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"Apaches" of Paris,, Evening Post, Volume LXV, Issue 85, 11 April 1903, Supplement
"Apaches" of Paris,
PAIUS, 16rh Feb. If New York has n» "Tiunmany," Piiris hus its "Ap.idies." The exploits of the lutter, in a inoie bloodthirsty but sanguinary way, bid fair to become as notorious and to oltcr an objccl-lesaon in tho science of municipal government as. striking as that picbcuted by the milder and jnoro oivihbca methods of the Knickerbocker prototype. The "Apaches" of Paris are a great Becrel association of ruffians «nd criminals of both bc.xes, aud, to I borrow Voltaire's expression, of "the third sex." Active membership i s re . Btrictod to ages between bixteen and thirty. Perhaps London in the eighteenth coutury, when bands of Mohawks iufosted tho streets, or even later, if we accept tho accuracy of Hogarth's sketches, may have iinordcd &ccno.s quite na revolting as anything nowadays uehioved by more pietuii»quo Puns, but it is sale to say thut ISow York, Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, . or my other American city has nover suppliod nnythiug quito bo appalling as the pitched batl.es that in the past three nights have been waged ii' tho rniirow quuint streets of tho lwart of Puns, neur the Central Markets, or Los llalles. A bohemian but trustworthy ucquuintance of mine was an eyewitness of these scones, which suggest the combats of tho "Blues" and "Greens" of mediaeval Byzantium, or the family feuds of the early Italian Republics. "* It may bu recollected that a few months ugo the vagabond populuLion of Puns was convulsed \>y a civil wur between tho udhtiont puriiMius oi two princes of crime, Miuida aaid Leeea, who wero rivals lor tho favours ot a goldeu-haucd siren of tho gutter* of Puns, Amelie ileho, suruamed l! Cuaquo d'Ur." Lucca and Manda are now in prison, and the liok.o "Cusquo d'Ur" actually appeared on the Puna sUi^o in v, muuruiitilic melodrama. "Casque dOr" wiUiin tho last six weeks received cloven kuito subs aud three. iovolver buliots in various biawls, but is now, owing to iiifoiinulion that sho fttrnibhod the police, condemned to death by tho (Muhuius oi tho "Apaches," aud m guarded day und night by u lined detectives. Last week another teud sprung up. This time tho Helen of the Parisian war was nn extremely pretty, sprightly and vivueious girl of twunty summon*, with sparkling bkuk eyes aud lasunant ruveu luiir, named "Titnie.* Advcntuious Americana who set themselves tho tnhk ot "aeemg tho sighU of Paris by night," havu oilun botm able- to visit, with rliu aid of tue doteclivo polfco, viuiuus try*ting pluoes of tramps and rultkuiH, and noubly tho dusky estuolisliment, uiilod the- Ajigo Uabrun und tho Bello do Isuit, near tbt> Central Markets. But in aitdiuoi) to these rcaorts thuro oxist in the sumd quarters half a dozen nocturnal caits, or ' criminals' clubs, to whifcb it is nbsolutoly Uopolws for any member of tho respectable- community— much lota v foitiiguui — to obtain autrdiice. It is necessary to explain that just now tho criminal association, syndicate, or trust, known os the "Apaches" . is divided into two faction* — "La Courtillo" txrxd "Les Hullcs." The former havo for hunting grounds tho north and west of Paris, including Montinartio and Belleville Tho latter ckiui as their territory tho Comnil Murkot« and the uii-ondihsuments of the left bunk of the Suiuc, reaching as fur (K>u(h as thu Gobehus und Montparnasso. As in tho wurs of Eugli»h and Scots, there is between tho recognised dominions of "La Courtillo" ami of "Lea Hadlea" a sort of borderland, whero allruys take place and wheae at times truces ure concluded between tho antagonistic clansmen, who inoeb occasionally at tho dismiU lugubrious cafes neur tho Central Markets in tho Rue aux Ours. It was under those circumstances' thnt "Titino," tho captivating little- brunette queeulet of "La Courtillo," suddenly diswppcared from tho heights of Belleville. "Titino" 'had for eighteen mouths been the favoured helpmute and inseparable companion of one of the sachems of the "Courtille" factiou. Her disappearance caused dismay.' What hud become, of her? It was at first surmised by the "Apaches" of "La Courtillo" thut she had been urrestod for murder or robbery and locked up in Suint-Lazare Prison. Investigation showed this to bo incorrect. It was idund that "Titine" hud deserted her "Court«llo" protector and Jlud across the border, and was living in the wigwam of a chieftain of tho "Apaches" of "Les Hulles" named Georges llunuard — un agile, robust athloto and burglar,, twenty years old, whose form was of such puro Greciun proportions that ho had served as a model ior Geromo, the eminent sculptor and painter. As may readily bo imagined, war was forthwith declared between the two factions of tho "Apaches." My bohemian but trustworthy, acquaintance, who is thoroughly familiur with tho ins and outs of tho criminal population of "Les llalles," was wideftwuke and alert to obtain an insighb into oue of th& mysterious campaigns that are waged by night in tho older quarters of ceutral Paris, beneath, tho niches' and- gurgoyles dear to tho memories of Gringoire or of Quasimodo, A preliminary roconnoissauce and skirmish began as follows: — At 2 o'clock in the afternoon ten siiouts of tho "Courtillo" fuetjon, conwng from Belleville and La ViUotte, entered a small cafe in tho Rue aux Ours, frequented by George* Hannurd and his friends. They were served with rum, absinthe, and coffee. Not finding Georges Hunnard, they retired after eipping their drinks and smoking cigarettes. At 3 o'clock the following morning my bohemian acquaintance was seated \a the little cafo awaiting events. In a corner sat the fascinating little ' "Titino." Near her was the uthlotic and graceful Georges Haunqrd. Suddenly two youths appeared, wearing in their felt hats the pasteboard tricolored emblems issued by the Minister of War to conscripts about to join their regiments. Tho tricolored cockades wore simply to deceive tho police. These men wore in reality scouts of tho "Com-tille" faction. They noted tho presence in tho cafo of "Titine" and Georges. They forthwith withdrew to inform their companions, to the number of twenty, who, also wearing conscript cards in their caps to conceal thoir identity, were assembled in an adjoining street. Before the band could re-enter the establishment the "handsome Georges", hnd miraculously vanished. How the trick was done, whother by trap door or disguise, is vet unknown. In rushed the twenty "Courtilles." "Titino" jumped up and exclaimed : "For Heavon's sake, bo mon and not children 1 Why all this rumpus? Tho only chivalrous way to settlo matters is to put Georges nnd my former protector in a corner and let them tight it out. My favours will go to the victor I" This was agreed to. Bat it was merely a stratogem to gain time. For in less than ten minutes thirty "Apaches" of tho "Courtillo" faction came up tho Rue aux Ours and a pitched battle with knives and revolvers took place, during which three "Apaches" were Killed and seven woundod. The fighting spread to the neighbouring strcots and cafes. The "Apaches" of- the Courtille" faction
captured a young man of twenty-two belonging to tho ".apaches" of "Les Hallos," known iis "the doctor." Where is Georges?" "How should I know?" was the reply. "Wo are going to hold you responsible for him." So saying, a. "Courtillo" ruffian jan a knife between the ribs of "the doctor," who fell to the ground bathed in blood. By this time lifty policeman had assembled, and, drawing their swords, churged the rival bands. The "Apaches" of both factions at once forgot llioir dissensions and joined forces against their .common foe. The police were hold at bay for twenty minutes by the "Apaches," who now numbered over a hundred. At last tho polico obtained the victory. As tho "Apaches" took' to flight tho dead body of a young man was found pierced by eleven knife wounds and seven revolver bullets. It was tho "handsome Georges." • Two fugitive "Apaches" were pursued na far us the Avenue de l'Opera. It was 6 o'clock in tho morning, and the two runaways threw their revolvers into the little fountain just opposite the Theatre Francuise, and succeeded in making their escape. The police made twenty prisoners in the battle. This promises, however, to be merely one of a series of engagements in tho campaign, because the "Apaches" of "Les Holies" are now determined to avenge the death of the "handsome Georges, killed by the "Apaches" of "La Courtille." "Altogether, it twas a pretty lively evening," said my bohemian acquaintance, M. Lopine, tho "Profoot of Police, is "now organising his forces in view of further operations, and a special company of chosen men has been formed as a sort of elite corps to rid Paris .of the "Apaches" of every stripe, whether they be of "Les Halles" faction or of tho band of "La Courtille."— C.l.B., in the New York Tribune.
"Apaches" of Paris,, Evening Post, Volume LXV, Issue 85, 11 April 1903, Supplement
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