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Cicotte and I called a meeting of the players that night and told them about Burns. Weaver piped up, "We might as well take his money, too, and go to hell with all of them."
I personally disliked and distrusted Burns and said that we should stick with Sullivan. But I was overruled by the others who voted at least to listen to Burns's proposition when he returned from Montreal.
Later in Chicago I got word from Sullivan that he was bringing a friend from New York to sew up the deal. A meeting was arranged at the old Warner Hotel on the South Side, where many of the players lived. Sullivan introduced his friend as "Mr. Ryan," but, having met this man two years before in New York, I recognized him as Arnold Rothstein, the big shot gambler. His plan was this:
We were to try our best to win the first game behind Cicotte, who was the league's leading pitcher. The White Sox were rated as 3-to-1 favorites in the Series. A win in the first game would boost the price higher. We were then to lose the Series at our convenience. At that time, a World Series was decided by five out of nine games instead of the four-out-of-seven system used today.
Rothstein said nothing until we asked for our $80,000 in advance. He asked calmly, "What's to assure us you guys will keep the agreement?" We offered him our word. He answered, "It's a weak collateral."
The deal was about to fall apart when Rothstein came up with a compromise. He would give us $10,000 in advance and pay the remaining $70,000 in installments over the first four games, each payment amounting to $17,500.
We asked Sullivan and Rothstein to come back in an hour. I got the gang together and we decided to accept the deal. Rothstein returned and gave us ten $1,000 bills. When the gamblers left we entrusted the money with Cicotte until it could be changed inconspicuously. He put the bills under his pillow. At Rothstein's insistence, we had given our solemn word that no other gambler would be tipped off, but as soon as he left, we agreed to take any money we could get from Burns, too.
WORRY AND ARGUMENTS
The next day I got a telephone call from Jake Lingle, the Chicago reporter who was later to be murdered by gangsters. Lingle said he heard the Series was fixed. "Where did you hear that crazy story," I said and hung up. I now began to worry. That night Sullivan paid me a visit. He was mad. He said that someone had yapped to Chicago gamblers about the fix. The price on the Sox had suddenly begun to drop. We had a hot argument that came close to turning into a fist fight. We both apologized, and an agreement was made for Sullivan to make the cash payments after each game to a friend of mine.
By the time we arrived in Cincinnati to open the Series the rumors were really flying. Even a clerk in a stationery store, not recognizing me as a ballplayer, told me confidentially, "I have it firsthand that the Series is in the bag." Waitresses and bellhops were talking the same way. Reporters were buzzing about, asking questions.