee-Tip saw him and Mr. Hong-Lung raised him a quarter. Mr. Hop-Sam dropped out.

“I thought you hadn’t no facers, rat-eyes,” remarked the stranger. “I’ll have to see that raise, and rise it fifty.”

The club began to shiver in its shoes. The reckless extravagance of the stranger’s betting was decidedly demoralizing. However, Mr. Lee-Tip saw him again and Mr. Hong-Lung raised him fifty more.

The stranger received this demonstration of Mongolian determination with perfect composure and more smoke. He saw Mr. Hong-Lung’s raise in cash and raised him a five dollar bill, issue of the Confederate States of America of 1863. Mr. Lee-Tip dumped the day’s receipts of the laundry on the gaming-table, and Mr. Hong-Lung deposited a silver watch and seventeen five-cent pieces, remarking at the same time:

“Me callee you.”

“Certainly,” replied the stranger showing down his hand; “call again, as often as you feel like it.”

His hand was composed of red and black spots, without a pair among them. With a grin of delight Mr. Hong-Lung reached out for the accumulated treasure, but then he stopped.

On top of his cards the ferret-eyed young man had deposited a bull-dog revolver of the largest calibre and the most deadly aspect.

“I guess that’s good,” he said, composedly, as he annexed the pot, “six of a kind beats everything. Ta-ta, John; learn to play bluff, and when I come back for my wash I’ll give you another game.”

And he was gone. He never came back for the wash.

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