Sunday, June 24, 2012

Evolutionary Metaphor

"The Mark Inside : A perfect swindle, a cunning revenge, and a small history of the big con" by Amy Reading, is mostly about J. Frank Norfleet, a rancher from Texas, and his successful quest to catch the people that swindled him of a fortune.   The book mentions newspaper stories in the New York Times, and so I looked up the archives.  I found this, published April 27, 1924,

A Sucker With Claws
Texan, Gulled by Con' Men, Jails 40 of Them and May Be Rewarded By Congress

Just because a man is born a sucker is not sign that he may not turn into a tiger before his earthly course is run.  J. Frank Norfleet of Texas made the evolutionary jump almost overnight, with the result that about two score confidence men, members of a gang that fleeced him out of $45,000, are now behind prison bars and have ample time to ponder the Darwinian theory that a fish may grow claws.