Dear Wordsmiths: Thank you so much for your welcomes & for what sounds to me like the answer to my question re: the definition of that ole quichet! It must be the betting window that the protagonist in the novel was standing next to, but infering such & knowing for sure are two different things. I believe we can say, thanks to Tsuwm who gave us the first info, that we have the French to thank for the word. I'll pass this along to my cousin in England. Thanks much! Be talking to you. :-) This site is a great discovery!
[P.S. I'm not sure if this will get posted for all of you to read or not -- is there a specific way to "reply" to an entire thread?]