The next morning Charlie heard more bad news from the office. They were taking the Lamborghinis away. And Charlie had very little money left. He was paying for everything with his American Express card.

Charlie and Ray sat together in the hotel restaurant. At the next table there was a group of twenty businessmen. They were finishing their meal and asked the waitress for the bill.

Raymond looked over at the table. It was full of plates and cups and different bits of food.

‘Of course that bill is ninety-three dollars, forty,’ Raymond said.

Charlie laughed. ‘How can you know that, Ray?’

‘Ninety-three dollars, forty,’ Raymond repeated.

The waitress returned with the bill. Charlie read over her shoulder. The bill was for ninety-three dollars, forty.

‘How do you do it, Ray?’ Charlie asked. ‘You can remember every number in a phone book. You can count two hundred toothpicks in under a second. You’re like a computer.’

‘Today is Thursday,’ Raymond said. ‘Thursday is coffee and cakes. Same as Tuesday.’

Charlie looked at his brother. Suddenly he had an idea. A really great idea to end all his money problems.

‘Raymond,’ he asked his brother. ‘Have you ever played cards?’

The next day they arrived in Las Vegas. Charlie bought new suits for Raymond and himself. He also bought Raymond a television the size of a small clock. Then he showed his brother how to play cards.

‘Do you understand how to play now, Raymond?’

‘I count cards,’ said Raymond.

‘Yes, but you must never say that.’

They went into the Golden Casino at four o’clock in the afternoon. They sat down at one of the card tables. Five hours later, they got up from the card table. Charlie was very, very tired, but very happy.

He smiled at his brother. ‘Raymond, you have won us ninety thousand dollars.’

Raymond did not look up from the television he now carried everywhere in his hand. ‘Eighty-nine thousand, seven hundred and fifty-six dollars,’ he said.

And that was only in one visit! ‘You’re going to make us rich, Ray,’ Charlie said.

Raymond looked from his television to his watch. ‘Eight minutes to bed time,’ he said. ‘Eight minutes.’

Charlie smiled. Raymond was still Raymond. ‘Ray, we’re going to stay in the best room in the hotel here,’ he said. ‘Tomorrow we’re going to come down and enjoy ourselves. Perhaps we’ll find you a girl.’

Raymond was watching his television again. ‘A girl,’ he repeated.

‘Yes, why not?’

But first Charlie needed a hot bath and a good night’s sleep. And he needed to talk to Susanna again.

There was a knock on the door. Charlie opened it. ‘Susanna!’ Charlie put his arms round the girl that he loved and kissed her. ‘Ray, Susanna’s here!’

‘How did you know we were here?’ Charlie asked her. Susanna spoke softly. ‘They told me at the office,’ she said. ‘I’m sorry they took the cars away.’

‘Oh, don’t worry about that,’ Charlie said happily. ‘We have some news to tell you. Ray, tell Susanna what we’ve done.’

‘We played cards,’ Raymond said. ‘I counted cards and we won money.’

‘What?’ Susanna asked.

‘It’s a long story,’ Charlie said, pulling Susanna towards the bedroom. ‘We’ll talk about it later.’

Raymond knocked on the bedroom door.

‘Come in,’ Charlie called.

Raymond opened the door and stood there with his little television in his hand.

‘Six minutes until I find a girl. To dance with,’ Raymond said. ‘You said ten o’clock.’

‘A girl?’ Susanna asked.

Charlie was getting out of bed. ‘I taught him to dance. Now, we’re going to try to find him a girl to dance with.’

‘Five minutes,’ Raymond said.

They walked round the Golden Casino for an hour. It was very difficult to find a girl for Raymond to dance with. To other people Raymond seemed strange.

Charlie pointed to one of the tables. ‘This is where we played cards,’ he said. Suddenly, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around to see two big men in suits.

‘Mr Babbitt?’


‘The boss wants to see you, please,’ one of the men said. He did not smile and Charlie guessed that there was a problem.

Charlie turned to Susanna. ‘Can you take Raymond back to our hotel room?’

‘Of course,’ Susanna said.

Susanna and Raymond took the lift back to their room. Raymond was watching a film with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers on his little TV.

In the lift, Susanna looked at Raymond and felt sad for him. ‘Raymond, have you ever danced with a girl before?’ she asked.

‘I’ve danced with Charlie Babbitt,’ Raymond said. ‘One time. With Charlie Babbitt.’ He did not look up from his TV.

The music from the dancing below came into the lift. ‘I like this music,’ Susanna said softly. ‘Do you want to dance with me, Raymond.’

Susanna stopped the lift between two floors. She moved closer to Raymond and took his hand in hers. They started to dance inside the lift. Raymond watched his television over Susanna’s shoulder.

The song came to an end. Susanna started the lift again. ‘The other girls have missed a beautiful dance,’ she said.

Later Charlie came up to the room. He looked very tired. ‘We have to leave here tomorrow,’ he said. ‘They won’t let us play cards here again.’

‘Why not?’ Susanna asked.

‘Because we won,’ said Charlie, ‘and they don’t like people winning. I guess Raymond was too good for them.’


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