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Newspaper Page Text
NEW YORK LETTER
New York, Jan. 2. This is just
a little story of one time the Black
It was an hour after midnight.
In the little coffee house of Jos
eph Gallucci, Michael Moreles
was playing a little tune on the
violin. He was alone, save for
Gallucci's cat, which rubbed
against his legs.
The door burst open. A po
liceman rushed in. He glanced
around the room once; then
strode through into the back
A little crippled man was lying
there, quite dead, and with a bul
let through his brain.
The policeman questioned
Moreles was blankly ignorant
of how the little man came to his
death. Oh yes, he knew he was
Anelio Prisco everybody in
Harlem's Little Italy knew Anei
Everyone in Harlem's Little
Italy had reason to. For Prisco
was a blackmailer. He was said
to have killed at least four men
who would not "come through."
He was feared and hated by every
shopkeeper, every barber, every
bootblack, every resident of the
crowded district, who had a few
But Moreles knew nothing of
the killing. He had not seen
Prisco come in. He had not seen
Gallucci go out.
"Aw, come off o' that," said
the policeman, and dragged
Moreles off to the station.
In the coffee house, there was
left only the cat, and the fiddle,
and the bent, twisted little corpse.
Hours passed, and the police
third degree had tortured no in-
formation from Moreles. And
I then Moreles, Gallucci, his wife,
and his nephew, John Russomano;
entered the station house. Their
faces were white and strained
"We want to tell about the kill
ing of Prisco, the blackmailer,
said GaHucci, simply.
And this is the story they told:
Gallucci, Mrs. Gallucci, Russo
mano and Moreles were making
merry in the coffee house that
Suddenly the side door opened.
Prisco sidled in through it, and
beckoned Gallucci into the back
room. They all knew what he
In the back room, Prisco drew
an ugly looking revolver and
thrust it into Gallucci's sweating
"Give me $100," he said, "or I'll
blow your head off."
Russotnano knew what was
happening in the back room. He
crept behind the coffee house
counter and got Gallucci's revol
ver, rle tiptoed to the partition
which cut off the back room.
Prisco heard, and whirled
around. But he was a moment
too late. The bullet struck him
squarely between the eyes.
There was great rejoicing. All
but Moreles left the coffee house
to spread the news through the
quarter. Moreles stayed to
watch the shop and fiddle a gay