successful fires

Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Tue Jun 6 17:02:15 UTC 2000


     [...]  A very major gambler and criminal
power-broker and financier named Arnold Rothstein had been murdered.
An Irish-born cleaning woman who worked in the hotel where Rothstein
was last alive said that she had seen him talking to a man she
described as "a big feller, and as Irish as Paddy's pig".  The cops,
reasoning shrewdly, thought that the description was not
inappropriate for George McManus, who was considerably taller than 6
feet and who was on poor terms with Rothstein.  Nothing came of this.
 Rothstein's murder generated a lot of heat but even more pressure to
cover it up, and covered up it was.

Aha! So that's the reference of one of the half-stanzas in a long poem by Ogden
Nash that I memorized many years ago:
     See Rothstein pass like breath on a glass,
     The original Black Sox kid.
     He riffles the pack, riding piggyback
     On the killer whose name he hid.
We usually associate Nash with light verse in grotesquely long, unmetered lines
with absurd rhymes, but "A Tale of the 13th Floor" is a Halloween (or
Walpurgisnacht) ghost story/morality tale, rigorously rhymed and metered in the
stanzas of Oscar Wilde's "Ballad of Reading Gaol".

-- Mark

   Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist and Manager of Acoustic Data
          Mark_Mandel at : Dragon Systems, Inc.
 320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02460, USA :

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