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Cross And Pile

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

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Cross And Pile

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Casino Gambling in history

It is the favourite game of the boys of London and the vicinity,
now, however, considerably, if not entirely, discontinued through
the vigilance of the police and the severity of the magistrates.
Not long ago, however, I witnessed a sad and striking scene of it
at Twickenham. It was on a Sunday morning. Several boys
surrounded two players, one of the latter being about 14 years of
age, well dressed, and the other of about 10 years, all in
tatters and shoeless. The younger urchin had a long run of good
luck, whereat his antagonist exhibited much annoyance, swearing
intemperately. At length, however, his luck changed in turn, and
he went on winning until the former refused to play any longer,
saying--'There, you've got back all I won from you.' The bigger
boy became enraged at this refusal to continue the play, and
seemed inclined to resort to fisticuff, but I interposed and put
a stop to the affray. I then questioned the elder boy, and
gathered from him that he played as often as he could, sometimes
winning or losing from eight to ten shillings. 'And do you
generally win? was my next question.' 'No, sir,' he replied, 'I
oftener lose.' I shuddered to conjecture what would be the
future of this boy. The word of warning I gave him was received
with a shrug of the shoulder, and he walked off with the greatest

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