Once the main character of this story received a letter from an old friend who lived in the East. He asked to visit one old man whose name was Mr. Wheeler. Simon Wheeler should have known something important that the friend wanted to learn. The young man decided to fulfill this request and went to the meeting. He saw the old man in the tavern. He was sleeping near the old stove. The young man woke Simon Wheeler up and started questioning about his childhood friend Leonidas. Simon readily told his story. It happened in 1849. A man who called himself Jim Smiley came to their camp. He was very lucky and loved to bet on what was going to happen. He always guessed what would happen in the camp of the miners. He also easily predicted the results of the horse racing or dog fighting.
One day a friend of mine from the East wrote me a letter. He asked me to visit an old man named Simon Wheeler. My friend wanted me to ask Simon Wheeler about a childhood companion, Leonidas W. Smiley.
I found Simon Wheeler sleeping by the stove of the old tavern in Angel’s Mining Camp. I noticed that he was fat. His face was simple and peaceful. When he woke up, I told him that a friend of mine wanted to know about a childhood companion named Leonidas W. Smiley.
Simon Wheeler blocked me with his chair in a corner of the tavern. Then, very seriously, he began to tell me the story that follows.
There was once a fellow at the mining camp named Jim Smiley. It was the winter of 1849 or maybe the spring of 1850. He was an unusual man. He always bet money on anything that happened at the mining camp, and he usually won. Jim Smiley was a very lucky man. When there was a horse race, a dog-fight, a cat-fight or a chicken-fight he always bet on them…