Richard Bostwick Reminiscences

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Welfare Office Stories
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Cab Driving Stories
The Way It Was - 1930
The Gambler And His Gal 1927
The Last One To Know 1926
Just A Couple Of Hustlers 1925
Cash On Delivery 1923
One Born Every Minute 1923
Fun Is Where You Find It 1923
An Ace In The Hole 1922
And A Little Child Shall…
Gold Tooth Murphy
Aiding And Abetting 1929
Buried Treasure 1927
The Good Samaritan
Just A Country Trip
The Prodigal Son
Occupational Hazard
Four Bags Full
Overtime Pay
Above And Beyond The Call
Fourth Down And Ten
Let There Be Light
Take It Or Leave It
Double Or Nothing
The Champ
Three Of A Kind
My Silent Big Spender
N.P.R.R. (Northern Pacific Railroad) Mr. Moody


Prohibition Stories
A Little Competition
Some Did Burn
Last Words


Gold Tooth Murphy

It was usually around 2 o'clock in the morning that business on the late shift would come to a stand still, especially on a weeknight. This Wednesday night was no exception. I was sitting in the cab office browsing through an edition of yesterday's local newspaper. The big story of the day had been the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Further on down the front page was an item regarding an escape from the state penitentiary of a bank robber who was known by the nickname of “Gold Tooth Murphy.”

I remember very well reading all about this fellow prior to the time of his trial. The newspaper reporters had quite a field day reporting the events leading up to his capture and subsequent conviction. According to their accounts, he had been quite a Robin Hood. My dispatcher interrupted my reading and sent me to the corner of Front and 13 th streets. My fare would be waiting for me beside the phone booth located there. I pulled up to the designated corner but no one was in sight. I sat there for a minute or two, and had just about decided that this was a void call. Just as I was about to leave, a fellow came out of the shadows of an adjoining building. As he climbed into my cab, he gave me an address which was that of a rooming house across the river.

I closed the cab door and took off down the deserted street. There was no traffic at all during this early morning hour; not even the milk wagon had made an appearance. When I was about two blocks from the bridge, my passenger told me to slow down, as he wanted to point out to me a narrow passageway . “Go down to the far end of it to a door on the end of the building and ask for Ruth” he said. I was to tell her that her best friend was waiting for her. He said she would know who I meant. I was then to bring her back to the rooming house where he would be waiting.

Well, I did as he instructed. I returned to the narrow passageway and with the aid of my flashlight I went down a short flight of stairs and proceeded to the rear of the building. I found the side door and rapped on it, but there was no response. So I rapped again and again, but I was unable to arouse his Ruth or anyone else. Back I went across the river and pulled up in front of the rooming house where I had left my passenger. He came out from along side the building. He climbed into my cab and seemed very disappointed that I did not have his Ruth with me. I told him I had been unable to raise anyone at the door that he had sent me to. As he climbed out of my cab I thought I heard him mutter something about, “Maybe just as well.”

He then paid me my fare plus a good tip. As he turned away, the corner street light afforded me the first good look I had had at his face. I noticed the dull gleam of a full set of upper gold teeth. I then returned to the cab office and resumed reading all about yesterday's news.


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Updated: 7/30/2007