BALKING the BOOTLEGGER
How the Fight Against Liquor-Selling is Waged
GUY E. MORTON
JUST as the sun was slipping down behind the tree-tops, Sandy McCann slouched in the front doorway of his rural pub, and reflected on the miseries of man. For Sandy was that ungenteel thing known as a bootlegger, and he had just made the startling discovery that, to his kind, misery is as inevitable as death. Sandy had purveyed the stomach-wracking, red-eye mixture for so long that in time his native wile had slackened its vigilance, and in the end there had come thaL annoying afternoon’s session before the Magistrate.
“Two hundred and costs,” Sandy moaned, to nothing in particular. “And the next time he said it would be jail. . .
Jail for Sandy McCann. . . .”
That seemed so much like an infringement upon his self-styled rights that Sandy could feel the rankling from the tips of his toes to the top of his head. He, threatened with jail. Sandy McCann, who had bootlegged it in his own little ex-pub since the first day of the dry spell! Sandy reflected some more, then:
“Never again.” And to prove that had nothing whatever to do with repentance, he added, “No more strangers for mine.”
For that had been Sandy’s weakness. One morning, not so long before, he had been too trustful. He had led a pair of supposedly thirsty strangers into a back room, had opened up a secret compartment' in the wreck of a wash-stand and had handed out some of his most stomachtorturing mixture at fifty cents a throw. Then the strangers went meekly about their way, but this afternoon he had recognized them in the court room as the chief witnesses acclaiming the munificence of Sandy’s hospitality.
“The dirty spotters!” Sandy exclaimed, as he kicked the door-jamb. “The blighters! I’ll show them yet.”
Sandy’s tortured soul writhed before the ingratitude of man. His purse felt slim. So one had to be smooth, slick even, to put it over those representatives of the law. Well, he would be slick, “slickern’ a cat after a mouse,” Sandy reflected, and his eye roved here and there, and as it roved it centered at last upon a battered watering trough in front of the ex-pub. A trough always full of water, six feet from the wall of the building, and teamsters using it every day! Sandy grinned, and began to feel happy again. He would get back that two hundred and costs, or know the reason why. The idea was fine. A false bottom under the trough, a cache of red-eye, with an underground tube running that six feet from the trough to a dark corner in the cellar of the ex-pub.
This time Sandy shook his fist in the air.
“I’ll show you, you blighters,” he muttered.
And thus was war declared between Sandy McCann, bootlegger, and the instruments of the law.
They Couldn’t Catch Sandy CANDY began the war at once, but it was some two ^ months before the other side appreciated that Sandy •was fighting back. Rumors began to filter in to the License headquarters in the city some miles away that Sandy McCann was a bad one. . The people Who had first objected to the demoralizing effects of Sandy’s liquids objected again. They objected freely and often, and, when the muchWorked officials took time to cal!
.around at Sandy’s place in the hope of re-testing his hospitality, they found that in the past few months Sandy had assumed all the wiles of the serpent. Sandy was not to be tricked, cajoled, or browbeaten into «erving any more of the red-eye.
I “I’m off the stuff forever,” Sandy protested, with a pious uplifting of the hands, but with a twinkle in his eye which proclaimed some of his triumph. “But they’s lots of water in the well.”
The officials, somewhat reduced in confidence, went their way, and made their reportât headquarters.
“Perhaps you’ve scared him,”ideclared the Big Man
at the top. “But if there’s a single other complaint about Sandy, we’ll search the premises, even if we have to pump the well dry.”
There were other complaints about Sandy McCann. They drifted into headquarters like the blowing of autumn leaves. Sandy, they declared, was laughing openly at the law. He was encouraging all manner of men and boys of the neighborhood to consume his red-eye, and he was plainly declaring that already he had won back that two hundred and costs. So the Big Man at the top despatched two of his other officers, with the concise instructions:
“Get him. Get Sandy McCann. Search him, up and down.”
