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The Lion Broke Down the Door
ing all the good cheaters. I played the Pensacola Kid at the Astoria Hotel and somehow all the breaks were with me that day and I beat him. When I turned to get the stakes, the guy holding them was gone. 1 told the Kid to get that $40 quick or I would knock his brains out with my cue and, quite naturally, the $40 canie up fast. The manager told me to stay on out of the place, I was too rough for him. Yes, I had become quite a hard boy by then, in fact so hard that it nearly cost me my life.
I told you that i had known about Aaron Harris, but had never personally seen him. Well, Aaron like to play pool and, like many others, thought he could play me for a sucker because I was a musician. So I played this guy every day for $2 a game, and nobody tells me it was Aaron Harris, who at the time had eleven killings to his credit. Finallv, i had Aaron down to his last money and he told me, "If you make this ball on rny money, Im going to take every bit of money hi your pocket."
I said, "A lot of people go to the graveyard for taking and I've got what it takes to stop you."
He said, "What is that?"
I said, "A hard-hitting .88 Special, that'll stop any living human.* In a minute youll have a chance to try to take my money, because if I can make this ball, in the pocket she goes."
I raised my cue high in the air, because my taw bai was close under die cushion and I stroked this ball and into the pocket she went. It was then that Aaron Harris found out he had been playing a shark all the time. For some reason he decided to treat me square, "Okay, kid," he said, "You re the best. Loan me a couple of doEars."
"Now that's the way to talk," I said, "If you want a couple
* "It was a law in New Orleans a person could carry a gun if they wanted to—almost. Of course, there was just a ten-dollar fine—so it didn't make very much difference. If they found you didnt have ten dollars, your sentence would be SO days in jail; but they put you to clean up the market la tbe morning arid there most prisoners would rem away."