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Oddities And Witticisms Of Gamblers

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX | X | XI | XII | XIII | XIV

Oddities And Witticisms Of Gamblers

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TWO MASTERS OF THE ART.

A Frenchman who had become notorious for the unerring certainty
with which he won from all who ventured to play with him, at
length found himself unable to induce persons to sit down to the
table with him, there being not the slightest chance of winning
against his play. After being thus idle for some time, an
Englishman, who had heard of his triumphs, expressed his
readiness to enter the lists against him. They sat down, and
played for three hours without intermission, and at the end of
that time were exactly in the same position as when they begun.
They at length paused to take some refreshment. 'Sare,' said the
Frenchman, in a sort of whisper, to a party who accompanied his
antagonist, 'your friend is a very clever man at de cards--deuced
clever, sare.' 'He is a very clever fellow,' observed the
Englishman. 'I shall try him again,' said Monsieur; and as he
made the observation he proceeded to the room in which they had
been playing, and which was fixed on as the scene of their
continued contest. He had scarcely quitted the place when the
other made his appearance, and observed that the Frenchman was
the most skilful player he had ever met with. The parties again
met, and the cards were again produced. The game was renewed at
eleven o'clock, and continued without intermission till six
o'clock on the following morning, at which time they found, to
the surprise of each other, that they were still as they began.
'Sare,' said the Frenchman, 'you are the best player I ever met
with.' 'And you, Monsieur,' returned the other, 'are the only
gentleman I ever played with, from whom I could win nothing.'
'Indeed, sare!' said Monsieur, hesitatingly. 'It is a fact, I
assure you.' 'Sare, I am quite astonished at your skill.' 'And
I'm not less so at yours, Monsieur.' 'You're de most skilfullest
man at de cards in England.' 'Not while you are in it,
Monsieur,' replied the Englishman, with a smile. 'Sare, I
CHEATED, and yet could not win from you!' remarked the Frenchman,
hurriedly and with much emphasis, feeling it impossible any
longer to conceal his surprise at the circumstance of being
unable to play a winning game with the Englishman. 'And,
Monsieur, I did the same thing with you, and yet you are no
loser!' remarked the other, with corresponding energy of tone.

The problem was thus solved: both had been cheating during the
whole night, and were exactly equal in dexterity, both being
unconscious of the dishonest practices of each other; and the
result was that each got up from the table with the same amount
of money as he had when he sat down. The cheats cordially shook
hands, apparently much gratified that they had at length
ascertained how it had happened that neither could pluck the
other.

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