Jelly Roll Morton, Inventor Of Jazz, Online Book by Alan Lomax

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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A Half-hand Bigshot
After we got to playing in this little bit of a camp at Orange, I noticed that there were three jacks together, and I swung out and kept those three jacks. The next time the deal went around, one jack fell and I said, "That's my card" and I picked up the jack. That meant I had all four jacks-but they didn't know it. So I told the boys, "All right, get down on this card. "Getting down" means to put some money up. They put down their bets and, because I knew I had the best card I said, "Roll up and make it easy on yourselves." And when we rolled up, I began taking in money so fast it was a shame.
Then one of the camp men picked the deck up and turned it over before Harry could do anything—he knew I had those three jacks and didn't know how to get them back in the deck. So, since I had won on the jack and they couldn't find the other three, the suspicion was right on me. A fellow pulled out a great big pistol and he said, "You either come in with my money or off goes your head."
Harry began to beg them, "Don't hurt this boy. He's only a young brother of mine and don't know what he^s doing, ill assure you 111 give you back all the money you lost on this deal." So, when they started claiming money, the one that had lost three dollars, he's say "ten" and all of them the same until it taken all the money I had in my pocket, all I had won and practically all Harry had won to straighten the thing out. Then, although a certain suspicion fell on Harry, he told me, "You stay out of the game. Let me play these boys and maybe I'll be luckier than you." Then he began to lip the cards and sing,
Tm gonna get one and go toreckly! Bop! a card would hit.
Tm gonnu get one and go ioreckly! Another card would hit.
My baby is down and out,
So Til get one and go torecHy*
* Time 10, Appendix I.