Happily Ever Afters Are Just A Book Away

Happily Ever Afters Are Just A Book Away

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Daily Dose: Day Five - Gambling

Gambling on the Outlaw does, indeed, include gamblers, gambling themes, and games of chance.

Beth, the heroine, is a gambler's widow. She and her husband, Frank, followed the games, playing from St. Louis to California, and finally to Nevada, where she settles after Frank is killed by another player when he's accused of cheating at a game. Beth wants to make a life for herself in Nevada, but the excitement of the circuit is still in her blood, so when opportunity presents itself, she just can't resist.

Excerpt (from the hero, Isaac's, POV):

Inside the saloon, the thick tang of cigar smoke and the jangle of a cheap piano filled the air, and I found a completely different Beth. Despite the men’s clothes and her admitted dirty state, she’d sauntered into the midst of the poker tables and without a shred of shame she worked those men. She smiled and tossed her blond hair and laughed a sweet, sexy laugh that made all my male parts—and by the looks of it those of the rest of the men in the room—stand up and take notice.
            She approached a table with a game underway, resting her arm on one man’s shoulder and leaned over the table. Since I was behind her all I could see was her ripe little bottom on display in those pants, but all the men in front of her were privy to her other ripe parts on display.

            “So boys, how about you deal me in for a hand?”
            “Darlin’, this game is for men. You wouldn’t be able to handle it,” one man said. He puffed on his cigar with a smug smirk on his face. Beth’s spine stiffened just enough so I noticed, though I was probably the only one. Then she put on a bit of a pout.
            “What’s the matter, sweetheart? You afraid?”
            He could see he was stuck. If he turned her away, everyone’d think he was yellow. If he allowed her to play, he looked like he’d been played by a girl. Which he had. I figured he’d better get used to it because it didn’t look like she was done yet. 
            He grunted which passed as permission. “No skin off my nose. Maybe it’ll teach you where women belong.” His mood had gone from smug to grumpy. 
            “And where would that be?” Beth asked as she grabbed a chair from another table and squeezed it into the space the rest of the men had made by scooting over. 
            “In the kitchen or in bed waiting for their men.” 
            I smiled to myself and grabbed a chair of my own, settling in behind Beth where I could watch the action. If I knew Beth at all, she’d teach him a lesson or two.

Gambling was considered a respectable profession for most of the 19th century, but as the west opened up and with the advent of the gold and mining, and the era of the great cattle drives, places like Deadwood, Silver City, Tombstone, Abilene, Dodge City, and Wichita developed reputations for being lawless, dangerous places, in large part because of the elements associated with gambling.

Wild Bill Hickok
All of these places became associated with some of the most famous names in Western history. Wild Bill Hickok was shot to death as he sat at a poker table (the hand he held - 8's and aces - has become the stuff of legend). Ben Thompson, Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Luke Short were all bigger than life names that are still familiar to this day.

Dead Man's Hand

Gamblers, cowboys, and lawmen are the most enduring characters from the Old West, and the ones that fascinate us enough to keep us reading stories and watching movies about them!

What's your favorite Western story?


No comments:

Post a Comment