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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesFrank Merriwell's Chums - Chapter 4. A Game Of Bluff
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Frank Merriwell's Chums - Chapter 4. A Game Of Bluff Post by :jaffa Category :Long Stories Author :Burt L. Standish Date :May 2012 Read :1867

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Frank Merriwell's Chums - Chapter 4. A Game Of Bluff


"That's the talk, old man!" exclaimed Harvey Dare, with satisfaction. "Now you are beginning to appear natural."

The other boys were only too glad to get Frank into the game, and room was quickly made for him, while he was given a hand.

The moment he decided to play, he seemed to throw off the air of restraint that had been about him since he discovered the kind of company Bart Hodge had brought him into. He became his free-and-easy, jolly self, soon cracking a joke or two that set the boys laughing, and beginning by taking the very first pot on the table after entering the game.

"That's bad luck," he said, with a laugh. "The fellow who wins at the start usually loses at the finish, so I may as well consider my fortune yours. Some of you will become enormously wealthy in about fifteen minutes, for I won't last longer than that if my luck turns."

He soon betrayed that he was familiar with the game, and luck ran to him in a way that made the other boys look tired. He seemed able to draw anything he wanted.

"Say!" gasped Sam Winslow, in admiration; "I shouldn't think you'd want to play poker--oh, no! If I had your luck, I'd play poker as a profession. Why, if you drew to a spike, you'd get a railroad! I never saw anything like it."

Wat Snell had been losing right along, and he sneered:

"There's an old saying, 'A fool for luck,' you know."

"It applies in this case," laughed Frank. "If I wasn't a fool, I wouldn't be in this game."

"What's the matter with this game?" asked Harris. "Isn't the limit high enough to suit you?"

"That's the matter," said Dare, swiftly. "Let's raise the limit."

"Let's throw it off," urged Snell. "What's the use of limit, any how?"

Frank shook his head.

"I don't believe in a no-limit game," he said. "There are none of us millionaires."

"And for that very reason, none of us will play a heavy game," said Sam. "We have played a no-limit game before, and nobody ever bets more than a dollar or so. That doesn't happen once a game, either."

"Twenty-five cents is usually the limit of our bets," declared Harris.

"Then raise the limit to a quarter," said Frank. "I am willing to give you fellows a show to get back your money."

But they did not fancy having the limit a quarter, and quite a long argument ensued, which resulted in the game being resumed as a no-limit affair.

"There!" breathed Wat Snell, "this is something like it. Now I can do something. If a fellow wanted to bluff he couldn't do it on a ten-cent limit."

Hodge had said very little, but he seemed willing and ready to throw off the limit.

The change of limit did not seem to affect Merriwell's luck, for he continued to win.

"I believe you are a wizard!" exclaimed Sam Winslow. "You seem to read a fellow's cards."

Wat Snell growled continually, and the more he growled the more he lost.

"Oh, wait till I catch 'em by-and-by," he said, as he saw Frank rake in a good pot. "I won't do a thing to you, if I get a good chance!"

"If you have the cards, you will win," was the reply. "They are coming for me now, and I am simply playing 'em."

Hodge had lost something, but he said little, being more than satisfied as long as Frank was winning.

Thus the hours passed.

By one o'clock Frank was far ahead of the game, but he still played on, for he knew it would not seem right for him to propose stopping.

Dare, Harris and Winslow were nearly broken, but they still hung on, hoping for a turn in their direction. Snell had plenty of money, for all that he had been the heaviest loser.

Finally there came a good-sized jackpot, which Dare opened. Snell was the next man, and he promptly raised it fifty cents. Winslow dropped out, and Hodge raised Snell fifty cents. Then it came Frank's turn, and he simply staid in. Harris was dealing, and he dropped out, while Dare simply "made good."

This gave Snell his turn, and he "boosted" two dollars.

"Whew!" breathed Winslow. "That settles me. I'm out."

Hodge was game, and he "came up" on a pair of nines.

Snell was watching Merriwell, and the latter quietly pushed in two dollars, which finished the betting till cards were drawn, as Dare dropped out, after some deliberation.

"How many?" asked Harris, of Snell.

"Don't want any," was the calm reply.

Hodge took three, as also did Merriwell, which plainly indicated they had a pair each.

"Snell has this pot in a canter," said Harris.

Snell bet five dollars, doing it in a way that seemed to say he was not risking anything.

Hodge dropped his nines, which he had not bettered, and that left Merriwell and Snell to fight it out.

"This is why I object to a limit being taken off a game," said Frank. "It spoils the fun, and makes it a clean case of gambling."

"It's too late to make that kind of talk," sneered Snell. "You are in it now. Do you call?"

"No," replied Frank, "but I will see your five dollars, and put in another."

This created a stir, but Snell seemed delighted.

"I admire your blood," he said, "but the bluff won't go with me. Here's the five, and I will raise ten."

Now there was excitement.

Frank's cards lay face downward on the table, and every one was wondering what he could have found to go up against Snell's pat hand. He was wonderfully calm, as he turned to Bart, and asked:

"Will you loan me something?"

"Every cent I have," was the instant reply, as Hodge took out a roll of bills and threw it on the table. "Use what you want."

There were thirty-five dollars in the roll. Frank counted it over carefully, and then put it all into the pot, raising Snell twenty-five dollars!

When he saw this, Snell's nerve suddenly left him. His face paled and his hands shook.

"Whoever heard of such infernal luck as that fellow has!" he grated. "Held up a pair, and must have fours now!"

Frank said not a word. His face was quiet, and he seemed waiting for Snell to do something.

"If you haven't the money to call him----" began Harris.

"I have," declared Snell; "but what's the use. A man can't beat fool-luck! Here's my hand, and I'll allow I played it for all it is worth."

He threw the cards face upward on the table, and smothered exclamations of astonishment came from the boys.

His hand contained no more than a single pair of four-spots!

"Then you do not mean to call me?" asked Prank.

"Of course not! Think I'm a blooming idiot!"

"The pot is mine?"


"Well, I will allow I played this hand for all it is worth," said the winner, as he turned his cards over so all could see what they were.

Wat Snell nearly fainted.

Merriwell's hand was made up of a king, eight spot, five spot, and one pair of deuces!

It had been a game of bluff, and Frank Merriwell had won.

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