Since Sandy’s place was still the remnant of a pub, all that was required was to find the liquor upon his premises. If he could be trapped into selling, so much the better; but if not, find the liquid, and that would be all that was necessary to start him on a trip from which he would not return for many months.
These new officials visited Sandy. They tempted him, as had the others, only to be confronted by Sandy’s piously uplifted hands.
They were strangers. So they threw off the disguise of friendliness, and they searched the premises. They searched up and down, down and up, backward and forward, and in the end all they found was Sandy’s triumphant smile.
In time they went their way, with Sandy’s mild voice calling after them:
“Hey, boys, they’s always water in the pump.”
Sandy McCann, behind his own trenches, was waging his own style of warfare. He was recovering from the mental and financial rankling of that two hundred and costs, and he was charging much interest in the form of satisfaction for his defeat of the law. In due course, Sandy’s interest ran into usury, and about the time his mental satisfaction was soaring high, the word reached the Big Man back in the Toronto headquarters office that Sandy McCann “had ’em beat.”
“Got you beaten, has he?” muttered the Big Man with the shock of white hair which so many people know so well from one end of the province to the other. “We’ll see about that. It looks like a case for me.”
The Big Man Takes a Hand
Vf OW, in this game of balking the bootlegger, it is quite impossible for the Big Man to give his attention to all cases. The easiest cases go to the officials of the least experience, the harder cases go to the more experienced, and the all-but-uncrackable cases go to the Big Man himself. Sandy McCann had reached that stage where he demanded the attention of the Big Man who was directing this big game known as balking the bootleggers. That would have gratified Sandy very much, could he have known it, for it meant that he had forced out both the heavy artillery and the air force for an attack upon his position.
So, the Big Man with the white hair packed a hand-bag and started out in the direction of Sandy McCann’s ex-pub. He spent a day in neighboring observation posts, but at some distance from Sandy’s entrenchments. This was on a Tuesday, and his observations told him that there was a gang of telephone linemen working up-country in Sandy’s direction. Experience told him that the linemen would just about reach Sandy’s hotel by Wednesday night; so the Big Man departed in the direction of a telephone station, where he remained closeted for many minutes, whispering detailed instructions to men who had never yet been inside Sandy’s trench works.
Through the forenoon on the following day, Sandy McCann was summoned to the telephone.
“This is McPherson speaking,” a voice eamejto him over the wire.
“Head of the telephone repair department, you know. If that gang of workers down the road gets to you any time to-day, tell Ferguson, the foreman, to ca’l me up.”
Sandy McCann brightened. A gang of workmen meant work for the dining-room. Perhaps they would stay over night. For Sandy knew of McPherson, and McPherson was no stranger.
A few minutes before noon that same day, a one-horse wagon, with three or four men, with rolls of wire, with nippers and tweezers, and climbing irons, and all sorts of implements of the telephone repair department, drove up in front of Sandy’s pub.
“Dinner for four, Sandy McCann,” a man demanded.
“And is a man Ferguson among you?” Sandy asked, in return.
A man stepped forward and admitted that he was Ferguson.
“Then call up McPherson. He wants you at once,” Sandy instructed, as he followed' Ferguson into the building.
‘He’ll be wanting to know about the new insulators, I’m thinking,” said the man Ferguson, to satisfy the curiosity of Sandy McCann.
“No doubt,” said Sandy, as he leaned against the wall and listened to the full conversation which passed between Ferguson and McPherson.
There Was Still Water in the Pump
CANDY listened, and he heard one end of a very detailed ^ conversation about the merits of a new-style insulator, which the telephone gang were installing down the road. Sandy listened, and was content. No-one but an expert could find so much to say about so small a thing as an insulator. Sandy drank in the conversation, and his soul expanded. He led the way to the dining-room by a devious route.
“You’ll be thirsty,” he suggested.
“I am that,” replied Ferguson. “In a pinch, I could do with a wee drop. Just a nip.”
Knowing the secret hiding place of the “nip,” Sandy called at it upon the way, and Ferguson contributed more profit in the way of offsetting that all-but-forgotten two hundred and costs.
