Call To An Ally

Started by Jimmy Drummond at Nov 16, 2020 1:21 PM
February 12, 1924
8 Posts

Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
?Years Young
52 Posts

"If it's got an engine, I can drive it."

As he sat there, Michael became lost in thought about Emile Janos. The man quite frankly gave him the willies, not in the usual sense, but a sense of foreboding that all but overwhelmed him. That infuriated him because Michael O’Rourke was afraid of no man.

“Hey, you in this game or what?” Jimmy asked, breaking Michael’s train of thought. “I said gin.”

“Sorry. Remember the deal where I played the cop at the asylum to get some answers from a Leonard. Renfield? Lenny? Yeah, well seems the croaker running the joint’s a whacko himself. So he has this guy's partner's sister, and they wanna get her outta there.” He explained. “Should be easy-peasy. Maybe not.”

“You don’t say. A nut runnin’ the nuthouse. That’s rich.” Came the response. “So what, we’re gonna lend a hand in this extraction?”

“Nah, nothin’ like that, less he asks of course. That creep needs a third eye!” Michael’s disdain for Janos was obvious.

“Maybe Dix has some wire on the chump. He lives up that way don’t he?”

“Sanford, quite a ways from the cracker factory. But, yeah, maybe. He deals with the trouble boys up north and surely there’s something being said about the place.”

Jimmy grinned. “Give ‘em a ring, can’t hurt. And with that Michael got up and went to the telephone nook and took up the set.


Dixon Steele

Smuggler, alcohol, drugs, guns.
?Years Young
27 Posts

"If you need it, I got it, or I can get it!"

Double clicking the hook he got the operator and gave her the number in Sanford which would ring at Dixon Steele’s house. He was always in awe about telephones and how the voice could be carried over lines from one end of the state to another, or one end of the country to another. One would think that a man such as Michael O’Rourke would be far less interested in the telephone than perhaps the inner workings of a Thompson sub-machine gun.

At the moment the call was initiated, Dix and his long time girl friend Nora “Slim” Temple were sitting outside in the gazebo enjoying a coffee together. Dix liked being at home, with her, where it was quiet and comfortable, away from the madness of the big cities around them. Where he was close to the ocean, at Daytona, or New Smyrna, or any number of coastal towns along the eastern Florida seaboard.

The jangling of the telephone ringer broke the moment. “Work?” Slim asked with a coy smile.

“Nah, probably Gordon about the new screen door. Been expecting his call, the man does take his time.” Dix said and he rose to his feet and jogged off to the house and took up the set. “Yeah?”

“Dix, Michael. Need to get a bt of information if you have it.” He began. “You know anything about a doctor Janos? Has an asylum out at Pembrook Pines, outside Hollywood. You know, the place I went actin’ like I was a copper?”

“Yeah, I’ve heard of him. Some of the boys have used his place to stash mugs that were hot, too hot to be on the street, that’s for sure. What’s up?” Wondering just wht Michael had gotten himself into

“The Doc that pulled them three slugs outta me asked about him and that place. Seems he has a partner with a sister, or something, out there. He’s concerned.” Michael explained.

“What I’ve head is, he oughtta be. Nobody has any proof, you understand, but there’s been more’n a couple of them stashed that disappeared real suspicious like. I can’t say one way or another, but they’ve all quit usin’ the place. So I guess they believe something screwy’s going on out there.” Dix continued. “Not that any of them was a great loss, but a loss none the less.”

“I see. So this ain’t real good. I best get onto the Doc and wise him up. I did tell him to take a heater along, just in case.”

“Good thinkin’ Michael. You need help. Just call. I’ll tap into a couple mugs up here and see if there’s anything new you might need to know.”

“Thanks, Dix. I’ll talk to you soon.” Goodbyes being said Dixon Steele looked out the window at he woman sitting in the gazebo and immediately felt a pang. The same pang he always felt when he was preparing to re-involve himself in the underworld and it’s dangers. Setting the telephone aside he took a breath and headed back out the door and across the porch.
Slim looked up as he approached, “Work, wasn’t it?” She asked, knowing his look and knowing what ‘work meant’ as far as he was concerned.

He sat down and took her hand. “Not to worry. Michael needs a couple answers I might be able to get for him.” He looked into her eyes. “Nothing to get worried about. Besides, we take a run over to Tampa, handle the questions business, enjoy some seafood and a stay over.”

Nora smiled and gave him the look, which sent chills down his spine as it always did. “And when is it we’re leaving?”

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Dixon Steele

Smuggler, alcohol, drugs, guns.
?Years Young
27 Posts

"If you need it, I got it, or I can get it!"

