Instant Cash

by Stredwick
Instant Cash
Austin Mitchell

Pearline counted the days sales from her first week of operating her own Cash Pot opearations. Damn that mean old Chinese man. Nevertheless, she was grateful to the old Chinese man at whose shop she had worked as a cash pot machine operator. Mr. Chin did not know that they had left his establishment to start their own game. The three of them had started the venture with thirty thousand dollars and after a week were showing a hundred thousand dollars in profit. They had agreed to take twice the weekly wage Mr. Chin used to pay them.
“Pearline, I just feel to go down to Missa Chin shop and force him to pay me all the money him owe me,” Dudley said as he pocketed his weekly wage. He and Pearline had tried a thing or two, especially when her boyfriend, Lugo, was abroad. But their relationship had cooled about six months ago.
Bam, their other associate, had been out selling tickets through a mobile machine. After collecting his pay he had gone to the country. They had decided to open up a savings account at a nearby bank. All three of them were signatories to the account, but any two could sign a withdrawal. Bam usually made the lodgements.
“You are going to party now, Dudley, with your new girl?” Pearline asked him. She was two years his senior and while she loved his virility in bed. She wanted a man who had more substance. Her new man, Cuff, owned a small bakery. It was he who had bankrolled them for the venture, although refusing to take a stake in the business.
“I am going into Half Way Tree and then head home. So is Cuff taking care of business?” Dudley asked, putting his hand around her waist.
Pearline pushed away his hand and moved away from him.
“Dudley, we are not in anything again.”
“It’s all right, you don’t remember old times?”
“Of course I do, but who broke it up. It was you after you found Selma, you started to ignore me. She must have left you why you are trying to romance me again.”
“No girl can do that, Pearline and you know that too.”
Dudley prided himself on his athletic body and Pearline knew that when they had been together she had been envied by several of the girls working at the betting shop.
Just then she heard a car horn and knew that Cuff had come for her. They would be going to an oldies party.
“Lock up for me, Dudley and don’t overdo it now.”
“Cho, Pearly, don’t worry yourself, you know that no girl out there can break down this man.”
“That’s what you believe, you wait, you’ll soon find your match,” she said to him as she went out to her man and presently they drove off.
Dudley locked up the shop and then went to Half Way Tree to meet Greta and give her some money for Britney their three year old daughter. He bought two legal cash pot tickets for twenty dollars each before heading home for Portmore. As it was a Saturday evening he decided to stop at Winty’s bar and have two beers before heading home. He would give Veta some money, eat his dinner then come back on the road to play some dominoes and drink some fish soup.
By early Monday morning Pearline was able to tell them that they had made a profit on Sunday’s sales. Dudley felt that they should share it out so that they could put it into their separate bank accounts. This was vetoed by Pearline and Bam.
“It’s better we keep the money in one account because you know how the game go. Many people might buy the winning number and if we don’t have enough money to pay them we’ll be in trouble,” Pearline cautioned.
“We should set a time when we draw profit from the business. That mean that if one of us want to leave he won’t be leaving empty-handed,” Dudley opined.
“So you’re ready to leave already, Dudley?” Bam asked.
“Leave where and we just start,” Dudley countered.
They normally paid based on the winning numbers drawn in the legal game so that Dudley knew that Pearline had a point. As an independent operation they could not fall back on the legal operators if they did not have enough money to pay on any given day.
“We have to keep proper accounts so that at the end of every year we can take some of the profits for ourselves,” Dudley opined.
“Pearline can keep the books for us. She won’t rob us. Remember it’s more than five years we know her working for Mr. Chin and we never heard anything bad about her,” Bam explained.
They talked some more before Bam left to sell tickets and to pay out winnings.
Six months later and Dudley bought a car as did Pearline which meant that they could sell more tickets now. They also set up new outlets and hired security guards.
They repaid Cuff his money plus interest and another investor Bayliss came in for a one fifth stake.
A year later the three of them except Bayliss bought houses. Dudley moved from Portmore to live in Old Harbour and Bam bought a house in Temple Hall. Miss Pearline bought a house in Portmore.
Dudley was really feeling proud of himself. Women were practically eating out of his hand. He had set up agencies in Old Harbour and May Pen and no longer went on the streets to do any sales.
Cuff and Miss Pearline had broken up and she was now seeing a new man, Claude Manson. One day Dudley received a call from a man who threatened to go to the police about their game unless he got a cut out of their profits of one hundred thousand dollars per month. Dudley laughed at the man and told him that several policemen were already on their payroll. The man was still adamant that he would go to higher authorities to shut down their game and Dudley dared him to carry out his threat.
The next month Bayliss cashed in his stake and Carlton Winston came in.
Six months later Dudley was in his office when Carlton called him.
“Dudley, we can’t find Pearline.”
“What do you mean that you can’t find Pearline?”
“She hasn’t reported for work and both her house and cell phones are ringing without an answer.”
Bam came on the line.
“Dudley, police outside,” was all Dudley hear him say before he was cut off by a gruff voice.
Dudley was glad that his office door was locked and nobody could hear what was being said. He sat there thinking. He couldn’t tell the workers what had gone down plus customers were there buying tickets. He hoped that none of the girls from headquarters had phoned the outlet to tell them what had gone down. It seemed that Pearline had fled to the United States after cleaning out their bank account.
Dudley took up his briefcase and told the cashiers that he was going up to headquarters to see Miss Pearline.
Dudley was walking to his car still in deep thoughts when several police cars drove into the compound. He remained calm as he walked to his car. He got into the car started it and was reversing out of the parking lot when he heard shouts. He paid them no mind, but to his surprise a police car came and blocked the driveway. He got out of his car.
“What’s the meaning of this?”
“Are you Dudley Masters?” the police Sergeant asked and when Dudley nodded, he said.
“We have an arrest warrant for you, Mr. Masters.”
“You must be joking. Far as I know I’m a law abiding citizen, ”Dudley countered and was surprised to see Bayliss coming towards him.
At the police station Dudley learned that Bayliss was actually a police detective who had infiltrated their organization when he came in as an investor. Carlton Winston was also a police plant.
“Your organization was run so well that we wanted to see if you were legitimate. You were registered as agents of genuine bookmakers and lottery owners, but all that was a fake, Dudley. Miss Pearline escaped, but she will return to Jamaica and we’ll catch her,” Bayliss said.
Dudley and Bam each received three year sentences for illegal bookmaking and other charges. A year later Miss Pearline was caught when she returned to Jamaica to attend her father’s funeral. At the moment she’s in jail awaiting sentencing. The End. Please visit my blog at:
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