“And the men, too, will be wanting some,” Ferguson suggested.
When this process was over, and the dinner bolted, the repair gang went their way, and Sandy McCann smiled. Profits were huge. The smiling mood lasted for some hours, then shortly before the time for the night meal, along came another telephone gang, likewise equipped with the implements of their trade. Sandy McCann’s smiling mood vanished. He lost no time in approaching the second gang of men. He looked them up and down; he knew them to be genuine; and in the same moment his instinct told him that both gangs could not be the real thing. Sandy pounded his fist in anger against the tailboard of the wagon.
“Gad, but they’ve got me,” he exclaimed, in the faces of the astonished men. “And they said the next time it would be jail.”
And the Big Man had him. There was no mistaking that. Yet Sandy did not go to jail, for the simple reason that, with proper humility, he promised to quit the hotel business and go on a farm. He would dispense red-eye no more. For his sake, it must be said that lie paid his fine; he kept his word, and to-day he is a prosperous farmer.
Bootlegging Has Become a Science
THAT is the story of foxy Sandy McCann’s battle with the License Department, and though it may not be a particularly thrilling battle, it is but a type of the many battles which have been fought out constantly all over the province, on many fronts, ever since the day when the dry spell swept Ontario, and when the bootleggers first began to pit their wily brains against the brains of the Depart-
ment. In the past few years, owing to the keenness of the law, the art of bootlegging has almost become a science; and likewise, because of the shrewdness of the leggers, the balking of the trade has become another science; that is, if a test of brains and skill can be called a science. Bootlegging is an old trade. It dates from the very first days, when the first temperance laws of the province made it illegal for liquor to be sold in any one defined portion of the province; and now, when it is illegal to sell any form of strong liquor in any part of the province, it is easy to appreciate that the Sandy McCanns are ever ready to rise up and joust a bit with the officials of the law.
As a matter of fact, the Sandy McCanns are so widely scattered from one end of Ontario to the other that the Ontario License Department—under whose jurisdiction comes the checking up of bootlegging — has rather more than it can do to accommodate all with a little test of
“How does the Department know just where to find the Sandy McCanns?” is doubtless the first question a person is apt to ask.
The answer is simple. In the large centres of population, they fall to the local police, and between the city bootleggers and the city police there is a constant war of wits being waged. Now take the bootlegger in the small town or village. Citizens of towns and villages have the happy knack of knowing fairly well all that goes on within their borders, and they know as well just which ones of their citizenry are apt to be seen wandering around under the influence. It also seems to be a fact that a bootlegger, if he be at all expert, will limit his trade to those whom he thinks he can trust, and will accordingly furnish them with all they can consume. Result—an inevitable amount of intoxication about the town which cannot escape the attention of the average citizen. Second result—The License Department receives a message something like
“Considerable drunkenness in this town. Haven’t any idea where the liquor is coming from, but can’t you do something about it?”
Complaints of this nature have been so frequent of late that the License Department officials report that fhe full time of their outside staff is kept busy following up such clues, so they do not have to go out to look for any Sandy McCanns of their own.
The Story of a Hard Case
SUCH a communication recently reached headquarters from a town whose name we would like to give. The message was from a point in Western Old Ontario; it was of that vague indefiniteness which furnishes no clue whatever; and the town was of that size which permits every man to know the business of every other man in it. So the Big Man called in two of his officers.
“Third complaint from this town,” he announced. “White and Jones were down there two months ago, but the bootleggers were too cautious for them. It’s up to you.”
Task up to the officers, who happened to be an Englishman and an Armenian, was to walk into a strange town where they knew nobody, and to trap the bootlegger, who would be on the watch for just such strangers as themselves. For that was one of the first things the bootleggers learned years ago: to beware of strangers. Experience has also taught the officials that though there might be only the one bootlegger in town, there would nevertheless be a certain number of his followers and customers constantly on the watch in his interests. To the outsider, one of the most interesting things in a bootlegging town or village is to watch the inhabitants watching the casual stranger, and trying to make up their minds whether or not he is a “spotter.” In view of the number of local spotters trying to spot the spotter, it is not at all unusual for the official to be branded in the eyes of the town before he has left the railway station, and when that happens, his usefulness is gone, unless he happens to have a fair idea just who the bootlegger is. The Government officials are further handicapped by the fact that they must travel in pairs, for the courts require two oaths, each corroborating the other, before they will convict.
