John Smith’s home is just down the beach from his favorite haunt and watering hole, Smithery‘s. He’s like a king who holds court during the day at the bar and by night his home.
His gatherings at his home are legendary and to be invited is an honor. He invites no more than a dozen. It’s a mix of his regulars, strangers, princes, and paupers. Anyone in the presence of John is on equal footing. Anyone with ill manners or putting on airs is quickly asked to change their behavior or leave.
He tells stories leaving listeners spellbound. No one ever says prove it—because he will. He listens to stories without doubting. “Even if the story is not true,” he once said, “as long as it’s told honestly—it is true.”
Several years ago while John related his adventures in the Himalayas and his scaling Mt. Everest, a hardy rich lad challenged the veracity of his claim.
John immediately chartered a flight to Tibet and took the unbeliever with him. John climbed to the summit; the young rich companion stopped 5,000 feet from the peak. On the way down John performed an emergency amputation of the lad’s left arm; it had been overtaken by frostbite and gangrene.
In an act of charity, he hired the lad as the manager of the Smithery.
No one doubts John Smith. If they do the manager gladly steps in with his experience and brandishes his left stub.
Somewhere during the evenings, there is always a game of poker. It lasts long enough for John to win all the money brought with a guest. The casinos of Monte Carlo don’t allow John to participate.
The famous French gambler Pierre Bennett left John’s home` declaring he had won. He came with 60,000 Francs and left with 4,000 Francs. For Pierre that was a victory.
Once you have played cards with John Smith it is said you have been Smitten.