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Triadic Tales - Caught - Short Story (Part Two)


Sterling had never gambled before save one time in France at Divonne. There he won about $100 playing roulette at a table well stocked with people either richer than hell or doing a good job of dissembling. 

The Gold Strike down the hill from Boulder City, Nevada, was more to Sterling's liking. Seedy. One lonely craps table. And a coffee shop sort of place with a buffet in back. There he could sit as long as he liked with his back to the wall, which he also liked. 
He conceived the idea of being a pro gambler. Like many such souls, he automatically assumed no one had ever done the elementary math needed to render casinos powerless in the face of invincible minds. If the stated casino edge varied from a few to many percentage points, that was doubtless a lie put out for the general public. 

It is a redemptive fact that Sterling was not inclined to be really stupid, only a little so. Where someone might plunge in, he would dip a toe. Where someone might be incinerated, he would put his finger quickly through a tiny flame.

He turned out to be not half bad at craps and to be almost sage at the black-jack table. He drove down to Binions in Las Vegas and managed to attract a reasonable amount of attention even though he was betting only a few dollars. 

More than once, when parked somewhere with his notebook, he would be addressed as professor.

 This was in the days when the stars were still visible over Las Vegas. Everything seemed to work. Sterling neither won much nor lost much. He could play or not play. No compulsion. 

When he was asked why he gambled, he said it appealed to him more than getting a summer cottage somewhere. Discretionary income.

Amid all this tip-toeing, Sterling was entirely unprepared, several months into his new life, to return to his Boulder City Motel and find Christy sitting in front of his little room in a folding metal chair. 

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Stephen C. Rose Bio

Stephen C. Rose (1936-) was born in New York City and raised there. He currently lives there. He was educated at Trinity, Exeter, Williams and Union Theological Seminary. He served in the Student Interracial Ministry in Nashville. He founded and edited the prize-winning Renewal Magazine in Chicago and studied with C. A. Doxiadis in Athens. His first books "The Grass Roots Church" and "Who's Killing The Church" established him as a prominent critic of American Protestantism and American religion. He was and remains a civil rights activist. He has interviewed and done in depth pieces on Saul Alinsky and Martin Luther King, Jr. He won awards for editorial courage and for two documentary films. He has written and published many songs and musical works including "We Are All Americans". During the late 90s and early 2000s he worked for UN agencies, most recently editing CHOICES Magazine at UNDP. Since 2000 he has written several books for distribution via K…