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


Some Did Burn

The Volstead Act, commonly known as the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States but better known as ‘prohibition,' was never a success. Largely because it was never popular with the general public and also because it was not illegal to buy a bottle of alcoholic beverage, only illegal to sell it. A well-respected citizen could buy a bottle of liquor and would be admired by his friends as being smart and “in the know,” but the seller of that same bottle of liquor would be known as a ‘bootlegger' and classified as a criminal. To me, one was just as guilty as the other in breaking the law.

He had been contacted several days ago by a couple of supposedly good friends of his to bring them a load of whiskey. It was to be C.O.D. and the point of delivery or rendezvous was to be made on a certain date at midnight amid a group of deserted buildings on the campus of a defunct college campus on the south side of town. Everything came off as planned-Mike arrived on time, and the transfer of whiskey was quickly accomplished. It was now ‘payoff time.' At this point one of Mike's customers pulled out a gun, pointed it at Mike and said, “Sorry Mike, this is one load you are not going to collect for.”

You see, in those days there was some hijacking that went on every once in awhile. It was a fairly safe caper because the victim would be subjecting himself to arrest for transporting the stuff if he complained to the authorities.

Mike gave the sergeant the names and addresses of his assailants. A squad car was immediately dispatched to the home of the hijacker. As the cops arrived, they had surprised the hijackers who were in the garage and in the process of dividing up their loot into their respective cars.

They not only lost the whiskey they had stolen, but also their automobiles, as the law specified that any vehicle containing contraband liquor was to be confiscated by the authorities. The end result of this episode was that due to the fact that a dangerous weapon was used in the robbery, and also that the hijackers had previous criminal records, they each received a sentence of 5 to 10 years in the state penitentiary.

What happened to Mike, the victim?

Due to his cooperation with the D.A.'s office, he received a sentence of only 6 months in the county jail, during which time he was made a trustee, which further shortened his sentence.


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Published by the Institute for Regional Studies, NDSU
Updated: 7/30/2007