“Pair of strangers stepped off the 10.40 train. Who are they?” That is the most common kind of a message to be telephoned about a bootlegging town; and the first answer is, “Spotters.”
If that happens to be wrong, it does not matter, but it merely serves to show the precautions the bootleggers and their allies take. It also shows what the Englishman and the Armenian had to face when they packed grips for the Western town. ¡ßfg
“White and Jones lost out, so we go separate ly,” declared the Armenian, who was the longer in the service.
They did. They went on different days, and stayed at different hotels, meeting only after dark on back streets to exchange observations.
But on the second night a suspicious citizen followed one of them, and on the following day their position was made plain to them ; they were constantly taunted by offers of lemonade, ginger ale and other such harmless beverages. By the third night, they knew the game was hopeless, that the whole town was an armed camp against them, so far as betraying information was concerned. They had just about recognized the futility of further effort, when the Armenian received a note, delivered at night.
“I like to see men get a
sporting chance. Mansion Hotel.” That was all the message said. But that was the clue the officers needed.
The Mansion House had never really been entitled to the name, and now less than ever. It had that generally woebegone atmosphere which seems to haunt so many village and small town hotels in these days. So the Englishman and the Armenian camped about it for two days, but they found nothing. In the end, they sent a message to the Big Man, and in time he arrived, with that authority to search the premises which he always possesses. A thorough search revealed nothing.
Now the Big Man has an eye trained for detail and he has a tenacity which makes him dangerous to bootleggers. When a man thinks he has him beaten, that is just the time he should be the most careful. On this occasion, the Big Man used his eye for detail. When all searching had failed, and only his tenacity remained, he abruptly noticed that a certain doorway leading to the bar-room, which had withstood the brushing of shoulders for a generation, had required repairs only of late. The repairs were in the sill, just above the lower hinge, and they were observable only when the door was open. Paint had been applied to conceal the work, but the freshness of paint is a thing which is hard to destroy on short notice.
“What is the trouble with the door?” the Big Man asked the proprietor, and the color of the man’s countenance was the only answer needed.
Where the Liquor is Hidden
THE following search revealed a secret sliding panel, just large enough to admit a man’s arm, and inside, in the hollow of the wall, was the stock of illicit drink. In such a case as that, the mere discovery of liquor on the premises is all that is required to convict; and this searching for liquor in buildings where it is known to be, but where it seems not to be, is one of the most interesting phases of the battle against the bootleggers. Occasionally the officials will drop into a town or village on the mere chance of picking up offenders, but in the great bulk of cases they have been invited by some of the citizens to clean up undesirable conditions. In view of that, the messages received by the Department are generally more explicit than was the one quoted above. The most of the messages are as definite as this one, received from an Eastern village:
“Frank Smith, proprietor of the Exchange Hotel, must be selling liquor. Drunken men about the place every night.”
Seeing that the Exchange is a public place, all that is required is to find the liquor.
At first thought, it would seem that the finding of
liquor in the ordinary country or village hotel would not be a difficult matter, and that it would be a problem which could be solved in an hour or so at the outside. But that premise does not take into account the fact that the bootlegger has anticipated a visit from the law, and that he has employed the full wile of his brain to conceal his stock of liquor in some place where it will be accessible and where it will still be beyond the range of the visitor of the law.
“Where do they hide it?” you ask, even though you may not be a prospective bootlegger.
