No. 582
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 26, 2022

A Woman Gambler in Nevada.

She Bucks the Tiger and Quits $200 Ahead.
March 29, 2022
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 "The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan MandijnThings are a bit hectic around here.  The Strange Company HQ staffers are busy dealing with Thanksgiving leftovers.Wikipedia strikes again!Gustave, serial-killer crocodile.A living room becomes a family history art project.Pro tip: If you want it to look like suicide, don't shoot your victim six times.How you can communicate with your cats.  Not that
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Strange Company - 11/25/2022
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Thanksgiving in early 20th century New York City wasn’t just celebrated in private homes and expensive hotel restaurants. Institutions of all kinds across Gotham also honored the holiday with their own commemorative dinners. Hospitals, facilities for the poor, sick, and aged, and even city prisons served up a special Thanksgiving meal—usually along with speeches by […]
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Ephemeral New York - 11/21/2022
Wishing you a happy and bountiful Thanksgiving Day! Lizzie is thankful for turkey and all the trimmings – and no mutton broth in sight!
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 11/22/2022
On this date in 2002, Pakistani Mir Aimal Kansi, Kasi, or Qazi was executed by lethal injection in Virginia, U.S.A. “Real angry with the policy of the U.S. government in the Middle East, particularly toward the Palestinian people,”* Qazi on January 25, 1993 revenged himself on Central Intelligence Agency commuters queued for a left turn […]
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Executed Today - 11/14/2022
Mary Barrows, of Kittery Maine, told the coroner that her husband, Thomas, had committed suicide. The coroner was faced with two immediate mysteries; if Thomas Barrows had committed suicide, why did he wound himself five times before firing the shot to the head that killed him? And how had he shot himself six times with the five-barrel revolver found near the body? Mary Barrows and her son-in-law
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Murder By Gaslight - 11/19/2022
Shell and Pea Game on the Trail"Sketched from life by M. W. Newberry"San Francisco ChronicleApril 10, 1898(Click image to enlarge)    UNKO MEN AND THEIR TRICKS      A wonderfully detailed description of the modus operandi of Soapy Smith's three shell and pea manipulators along the Chilkoot and White Pass trails. Witnessed and reported by Joseph D. Barry, and published in the San Francisco
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 11/21/2022
An article I recently wrote for the British online magazine, New Politic, is now available online. The article, “The Criminal Origins of the United States of America,” is about British convict transportation to America, which took place between the years 1718 and 1775, and is the subject of my book, Bound with an Iron Chain: […]
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Early American Crime - 12/17/2021
Dropping Their Disguise. | A Way Out of the Sunday Difficulty.

A Woman Gambler in Nevada.

veiled-woman

At Eureka, Nevada, about three weeks ago, the monotony of life in one of the faro-banks of the town was relieved about midnight by the advent of a woman, closely veiled, accompanied by an escort. Her presence of course excited considerable curiosity, and the game—faro—was temporarily interrupted, the players and dealers taking more than ordinary interest in the newcomer. They recovered their composure, however, on failing to penetrate her veil, and continued their game, keeping a good watch, though, lest she might draw some instrument from under the ample folds of her dress and castigate or scatter the crowd from their wrestle with the tiger.

A number thought she was an outraged wife in search of her husband, whose absence she had mourned and whom she wanted to catch at the green table. All conjectures were, however, soon dispelled. The case-keeper had risen from his seat and turned in his checks, when the fair incognito deliberately planted herself in his chair, opened the case-keeper, piled up several twenty-dollar rolls of silver alongside of it, and appeared ready for business. All eyes were turned upon her, and Purdy's nimble fingers trembled perceptibly. A slight paleness was noticeable in the dealer's face, but like the hoy who stood upon the burning deck, he was bound to stand it, win or lose. Luck favored the fair stranger, and from white cheeks she turned to red, and the red resolved themselves into blue ($25 each). She kept the cases carefully and played with all the pluck of an old hand at the business. She won and lost, but kept gathering in the blue checks. Finally, when she was a couple of hundred ahead, she handed them to the dealer and received her eagles in exchange, and, with her escort, left the room and disappeared from view. The eyes of the boys stuck out like bung-holes on a molasses barrel, aid they looked at each other in perfect bewilderment. They were mystified by the fair stranger beyond conception, and it was some time before the game was resumed. Who she was no one knew, but they would give something to find out.

Illustrated Police News, December 15,1887.