No Justice

Damon Runyon

Monologue of a Horse Player (Transcribed From Life)

What did I ever do to anybody?

Why can’t I win?

Seconds, seconds, seconds.

All meeting long, seconds, seconds, seconds.

What did I ever to do anybody?

I try to live right. I never stole nothing. Why can’t I win?

Look at that last one. Three days ago he ran for only a thousand dollars. Couldn’t beat a three-legged pig, and me betting on him like he was home. I thought he was a stand-out. Today he moves up five hundred and gallops to those bums and me looking out the window.

Look at that thing in the third. Just breezes to better horses the other day with a bad rider on him. Today he takes off five pounds with MacAndrews up, and I make him the best thing of the meeting. What comes off? He gets beat a dirty snoot by a million-to-one shot.

Yeh, they say something happened to the boy’s tack. Why couldn’t it happen to the winner? Why did it have to happen to me? Everything that happens around here happens to me.

What did I ever do to anybody?

There’s Jolson over there with Jack the Bookie. I hear he bet two hundred three ways on the last winner. That just shows you. Money goes to money. He don’t need the dough and he wins, and I’m betting case sugar and I lose.

I bet on favorites and long shots win, and I bet on long shots and favorites win. All the time I get caught in the switches. I got four photo finishes last week. I went down and looked at the pictures and I don’t see how the judges could split them out, they were so close. They could have called them either way. I don’t know about that camera. It could be wrong. Those judges could be wrong too. I never got a photo finish in my life.

What did I ever do to anybody?

I never killed no one. I send money home when I can. I try to treat everybody right.

Why can’t I win?

How long can a thing like this go on? Can a man come out to the track every day and bet on nearly every race and never get nothing? I wonder if somebody put a curse on me?

Only winner I had in three weeks was a ten to one shot and I had a fin on him and I thought I was out of all my trouble that day. What do you think come off? They called it a dead heat with the favorite so I only got about half the money that was coming to me.

I saw that picture too. My horse’s nose looked in front to me. I wonder if those judges are blind? A lot of funny things have been going on around here. I ain’t accusing nobody but I see some races that looked to me like somebody was getting shooed in. I wouldn’t trust all of those riders but I wish I was in when something is coming off.

That’s Warren Wright down there. He’s setting there with millions. He could bet thousands if he wanted to where I have to bet deuces. I bet on his horse Whirlaway a couple of times when he was the choice and he didn’t get saltz. The other day I didn’t bet on him and he won at a price. What does Warren Wright care about me?