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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 103, November 12, 1892   By:

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VOL. 103

NOVEMBER 12, 1892



On either side of the circular Race course, with its revolving metal horses, is a Green Table, divided into numbered squares, around which the Players, who are mostly English, are sitting or standing. A Croupier with his rake presides at each table. In an obscure corner of the balcony outside, Miss DAINTREE and her Married Sister have just established themselves. There is a Ball at the Casino, and the Orchestra are heard tuning up for the next dance.

The Married Sister . But SYLVIA, why have you dragged me out here to sit in the dark? I thought you were engaged for this?

Miss Daintree . So I am to such a horrid little man. That's why I fled. He won't think of coming here after me!

The M.S. What made you give him a dance at all?

Miss D. JACK brought him up to me so naturally I thought he was a dear friend of his, but it seems he only sat next to him at table d'hôte , and JACK says he pestered him so for an introduction, he had to do it to get rid of him. So like a brother, wasn't it?... Oh, AMY, he's coming what shall I do? I know he can't dance a little bit! I watched him trying.

The M.S. Can't you ask him to sit it out?

Miss D. That's worse ! Let's hope he won't notice us. Ah he has !

[Illustration: "Our dance, I believe?"]

[ Mr. CUBSON, a podgy young man with small eyes and a scrubby moustache, wearing a tailless evening coat and a wrinkled white waistcoat, advances.

Mr. Cubson . Our dance, I believe? ( The Orchestra strikes up. ) Isn't that the Pas de Quatre? To tell you the truth, I'm not very well up in these new steps, so I shall trust to you to pull me through soon get into it, y'know.

Miss D. ( to herself ). If I could only get out of it! ( She rises with a look of mute appeal to her Sister.) We can go through this room. ( They pass into the Salle des Petits Chevaux. ) Stop one minute I just want to see which horse wins. Don't you call this a fascinating game?

Mr. C. Well, I don't understand the way they play it here too complicated far me , you know!

Miss D. ( to herself ). Anything to gain time! ( Aloud. ) Oh, it's quite simple you just put your money down on any number you choose, and say " Sur le " whatever it is, and, if it wins, you get seven times your stake.

Croupier . Tous sont payés faites vos jeux, Messieurs, les jeux sont partis!

Miss D. I know what I should do I should back 7 this time. I've a presentiment he'll win.

Mr. C. Then why don't you back him?

Miss D. Because I don't happen to have brought any money with me.

Mr. C. Oh, I daresay I can accommodate you with a franc or two, if that's all.

Miss D. Thank you, I won't trouble you: but do back him yourself, just to see if I'm not right.

Croupier . Les jeux sont faits. Rien ne va plus!

Mr. C. ( throwing a franc on the table ). Sur le sept! ( To Miss D.) I say, he's raked it in. What' s that for?

Miss D. For the Bank, or Charity, or something they always do that if you stake too late.

Mr. C. Swindle, I call it. And I should have won, too it is 7. I've had enough of this suppose we go and dance?

Miss D. Why, you're not going to give in already after so nearly winning, too?

Mr. C. Ah, well, I'll have just one more go and then we'll be off. I'm going to try the 9 this time. [ He stakes.

Miss D. I should have gone on the 4 it's time one of the even numbers won again.

Mr. C. Oh, would you? All right, then. ( To Cr.) Pas sur le neuf le quatre. ( The Croupier transfers the franc to 4. ) They're off can't tell the winner yet. Now they're slower 4's good 4's very good. See where he's stopped, not an inch from the post! This isn't half a bad game.

[ A horse with a red flag at his head, labelled No. 9, creeps slowly up, and stops just ahead of 4.

Croupier ... Continue reading book >>

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