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Oddities And Witticisms Of Gamblers

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

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Oddities And Witticisms Of Gamblers

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Among his many exploits was the following. Various trials of his
skill and activity were proposed by gentlemen who offered to
support their opinions with their money. But Metcalfe had a
determination of his own, and refused taking a share in any of
the ingenious proposals urged upon him, until a country squire,
the Nimrod of a neighbouring district, submitted a plan which he
expected would baffle all his manoeuvres. He asked the blind man
if he was willing to run 100 yards against his favourite mare.
The offer was immediately accepted--provided he might CHOOSE THE
GROUND, which should be an open space on the adjoining moor. The
stakes were deposited the same evening; and a fine level space
being selected, and the distance marked out with great exactness
early the following morning, the decision followed with little
delay. The party selected to ride against the blind man was much
admired for his horsemanship; and at the appointed time, every
preparation being completed, the signal was given and the race
commenced. The horseman was instantly far ahead, but before he
could finish his stipulated distance the fore feet of his hunter
sank deep in a bog, from which, being unable to extricate them,
he came completely over, treating his rider with a tremendous
somerset. The loud shouts of the spectators announced to the
blind man that his expectations were realized. The turf showed
no apparent difference, and was sufficiently strong to carry a
man with safety,--perhaps it would have borne a horse going only
at a moderate pace, but at full speed his feet pierced the sod,
and entangled him in the hidden danger. Metcalfe passed his
extended rival, terminated his career, and won the race before
those who had run to the prostrate horseman could render him any
assistance. Indeed, it was too late for that purpose, he had
finished his earthly course having ruptured a vessel near the
heart in his fall!

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