ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Calcutta Diary

Calcutta Diary A M THE United States of America, the regime of President Coolidge, the reign of the Eighteenth Amendment formally enforcing prohibition; Chicago, Wednesday, October 20, 1926; Hotel Sherman, a stone's throw from the City Hall, the headquarters of the Mayor, and across the street from the office of the chief of police. A famous peace conference was on. It was being chaired by Maxie Eisen, racketeer extraordinary, to whom every push-cart peddler in the fish-markets along the Lake Michigan waterfront paid tribute, and who had the reputation of being an 'intellectual' in the Chicago underworld. Till the other day, his alignment was with the Irish gang. But the erstwhile leader of the latter, the florist Dion O'Banion, had only recently been despatched to his coffin by the gunmen of you-know-who, and, discretion being the better part of valour, Maxie had been increasingly liking the role of a peace-maker. Amongst the participants at the conference in the Lavender Room of Hotel Sherman was Alphonse Capone, ostensibly a second-hand furniture dealer (although once, before a grand jury, asked to state his business, his response was:

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