Fiction | December 01, 1991

This story is not currently available online.

He could never decide if he was a gambler pretending to be an accountant or an accountant pretending to be a gambler.  To be a gambler you had to make your living by betting, and he didn’t.  To be an accountant you were supposed to be a model of pecuniary conservatism, and he wasn’t.  Most of his friends thought the scale tipped in favor of accountant.  Unlike most gamblers he had never had great swings of fortune, from storybook winnings to losses taking you over your head into debt, and like an accountant he was careful, cautious even too cautious, some might say, to be a gambler.  But he didn’t agree.  In fact, he was no great distance between the two, particularly if you excluded from gambling the games of pure chance.

If you are a student, faculty member, or staff member at an institution whose library subscribes to Project Muse, you can read this piece and the full archives of the Missouri Review for free. Check this list to see if your library is a Project Muse subscriber.