On the Road: The Original Scroll by Jack Kerouac

On the Road: The Original Scroll by Jack Kerouac

Author:Jack Kerouac
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Published: 2016-04-12T16:10:30+00:00

I always rush up and take off ninety miles an hour for the nearest whore house, hor hor hor!” This was his “laugh” laugh---when he wasn’t really laughing. “Say Jack, after lunch let’s you and me go play the horses over to the bookie joint in Graetna.” He was magnificent. He took a nap after lunch in his chair, the air gun on his lap, and little Willie curled around his neck sleeping. It was a pretty sight, father and son, a father that would certainly never bore his son when it came to finding things to do and talk about. He woke up with a start and stared at me. It took him a minute to recognize who I was. “What are you going to the Coast for Jack?” he asked, and went back to sleep a moment. In the afternoon we went to Graetna, just Bill and me. We drove in his old Chevvy. Neal’s Hudson was low and sleek; Bill’s Chevvy was high and rattly. It was just like 1910. The bookie joint was located near the waterfront in a big chromium-leather bar that opened up in the back to a tremendous hall where entries and numbers were posted on the wall. Louisiana characters lounged around with Racing Forms. Bill and I had a beer, and casually Bill went over to the slot machine and threw a half-dollar piece in. The counter clicked “Jackpot”--“Jackpot”---“Jackpot”---and the last Jackpot hung for just a moment and slipped off to “Cherry.” He had lost a hundred dollars or more just by a cunthair. “Damn!” yelled Bill. “They got these things adjusted. You could see it right then. I had the jackpot and the mechanism clicked it back. Well, what you gonna do.” We examined the Racing Form. I hadn’t played the horses in years and was bemused with all the new names. There was one horse called “Big Pop” that sent me into a temporary trance thinking of my father, who used to play the horses with me. I was just about to mention it to Bill when he said “Well I think I’ll try this Ebony Corsair here.” Then I finally said it: “Big Pop reminds me of my father.” He mused for just a second, his clear blue eyes fixed on mine hypnotically so that I couldn’t tell what he was thinking or where he was. Then he went over and bet on Ebony Corsair. Big Pop won and paid 50 to 1. “Damn!” said Bill. “I should have known better, I’ve had experience with this before. Oh when will we ever learn?” “What do you mean?” “Big Pop is what I mean. You had a vision, boy, a VISION. Only damn fools pay no attention to visions. How do you know your father, who was an old horseplayer, just didn’t momentarily communicate to you that Big Pop was going to win the race. The name brought the feeling up in you. That’s what I was thinking about when you mentioned it.


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