Before leaving, Archie was asked if he needed any money. “You mustn’t hesitate to ask for it, because you can have it as well to-day as on Saturday.” But as he had left several dollars of the thirty he had received the day before, Archie didn’t draw any more, and he thought it most remarkable that the editor should have so much money to pay out.
He had no difficulty in getting a trolley-car to Coney Island, and, after an hour’s riding through Brooklyn streets, he found himself in the most unique and most delightful place imaginable, It was a queer-looking town, with great wheels in the air, high towers, with elevators and innumerable merry-go-rounds, and other sources of amusement. The noise was something terrific. Hand-organs, street-pianos, and German bands were all playing at the same time, while people hurried about from one place to another, enjoying the hundreds of games and riding the various scenic railways and carrousels. Archie stood mute with delight at it all, but before five minutes had passed he had shot the chutes, and had ridden over a steeplechase which took him through dark caverns, where dragons glared at him and where electrical sparks were constantly flying through the air. It was all so new, so different from anything he had seen before, that he was simply lost in admiration. He was standing near a theatre, when a short, dark man touched him on the arm, and said, “Come this way, young man, and I’ll teach you the best game of all.”
A DAY AND A NIGHT IN CONEY ISLAND— RAIDING A GAMBLING DEN.
Archie was at first too much surprised to answer the man at all, but in a few moments he remembered that he was now a reporter, and that it was his duty to see all that he could, and have all the new experiences possible. So he decided to follow the man, and find out what “the best thing of all” in Coney Island was like. He was taken through several narrow alleyways, and finally he found himself in front of a tumble-down structure, built out directly over the water. It was very modest in appearance, and everything seemed quiet about the place. The shades were carefully drawn, and the dark man had to knock three times before the door was opened and they were permitted to enter. Inside, Archie found himself in a handsomely furnished apartment which differed greatly in appearance from the exterior of the building. There was a rich velvet carpet, mahogany furniture, and a great many small tables standing about the room. The place was filled with men, mostly well-dressed, who were playing various games. Some were dealing cards, others were twirling wheels with numbers on them, and some were playing games with chips. It didn’t take Archie long to realise that he had been steered into a gambling den of the worst kind, and he was immediately on the alert for future developments. He watched every movement of his new friend, and noticed that he found it necessary to speak to several of those present in a low undertone. This didn’t worry Archie, because he knew that he was in no danger except of losing money, and he felt that he could afford to lose some money, since he was sure to earn more by writing about the experience for the newspaper.