I’m continually goaded and chided by Giorgio and Larry Jennings. Their blunt, denunciating words are often hard for me to take but, little do they know that their verbal abuse serves to spur me onward. Compared to receiving a painful punch from Murphy, their verbal chidings are, ironically, like a congratulatory slap on the back. Rather than avoiding them, I confront them every chance I get. I’ll take the smack if it leads to learning a new sleight.
I’m seating across from Vernon’s empty settee, dealing seconds, hoping he comes down from playing Hearts. Then to my shock, Giorgio enters the Castle and sits directly across from me.
Giorgio starts demonstrating different palms, false shuffles and false deals. He says arrogantly, “I’ve bought houses with my winnings, but,” he adds with a sneer, “With your work, you will never win anything!”
I finally muster up some guts and say timidly, “But I have been getting the money since I was a kid.”
“Yeah,” he snarls back, “penny ante games, no doubt. But in big games, what you do will never fly.” He continues with over baring pride, “I was a bust-out man and hustled dice and cards starting before World War II on into the sixties, and I know what’ll get the money! And what you do will not get the money!”