But the cruelest discovery was Kaz’s gift for cards. It might have made him and Jordie rich. Once he learned a game, it took him mere hours to master it, and then he simply couldn’t be beaten. He could remember every hand that had been played, each bet that was made. He could keep track of the deal for up to five decks. And if there was something he couldn’t recall, he made up for it by cheating. He’d never lost his love for sleight of hand, and he graduated from palming coins to cards, cups, wallets, and watches. A good magician wasn’t much different from a proper thief. Before long, he was banned from play in every gambling hall on East Stave.
Warning: A sexy cowboy flirts via magic card tricks.
It was amazing how a place with all these so-called “rough
and tough men” could be easily startled. Every damn time someone entered the
saloon, the whole place went quiet, save for the soft rustling of hands resting
themselves on gun hilts. Usually the person who came in was looking more for a
drink than they were trouble, and after a minute or two of tension, the bar
would go back to normal. It was almost impressive how this group of strangers
had learned to unanimously stop time at will, and as annoying as the constant
pauses were, you were still somewhat proud that you were part of the movement.
Today was a slower day. Only two people had interrupted your
piano playing, and one was the owner of the local drug store, who was beginning
to double as the town drunk. He showed up an hour after the saloon opened. The
second person, however, caused a bit more of a stir.
You’d never seen him before, which was a pity. He was a good
looking man. Tall, dark, and handsome with a good looking body. You kept him in
the corner of your eye as you played. There were no bar stools open, which
meant either he would be going upstairs with the prostitutes or sitting down at
the empty table to your right. You hoped to god it was the latter. And it was—sort
He tossed a few dollars down for a bottle of cheap whiskey
and strutted to an empty seat off in the corner. The view wasn’t the best, but
at least if you strained, you could overhear what he was saying.
In Batman: Damned #1, Bruce Wayne goes undercover as a homeless man to try and find a pale vagrant wearing a green hood (who is pretty clearly the Spectre) who claims to have seen who recently killed the Joker.
While being homeless, Batman happens to randomly bump into several supernatural DC characters in quick succession, most notably Zatanna, who is performing a three card monte game on the street for some quick cash.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time Zee has done that trick within a Batman comic. In Detective Comics #847, she’s holding an illegal three card monte game in one of the more seedy parts of Gotham to “keep her skills sharp“.
Amusingly, Catwoman can see through Zee’s mundane card tricks pretty easily, to Zatanna’s chargrin.
Also, it’s a bit hard to see, but the Joker in Zatanna’s deck? A reference to the calling card of a certain clown prince of prince’s first story all the way back in the 1940s.