Texas: This Rotten Mess

For more than 40 years Beaumont, Texas, was known as a wide-open oil town where booze, bookmaking and bordellos flourished. But no longer: last week, in the wake of a sweeping investigation by the Texas legislature, crap games and horse parlors were closed down. The madams and their girls had checked out of their "hotels" and departed for brighter lights. And 43 people were under indictment on vice charges, including several top officials of Beaumont, neighboring Port Arthur and surrounding Jefferson County.

In the not-so-old days, nobody in Jefferson County (pop. 245,659) had to look hard for diversion. Downtown clubs...

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