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Brisco Waters, Private Eye (Part 3) (standard:mystery, 1478 words) [3/5] show all parts
Author: Red StormAdded: Jul 22 2001Views/Reads: 1347/898Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Brisco, having found nothing but trouble in his quest so far, decides to gamble with his life at the casino. Will he find answers? Trouble? Both? Probably so.

It was getting late, and I knew that the casino closed at three in the
morning. It was nothing like the elegant casinos in upstate Illinois, 
more like an abandoned warehouse full of stolen slot machines, card 
tables, and roulette wheels. As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what 
it was. It was a legitimate business, though, and honest people as well 
as dishonest people gambled here, which made it a harder place to 
gather information. Should a fight break out here, there were innocent 
lives thrown into the mix. I didn’t like it, but had no other choice. 

It was at this point that I had a notion to make good on an offer from
an old friend. I don’t really know why I did it, because I had never 
done it before, but I decided to put a call through to Chuck Mallard, 
Chicago P.D. and let him know the situation. I wanted someone to know 
where I was in case something happened. Like I said, it was a gut 
notion and I don’t know why I did it. The call went out from the 
police-band radio mounted on the dash of my coupe around midnight. 
Chuck was on patrol six miles away, and said that he would keep an eye 
on the area until I got back to him. Good, I was ready. 

The dress code wasn’t as formal as the uptown casinos, so I blended in
well with my light brown overcoat draped over the usual button-up and 
tie. It was raining hard outside, and I was drenched when I walked into 
the bright building. It really was a pretty nice place, and gamblers 
covered the place like ants on a hill. The card tables were packed 
tight, as well as the slots. I knew that the high-stakes gamblers were 
card-playing mobsters, so I pushed my way though to the tables. Taking 
a newly vacated seat next to a well-dressed young woman, I dropped a 
few chips onto the green felt table to ante up. It was poker, my kind 
of game. 

The dealer tossed me two cards, which I hardly noticed until the betting
began. I was scanning the area for any known faces, finding only one in 
the far corner of the building. Leon “the Tub” Wassaluki, a very large 
man who had known contacts in one of the more organized crime 
organizations in Chicago. He was seated among a couple of unknowns at a 
poorly-lit table in the dining area, taking advantage of the all you 
can eat oyster promotion. 

“Your bet sir?” The dealer asked me for the second time, snapping my
attention back to the table. 

I tossed another chip into the pile and checked my cards. An ace of
hearts and a three of clubs. Not an especially wonderful hand, but who 
cared. Another card, another chip. By the time my hand was full, I had 
the ace and three, along with a King and Queen of hearts and a five of 
spades. Throwing the last of my chips into the pile, I decided to give 
my three and five back and get two new cards. I smiled as the new cards 
came up a ten and Jack of hearts, Royal Flush. The other players 
immediately caught my grin and folded, but it was late in the game and 
I won a significant hand. Good thing I wasn’t here for pleasure, or I 
would have probably kept going and lost it all back to the dealer. 

I approached Tubby’s table and took a seat next to him, surprising
myself at the boldness I was showing. 

“Brisco Waters, what the hell are you up to?” He asked, slurping an
oyster down and licking his thick lips. 

“Just enjoying a few games of poker, you?” I asked casually. 

“Watching all of these fools lose their money playing a few games of
poker. So, you come out a winner tonight, or a loser as usual?” He 
waved an approaching henchman off as I thought about the question. 

“Matter of fact, I’ve won $38,” I answered slowly. 

“Well, consider it good luck and call it a night. They say if you stick
around long enough, you always lose.” The look in his eyes told me that 
we were no longer talking about poker. I didn’t feel like calling it a 
night just yet. 

“Good advice, Tubs. Now I need some more help,” I leaned over his table
and lowered my voice, “information.” I leaned back in my chair and let 
him swallow that one, along with a heaping drink of red wine. 

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This is part 3 of a total of 5 parts.
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