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Listening Practice

What a Story! - A Moral Learnt in France

Roulette is a gambling game played in casinos all over the world. It is played with a roulette wheel which has a sort of clock-face with numbered slots all round it. A small ball is thrown into the wheel as it spins. The game is concerned with betting on which numbered slot the ball will come to rest in when the wheel stops spinning. The numbers are all either red or black in colour, and players can also bet on whether the ball will stop at a red coloured number or a black coloured one. Although Tom wasn't interested in gambling himself, he agreed to go to France with a friend of his, Tim, to try out an 'unbeatable' system for winning at roulette.

It was absolutely ludicrous
everybody else would have stumbled on it
in order to
convince himself
a minimum stake
to hold his hand
very skeptical
terribly amusing
aristocratic people
it started to build up
to drown our sorrows
it absolutely cured him
it would have actually been his undoing

Here are some points for you to track the idea of the story:

The story is about a time when Tom was at university;
Tom's friend, Tim, sent for all the printed records of the spins of all of the leading casinos on the Continent to work out a system;
Tom went with Tim to Le Touquet because Tim wanted a companion;
They went to France for the first day of the casino being open because it was out of season;
When Tom and Tim went to the casino, they wore old casual clothes;
When the Marquis of Bath and his wife saw Tom and Tim at the casino, they ignored them;
By ten to twelve, Tom and Tim had won £350;
To double ten times and not to win was impossible;
Tom and Tim kept £3 at the end of the evening to buy drinks with;
In the notebooks which they burnt in the wood;
Tim had worked out the system he thought was unbeatable.