Our family was not one for the world of mystic card games. I doubt if they had ever heard of the tarot. If any precognition was expressed, it was in terms of tea leaves clinging to a cup, or of the fortuitous designs of chop bones left on the plate. We were well up on bridge; auction, not contract – and poker. Not that there was much money in it. Even on the wildest night of gambling, hardly more than a half crown would change hands.
Emmy and Otto, who made a reasonable living out of playing at the Sydney Bridge Club, used to observe and abide by the modesty of stake money.
Occasionally when Norman B and mother were fed-up with two handed gambling I was allowed to sit in.
I remember the sitting-in in a traumatic kind of way. Sitting under the silk beaded and dusty lamp shade losing all my message money. I was suddenly dealt a sting. It couldn’t have been purposeful on my part because when I shuffled or sprayed the cards they all fell on the floor.
Perhaps Norman jiggled it for me – maybe he wanted a quick end to my company, or had suddenly come into riches.
We were not on brain bridge – just simple poker – and he dealt me a ROYAL ROUTINE FLUSH.
It was his mistake of course.
Something which he should have dealt himself. Anyway I collected them for a whole ten pence and was sent to bed.