It’ll Do – Orville and the Pool Shark

21 Nov

It’ll Do

Copyright William J. Conaway, 1989

Episode 11 – Orville

There is, as they say, more than one way to skin a cat—and I suspect that Orville knew every one of them, for Orville had been around the track a few times, and he wasn’t slow. He had managed to work the Bank out of a foreclosure property they were sure to get, and had picked up a Quarter-Section just by paying the taxes. That took a certain amount of doing.

Orville was smart but just as human as the rest of us. He proved it one afternoon when “She” walked in to the It’ll Do all very lady-like. She found her way to the pool table in really quick order. This was a fine- looking Lady, and I have no doubt that Orville was willing to give her every advantage.

After he was down about twenty dollars, his attitude changed. Her name, incidentally, was Beatrix. She came from Paris, France (she said). We wouldn’t hold that against her. Orville had a difficult time accepting one particular shot that she made where she put three balls in the pockets—one done on a second bank. To Orville, that was nearly unforgivable.

We could tell, Old Man Williams and I, that Orville wanted revenge so bad he could have bitten through a nail. At the same time, he was staring awfully hard at all the charms this lady had. He was confused. She knew this and kept on shooting like Sergeant York. Where was poor Orville to go?

He came up to the bar. “Sully,” he said, “I’m in trouble.”

“Of course you’re in trouble,” I said.

“This Beatrix, or whatever her name is, is ruining my life.”

“Come on, Orville.”

“No, she is. I need some help. You know I don’t usually go around screaming for help, but she just finished off one rack and is going after another. Instead of getting mad, I just keep looking down her dress and thinking things.”

“Well,” I said, “quit looking.”

“Sully, it’s not that easy. She does it on purpose. There’s one way you can help me out—I ask it as a friend—load the hell out of her drinks.”

Of course I didn’t load up her drinks—that wouldn’t have been any fun. Orville went back to the pool table (that had seen so many Dollars pass into his hands) just stood there and lost.

Closing time came as a Blessing—for Orville. He was probably down more than a hundred, and for a person like Orville this was a tremendous blow to his ego.

The next morning he had a talk with J.C., who was just about as good a pool shooter as he was, although Orville had a good ten years on him. Exactly what they had to say, I don’t know. Even though J.C. is a younger man, he knows a thing or two. He and Orville were competitors, but they were friends, too. He couldn’t stand by and let a stranger take advantage of his friend. He set up a rematch between this Beatrix and Orville for the next afternoon. A high stakes game with just the two of them playing.

Word got around town pretty good and the It’ll Do was about as full as it could get. I was busier than a one armed paper hanger, drawing beers when in walks Beatrix. The stage was set.

She had on a flimsy something that was guaranteed to drive Orville right up the wall. Orville took his hand-made Mother of Pearl inlaid cue stick, out of its case and delicately laid it on the pool table.

“Would you care to play for two, or five?”

She went for the whole five. What she didn’t know was that J.C. had sent all the way to Kansas City for the most expensive call-girl he could find.

Orville was ready to concentrate totally on shooting pool.

Needless to say we didn’t see Beatrix around the It’ll Do anymore after that, but Orville seemed to spend a lot more time up in Kansas City!

One Response to “It’ll Do – Orville and the Pool Shark”

  1. Marta Galeazzi November 22, 2012 at 1:23 PM #

    Cute story, were these people supose to represent real people you knew or just imaginative people?


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