Roy Glashan's Library
Non sibi sed omnibus
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First published as "Abe and the Gangsters" in
The Evening Standard, London, 27 Mar 1936
Collected in You Can't Hit a Woman,
William Collins, London, England, 1937
Published under syndication as "Abe and the Gang" in, e.g.,
The Daily News, Perth, Australia, 30 June 1938 (this version)

This e-book edition: Roy Glashan's Library, 2017
Version Date: 2024-05-15
Produced by Terry Walker and Roy Glashan
Proofread by Gordon Hobley

All original content added by RGL is protected by copyright

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LISTEN fellers; I am Abe Hymie Finkelstein an' I woik for Rudy Scraut who is the guy with the delicatessen on Forty-fifth and Myrtle.

Maybe you know guys who have been the victims of these gangsters and maybe you know guys who was also the victim of the police department; but I am a guy who has been welted like you never saw by the gangsters and the police department and everybody else round here.

An' if you say why I say it is for the reason that I am a smart guy with poisonality an' because other guys is jealous of me because the dames fall for me in a big way. If this ain't the case then I am an Indian princess with a coupla wooden legs. One of these days if some gangsters will take hold of Police Captain Dooley O'Hagan an' will put him in a sack and go throw him in the lake then I will start believin' that there is some justice around this burg. Also if some gorilla like Dillinger will proceed to shoot up that blonde dame what took advantage of my sex-attraction then I will believe some more in Father Christmas, which is a thing that I do not believe in anyhow.

If I was not a big guy like I am I would be altogether broke up about this business; but you do not have to worry about Abe Finklestein, thank you very much because I have already got back my noive and am at this time makin' a big play for Lilly Scapalensi who is not so easy to look at but who has some nice prospects even if her father does say that he would rather see her buried alive with snakes rather than his girl should be married to me. Even this pa is jealous of my sex-attraction.

WELL, it is a lovely night like you never saw an' I am goin' home feelin' like a million dollars. I am wearing a hot pertater suit—twenty dollars with two pair of pants—an' a plaid four-in-hand with a white homburg an' a walkin' stick with a tomato in ivory on the top. I know I am lookin' good, which makes me indifferent to the giant raspberry which the newsboy on the corner hands out to me because I know that this guy is also jealous of my appeal.

 Suddenly I see the blonde who comes into the delicatessen for caviar on Saturday nights. This blonde is the berries, an' when she sees me she stops dead like she was suddenly paralysed. This girl is just like a film star, except that she ain't had her face lifted, an' I have often thought that she is a classy dame, only I do not know if she has got prospecks an' a goil without prospecks is no goil for Abe.

So she comes up to me an' she says, Abe, I am in a very bad jam, an' you must help me out because you are the sort of a guy like I could fall for some more if I got to know you good, an' if you will do sumptin for me I will see that you get a hundred dollars an' I will never be able to refuse you nothin' even if I don't like you. So I says what an' she says that if I will take this big black violin case down to Giekel's speakeasy and give it to some guy called Gatty, then this guy will give me a hundred bucks.

I say O.K. sister, an' I start off for Giekel's. But on the way I begin to think what is in this case, because it is heavy like some dead guy was in it, so I drop in at my room on Myrtle an' I open it up an' inside there is a Thompson machine gun and six pistols all loaded up like you never saw.

NOW it looks as if this dame is tryin' to slip some business over on me, but I remember that I am a smart guy with ideas, so I rush around to Krimp's shootin' gallery an' I do some business an' I rush back an' do some more business with these guns an' then I go down to Giekel's an' wait for this guy Gatty.

Presently he comes along an' he is some tough egg an' I hand him the case an' I say what about the hundred bucks an' he sticks one of these guns in my ribs an' informs me that if I do not get in the car that is parked outside he is goin' to blow the top of my head into Queen's County.

So I do not argue with this guy, but I do what he says, an' we go off to some basement dump where there is a lot of thugs sittin' around drinkin' rye like you never saw, an' they tear open the case an' take but the guns. Then the head gorilla says what shall we do with this mug, boys, because he might start shootin' his mouth to the cops, an' they all say bump him off Joe, but before they have finished sayin' it I am out of a door I seen at the back an' am scrammin' down the street like some mad racehorses.

