Bugsy Malone wasn’t the smartest guy in town but he had an air about him that was
difficult to describe. A son of inner dignity that didn’t rely on crisp white cuffs and a
diamond stick pin. He was no hood. He’d been around them, sure. He’d had his scrapes. And he generally came out on top. But he got a funny kind of pleasure just from being in the middle of things. Always there, but never involved. He’d been quite a useful boxer in his day, coo. Except for one slight handicap. He had a jaw that had more glass in it than Macy’s front window. But he still kept in trim. Made a few bucks -from ‘chis and that’, he liked co say. In the main they were honest bucks -looking for promising fighters and steering them in the direction of Cagey Joe at Sluggers Gym. He’d spent his life on the Lower East Side and it was a lot harder keeping on the straight and narrow than going
crooked. With an Irish father and an Italian mother he had naturally grown up somewhat confused. He couldn’t see his future as a spaghetti waiter in a restaurant or as a clerk at City Hall, filling in endless forms. So he’d drifted from this to that. Never very crooked, not alway completely honest. But generally to do with boxing, his great love.

Blousey Brown had always wanted co be famous. She got the bug very early -at the age of three she gave an inpromtu recital for her family at Thanksgiving. She would tap a little and sing some, and what her rather squeaky voice lacked in volume she made up for with enthusiasm. Her audience was always especially encouraging. But what family doesn’t have a talented child? In face, there had been vaudeville acts in Blousey’s family since way back. They hadn’t gathered a great deal of fame amongst them -the yellowed notices in the
cuttings book weren’t coo plentiful -but they were remembered with great affection. At Thanksgiving, when Blausey put on her shiny red tap shoes with the pink bows. and did her annual turn, someone would say, “She’s got it all right. You can tell she’s gonna be famous. There’s a kind of sparkle in her eye. Bravo, Blousey. Bravo.” It was the last ‘Bravo’ that did it. Since that moment, Blausey had been hooked on show business.

Leroy is a soft, cuddly reddy bear of a boy in a neighborhood so tough you could get a Congressional medal for walking the streets after. dark. But it hadn’t spoiled Leroy. He
smiled when he was provoked, and laughed when he was shouted at. There was a kindness from inside him that shone in his eyes and glittered from his pearly white teeth. Also, as they say in Louisiana, he was built like a brick chicken-house, and everyone knew that if you messed around too far with Leroy you were in danger of having the point on your chin
punched somewhere back where your ears used to be.

Fizzy had whistled his bluesy song for as long has he could remember. He hadn’t been
taught it. He hadn’t heard it on the radio and it wasn’t anything Razamataz had played. It belonged to Fizzy. Whenever anyone asked him, “What’s that song you’re whistling, Fizzy?”
he used to shrug his shoulders. People used to think it meant he didn’t know the title. It had no title -except for Fizzy’s Tune. Fizzy wasn’t the type to say”It’s a little number I
composed mysdf’ -people probably wouldn’t have believed him. Fizzy was a janitor and was meant to sweep up. That’s how most people thought of him, because most people like to put folk in pigeon holes.

Fat Sam, like most hoodlums, had clawed his way up from the streets to get a little
recognition. A little notoriety. But whenever he ever made the papers or the newscasts it made him mad. Very ma.d. ‘Alleged mobster king of the Lower East Side,” was it? There was no ‘alleged’ about it. Sam was king of these pans. There wasn’t a racket or a shady deal in which he didn’t have his fat podgy finger. No, there was no doubt. At least, not in Fat Sam’s mind.

Tallulah was the star of the show and everyone knew it. Her hair was a work of art,
patiently created at Madame Monsani’s Hair Parlor. She peered out from behind her crnls with eyes that were wide open -but could narrow to a cool stare that cut guys in ha!£ And often did. Tallulah was as cool as they come, and she pouted her red cupid-bow lips as she sang her songs in that ever-so-slinky way that drew besotted stares from the guys and
envious looks from the girls. She was also Sam’s girl, which made life a little easier for her and a little tougher for the rest of the girls. Not that Tallulah was without talent hersel£ She put over a number like no one else.

Knuckles was Fat Sam’s number one man. He cracked his knuckles often, which is how he got his name. It always looked a little threatening as he idly clicked at the bones in his
hands, but to tell the truth, it was more nerves than bravado -though Knuckles never let on. He had a name to live up to and he was determined to do it.

Snake-Eyes got his name because of those two long ivory cubes that dicked and clicked away in his palm. He had been the king of any street corner crap game ever since he learned that dice have six faces and a hood only needs two.

Ritzy was the quietest of the bunch. He was a dapper dresser, with knife-edged creases
down his trousers that could cue your throat. Ritzy was one of those people who always
look like they’ve come straight from the laundry. He had starched eyelids, ears nicely
pressed and steamed, and even his smile seemed co crease his face like it had been freshly
applied by the best laundry in Chinatown.

Louis was called Louis because he resembled Shakedown Louis, a hero in these pans. No one ever knew Shakedown Louis, or what he did, but he had a name and it was enough for anyone that Louis resembled him. And anyway, whoever heard of a hoodlum called Joshuah Spleendecker. Mrs. Spleendecker preferred Louis. And most of all Louis preferred Louis.

Angelo was called Angelo because his mother thought it was a cute name. It was also his father’s name, and his grandfather’s name, which meant that the chances of being called
Clarence or Albin were pretty slim.

Dandy Dan had devoted a lifetime to extravagant exhibitions of showy cool. His polo clothes were, of course, immaculate. After all, there were no errors in Dandy Dan’s
wardrobe. He chose his clothes with as much care as he used in choosing his tactics for
outwitting Fat Sam.

Bronx Charlie was the first to get out. He always sat up front with the driver, and when Dandy Dan wasn’t around, Bronx Charlie was the number one man in the gang.

Doodle, for some reason, never seemed ro fir in Dandy Dan’s gang. He was one of those people who always look like they don’t belong. Doodle was the black sheep of Dandy Dan’s gang. His suit wasn’t quite up to the tailored excellence of the other hoods’. He was a little crumpled around the places where the others boasted a knife-edge crease. It is true to say that he resembled a potato sack more than a tailor’s dummy. He wore very thick glasses that perched, like the bottoms of milk bottles, on the end of his nose. The wire that held them together had pinched his nose for so many years that it had resulted in a permanent red mark across the bridge, and a rather squeaky nasal voice.

Captain Smolsky. The truth was that if Smolsky could make even one arrest they’d run a headline in the Police Gazette proclaiming a miracle. Not that he hadn’t tried. He would read his detective manuals and the private eye magazines from cover to cover, watch the movies – anything to get a teeny, weeny inkling of how to track down his man, trap him, arrest him and lock him in a cell. So far, sad to say, it hadn’t worked.

O’Dreary was the classic bronx flatfoot who had been promoted for fear of what he might get up to if left alone co patrol the sidewalks. Smolsky had suffered from insults enough as a kid and he enjoyed getting his own back on anyone. O’Dreary was one of chose unfortunate people who was at the end of the line. All he could do to get even was to put too many sugars in Smolsky’s coffee, or coo much mustard on his hot dog. To most people, chat wouldn’t seem like much, but O’Dreary was a simple person and his pleasures came easy. Smolsky liked to hit O’Dreary, but what he didn’t know was that O’Dreary didn’t mind. If Smolsky had known chat, it would have annoyed him even more.

Fat Sam’s Gang:
Knuckles
Ritzy
Angelo
Louis
Sanke Eyes

Dandy Dan’s Gang:
Doodle
Bronx Charlie
Laughing Boy
Shoulders
Benny Lee
Yonkers