By E. Mittleman (?-?).
Illustration by [Gray] Morrow (1934-2001; HERE).
First appearance: Worlds of IF, July 1960.
Short short story (7 pages).
Online at Project Gutenberg (HERE).
"There couldn't be a better tip-off system than mine—it wasn't possible—but he had one!"
There's one thing all gamblers have in common: They're always trying to take the gamble out of gambling (usually, sad to say, by cheating); however, it's likely they've never been given the opportunity to take the chance out of chance that our central character has handed to
him on a silver platter . . .
~ Unnamed first-person narrator:
". . . everybody has got to like somebody, and I had the edge over most of the human race."
"Take your best shot. But mark my words. You're not going to make out on your own."
"He laughed not only when the mark made some crack, but a lot of the time when he
didn't. It got so the customers were looking at him with a lot of dislike, and that was
bad for business."~ Chapo:
". . . before I got a chance, this fellow from Chicago came in, a big manufacturer named Chapo; a wheel, and he looked it. He was red-faced, with hanging jowls and a big dollar
cigar; he announced that he only played for big stakes ... and, nodding toward the kid
and me, that he didn't like an audience."
- A similar dramatic situation to today's story can be found in an episode of the old Twilight Zone TV series, "The Prime Mover" (1961; SPOILERS; HERE and HERE), with Dane Clark's character corresponding to our unnamed narrator and Buddy Ebsen to Skippy, whose wild talent in the show differs from Skippy's in being psychokinesis (HERE).
HERE), this was "E. Mittleman's" only writing credit.