When I have got myself away I think that this is a bum trick for the blonde to play on me, an' I start to use my brains once again so I get into a taxi-cab after I have got the money from Rachel Moshinski, who happens to be passin', an' I go to the thirteenth precinct ah' I see Police Captain Dooley O'Hagan an' I tell him the whole works, an' he is very excited an' says that this is the Stripey Gang, an' that my information is so hot that maybe he will make me a detective or a police commissioner or something for this.

I say wait a minute an' I ask him if he would like to be the big guy who took the Stripey Gang singlehanded, an' I tell him how I have took all the ball ammunition out of them guns an' loaded them up with blanks what I got from Krimp's shootin' gallery.

He then informs me that I am a credit to the United States, an' that by the time he is through with me I will probably be chief of the G-men, an' that he is also goin' to give me one hundred dollars reward, a free pass for Shombergs waxworks an' a lot of other things. He then says that I should go home an' await further doings.

So I go back home an' one hour later there is a special edition which says that Police Captain Dooley O'Hagan has arrested seven members of the Stripey Gang single-handed, an' that they was all armed with machine-guns an' cannons like you never saw, an' that he is about the bravest guy since Christopher Columbine.

This looks plenty good to me, so I get myself around to the precinct an' I see Police Captain Dooley O'Hagan an' I ask him about the hundred dollars an' all the other things, an' he says go jump in the lake, an' if he has any more of this stuff outa me he will have me arrested under the Mann Act, the Baumes Act, the Vagrants Act and for tryin' to blackmail a police captain.

I AM now feelin' not so hot an' I tell him that he is a big cheese an' that he would not have arrested these guys if I had not tipped him off that their guns was only loaded up with blanks, an' I also say that I will take a walk around to the newspaper office an' slip them the works about this business. He says oh yeah he will show me something—an' he telephones through to the newspaper office an' says that if some lunatic named Abe Finkelstein ever shows up he should be held for the police.

He then calls in some other guys an' has them throw me into the can on a charge of throwin' a hamburger at an old lady on Forty-second Street last Tuesday. By which you will see that this Police Captain Dooley O'Hagan is a four-flushin' twicer an' that he is framin' me like I was a big ninny.

So next morning when they let me out of the can I start to use my brains some more an' I ask some guy in the precinct if the gangsters who have been taken by O'Hagan have got themselves a lawyer, an' he says yes. So I get around to this lawyer an' I tell him that if he will give me a hundred dollars I will splutter a bibful that will astound the world.

He says O.K. an' so I tell him the story about the blanks an' that these gorillas was not really armed with lethal weapons, after which this lawyer laughs his head off an' says that he will make O'Hagan withdraw the charge or look like a monkey to the whole world.

He then says I should go home an' that if I will get around to this office the next morning he will hand me a hundred bucks. An' about two hours afterwards there is another special edition that says that Captain Dooley O'Hagan has made one big mistake an' that the gang is not the Stripey Gang at all, but a meetin' of a commercial travellers' shootin' club, an' they have all been released, by which it looks like this lawyer has given Captain Dooley O'Hagan the works.

Now I am feelin' very good because I have taught Police Captain Dooley O'Hagan that he cannot make a sucker out of Abe Finkelstein. An' next morning I get around to the lawyer's an' I ask for the hundred bucks an' he gives a merry laugh an' tells me to go jump in the lake, an' that if I try any of that blackmailin' stuff around there he will have me pinched for firing hayricks. He then calls in some other guy who throws me out on the sidewalk. 

I AM now feelin' that I am goin' to be very sick any time now, because of the deal I am gettin' around here from one an' all. Because all the time it looks like I am going to get some money, an' all I get is a lot of right royal raspberries from the whole world. But even at this time my brains begins to work some more, an' I get myself a tram an' I go to the basement where the gangsters are operatin'.