Since the Battle of the Bootleggers is one that is fluctuating with the days and is constantly bringing in new faces and new figures, it will be safe to betray some of the hiding places which have been discovered in the past. So, though you may be planning to enter the business, merely as a sporting test of wits, don’t conceal your stock in any of these places, for they are such old and well-known hiding grounds that the Department does not hesitate to name them over. Illicit liquor has been found in: Automobile gasoline tanks, automobile inner tubes, baby carriages, baseball bats hollowed out, baskets of tomatoes, behind wainscotting, in old buckets in the back yards, buried under ground in the yard, in bread baked into loaves, in carpenters’ tool chests, in chicken houses, in coal oil cans, in coat pockets or sleeves of old coats hanging in wardrobes, in furnaces, garbage cans, gasoline cans, in hot water boilers, in hot water bottles being used by a supposedly sick person in bed, in hot air registers, in ice houses under the sawdust, in the sawdust about lumber mills, in mattresses, in pillows, in maple syrup tins, in milk cans, newel posts, stoves, trunks, under coal in bin, under false bottom in trunks, under the floor, under verandah posts, under tables on shelves, and in scores of special hiding places constructed in the walls, floors or ceilings of houses.
If you want to be a bootlegger, you will need to think up something more clever than any of the above, for, as the officials put it, all those things are out of date and the game is changing every day.
How the Clue was Found
TAKE the case of the Englishman and the Armenian.
They searched the premises of Frank Smith of the Exchange Hotel. They searched, and found nothing. Though a bit discouraged, they decided to be sociable and hang about the premises.
The Armenian sat on the back doorstep and whittled fragments from a shingle. He reflected.
Then along came Sarah Jane, the kitchen maid. She walked from a shed at the rear, carrying a pail of potatoes. She winked at the Armenian, she giggled a little, and muttered as she hurried past:
“You’ll perhaps be having a drink of water, Meester?” The Armenian’s brain began to labor. There was Sarah Jane carrying potatoes from the out-house; yet a half hour ago he had seen a stack of potatoes on the cellar floor.
“I’ve got it, English,” he exclaimed, as he made another bolt for the basement.
Armenia reached the basement, with a curious England at his heels.
“What’s what?” the latter demanded, but Armenia had nothing more to say about it.
He plunged straight for the stack of potatoes, piled neatly in one corner of the basement, and he began to scatter raw food about in a manner which would have
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scandalized the Cost of Living Commission He dug to the bottom, and there he found a row of boards piled along the floor. He dug up the boards, arid beneath them he found the answer—a cache filled to the brim with the neatly labelled bottles which eventually added one more to the list of those who have lost out in the game of
The Useful Mattress
BUT stacks of potatoes cannot always be relied upon to produce bottles of liquid, as the spotters have found out. There are other interesting hiding places, for instance the mattresses mentioned above. Bedding of various kinds has produced much liquor, and there was one unusual case in the North. In this particular case, the message had come in from a private citizen protesting against the signs of drunkenness to be seen around a definite house which was constantly frequented by all sorts of individuals. The officials arrived on the scene, and they searched every nook of the place except a room where a man was supposed to be ill in bed No result, except puzzled officers. At length one of them got a bright idea. There was but one doctor in the village, so the official used the telephone.
“And is Mr. Burgess very ill?” he asked, after the introductory conversation.
“Didn’t know he was sick at all,” was the reply.
“Camouflage,” said the officer to his associate, as he returned to the house and demanded admittance to the so-called sick room. After much protest and delay, he gained admittance, only to be met by the sad moanings of the “patient and the strong stench of liquor.
The official searched, but all he could find of the liquor was the stench, then his assistant looked out the window.
“Broken bottles,” he announced, and the search resumed.
This time it was directed to the bedding, where the smell of liquor was the strongest, and a moment or two of investigation brought out the fact that the bedding and mattress were practically soaked in the liquid. In the haste of the moment, the proprietor of the place had emptied the liquor into the mattress and had thrown the bottles away, and though that saved him from a conviction, it also cured him oi bootlegging.
