Pride meets her match.
No Chance Encounter
“Place a coin beside the cup that holds the pea. Double your money,” Pride Highfalls shouted.
Many hesitated, but few played. A short, balding man wearing an eyepatch passed frequently, pausing. Pride addressed him.
“You sir, what’s your name?” she asked, pointing.
He thought, then said:
“Have you played?”
The man shook his head, ruffling the fringe of hair that went around the back of it. Novar reached into his pocket and pulled out a coin.
“Give me a chance.”
“Pick your cup,” urged Pride. She knew there was a sucker born every minute and a one-eyed man seemed to be one.
Novar placed his coin in front of the middle cup. Hands ablur, Pride shuffled them. She lifted his choice. Astonishingly, the pea was there. Reluctantly, she paid.
“Care for another chance?”
“Why not,” he said and placed a coin in front of the same cup.
Even faster, Pride shuffled again. When she raised the center cup, there lay the pea. She gave the man his due angrily.
“Tell you what, I’ll stand with my back to you while you shuffle. I’ll even pick a different cup and triple my bet!”
Pride figured that she couldn’t lose, so she agreed. Novar placed three coins by the cup on the right, then turned away
After an interval, he turned forward again. When the cup was raised, there sat the accursed pea! As Pride handed the man his winnings, she found herself shackled.
“Scam Detective,” Novar announced as he hauled Pride over her table to stand beside him. As he took her away, she had to know.
“How did you do that?”
“You’ve heard of eyes in the back of your head? I have them, you see. That’s not hair back there, its eyelashes!” Novar said.