And they are all there an' I say howdy boys an I tell, them that I was the big guy who got them out of a helluva jam because I knew that Police Captain Dooley O'Hagan was after them an' that was why I loaded up them guns with blanks. The big gorilla then says this mug ain't so bad, an' they whip around an' they give me a hundred dollars an' a highball.

I now begin to feel good some more because I have now got one hundred smackers, an' I have also got the lowdown on Police Captain Dooley O'Hagan who I reckon is feelin' like a boiled pork chop in a snowstorm, an' I get myself around to my place on Myrtle Street, an' as I am goin' up the stairs I hear that there is some goil in my room an' she is singin' "I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Baby," so I guess that is probably some dame who has fallen for me in a big way.

However, I am wrong some more because it is the blonde gangster goil who asked me to carry the guns, an' before I can do anything she pulls out a rod and she tells me that she has got word from the gangsters that they have handed me out a hundred smackers, an' do I think that I am goin' to get away with that stuff when I am nothin' but a coppers' nose who has been givin' information all around town.

With this an' some more wisecracks she grabs the hundred dollars off from me and she tells me that for two pins she will also smack me down. I say that I have not got any pins, so she smacks me down anyway, an' goes off singin' "Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries," which is maybe right so far as this dame is concerned.

IT now looks to me as if all my brains was getting wasted around this burg, an' that I will not try to get any more money because there is a lot of plots goin' on 'any time I get some money. I think also as well that I had better be gettin' along to the delicatessen, otherwise' Scraut will also be handin' me some raspberries.

So: I smarten up some an I go off , an' I am beginnin' to feel not so bad because anyhow this business has not cost me anything at all an' I am also . thinkin' about Lilly Scapalensi, who thinks I am the cats lingerie, when suddenly Police Captain Dooley O'Hagan springs out of some doorway an' says that he is pinchin' me an' that I had better not try to avoid arrest.

I say that I am not tryin' to avoid arrest, but he calls the patrol waggon an' handcuffs me an' takes me to the precinct. So I ask what these guys are chargin' me with, an' Police Captain Dooley O'Hagan says that he has found a whole load of pistol an' machine-gun ammunition in my room on Myrtle, an' he is chargin' me with bein' in possession of ammunition.

I say have a heart I told you all about that, an' he says Oh yeah smart guy I don't know what you are talking about, an' that if I think I can get away with all this stuff around the thirteenth precinct I had better think some more. He also says that if he has some more trouble with me he will also charge me with a murder that happened the night before in Illinois, only it is too far for me to have got in the time.

So then they throw me in' the can some more, an' I am there for four days, an' they then bring me up before some judge who says that I am a disgrace to the city, an' that he will make an example of me like hell, an' that if Police Captain Dooley O'Hagan, who is a great an' good guy. had not pleaded for me he would probably have given me a ten to fifty years' sentence, but as it is he will, fine me a hundred dollars or three months in the can.

So that will show you guys that it is not easy to make some honest dough around here, an' all these plots to stop me gettin' any money are not doin' me any good, as in order to pay this fine I have to borrow the hundred smackers from Lilly Scapalensi, who gets it from her old man's till whilst he is comin' out of a jag. It is not right that old Scapalensi should lose a hundred smackers because of some police captain who is nothing but a big cheese, an' a lot of gangsters who are a disgrace to his civilisation like you never saw.

Now all this has happened to me because I am a smart guy an' a swell dresser, because if I had not been a smart guy then the blonde goil would not have picked me out, which shows you that it is not always so good to have a lot of sex-appeal like I have got, as it is liable to get you into troubles with swell dames, except in the case of goils like Lilly Scapalensi, who is not such a hot looker but who has got a whole lot of prospecks an' the key to Pa Scapalensi's till.


Roy Glashan's Library
Non sibi sed omnibus
Go to Home Page
This work is out of copyright in countries with a copyright
period of 70 years or less, after the year of the author's death.
If it is under copyright in your country of residence,
do not download or redistribute this file.
Original content added by RGL (e.g., introductions, notes,
RGL covers) is proprietary and protected by copyright.