The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Baseless Prosecution of Homeless Addict

Aug. 24, 1899, Orpheum

Aug. 24, 1899: The Orpheum presents barrelistic wonders and rag time comedians, plus Joseph Adelman, master of the xylophone.

Aug. 24, 1899, Broken Glass

The Times reports "baseless prosecution" of Richard Woodward, a homeless drug addict who accidentally broke a pane of glass at a Ferguson Alley saloon.


					-- So how are you, Morty?

Morty is wheeling in another body with the help of an

-- Never better. You know me, Jake.

As he begins to move the body into the refrigerator, he
breaks into a wrenching spasm of coughing. Gittes spots
the other body, lowers the. sheet on Mulwray.

(picking up on cough)
-- Yeah -- so who you got there?

Morty pulls back the sheet.

Leroy Shuhardt, local drunk --
used to hang around Ferguson's
Alley --

Morty brushes some sand from the man's face, laughs.

-- Quite a character. Lately he'd
been living in one of the downtown
storm drains -- had a bureau dresser
down there and everything.

98 Gittes has already lost interest. He starts away.

-- Yeah.

Drowned, too.

This stops Gittes.

Come again?

Yeah, got dead drunk, passed out
in the bottom of the riverbed.


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Comments (1)

You omitted the line that gives this scene its irony, and at the same time pounds home one the essential clues: "In the middle of a drought the Water Commissioner drowns. Only in L. A."


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