INVESTIGATIONS: Texas Pleasure Dome

When the Texas legislature's "little Kefauver committee" began snuffling about in search of scofflaws, it turned almost automatically on the Gulf Coast's island city of Galveston (pop. 65,000)—always one of the widest-open towns in the U.S. But Galveston's politicos and gamblers betrayed neither the sheepish guilt, the sullen defiance nor the outraged innocence commonly shown by victims.

When questioned last week, they pitched on a bland, evangelistic tone, something like devotees of yoga telling a police judge why they had assumed the Lotus Position on a public street. Maceo & Co., Galveston's...

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