Bootlegging in the North
EXAMPLES of trickery on the part of the bootleggers are almost endless, as also are the ruses employed by the officials to trap the sellers of the illicit liquor. There was, for instance, the case of the man in the North country who made a practice of furnishing home-made whisky to the deer hunters at a huge profit. Though most elusive in his habits, this man was finally caught by a repetition of the telephone linemen system mentioned above, with the difference that the officials went into the North disguised as hunters, with guns, dogs, camps, etc., and that they actually spent two or three days in the woods before they were visited by the cautious legger. On the same principle was the farmer who was eventually caught by officials who visited him in the guise of apple-pickers.
“But how about the mining country in the North? How do they catch the bootleggers there?” has been asked more than
That, naturally, is a big job; it takes much forethought, and sometimes it requires men with courage. One illustration will tell the whole story. Foreigners in the employ of a certain mine were known to be the consumers of much illicit liquor, so two officials went North to catch the leggers. The first thing they did was to adopt the garb of the miners; then they dropped into the office of the mine’s employment headquarters.
“Got a job for us?” they asked the superintendent, and the superintendent, who had been the man to lodge the complaint with the License Department, knew his business.
That afternoon, the officials went to work in the mines. For a month they did the work and lived the lives of the miners; they mixed with the foreigners, and at the end of the month they disappeared. They returned only to attend the trials of the bootleggers; they secured the conviction of six, and incidentally cleaned up the district for a time.
Selling Liquor on the Street
BUT bootlegging is not entirely a matter of dispensing liquor in buildings contrary to the law. It can be done on the street, and the methods employed by the leggers to carry a supply around with them often shows the resourcefulness of fertile brains. There is the case of the
two officials who visited one of the smaller cities and noticed that a certain woman was always on the streets at night, wheeling around a baby carriage. At length they stopped her.
“And what a fine baby you must have,” one of them remarked.
“Indeed, and he is a fine boy, that fine I want everybody to see him,” was the reply.
“You’re out a lot at night,” the officer suggested.
“ ’Tis good for the child’s health, sir. He’ll be a brawny lad, yon, one day.”
“Then I’ll be taking a peep at him,” said the officer, as he reached down and pulled aside the covering.
The officer found what he expected; not a real baby, but a dummy of rubber, filled with liquor. And the woman turned out to be a man who had been in the habit of hanging about the outbuildings of hotels for the taking of profit.
Illustrations resembling that could be piled up in great number, and there have been so many devices of like nature employed for the carrying of liquor that the police authorities at the Parliament Buildings — who often work with the License Department— have made a great collection of them. There are false chests of tin, rubber belts for carrying under the coat, and all manner of bodily inconveniences which finally got their designers into trouble. There is one story in this connection which is offered for its face value, and which no one will be censured for salting away if he sees fit.
One-armed Bootlegger John made a practice of hovering about the hotels in a small town. He would slip into rooms with men, and the men would come out with the odor of whisky upon their breath. That annoyed some citizens to such an extent that the License officials were finally appealed to. They searched Bootlegger John, but they found nothing. Then they watched, and a few minutes later John slipped into a room, and in time out came another man with a convincing breath. This time John was searched to the hide, and it was only when an auger was used on his wooden arm that they tapped the source of the supply. John had a natural cache for a quart of liquor, but he promised to be good, so they let him go,
Rough Times for the Detectives
C'OR the most part, bootlegging, or the ” catching of bootleggers, is a matter of wits, but sometimes there is a little brawn mixed in. Leggers have been known to fight back, and if you should happen to see the Big Man some day, you might ask him if he ever had any rough passages during the enforcement of the law. If you ask him in the right way, he will doubtless smile, and ask in return:
“Don’t you remember the time at--
when the crowd held us up and I had to shove my gun in their faces?”
Get him to tell you the whole story, for there is room here for only the bare sketch of it.
In this case, Armenia and English had spent a busy afternoon in the court room earning the hostility of certain town roughs by the detailed manner in which they outlined to the magistrate the furtive habits of three bootleggers who controlled the town’s only supply. When the magistrate decided that the leggers should each part with two hundred dollars of their profits, the word went about among the roughs.
“We’ll take it out of the spotters’ hides.”
