Broadway Gangsters and Their Rackets by Samuel Marx

By Samuel Marx

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Cu s tomer. He is ripping mad, with fire in his eyes and ice in his heart. He pro­ duces the telegram ( s ent by a confederate ) to show he was actually called out of town on a deal involving thousands, a n d now the op­ portunity has gone forever. He summons a lawyer and proceeds to bring suit for any sum from te n to a hundred thousand dollars . Then, i! he is 'a particularly smart racketeer, he'll settle for whatever th e j eweler wishes to give him. A court case o f the m a t t e r is Hable to bring up s o m e dis concerting questions as to what the "big business deal" was about, an d the pr e v i o u s career o f the racketeer may be unh a pp ily brought to light by the d efen­ dant's a tto rne y s .

In one office, i f it were large enough, he could sell a hundred bottl e s . When the perfume was delivered, often eno ugh, the men placed the handsome looking bottles carefully away for presentation that n ight to wifey or sweetie. It, perchance, one charitable male decided to open the bottle at once, the racketeer was gone be­ fore the cork popped out. Then, investigation would reveal, the "perfume " that looked l ike water was indeed water. Five dollars for a ' pretty b ottle of water is still conside red high.

But these are t h in gs that the j eweler is un­ aware of, so let us say he offers the racketeer five thousand to drop t h e case, and the rack­ eteer's lawyer takes one fifth of this. Four " gr a n d " isn't half bad remuneration for the indignity suffered in spending two d ays be­ hind the b a rs . The prohibition law has bro u g h t to light more rackets than you could shake a n i gh ts tick at. B e fo r e prohibition, racketeers went call­ ing on business houses with bottles of p e rfu m e, with an aroma that was as sweet as any flower in the Garden or Eden yet was as clear to the eye as water.

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