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interest in winning or losing. There were two persons present,
however, who, as peculiarly good specimens of a class, deserve a
passing notice. Of these, one was a man of six or eight and fifty,
who sat on a chair near one of the entrances of the booth, with his
hands folded on the top of his stick, and his chin appearing above
them. He was a tall, fat, long-bodied man, buttoned up to the
throat in a light green coat, which made his body look still longer
than it was. He wore, besides, drab breeches and gaiters, a white
neckerchief, and a broad-brimmed white hat. Amid all the buzzing
noise of the games, and the perpetual passing in and out of the
people, he seemed perfectly calm and abstracted, without the
smallest particle of excitement in his composition. He exhibited no
indication of weariness, nor, to a casual observer, of interest
either. There he sat, quite still and collected. Sometimes, but very
rarely, he nodded to some passing face, or beckoned to a waiter to
obey a call from one of the tables. The next instant he subsided
into his old state. He might have been some profoundly deaf old
gentleman, who had come in to take a rest, or he might have been
patiently waiting for a friend, without the least consciousness of
anybody’s presence, or fixed in a trance, or under the influence of
opium. People turned round and looked at him; he made no
gesture, caught nobody’s eye, let them pass away, and others come
on and be succeeded by others, and took no notice. When he did
move, it seemed wonderful how he could have seen anything to
occasion it. And so, in truth, it was. But there was not a face that
passed in or out, which this man failed to see; not a gesture at any
one of the three tables that was lost upon him; not a word, spoken
by the bankers, but reached his ear; not a winner or loser he could
not have marked. And he was the proprietor of the place.

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