The Mott Street Poker Club
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The Mott Street Poker Club


The Return of Mr. Gin-Sing

Showing the Progress of his Infatuation


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CONTRARY to every one’s expectations, the backsliding member of the Mott Street Poker Club put in an appearance at the next session of the Club, as coolly as if nothing unusual had happened to interrupt his intercourse with his brethren. No vestige of the dude suit was visible about him. He wore the conventional blue blouse, the regulation wide breeches and the hat with a cart-wheel brim, that his race have a patent on, and presented no suspicion of a cane with a tassel. He nodded affably to the assembled scientists, hung his hat on its accustomed corner of the floor and sat down on the starch box, which custom had decreed as his.

If the ghost of the great Confucius himself had stalked among them, the Club could not have experienced a greater shock than at the appearance of him whom they had given up as dead, at least for them.

Mr. Hong-Lung said “Hi, hi!” and shifted uneasily on his seat.

Mr. Hop-Sam said “Good glacious!” and glanced uneasily at the door.

Mr. Lee-Tip grumbled in Chinese, and drummed on the table with his fingers.

“So long,” said Mr. Gin-Sing, sitting down.

“Whey you ketcha him?” asked Mr. Hong-Lung.

“Ketcha what?” asked Mr. Gin-Sing.

“Ketcha him ‘so long,” repeated Mr. Hong-Lung, scornfully. “Ketcha him at picnic?”

“What fol picnic?” asked Mr. Gin-Sing, a trifle defiantly. “You sabbe you hab ‘em velly bad to-day?”

At this additional exemplification of the contagious influences of American slang on the susceptible Celestial mind, Mr. Hong-Lung groaned and Mr. Lee-Tip rolled his eyes to the ceiling.

Mr. Hop-Sam, true to his frivolous and unreliable nature, commenced to snicker.

“Him talkee like Ilish,” cried Mr. Hong-Lung, gripping the cards, and, in his desperation, dealing every one a good hand but himself. A couple of hands had gone around, and a jack pot had been opened, when a shade darkened the doorway of the laundry. Mr. Gin-Sing’s eyes sparkled, and he dropped his cards and made a dash for the door.

The Club followed him.

All that they could see was a red jersey over a blue and white polka-dot skirt disappearing around the corner in Mr. Gin-Sing’s company, while a troop of small boys, in front of the, grocery across the way, danced and sang in chorus:

“Oh, Mary Ann! ah, Mary Ann,
Is going to marry a Chinaman.”

The club went back to the table, and divided up the fifty cents Mr. Gin-Sing had left in the pot, for the common benefit, in funereal silence. Then Mr. Lee-Tip remarked, in a voice full of tears—

“Him no play polkel no mol.”

Mr. Hong-Lung smiled cunningly.

“Wait lilly while,” he replied. “Him no stayee mash always.”

This philosophy was voted as sound, and the Club adjourned for the day.

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