A certain bookmaker who was making a long trip by car when toward nightfall he happened upon an inn which had a most unual name: The Even Steven. Since it was located in the middle of a desolate stretch of country, and he didn't know how much farther the next place would be, he decided to stop there for the night. He registered, listing his occupation as a bookmaker, and decided to satisfy his curiosity about the name at the same time.
"It's very simple, really," the proprietor explained. "You see, my name
is Steven Even. So I just decided to turn it around and call this The
Even Steven. I thought it might get a few folks puzzled enough to stop
and ask questions, and sometimes it does."
"That's a pretty smart way to use the luck of a name," said the bookie,
appreciatively. "I bet it brings you a lot of business."
"It hasn't brought me so much luck," he said. "The folks who stop here
don't stay long. There's not much gaiety around here, as you could see.
In fact, there's not another soul lives closer than thirty miles away,
whichever way you go. Makes it pretty lonely for me, a widower. And
worse still for my daughters - two of the loveliest girls you ever set
eyes on, should have their pick of boyfriends. But, they are getting so
frustrated they're about to do anything for a man."
The bookie made sympathetic noises, and listened to more in the same
vein until hunger obliged him to change the subject to that of food. An
excellent home-cooked dinner was served to him by a gorgeous blonde who
introduced herself as Blanche Even, and when he was finished she still
kept pressing him to ask for anything else he wanted.
Finally, she said, "Would you like me to sit and talk to you for a
"Thank you," he said politely, "but I've had a long day and I feel like
closing the book."
He went to his room and had just started to undress when there was a
knock at the door and an absolutely breathtaking brunette came in.
Carmen Even," she said. "I just wanted to see if you'd got everything
"I think so, thank you," he said pleasantly. "I do a lot of traveling,
so I pack very systematically."
When she had gone, he settled down with a sigh of relief and was about
to put out the light at last when the door burst open once more and the
proprietor himself stomped in, glowing with indignation. "What's the
matter with you," he roared. "I've got to listen all night to my
daughters moaning an' wailing, the most luscious gals in this county,
because they all try to show you hospitality an' you won't give one of
'em a tumble. Ain't us Evens good enough for you?"
"I'm sorry," said the transient. "But I told you when I registered that
I'm a professional bookmaker: I only lay Odds."