"Slides?" I asked.
"Slides his hand into another guy's pocket and removes some money," he explained. "Made a good living."
Haig started telling me stories about Thompson. His favorite was about Titanic's driving along a Texas highway outside Dallas. Titanic passed a road sign saying it was 17 miles to town. He stopped, got out, walked back to the sign, dug it up and put it in the trunk of his car. Then he turned around and drove away from the city to a point that was nearly 22 miles out. He pulled out his shovel and reset the sign. Several weeks later when he was driving the road with an unsuspecting passenger, he struck up a conversation about distances. Then they came to the sign. "You know," he said to his companion, "I'll bet you it's over 20 miles into downtown Dallas. Those state highway boys don't know nothin'." When the other fellow disputed him, relying on the sign, Titanic was ready to sink him. "I'll bet you a hundred dollars," he dared. Haig said he drove that road for years, playing the same ruse on the uninitiated. According to Haig, Titanic Thompson called that sign his own private annuity.
"Another time he bet a man he could hit a ball a quarter mile," Haig said. "The money got laid down, and he trucks the sucker to the rim of the Grand Canyon. Bats it out into the wild blue yonder. It went a quarter mile and then some.
"Junior," he said to me, "no matter what the guy says, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. So keep your hands in your pockets. Don't bet him he can't do something he says he can."
"So how are you gonna beat him?" I asked, wondering if Haig would follow his own advice and refrain from betting.
"Oh, we ain't gonna play for anything major, maybe just a few hundred or so. I'm doing this for you, remember."
Spec looked at his watch and coughed to attract Haig's attention. "Is it time, Spec?" Haig asked. "O.K., take her out slow and quiet. I don't want them to know we're coming just yet. Pull her to a stop just after this rise up ahead."
We started to move, and I had no idea where we were, but before we'd gone very far, the mysterious fog that surrounded the Club engulfed the car. When we cleared the fog, the sky had changed. Although it had been clear and blue only moments ago, back down the road at the Club, it was now gray and slightly hazy. I rolled down the window, and when I heard waves crashing, I knew we were somewhere near Carmel-by-the-Sea, a stone's throw from Del Monte Lodge and the Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Spec coasted the limousine to a quiet stop. The partition slid open. Haig leaned toward it. "You have the other suit, Spec, old boy?"