So when English and Armenia, accompanied by the Big Man, left the courtroom, they found in front of them a circle of angry faces, and behind them, in the doorway, the boots of angry feet. The Big Man had just time to shout “What’s up?” when the roughs explained by a massed attack. They forgot that English had once trained on Boers in South Africa, and that Armenia doubtless saw in them a strong resemblance to persecuting Turks. The battle began, sharply and furiously. Armenia and English, with the morale of the law behind them, in the person of the Big Man, dropped a rough with every punch, but in most personal encounters a crowd can trim a trio. The Big Man saw nothing but eventual disaster.
“Hold them, hoys, until I can get my gun,” he shouted.
But even that did not check the attack. Then the Big Man reached in his grip and he produced the gun.
“Now,” he shouted, “I mean business. Back, or I shoot.”
A gun is a gun, and courage, on the wrong side of the law, is watery, so the crowd gave way, by ones and twos, then in groups; but the Big Man did not stop waving the weapon until the last of the hostile had vanished around the corner. That might have been the end of it, except that they were obliged to catch a train, after dark. At the railway station, with the courage of darkness to back them, the roughs appeared again, but here the Big Man made use of his wits. He entered the waiting-room, allowed the roughs to follow, waited until the train arrived, then held the crowd inside with his gun while Armenia and English boarded the train.
“And would you have shot?” the Big Man was asked.
“You bet I would,” was the reply, “The crowd would have killed the officers unless something had "been done.”
One might fancy that would be enough for one experience, bpt such was not the attitude of the Big Man.
“Guess you won’t ever come back here,” the crowd called, as the train moved off.
“Wait and see,” was the reply.
Some few days later, the Big Man returned, with provincial constables at his back; he looked the town over, identified a number of the roughs, and succeeded in having seven of them convicted for assault.
Then there was a like case in an Eastern town when the Big Man could not reach his gun, and when he, Armenia and another English had to fight a crowd for twenty minutes before the train arrived, and where they came off with many marks upon them. In this ease also the Big Man made the return trip, but he had fewer convictions for assault simply because some of the offenders were discreet enough to jump across the border line to the States.
The Wiles of Liquor Importers
DURING the recent days when importation of liquor to the province was prohibited, one of the phases of the battle of wits was to dig through the false covers used by the bootlegger importers to get their supplies into Ontariofrom
Quebec. The names of many comi modifies were used by the importers to j ■get their stock carried by freight or exj press, and while much came through, j much was also checked up. Here are a few of the more common consignment ; names which failed: Apples, ammunition, ; bales of rags, boots and shoes, cabbages, I candy, canned goods, dolls, drugs, olive J oil, raincoats, shoe polish, tar-paper in j rolls, typewriters, water bottles, wire and nails, cod fish, furniture, groceries, machinery, tombstones, motor supplies, oil ^ cloth, telephones, chemicals, etc.
One of the more interesting shipments, j which failed, had to do with kewpie dolls.
A Montreal shipment reaching Toronto bore the name “Kewpie Dolls” on the outside, yet the officials had their own reason for suspecting the consignee; so they broke open the package in the presence of the consignee, and found kewpie dolls.
“Clever, aren’t you?” the owner suggested, at the wrong moment.
So the official took a chance on cracking off the head of a doll, and there he found the key to the supply.
That is what has been going on, ever j since the dry spell, in the way of balking bootleggers, and it is what doubtless will j go on for years to come. The Big Man ! figuring above is well-known from one end ! of the province to the other, for he is no other than John A. Ayearst, Chief Proj vincial License Inspector, and he is backed by a small army of workers whose numbers fluctuate according to the needs. Just now, there are around 60 local inspectors for various districts, 6 provincial officers, five provincial inspectors, and a staff of special officers whose numbers vary from time tp time. Anyone, who feels like bootlegging only needs to remember that the Big Man fears nothing, that he will spare no pains to “get” the legger he goes after, that he has an almost endless string of scalps to his credit, and that his great ambition in life is to keep on tacking up the scalps.