Being a record of his experience as a white slave; a soldier in the Union Army; a professional gambler; a patron of the turf; a variety theater and minstrel manager; and, finally, a convert to the Murphy Cause, and to the Gospel of Christ.
This book is an illustration of this paragraph by S.W. Erdnase:
Hazard at play carries sensations that once enjoyed are rarely forgotten. The winnings are known as "pretty money," and it is generally spent as freely as water. The average professional who is successful at his own game will, with the sublimest unconcern, stake his money on that of another's, though fully aware the odds are against him. He knows little of the real value of money, and as a rule is generous, careless and improvident. He loves the hazard rather than the stakes.
Mason Long was a professional gambler. He even operated his own gambling establishment in Fort Wayne. Nevertheless, he lost all on gambling himself, betting on horses, and drinking. Eventually, he found a path to give up drinking, and gambling, and become a Christian.
Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that later in his life he became a stockbroker. As we all know, the stock market is nothing but gambling dressed up in the respectable cloth of investing. Already Erdnase realized this when he wrote:
However, the vagaries of luck, or chance, have impressed the professional card player with a certain knowledge that his more respected brother of the stock exchange possesses, viz. - manipulation is more profitable than speculation; so to make both ends meet, and incidentally a good living, he also performs his part with the shears when the lambs come to market.
I don't know if Mason Long invested himself in the stock market, but the broker is a bit like the casino or dealer who takes a commission on all gambles ... I mean investments.
- CHAPTER I: My Boyhood And Youth - Seven Years Of Abject Slavery - Hard Lessons Of The Ways Of The World - I Become A Union Soldier.
- CHAPTER II: My Career As A Soldier - The Routine Of Camp Life - Bloody Battles, Forced Marches, And Long Sieges - Record Of Three Eventful Years.
- CHAPTER III: My First Experience In Gambling - Prevalence Of The Vice Among Officers And Soldiers - Heavy Winnings During The War - Playing Under Difficulties - My First Taste Of Liquor - The Fort Wayne Confidence Gang.
- CHAPTER IV: How I Degenerated From A Business Man Into A Professional Gambler - Severe Lessons At My New Trade - My Sad Experience As Manager Of A Minstrel Troupe And Proprietor Of A Variety Theater At Lafayette - Ups And Downs As A Gambler - A Faro Game Stopped By A Fearful Powder Explosion.
- CHAPTER V: The Horrors Of Delirium Tremens - Visions Of The "White Mice" - Repeated Captures By The Police - Ludicrous Flight Of A Bloodthirsty Sport - Large Winnings Invested In A Palatial Saloon And Gambling Den - Reckless Dissipation And Prodigality - An Hour In Jail - Low Ebb Of Fortune.
- CHAPTER VI: "Following The Trotters" - Sights And Scenes On The Turf - Make-Shifts Of A Broken Gambler - Canada Bill's Confidence Operations - Traveling On "Cheek" - A Fourteen Months' Debauch - Another Horrible Experience With Delirium Tremens.
- CHAPTER VII: The Various Phases Of Gambling - Good And Bad Qualities Of The Genuine Sporting Man - Prevalence Of The Vice Among Business Men - The Misery And Ruin It Causes - A Few Words To The Sporting Fraternity.
- CHAPTER VIII: How I Became A Convert To The Murphy Cause - Signing The Pledge - Struggles With The Demon Alcohol - Final Triumph Over The Rum Devil.
- CHAPTER IX: My Conversion To The Gospel Of Jesus Christ - Mental Sufferings While Under Conviction - Public Confession Of My Sins - The Blessings Attending A Change Of Heart.
- CHAPTER X: My Admission Into The First Baptist Church Of Fort Wayne - Immersion In The Presence Of A Vast Audience - Press Reports Of The Ceremony.
- CHAPTER XI: My Career Since My Conversion - What I Am Doing In The Temperance Work.
- TESTIMONIALS FROM CLERGYMEN
- CHAPTER XII: A Supplementary Chapter Written By My Pastor. At My Request.
- CHAPTER XIII: Speech Delivered By Mason Long In The Opera House At Lafayette, Indiana, May 12, 1878.
1st edition 1878, 256 pages; PDF 103 pages.
word count: 52720 which is equivalent to 210 standard pages of text