Press enter after choosing selection

How Bucket Shops Are Operated

How Bucket Shops Are Operated image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

The following account of the "Bucket Shops" in Chicago will recall to the mind of sotue of our readers one cxhibitcd in the Boody House block not a great while ago, aud woukl have no doubt been still doing a flourishin? business, liad not the bottom suddenly dropped out one dark night. "Let us now enter one of' these shops and wateh the proceedings for a few raoments. We will take one opening on Clark street as a sample. Ou the outside we observe the words "Chicago Grain and Stock Exchange," but it is a genuine bucket shop for all that. We find the place tilled with a surging, seething, eager crtwd of operators, Some are vonrm m ■""";■ ni Ui „„me are well dresaed and dandetied in appearance, and others comparativo]}' poor and shabby. Souie are standing up, others sitting in chaira, whieh are arrauged in long rows lacing the bhicklxiards ; some swearing and spitting tobáceo juico oo the floor, oihers pleasantly smoking and ohatting in groups; others still silent, isolated and anxious. Before the blackboards, on a ïaued platform, is a telegraph operator and a marker. As the quotations come in from the halls of the chauiberof commeroe every few seoonds, they are called off in a loud voico, then put on the board, and also in a book whioh is kopt by a man at the clicking instrument. This is for the grain and provisión department of the concern. On the other blackboards are placed the stock quotations wbich come direct from New York, and not quite as fiequenily. Behind the desks stand a lot of clerks, keeping an account of tho transactions, and working away like beavers. Quite an elabórate process of book-keeping is indulged in, that no blunders may be made, and it somelime rcquires .-everal hour.-, taso siniighten matter out insidu tliat a successful operator oan get bis money af'tcr clo-inn hu dèJ. Money is changing hands rapidly and constantly during tu hours of business, and at the clone some go away smilinff and happy, having been successful in winning a lew dollars, others depart inoróse and uiad on account of alleged ill-luck and losaos. The famoAtioo of tuis game of chaooe is absolutely tirriöc and enthralling. When the markets are lively and fluoruttioDB are rmpid, a man can doublé bis saooey in ;i lew minute.t or lose it altogetlur. The bank generully deals openly wiili it? esstotDW, and gives tlieiu every opponunity for investing to their bearia content, wull knowing that their violilDB will gu's wrong i lireo times where they will hit it twice, takinir the transaetions of tlie day through. The bank can well atford to alluw the operators Juli liberty in trading and profit only by their mistakes. ÈSich is the unqualified total depravity of 'inanimate thiogS, as well as persons, that evury sdrantage may be given to a man to guess luhl, and thcn, in spite of experience, observation, snd their best endeavors, they will inevitably guess wrong, and lose five times wlierc they gain tlireii, taking the week or mouth through. A man oes into one of thess bnokei slmiis, tuakes a venture, beoomes elated and ex eited, visions of' untold wealth dancing before his mind's eye. He gocs on, very soon gets "stuck" in somt ttatertuoate deal, bis money slips avfay fi otn liim befon hs knows it, he grows desperate, advances large ,shiii, led on in the hope of getting btok lossea, and generally keeps the game up until he is " eleun scoopod out," wlien be is broed to quit or imise more money. This is the general experience of hundreds upon hun dreds of poor fellows who have goaa into these gambling dens liuoyant and hopeful, and have come out penniless, dabeartened and wretched. It may be asked : "Does not any one make money by ipecn lating?" and the anwi:r is : Vos, a few are lOOOesifnl, and carry away handsome sums, but in the long run nincty-6ve out of every one huodred who follow it steadily lose more than they make. Some days will be field days for the operators, other duys will be " Black Fridays" for them. The markets are so changeable, the influence that moves them up and down so occult and capricious, that no person can teil what an hour may bring forth. Pívery move is emphatically a move in the dark, and you inay strike terra firma and you may go down in tbe pit. Kvery otie having any considerable amount of experience in these shops wil! declare that the business asa whole is detuoralizing and damning in evory respect. It unfits a man tbr regular and steady work. It uses aman u nervouslyand uientally. It breaks up the very foundation of honor, honesty, and integrity in his character. It makes him irritable, peevish and reckless in his habita. It load to drinking, swearing and a .-coro ot' allied vices. The agony of sdiil which a person, losing money in tbese games of hazard experience, leads him to curse Gnd, him=elf', the markets, and everythiog else. It drives men to the vurnv, of lomnïty. It makes men act more like maniacs tlian rational and intelligent human beings. The very fact that the busioesa is cntirely respectable and legal, and that very good (Jhristian persons are engaged in it, only nd(ls ('nel to tlie flames. If the wbole busi ness was outlawed and illeal, there wnuld not be half tin: dauger in it. Morally and financially considered, the wor.-t spot in Chicago is that square bounded by Wsah ington street on the north, Clark street on the east, Madison on the south, and La Salle on the