#140 Edward Tully

Edward Tully (Abt. 1845-19??), aka Broken-Nose Tully, Ned Tully, Eddy Tully, Charles Edwards, Charles Tynas, Edward Wilkes/Wilks, etc. — Pickpocket

From Byrnes’s text:
DESCRIPTION Forty-one years old in 1886. Born in Ireland. Single. No trade. Stout build. Height, 5 feet 6 1/2 inches. Weight, 155 pounds. Dark hair, gray eyes, dark complexion, broken nose. Rather large, long head. Wears a brown mustache. Easily recognized by his picture. Has an Irish brogue and face.
RECORD. “Broken-Nose Tully” is an old and expert New York pickpocket, and is well known in every large city in the Union. He travels with the best people in the business, and is considered a clever pickpocket. He has a remarkable nose, which he claims always “gives him away.”
Tully was arrested in Philadelphia and sentenced to fourteen months in the Eastern Penitentiary, on June 29, 1880, for picking the pocket of a small boy of $83. He was arrested again in Boston, Mass., with Shinny McGuire (155), on July 16, 1881, awaiting an opportunity to do a “turn trick” in the Naverick National Bank. After getting a good showing up they were escorted out of town.
He was arrested again in Lancaster, Pa., for picking pockets, and sentenced to eighteen months in the Eastern Penitentiary at Philadelphia, on November 18, 1884. He is now at large. Tully’s picture is an excellent one, taken in Buffalo, N.Y.
Eddie Tully was active as a pickpocket from the mid-1860s until the end of the century, when reports concerning him stopped. He usually worked crowds in coordination with one or two other pickpockets, favoring: gatherings of fraternal organizations; fairs & expositions; beach resorts; presidential inaugurations and political rallies; and shopping districts.

One of his frequent partners was Dick Lane, a pickpocket who reformed and wrote a book about his experiences, Confessions of a Criminal. Chief Byrnes did not include a profile of Lane in his book, likely because Lane had already given up his career by that time. Lane’s engaging book is full of the street slang of petty criminals that had evolved from the “flash” slang of English and American criminals of the first half of the 19th-century. One chapter relates an anecdote about how he, another pickpocket named Baltimore Pat, and Eddie Tully saw the score of a lifetime slip from their grasp:

“A Lucky Old Lady: How She Gave Dick’s Gang the Slip
“You know when a party of sneaks or dips travel together they have to split up their work. The man that does the actual job is called the tool and the ones that watch out and draw the victim are called stalls. A favorite game used to be the bank deal. One of the stalls goes into a bank and stands around like a business man waiting for somebody until some chap gets a check cashed. Then the stall goes out and tips the sucker off to the tool, who goes after him and touches him for the swag, if the outfit is playing in luck.
“One time me and Eddie Tully and Baltimore Pat was working together in Philadelphia for six or eight months and we were pulling off some pretty big money. I was to do the stalling and Tully and Pat was the tools. A better bunch of tools never worked the country than them two, and any old-time crook will tell you the same thing. One fine morning the three of us was out bright and early, trying to turn a trick and in one of the big banks I stalled to an old lady who drawed out $3,000 in nice new long green. It was better than a theater to see her plant it carefully in one of these here little hand bags we crooks used to call a “cabbie.” I don’t know where the name came from, but all the old-timers used to call them hand satchels “cabbies.”
“Now, in doing this kind of sneak and dip work, we always used to carry a “cabbie” of our own so we could make a quick shift and leave our dummy in place of the one with the goods in it. We used to carry ours wrapped in newspaper and we always had it ready for business. Well, after I tipped Tully and Pat to the old girl with the wad of cash, we started out to trail her and you can bet she walked us all over the district where the stores were. It was the toughest kind of work for the three of us to go zigzagging around them bargain counters and butt into places where the floorwalker was liable to have you threw out any minute. But we was well togged out and looked like the real article and I guess that saved us. You see the dip and sneak men had to be there with the good clothes so that they could mosey into big hotels, banks and other places where the fall guys was liable to lead the way.
“Well, the old lady gets hungry along about 12 o’clock and she sails into one of the swellest grub shops on the town. You could see that she was a thoroughbred all right, and when she went into this place on Eighth Street it was us in after her. You’ve got to do these kind of jobs right on the jump and don’t lose any time in monkeying around for a better opening than the first one. If you do, nine times out of ten you’re going to lose out by having the sucker pay a bill or make a getaway in a cab.
“So we hopscotches in after her wealthy nibs and our good togs don’t put any one wise to us. There wasn’t appetite enough in the bunch to get away with a red herring, but we makes a bluff at it all the same and grabs one of the tables near the old lady, where we can keep an eye on the “cabbie.” Well, she lays the handbag on the table and gets ready to order some grub, and you can bet the gang had their lamps glued on that bunch of leather with the long green inside it. I moves down the line a little way to get a newspaper that was on one of the tables and I was just getting ready to say something to her so she’d screw her nut around and look at me. When she did this Tully was going to lift the “cabbie” and leave ours in its place.
“She monkeyed around for a few seconds, then she grabs the purse and fishes around in it until she pulls out a pair of eyeglasses. Then she read over the grub list and has seventeen duck fits trying to make up her mind what to eat. The waiter blows along about this time and he stands there like a dummy. I stall with the newspaper gag until I have to go back to the gang, and then something happened that liked to knock us off our chairs. After she gave her order she gets up and changes her place to another table and I’m blowed from Sing Sing to Joliet if she didn’t leave the “cabbie” where she’d been sitting. Well, anybody’ll be next to the way we felt just about that time of day. There was the “cabbie” at one table and the old lady at another and we—-
“Say, do you s’pose we got it? Well, this is what happened. Another old hen who had been chewing angel-food and flirting with weak tea at one of the tables gets her lamps on the pocketbook and sings out at the top of her voice to our old girl: ‘Madam, you’ve left your purse on the table.’ Then she scrambles over to the cabbie and hangs it around her wrist, while we drink coffee and say things to ourselves that might have cleaned out the restaurant if they’d heard us.
“That kind of gag made us sore and we weren’t going to be dished again if she gave us another chance, so we trailed her after she got out of the restaurant. She took a Ninth Avenue car to Twenty-second Street and went into a house up there. We stalled around till our whiskers got gray and then we knows that is where she lived and the money was out of sight. That time we got dished because we tried to be too sure of our game. I always liked to do them jobs right off the reel.”

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