ch2 pg 8-9

WHEN Charlie Royce had passed on, he had left Samantha some things: loneliness, depression and a rather large retirement fund. Her friends had tried their best to shake her out of it but to Samantha, her was all she had. Too many lonely nights had led to too many memories. She was drinking away her sorrows in a Waikiki bar one night when a handsome well dressed guy sat down next to her. It turned out he was a handicapper.

Handicappers watched the world of sports and tried to make predictions on who would win and by how much. Gamblers through out the country listened to what they forecast.
For instance, if they said the Bears were going to win over the Giants by thirteen and half points, people bet whether or not the Bears would win by more or less. If I bet on the Bears and they won 33-30, I lost my bet because they had failed to cover the predicted winning margin. The winning margin was called the spread.
Now if I had bet on the Bears and they won 33-14, I won the bet because the Bears won by more than thirteen and a half points. They had covered the spread. The half point was there to prevent ties.
The predictions that the handicappers came up with was called the line. The line came out every Tuesday. Right after the Monday night game, another week of handicapping started.
The line wasn't constant nor was it the same coast to coast. It would change depending on injuries, weather forecasts and who had home field advantage. Handicapping was not an exact science, though some would like you to believe it was.

"So you started betting on football games."
"I started betting small at first. Fifty here, fifty there. Then Daddy's pension came and insurance came in." She paused, "I need another drink."
I poured her another scotch. After thinking about it, I took out another glass and poured myself one too.
The handicapper had put he in touch with a guy named Freddie. He was a bet runner that apparently had a reputation for paying on time and not accepting excuses when it was time to collect. Welshers were usually given some permanent reminder of their actions. Broken bones and visible scars were the usual trademarks.
"Did he do his own work or did he hire out?" I took seat across from her and watched her eyes.
Samantha glared at me. Her story had a beginning, a middle and I was interrupting. I mumbled an apology and motioned for her to go on.
"Freddie was always in Danny's from ten to ten. Well one day, I missed him. The bartender noticed me looking for him and called me over. He motioned to a guy sitting at the end of the bar."
She downed the last of her drink. "That's how I met Greenie. His real name is Michael Green."
Her story sounded straight, so far.

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