The Mott Street Poker Club
The Extra Ace
Mr. Hong-Lung Exhibits His Diplomacy
WHEN the Club met the next afternoon it speedily became evident that Mr. Hop-Sam had taken his lesson of the previous
day to heart. He already knew the difference between a straight flush and a pair of deuces, and betrayed a dim glimmer of knowledge
as to the comparative value of jacks and trays. Mr. Lee-Tip, having some bad laundry debts on his mind, was in a very surly humor. He
gave it as his opinion that gaming was a hideous vice, cited Confucius to support him and positively declined to come in at the start.
But on the third hand nature asserted herself and he concluded to try his chances again.
“Me makee it blind,” said Mr. Hong-Lung, proudly, after looking at his hand.
“What you callee him blind?” demanded Mr. Gin-Sing.
“Makee you pay double,” replied the expert, shoving his bet forward.
“What fol pay double?” asked Mr. Lee-Tip. “You no ketchee mon quick enough, hay?”
“Nevel you mind,” retorted Mr. Hong-Lung, loftily. “No bettee, no payee, sabbe?”
Mr. Lee-Tip, who held two trays, reluctantly deposited his blind, and the others followed suit. Then Mr. Hong-Lung
began to bet with a recklessness born of evident superiority of capital and craft. When the pile was worth raking in he called the game
and laid down four aces and a king.
“My, my, my!” said Mr. Hop-Sam, mournfully. “Me only gottee foal king and one lilly acee.”
“Him no ketchee on,” remarked Mr. Hong-Lung, promptly. “Samee Melican men say, no habee legs enough.”
And he grabbed the pot, shuffled the cards up and pocketed them, and declared the séance adjourned for the day.
Mr. Lee-Tip, who was out sixty-five cents, viewed this proceedings with a malevolent eye. He breathed hard, rolled
his eyes till they threatened to twist themselves out of his head, and clenched his fists in his depleted pockets.
“You playee polkel allee samee Melican man?” he asked.
Mr. Hong-Lung, who was tying up his winnings in a pocket-handkerchief that had been sent in to wash, and that he had
levied on for that use, replied,—
“Allee samee two pea.”
“How many acee Melican man playee polkel with?” demanded Mr. Lee-Tip, in a tone of polite but earnest inquiry.
It was a supreme moment, but Mr. Hong-Lung rose equal to the occasion. He deposited the loaded handkerchief in his
pocket, rammed home with his good right hand, and responded,—
“You wasntee sabbe velly bad?”
“Yes,” replied Mr. Lee-Tip, grimly.
“Go askee Melican man,” said Mr. Hong-Lung, from the door.
Mr. Lee-Tip adjourned to the wash-tub, and commenced to scrub a lot of dress-shirts to rags with an energy that was
more eloquent that words.