Cec and the 3 Card Monte Game

Back in early 70s Cec had some business to take care of in San Antonio, so he loaded up Bonnie Gay and Nonie and lit out south in Brown Parkers “98” Oldsmobile.

With the business out of the way the women folk wanted to go by the Farmer’s Market in downtown San Antonio to get a bunch of fruits and vegetables to take back home. Cec never was much on shopping so he just pulled up on the street and let them out and made the block and parked so he could watch the door for them to come out.

There was a whole gang of black fellows hanging out along the street together. Cec got out to stretch his legs and have a cigarette on the sidewalk. About that time there was a long tall black guy came strolling from up the street. He struck up a conversation with Cec. “Awe mister, I jest come in on da bus from up in Arkansas. Oh, I never seen such big tall buildins likes they have here in San Antone”.

He was looking every which way surveying those really tall buildings (as we know San Antonio isn’t known for its downtown skyscrapers).

About that time some of the fellows that were already there came over to see if they may be up for a card game. They demonstrated how it worked. So Cec and his newly found friend huddled up for a second and decided they could work as a team to keep an eye on the cards. That was fine with the 3 Card Monte Dealer and the rest of his gang. They seemed confident that the dealer was better than the 2 pairs of eyes would be.

The game got underway on the sidewalk by the Oldsmobile. Cec and his partner were phenomenal. They were winning nearly ever hand. They were almost unbeatable. But at $5 or $10 a hand they weren’t going to get rich. They had played a few minutes and racked up over a $100. There was a guy that had a piece of chalk and was marking down the tally on the sidewalk.

The dealer said he wanted to up it to $100 per hand. He needed to have a chance to get his money back. In fairly short order Cec and his partner went up by a couple of thousand dollars. Cec knew the women would be coming out any minute so he told the dealer he was going to have to cash out and leave.

The dealer suggested they go double or nothing. Nothing or $4,000. Dang if Cec and the “Arkie” won again. Man they were feeling pretty good about that time.

The dealer explained how it worked. He pulled out a bill roll of bills. He would pay Cec, but how does he know Cec would be able to pay him if the shoe was on the other foot? Since Cec didn’t have that much money on him, he was going to have to walk away from $4,000 if he couldn’t show that amount.

Cec had a friend down south of downtown that was a wheeler dealer in the used equipment and wrecking yard business. He always dealt in cash and would have $4,000. So Cec, the Dealer, one other of the dealers accomplices and the Arkie all loaded up and headed to south San Antonio to Somerset Road, which was known as Junkyard Alley.

Yes he left the women behind. But there was a small fortune at stake.

They pulled up the Bill Dorfmiester’s office and Cec went in to tell Bill what he needed. Bill being well up on how the world worked informed Cec that those guys were doing that scam to people everyday. The object was to get the player to show them cash. Then they knock him in the head and take the money and run.

Cec finally realized what was happening he thanked Bill and left. When he got back in the car, rather than show them the money, he made sure the electric windows were up, and the safety switch kicked out where they couldn’t roll them down. He locked the doors and as long as he held the lock button down they couldn’t unlock either door.

He took off driving like a madman. They wanted to know where he was taking them. “I’m taking your sorry asses to the police station”. They all three started trying to get out, but with the windows up and the locks down, they were trapped. They were begging him to slow down before he killed them all.

One of they backseat occupants finally grabbed him around the neck long enough to jerk his hand off the lock button. With that they all three jumped out of the moving car and fled. That’s when he figured out that his Arkansas Partner was actually one of them.

Cec returned to two really mad Smithwick women that had been standing in the heat for an hour with no idea where their ride had gone.

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