The Black Candle - Emily Murphy (1922)

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Image of The Black Candle retrieved from Erowid on May 3, 2013.
Image of Emily Murphy is public domain.

There are international, national and municipal rings, and rings within rings. A drug ring does not differ materially from an insurance company, except that it is not incorporated. It has its headquarters, presidents, directors, and agents. It gives to its agents commissions, bonuses, as well as protection against accidents such as bail and fines in the courts.

It had "prospects," and deliveries, but the policies it issues are or death, and not on the endowment plan. There are no beneficiaries except the ring itself.

Rings started in a small way some years ago but have been steadily increasing their business, until the profits now accruing are the most prodigious ever earned by any commercial enterprise.

The rings are looking for new worlds to conquer, and for this reason "the underworld" had gradually encroached upon and laid siege to the upper classes, until these are threatened with dissolution.

The drug ring looks with covetous eyes upon the wealth of society and instead of stealing a lady's diamonds has only to invite her to a "snow party," give her a few sniffs of cocaine, and before a great while the ring has her jewels in its coffers. The same process is applied to suit "the prospect" with both sexes and in all classes.

Excerpt from pages 165-166 of The Black Candle by Emily F. Murphy

The Black Candle
Emily Murphy