"Including my original $200, doll?" When I told her "yes" she looked disappointed.
Rocco erupted: "Ya backed into da race in da fois' place, an' now yer complainin'."
Impulsively I leaped to Sophie's aid: "I'm sure the horse would have won if she didn't get interfered with. I saw her get bumped at the head of the stretch."
"Shut up, teacher," Rocco said.
"Let him be, Rocco, there ain't nothin' wrong wit' bein' a teacher," Sal said. "Besides, I want to know how come Sophie bets two bills on that particular horse in that particular race." It didn't take much perception to see why Sal was the brains of the outfit.
"Yeah, how come, Sophie?" Or why Vinnie was nothing.
"Listen, Sal," said Rocco, "I don't like dat teacher."
I didn't like Rocco, either; the difference was, however, that I hadn't planned to do anything about the situation.
"Here, doll, cash my tickets for me." The thought of Sophie handing tickets worth $600 to a perfect stranger, a schoolteacher, pushed Rocco to the brink. "Sal," Sophie said quickly, "you make Rocco behave or I don't tell you how I bet $200 on the first horse that I ever bet in my whole life." Sophie handed me the tickets. Sal put a restraining glance on Rocco. Rocco, without a sense of grace in defeat, threatened something like killing me if I didn't bring back all the money in a hurry.
As I walked away, I heard Vinnie ask, "Yeah, Sophie, how come you bet that particular horse?"