Xmas newsboy swindles of the 1920s

Destiny sez, "My favorite Christmas story is Nelson Algren's remembrance of the 10-year-old swindler he had been, selling newspapers by the cemetery in Chicago in the 1920s."

Around Christmastime the paper guys had cards printed and sold them to us little paper guys for a nickel apiece. They read something like this:

Christmas comes but once a year
When it comes it brings good cheer
So open your heart without a tear
And remember the newsie standing here.

That got them, every time. Especially if there was a light fall of snow. And the swindle in the card routine was this: After he'd paid for the verse and would be thinking he owned it, you'd have to tell him no, it was your only card, you just wanted him to see the sentiment on it, it had cost you a nickel, so please mister could you have it back?


(Thanks, Destiny!)