"Is there a Ricardo Clemanico in the house?" Kloppman yelled merrily across the sea of laughing boys. Race jumped up as if something had bit him and raced over to the old man, his cheeks red.

"Is Racetrack Higgins now, Klopp!" He said as he took the letter, written in curly handwriting. "Who would be…" He left off. He left the parlor and walked up the stairs to be alone. He sat down on his bunk and took out his cigar. Race turned over the letter and saw a different handwriting. He read it slowly, because his reading wasn't as good as it used to be. Who was he kidding? He could never read well. He read the headlines and the highlights to get a living.

"Ricardo; this came to our address; looks important. Hope your doing well." Race read aloud. "Thanks Mr. Johnson." He opened the letter gingerly and read slowly. It was in Italian. He smiled at the familiarity but was annoyed. He was American now.

Dear Ricardo,

I do not know if you will get this, and I apologize for never writing. Things have gotten very out of control, I will explain everything soon. I have been living with Nana Gropa, she has died yesterday. I am to be arriving in America on May 29th, at noon. I hope to see you there; I pray for you every night. I miss you. Forgive the brevity, but I have not time. Be well.

Love,

Harpicina Sophia Clemanico

Racetrack couldn't breathe. He couldn't blink. He couldn't talk. He had always wondered what had happened to the girl he loved spending time with. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his last memory of her; them sitting on the docks of Gaeta. She was happy and Italian and he looked too skinny, as he scrutinized the picture. He suddenly caught his breath. May 29th… May 29th…

"Kloppman!" Race called down the wooden stairs. "What day is it? Today?"

"Tuesday, kid. The 27th."

"You'se gotta be kidding me!" Race exclaimed. He filled Kloppman on what was happening, in which Kloppman jumped into a little happy dance. He then proceeded to help Race paint a sign that said in bright letters HARP, and let him borrow his old yellow suit that he promised to tailor the next day.

As Race walked up to bed, he smiled to himself. The next two days would be a rush, but isn't that what gamblers live for?

Short chapter but next will be great! Keep reading, if you want more please review!