"Texas" Guinan, one of Broadway's best known night club hostesses, and three of her "300 Club" employes at 151 West Fifty-fourth Street, were arrested and locked up in the West Forty-seventh Street Station early today after a dozen Federal prohibition agents had raided the club. It is alleged that three of the agents had spent many hours in the club last night and early today making merry and openly buying liquor.
The raid was made a little before 3 o'clock this morning, the night club curfew hour, when the club was crowded with men and women, while the orchestra was in full blast and Miss Guinan's entertainers were disporting on the dance floor. A dozen of the entertainers, some of them scantily clad, with fur coats thrown over their shoulders, and more than a hundred guests piled into taxicabs and followed the prohibition agents, the hostess and her three employes to the station house.
While those who could crowded into the narrow confines in front of Lieutenant Bernard McGowan's desk, the others milled around on the sidewalk and John W. Inglesby, head of the padlock division of the prohibition men, made his charge against the prisoners.
Miss Guinan was charged with violation of the national prohibition act in having and selling liquor, and then an additional charge of contempt of court was lodged against her because a personal injunction had been issued against her after her place was raided some time ago.
The other prisoners, Henry Littwin, 111 West 111th Street; John Golden, 1,140 President Street, Brooklyn, and Charles Miller, 890 Fox Street, the Bronx, were all charged with acting in concert.
Three agents spent some time in the club before they were able to establish a clear line of communication with what they declare was the source of supply of liquor. Then, they charge, they bought a pint of alleged whisky for $10.
This was the cue for the raid. One of the three inside slipped out, gave a signal to the other agents outside, and the party made a dash for the place. Littwin, the doorman, tried to prevent their entry but one agent drew his pistol and ordered him to one side. Littwin obeyed and the agents entered, walked up to where Miss Guinan sat on a high chair with a clapper in her hand and informed her she was under arrest.
The woman, who is noted along Broadway for her "wise cracks," rose to the occasion.
"What, again?" she said. "I hope I can ride in a taxi."
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Understanding the Great Gatsby:A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents. Contributors: Dalton Gross - Author, MaryJean Gross - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1998. Page number: 94.
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