Blackstone and the New World

Blackstone and the New World by Sally Spencer

Book: Blackstone and the New World by Sally Spencer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sally Spencer
playing me up. But, hell, who wouldn’t be nervous in my position?’
    ‘Who indeed?’ Blackstone asked. ‘Do you think you can stay long enough to finish your story?’
    ‘If it don’t take too long,’ Saddler said. He paused, then admitted, ‘I’ve forgotten what I was saying.’
    ‘Byrnes drew an invisible line around the Wall Street area,’ Blackstone prompted.
    ‘Oh, yeah. But there’s no point in drawing that line if you ain’t going to enforce it – especially in a place like Wall Street, where everybody knows there are such rich pickings – so enforcement was just what the Detective Bureau spent most of its time doing. Course, paying so much attention to the Wall Street area meant that we didn’t solve much crime anywhere else – but why should we, when there was no profit in it?’
    ‘Just how much profit was there in guarding Wall Street?’ Blackstone wondered.
    ‘Plenty, especially for Inspector Byrnes. See, the sergeants just got cash from the brokers for protecting them, but what the inspector got was tips about which stocks to buy – and since the system’s crooked, that advice was never wrong and those stocks always went up.’
    ‘How much money did he make?’ Blackstone asked.
    ‘Hard to say for sure, but the Lexow Committee found one bank account of his with three hundred and fifty thousand dollars in it. They asked him to explain how a man who earned less than three thousand dollars a year could end up with so much money, and he couldn’t explain it at all. But even then, he wasn’t arrested. Even then, he hung on for a couple more years before resigning from the force.’
    ‘You’re being very frank about what you and others have done,’ Blackstone said.
    ‘Yes, sir, I am,’ Saddler agreed earnestly.
    ‘Why?’ Blackstone asked.
    ‘Tell Mr Blackstone about what happened to you to make you a new man,’ Meade suggested.
    ‘I heard the Reverend Parkhurst preach,’ Saddler said simply.
    ‘Reverend Parkhurst?’ Blackstone repeated.
    ‘He was the pastor who stirred up all the fuss about corruption and led to the Lexow Committee being formed,’ Meade explained.
    ‘The reason I happened to hear the reverend speak was that I was on the tail of this judas goat . . .’ Saddler continued.
    ‘This what?’ Blackstone asked.
    ‘Judas goat. It was another one of Inspector Byrnes’ ideas. See, we didn’t always charge everybody we arrested – not even all the guilty ones. Sometimes, we’d let a suspect go, but we’d follow him, and see who he talked to. Then we’d rearrest him, and work him over until he gave us something on the people he’d been associating with.’
    ‘Something real – or something he’d simply made up to avoid further beating?’ Blackstone asked.
    ‘Didn’t really matter, as long as it gave us grounds to arrest them . Then we’d let the judas goat go again, as long as he promised to give evidence against his friends. You see how it works?’
    ‘Yes,’ Blackstone said. ‘By using the judas goat, you make several arrests instead of just the one.’
    ‘And that looks good on paper,’ Saddler said. ‘And not just on paper, but in the newspapers . Most of the citizens of New York thought Inspector Byrnes was their saviour. And only the Detective Bureau – and the poor devils we’d arrested – knew the real truth.’
    ‘You were telling us about hearing the Reverend Parkhurst preach,’ Meade reminded him.
    ‘Oh, yeah. The goat realized I was on his tail, so he dived into the Madison Square Presbyterian Church. And I followed him, and sat down beside him. And do you know what I said to him – right there in the House of God ?’
    ‘No.’
    ‘I said to him, God forgive me, “When this service is over, you’d better tell me something I can use – or I’m gonna break both your arms.” Then Reverend Parkhurst stepped into the pulpit, and even before he started to speak, it was like a bright shining light had entered my world. And as

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