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The Cadillac in Bloom
... In 1917 I came back into Chicago from a trip on the road* 1 had been doing a lot of pool playing and 1 was quite prosperous. That was the year that Blankenship was the champion pool player of America. He came up to the South Side and challenged everybody there, and my friend, the Pen-sacola Kid, thought he could beat him, but he didn't have the money for the stake. Him and I had been friends for years, so he came to me. . . . *1 can beat this guy."
"He's the champion of the world," I said, "He's got to be good to be the champion*
"Jelly, I can beat him, if you'll let me have fifty"
Well, I lent him the fifty and, when that game was nearly over, I thought I wouldn't see it again. Blankenship was almost out and he had left the Kid very hard against the cushion. The Kid needed eighteen balls and the shot was impossible, but the Kid made it to beat the world's champion. After that the Kid left for South America. He went to Buenos Aires to beat all the pool pkyers in South America, which he did. 1 even remember his address—Sala Hotel, B. A.
By that time I was thinking of leaving Chicago-a different class of people were invading the city at the time. So when a very prominent figure around town by the name of Lovey Joe Woodson came to me and told me they had a fob for me in Los Angeles, 1 didn't even wait to ask him the salary, 1 was so anxious to get away.
1 had a Iotta clothes those days, which 1 packed and shipped. It happened to be summertime and the dust was terrible in that tourist car; I was almost as dusty as a boll weevil when 1