Paul Kelly, leader of the Five Points gang, had given Squattedman the name of the person who occupied the next link in the hierarchy of Tammany Hall. And it was a name that Squattedman knew well for having paid him a courtesy visit as soon as he first stepped on the streets of New York. It was Boss Tweed. So he decided to pay him another visit.
Tweed was having breakfast in his office when a large bird landed on the windowsill. But when he looked at it carefully, he realized that it was not a species unknown to him. Quickly he drew his revolver and emptied the cylinder on the intruder. Then he rediscovered that the bullets bounced off his naked body and he became demoralized. This feeling of unease, of futility, is normal in gangsters who go through such an experience, as psychoanalysts well know. Much of the gangster’s power lies in the use of violence, and when he discovers that violence is useless, it is normal for him to fall into a deep despond. This discouragement should be treated by a specialist in psychiatry as it can easily lead to severe depression.
I would like to recommend a self-help book written by the prestigious psychiatrist A.W. Adlerman, where he deals with this topic profusely, giving valuable advice to those affected by a situation similar to the one suffered by Boss Tweed. Its title is “Gangster Psychology” and is accompanied by a preface by Alphonse Capone, the famous gangster of Chicago. One of the actions that Mr. Adlerman expressly advices against it in order to achieve the cure of these patients, is to inflict them a long batch of slaps on both cheeks, which is precisely what happened to Boss Tweed next.
Squattedman had asked him to reveal the name of the person who was above him in the ranks of the criminal organization. But Boss Tweed refused, which led to another batch of slapping. Up to six batches of slapping were required so that Boss Tweed agreed to provide the requested information!
In addition, if immediately after this, the intruder charges headfirst at the brand-new safe of the gangster, opening in it a big hole through which he appropriates all the money it contains, the gangster mood may worsen dramatically. And Mr. Adlerman cites the case of a dangerous Detroit gangster who, after being gunned down at short range, was deprived of his gold watch, which eventually ruined his mood, usually jovial.
And after this amateur lesson about gangster psychology, let’s turn the page and go on with our story.