Posed “Sam the Bootblack” for Real Assassin
Picture Appeared in Illustrated Weekly As the Only
GAVE BOY A SUDDEN SHOCK
He Had Consented to Be Photographed As a Murderer, but Not
As an Anarchist.
There is one person
in this city whose ideas of illustrated journalism received a sudden
shock yesterday. He is known in police circles as “Sam the [B]ootblack.”
It may be, it doubtless is, that he possesses a patronymic and perchance
a Christian name given him at the baptismal font in far off Italy.
But so far as the West Thirtieth street [sic] police station
is concerned he has no other name. As “Sam the Bootblack” he has
been known for years. There were signs yesterday that a new name
might be applied to him—a name which is being often printed in the
newspapers of the land—but a certain wicked look in Sam’s eyes makes
it look as if the attempt to do so might be resented.
He is a most obliging little son of
Italy, is Sam, and when two men with a camera walked into the West
Thirtieth street [sic] house of discomfort last Saturday,
saying they were photographers from an illustrated weekly in search
of a subject who would kindly pose for them as a murderer, the bootblack
came not unwillingly into the breach.
Told Him He Would Be Famous.
“Just the thing,” cried
the artsts [sic], slapping him on the back. “You will make
a fine picture for our paper. Why, man, you will be famous. Every
one who sees your picture will want to have his shoes blacked by
the original. You will make a fortune, Sam.” Which language would
seem to indicate that the confidence men are not all selling bricks
of brass, nor packages of greengoods.
“We must first fix you up a bit so
you will look like the real thing,” said the men of art, who had
come prepared for the worst.
They pasted a big strip of plaster
across the bootblack’s nose, and marked his face to indicate cuts
and bruises without number. They placed an old slouch hat upon his
head and a soiled handkerchief about his neck and posed him behind
a cell door which had been carefully locked upon him.
Told Him to Look Desperate.
“Now, look as desperate
as you can,” they said.
Whether Sam looked desperate or frightened
it would be hard to say. He said afterward that he began to think
he was a murderer. And just then the flashlight was burned and the
The two men with the camera were generous
fellows. After washing the plaster and the blacking off Sam’s face
they shook him warmly by the hand and told him he was a noble fellow.
Then they went away, leaving him perplexed and wondering and a good
deal disturbed by the experience. It was the first time he ever
had been locked up in a cell and he did not like it.
“I thought I was in there for good,”
said Sam, shaking his head dolefully.
The Mystery Was Solved.
The mystery was solved
yesterday when on the news stands appeared copies of the illustrated
weekly. Among the truthful pictures which illustrated its valuable
columns was one which persons who have seen Sam and a photograph
of him are certain he posed for. And underneath the picture was
a caption to this effect:
“The Only Genuine Picture, Taken at
Buffalo, of President McKinley’s Assassin.”
As such the poor little bootblack
will go wherever the illustrated weekly circulates.
If the two men with the camera were
to show up again in Sam’s domain there is reason to fear that he
may pose as a real murderer, but it will not be under the name and
supposed identity of the Buffalo Anarchist.