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Frankly Amazing

"Even in jail Frank Costello baffled the law. He continued to smoke English Ovals, although nobody knew how he smuggled them in. He ate steak -- ebony on the outside, claret on the inside, just as he'd ordered at '21' -- and yet it was impossible to uncover the source of the steaks.

"The unbelievable power that Costello was able to wield despite his imprisonment was demonstrated some years later when he performed a behind-bars miracle for his attorney, Edward Bennett Williams.

"Williams, during a visit to Costello's jail, seemed concerned about something, and Costello, detecting it, asked, 'What's bothering you, Mr. Williams?'

"Williams explained that he and his wife were taking her parents out that night to celebrate their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary and that he had promised them tickets to My Fair Lady; but the particular agent who had promised Williams the tickets -- a person who'd always been reliable in the past -- had suddenly failed on this occasion.

"'Mr. Williams,' Costello said, 'you shoulda told me; maybe I coulda helped.'

"Williams admitted that it had never occurred to him that a man in jail could help get four tickets at the last minute to a hit Broadway show.

"Costello shrugged. It was then 5 pm.

"When Williams returned to his hotel room, he heard a soft rap on the door. Upon opening it, a broad-shouldered man under a slouch hat grunted something, handed over an envelope containing four tickets to that evening's performance of My Fair Lady, then quickly disappeared down the hall."

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