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By Alan Hynd

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Louie’s favorite, though, was the sack trick, which he did originate. This consisted of roping a man in such a way that, when he was doubled up and put in a canvas laundry sack, he strangled himself when he made the slightest attempt to struggle free. ” Pretty became so notorious for his cute habit of putting his victims in sacks that he tickled the fancy of Damon Runyon, the great chronicler of the guys and dolls of greater New York’s half-way world. So Louis became the prototype of a Runyon character who put his victims in sacks.

Joe had no sooner gotten through a couple of bars of Page 29 Alan Hynd Over There when the window of a bedroom over the saloon flew open and the proprietor stuck his head out. ” he yelled. ” Such was Pretty Louie’s reputation around Brownsville that Joe never again had to play that concertina during the night. That concertina, in fact, became something of a remote-control weapon to Louie. ” Thus, Louie was never obliged, curiously enough, to “muss up,” as he termed it, anybody in the saloon business.

And a bullet, he knew, could be traced. Louie was, curiously enough, afraid of firearms. But now that he was constantly surrounded by large stacks of money, he went out and bought a gun, without a permit. He packed the rod, night and day, but never used it. He didn’t trust banks. But he carried small fortunes on his person and stashed other fortunes in tin cans that were hidden all over Brownsville. One day, a couple of years after Louie had opened his loan office, a diver was in the Gowanus Canal when he came across one of Louie’s victims.

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