Nick Keart is a small Syrian, a "bookie" at the racetrack. His career has been interrupted by a sentence to the Washington, D. C.. jail. Well does he know Rancocas stable and its fast horsesZev, Mei Foo, Greylag, et al.
Last week, still in jail, Nick Keart had the unexpected pleasure of meeting the Master of Rancocas at breakfast. Turning to him, the bookie said:
"Mr. Sinclair, I've taken a lot of bets on your horses and I've made a lot more on my own, and I've always wanted to meet you, but I'm sorry it had to be in jail."
The Master of Rancocas slapped his fellow-convict on the back and said:
"Don't worry about that, young fellow! We all get bad breaks. My colors will still be flying when this thing is over." Bookie and Master shook hands.
Mr. Sinclair's "thing" was a go-day sentence for "contemptuous" refusal to answer questions the U. S. Senate asked him about the oil scandals. Drummed into confinement by gloating editorials throughout the land, he had spent his first night on cot 62 in the prison dormitory. Clad in silk pajamas he had sat most of the night on the edge of cot 62, smoking cigarets. The snores of 60 roommates kept him awake.
After breakfast he was fingerprinted, given No. 10,520 and assigned to the jail pharmacy by Superintendent William L. Peake. Thirty years ago in Kansas, before he shot his foot and got the insurance money that started him in the oil game, Harry Ford Sinclair was a registered pharmacist. Now he was given a white coat and set to rolling quinine pills for sick convicts, of which there were seven in the jail last week.
Major Peake took No. 10,520 to the prison pharmacysunny outlook, curtained windows. He introduced him as "Mister" Sinclair to Dr. Morris Hyman, the prison physician, and to Miss Mary Kathleen Wright, the prison nurse. Miss Wright, 24, blonde, from Eastport, Me., was soon described as "pretty," "charming," "petite," etc., etc., etc., in newspapers throughout the land. "These are your bosses," said Jailer Peake. No. 10,520 nodded cheerfully.
After three days, No. 10,520 was moved from cot 62 in the dormitory to a private cell, 6 x 12 ft., on the third floor, adjoining the pharmacy.
Eager newsmen pressed about the prison for detailed news of Convict Sinclair's daily doings. An order was issued barring them from the jail. Washington newspapers became indignant. In the U. S. Senate, Alabama's ever-loud Heflin denounced "this truckling to a vulgar millionaire." The Sinclair privacy became an editorial issue. The order was rescinded, the Press re-entered the jail.
On Sunday, Convict Sinclair received his first caller, John Hardy, a Manhattan business associate. They sat in the pharmacy talking, smoking cigars. A guard stood at the door, to bar intruders. Mr. Hardy stayed 30 minutes beyond the regulation hour for visitors.
When a newsgatherer sent in his card to see Convict Sinclair during visiting hours, he got back a curt message: "Not at home to the press."