She had draped an arm around my neck. People were looking, and I was embarrassed. "Who do you like in the double?" I asked.
"Double, schmouble; I don't bet. That's for suckers. It's unsound business."
"Then how come you're in line?"
"Oh, I just bet for the boys. They're too fat and lazy. They just sit on their duffs and give me numbers to bet. But I wouldn't bet on a horse myself for love nor money." She caught her own joke and shook uproariously. "Betting is unsound business principles."
She ticked off hundreds of numbers at the window and put down hundreds of dollars. I bet three $2 doubles. When I had finished the brief transaction she was waiting for me. "Why don't you come over and meet the boys, doll? We're sitting out in the paddock."
They all had the fat, swarthy look of men in the rackets. "Hey, handsome, what's your name?" Sophie asked.
"Jerry," I lied.
"Jerry, this is Sal...." A fat, bald man in a dark checkered suit. "This is Rocco...." A fat, bald, Tony Galento-type in a dark-blue suit. "And this here is Vinnie...." A fat man in a black suit.
"Hi," they each said, absently but cheerfully enough.