The Charles C. Bunkley Infallible Roulette System
A Short Story by “Lobo Silverwolf”
Charles Bunkley stared at himself in his hotel room mirror. He looked pale around the cheeks and the chin, but his nose and forehead were a Mojave nut-brown. He’d shaved for only the first time in the last six years yesterday, as he prepared for his trip to Las Vegas. Then, early this morning, he’d began the long drive from Wonder Valley, east of 29 Palms, to Sin City, taking the back roads at 35 and trying to stay calm. Now he was finally here, and in an hour would take place the culmination of six years of study, of spinning the roulette wheel he’d set up in his cabin thousands of times a day and recording the results, of reading everything he could on roulette and its strategies, and finally, only a few weeks previously, of coming upon the idea whose result was an infallible system. For centuries men had searched for a system in roulette that would guarantee them a profit, but it was only he, Charles Calvin Bunkley, who had, amongst all men on earth, discovered that system. And now he was going to use it.
Charles dressed leisurely, putting on the unused blue suit and tie he had bought years ago for just this day. Once finished, he looked like any other nicely dressed tourist who would blend in easily with the background. There was no need to attract attention. The casino must never suspect that he had a system, or he would be banned from every casino in America once the news got out.
Instead of taking the concourse that connected the hotel to the casino, Charles went out onto the street again, to look at America one more time before he became a wealthy man. Right now, financially, he was much the same as the tourists and dressed-up single ladies that passed him in the street, but in a little while he would belong to an aristocracy that had always been worshipped in America, in spite of the lip service given to its love of the poor.
He entered the main door of the casino, detecting immediately the hated smell of tobacco smoke. It was something he would just have to put up with for a time; the money would make it worthwhile.
He went to the cashier, withdrew the 50 Franklins from his shoulder money-belt, and asked for five thousand-dollar chips. The cashier seemed unfazed by the request; she must be used to high rollers.
As Charles moved in the direction of the various gaming tables, he repeated to himself, over and over, “middle-red-28”, the three bets he must make to win, that had come to him in a flash once he’d discovered the final key to his system.
Charles went in search of a roulette wheel, looking for a table that was fairly quiet. He spotted one, manned by a young woman with such jet-black hair that Charles thought she must be partly Native American. Suddenly he felt that this was a good omen, for had not Native Americans once been referred to derogatorily as “Redmen”, and since this was not a man, the “Red” corresponded exactly to the second element in his three bets. But then he questioned why he needed an “omen” at all to confirm the validity of his system. Did not this show a lack of confidence in the system’s infallibility, and had he not been logically sure that, willy-nilly, his system must work?
The dealer invited the few players standing at the table to place their bets, and Charles placed his five thousand-dollar chips on the middle column, which paid 2-to-1. She spun the wheel, spun the ball in the other direction, and finally called out “eight”. Of course, Charles had won, and she pushed two stacks of five similarly-colored chips next to Charles’ original five. Then Charles placed the three stacks of chips on Red. The dealer spun the wheel again and Charles watched the ball intently. When it fell onto a red number and stayed there, he didn’t even notice what number she called out; he was waiting for that fresh supply of 15 thousand-dollar chips, which were pushed towards him a few moments later.
Deftly, he crammed the six stacks of $5,000 each onto number 28. He noticed that the young woman now watched him, and the betting table, intently. He caught the pit boss, standing off to one side, eyeing the proceedings and tightening his lips slightly. The other players and spectators at the table quickly became hushed as they realized the magnitude of the bet. Then the dealer spun the wheel, and sent the ball circumnavigating the bowl in the other direction. Charles watched the ball, then looked up, repeating to himself, over and over, “My system is infallible; my system is infallible.” He closed his eyes.
He didn’t hear the color called out, only the words “twenty-eight”.
He’d done it! His infallible system had worked and he was a millionaire! He’d done what no man had ever done before!
He could not help but grin, and several spectators actually broke into a small round of applause. He supposed they thought him plucky; but Charles knew that there was no luck involved.
He tipped the young woman a thousand-dollar chip, and placed it on “seven” for her, then walked away. He had not used the system when he placed that bet, but just random chance, and it didn’t surprise him, as he moved away from the table, to hear “thirteen” called out. She must have been sorely disappointed, but at least she’d had a momentary thrill. And it was important for the casino to see him lose a bet; they must not know of the system.
At the cashier’s window, Charles asked for 50 Franklins, which he replaced in his shoulder money-belt, and a cashier’s check for one-million and forty-four thousand dollars. Tomorrow, when he got back to 29 Palms, he would deposit the check in a large bank, and, when it had cleared, spread the money around several banks so that it was all Federally Insured. He wasn’t going to lose it after six years of struggle.
Returning to his hotel room, he took the concourse that joined it to the casino. There was no need to walk on the street now, with the rabble. Did these well-dressed couples that now passed him know that they were passing the first man in history to successfully figure out an infallible system in roulette? No, of course they didn’t, but it was a fact which he obviously must keep secret. No, he would never tell anyone.
But, now that he knew the system actually worked, he would use it again and again, until he was one of the wealthiest men in America. A wave of euphoria swept over Charles: all things were possible for him now.
Back in his room, he prepared to leave, feeling too elated to sleep, and not even considering now that he was paying for a room till tomorrow, so he ought to stay to get his moneysworth. He would never have to think in such mean terms again.
He opened his suitcase, and began to carefully pack the few belongings he’d brought. Then he noticed his large, three-ring binder notebook with his six years of statistics; within that book lay the secret of his success. He picked up the notebook with a feeling of affection; it was his old, old friend. He put it down again, and opened the front cover. Then, carefully unclipping it, he removed the essential element in his system, the element that had eluded him for six years until recently when, in a flash, he’d conceived in his mind the infallible system.
As he removed the Smith and Wesson snubnose, he smiled at it. It felt heavy and powerful in his hands, like gold. He released the cylinder catch, twirled the dial, and removed the single bullet it held. Then he went to the bathroom, and dropped the bullet into the toilet bowl, flushing it so it moved out of sight.
This time he hadn’t needed that part of the system.
Hooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! — Silverwolf