Excursionists Are “Buncoed” at Tara

   Posted by: admin   in Railroad, Scams, Tara

The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 20, 1905

Excursionists Are “Buncoed” at Tara

Small Boys Reap Harvest by Selling Them Colored Water For Beer.

Every Trainload Would “Bite”

Young Grafters Managed to Sell a Dozen or So Bottles on Each Train Before the Ruse Would Be Found Out.

Among the amusing incidents that have developed during the past few days, in connection with the events of  Sunday’s excursion to Chicago there is none so ingenius (sic) in its nature or so mirth provoking as a story which has been reported from Tara.

In that place, it seems a number of small boys hearing of the size and nature of the excursion, secured some two or three days before the day set, a number of empty beer bottles and during their spare hours filled them with colored water and by means of a little ingenius work sealed and labeled them, making them look very similar to bottles fresh from the establishments from which the amber fluid is sent forth.

As fast as a train would pull into the station the youngsters would pass along the platform with an arm-full of bottles offering them for sale to the excursionists at twenty-five cents each. A dozen or so bottles would be sold before the trick would be “tumbled” to but by that time the train would be ready to pull out and the “buncoed” excursionists would be without recourse.

The boys would simply wait until the next train pulled in and then the trick would be worked over again on a fresh crowd. Out of the fifteen or sixteen trains that passed through the town, it is said the youthful grafters cleared a total of forty or fifty dollars.

(Editor’s note: The 2010 equivalent is $5.99 each for the “beers” and $956 to $1,197 total.)



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