A Maverick in the Village


Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.

December 8, 1960, Vol. VI, No. 6

‘Don Peyote’ Tilts With Police Cabaret Bureau

By J.R. Goddard

In this Age of Conformity it’s good to know a maverick can still shake up the Establishment once in a while; 34-year-old novelist Harold Humes is a case in point. Until a month ago his name was relegated to the book sections of newspapers and magazines. Then Humes declared war on the New York Police. Since then he’s caused City Hall enough trouble to make the front page scene from coast to coast.

Humes heads the Citizens Emergency Committee which hopes to unearth Evil in the Police Cabaret Bureau. It was organized after the death of entertainer Richard “Lord” Buckley whose cabaret card previously had been lifted by the Law. Humes accused the Police Department of contributing to Buckley’s death by this action. He produced alleged evidence of an earlier bribe offer made to Buckley to get the work card back. Since then, Humes’ life has been one noisy round of subpoenas, law suits, and a jailing as a “scofflaw.” But this “engaged” novelist still battles on.

The Voice visited Humes one evening last week to find out how he was bearing up. Shirtsleeves rolled up and tie undone, he paced back and forth like a father in a maternity ward. An impressive gray homburg contrasted with the futuristic wooden desk on which it perched. Humes said he kept the hat in readiness should he be called down to City Hall….

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]