Two-up Tricks

I am currently researching Dinny O'Callaghan, early digger on the fields who was an all round sports champion and entrepreneur. I came upon this gem that he wrote:

"THE well-known Con (Spud) :Murphy ... in the early days of Coolgardie (1894), was one of the real hard cases. He did not believe in working too hard for a living. For instance, one day at a two-up school, Spud was without a shilling, and could not borrow any more money, so he said, "I will soon get some." He was desperate. He saw an old black man with some spears in his hand, about 20 yards away from the two-up ring. He went over to him and gave him sixpence for a spear with prongs on it. He went back to the game and picked out two easy-going men who were betting between themselves and they had a five pound bet. One was backing heads and the other tails at the good old Australian game as it is often called. They both had their fiver on the ground. One fiver on the other and between where they were standing. Many more men had their different wagers on the ground all around the ring. Of course, the ringkeeper was set for all the money he wanted for the man who was spinning the coin. When the coins are ·pull high in the. air, naturally everyone looks up to see the height of the coins. But Con looked down and from the back of '·the two b-- mugs,:' as Con called them. Then when everyone was looking up, Con quickly stuck the spear· point in through the two fivers that were lying on the ground. Before the two pennies reached the ground, Con was on the walk around the ring with the two fivers, while the two men were arguing the point as to where they were and as to who had them. They nearly had a fight . So Con had a good and profitable, easy day's work."

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