Japhet, in Search of a Father eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 546 pages of information about Japhet, in Search of a Father.

I felt so anxious to avoid reflection, that I immediately accepted his offer, and, in a few minutes, we were in the well-lighted room, and in front of the rouge et noir table, covered with gold and bank notes.  Atkinson did not commence his play immediately, but pricked the chances on a card as they ran.  After half an hour he laid down his stakes, and was fortunate.  I could no longer withstand the temptation, and I backed him; in less than an hour we both had won considerably.

“That is enough,” said he to me, sweeping up his money; “we must not try the slippery dame too long.”

I followed his example, and shortly afterwards we quitted the house.  “I will walk home with you, Newland; never, if you can help it, especially if you have been a winner, leave a gaming house alone.”

Going home, I asked Atkinson if he would come up; he did so, and then we examined our winnings.  “I know mine,” replied he, “within twenty pounds, for I always leave off at a certain point.  I have three hundred pounds, and something more.”

He had won three hundred and twenty-five pounds.  I had won ninety pounds.  As we sat over a glass of brandy and water, I inquired whether he was always fortunate.  “No, of course I am not,” replied Atkinson; “but on the whole, in the course of the year I am a winner of sufficient to support myself.”

“Is there any rule by which people are guided who play?  I observed many of those who were seated, pricking the chances with great care, and then staking their money at intervals.”

Rouge et noir I believe to be the fairest of all games,” replied Atkinson; “but where there is a per centage invariably in favour of the bank, although one may win and another lose, still the profits must be in favour of the bank.  If a man were to play all the year round, he would lose the national debt in the end.  As for martingales, and all those calculations, which you observed them so busy with, they are all useless.  I have tried everything, and there is only one chance of success, but then you must not be a gambler?”

“Not a gambler?”

“No; you must not be carried away by the excitement of the game, or you will infallibly lose.  You must have a strength of mind which few have, or you will be soon cleaned out.”

“But you say that you win on the whole; have you no rule to guide you?”

“Yes, I have; strange as the chances are, I have been so accustomed to them, that I generally put down my stake right; when I am once in a run of luck, I have a method of my own, but what it is I cannot tell; only this I know, that if I depart from it, I always lose my money.  But that is what you may call good luck, or what you please—­it is not a rule.”

“Where, then, are your rules?”

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Japhet, in Search of a Father from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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