The drive to Tampa had been relaxing, but then, with Nora at his side, most everything was relaxing, except when it wasn't. There was a hotel close to where he wanted to be for his contact purposes, and for some fine dining along the waterfront. The view would be pleasing, the food would be great, and hopefully, his contacts would have some good information on this Janos character.

There might not be time for a swim, but then "Slim" didn't like getting her hair wet, it was a woman thing. He never fought it, enjoying her look as it was. Though she would don a swimsuit, water was just not the thing she preferred, except when it came to the Liberty, which she enjoyed tremendously.

Tampa was a growing city on the west coast of Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico. The land boom was still in full swing and some racketeers had tried unsuccessfully to infiltrate the real estate market. Otherwise, it was business as usual for the underworld, with rum running gambling, prostitution, and drugs. But it was far too busy for Dixon Steele, much like Miami and Jacksonville. Then Tallahassee had it's own people and Pensacola the Navy and bosses that kept outsiders out.

He was comfortable dealing with all of those from the other cities, he had no problems with that, but he liked their three-man crew and what they could accomplish with as little notoriety as possible, which meant, as little trouble as possible. Of course, killing the Jewish gang leaders had been a reprisal that had to be taken. Those things one did without question, and so far, so good.

Now he needed to meet with Jonny Quatro, but he would need to wait for a phone call from the man with the location and the time. There was no need to contact Quatro, we would already know of Steele's arrival, so the call could come at any time. So, he stayed close, and since his fourth-floor room had a balcony and faced the ocean, a call to room service for lunch seemed in order. A nice beginning to their stay.



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Dixon Steele

Smuggler, alcohol, drugs, guns.
?Years Young
27 Posts

"If you need it, I got it, or I can get it!"

The call came shortly after lunch, it was Jonny Quatro himself. "So whatta you say we get together after dinner?" He asked, "Maybe eight o'clock? I'll be bringing the boys with me, what you should meet, an' soma them know about this Janos mug."

"Sounds good to me. Where at?" Dix asked.

"Downstairs in the meeting room. Best you leave your lady out shopping or something. Capish?" Jonny directed.

"Of course, Jonny." Taken a bit back by the fact that the meeting would be in the hotel and that he was bringing others. But he knew Jonny a long time, and he had his reasons. That it could be set up, but it was a bit public and to his knowledge, without reason.

"Good, then I'll see you at eight. Glad you came." Jonny finished and the line went dead. Dix looked at the earpiece and returned it to the hook. He was not carrying a gun, it was in his suitcase, and bringing one to the meeting would be a bad sign of distrust, something he could not afford to do, as whoever Jonny was bringing could be future customers if they weren't already. But the idea of a group of underworld figures in one place, a hotel meeting room no less, seemed very risky.

But it would be what it was. Jonny had his reasons for bringing an entourage and perhaps it simply was for him to meet them on a couple of levels, business, and the Janos situation with some of them. It made sense.

"So, was that Mister Quatro?" Nora asked as she entered the room.

"It was, and the meetings after dinner, so you'll have your choice, sit in the room here, or maybe a movie or shopping. whichever strikes your fancy." He answered, "Right now, how about a stroll along the waterfront, or the beach?"

"I'm waiting on you." she breathed and held out her hand to him.


Dixon Steele

Smuggler, alcohol, drugs, guns.
?Years Young
27 Posts

"If you need it, I got it, or I can get it!"

Arriving at five minutes before the hour, Dixon was just finishing his Chesterfield cigarette as he noted the stanchion with the sign, “Tampa Real Estate Meeting, 8:00 pm Closed.” He leaned down and snubbed out the cigarette and as he straightened up, Jonny Quato himself opened the door and came out to greet him.

“Like the sign?” And immediately embraced Dixon. “Everybody’s here, let’s go in. We’ve some things to discuss. A shame that O’Rourke and Drummond can’t be here but you can relay what has been said, besides this whacko head doctor. And believe me, some of the boys got a tale or two to tell.”

With Quatro’s arm over his shoulder guiding him they entered the door, a gunsel closing the door behind them. There were four other men in the room, all of them he knew or knew of by name and reputation. He was a bit disarmed by seeing Herb Kaskie in the group. Although neither, Dix, Michael or Jimmy were ever tied to the killings, or even suspected, made no difference.

Besides Kaskie, there was Aldo Ricci, Carmine Dantee, and Cillian Connor. So Jacksonville, under Kaskie, Panama City and Pensacola, under Conner, Gainesville, and Ocala under Ricci, and Orlando run by Dantee were represented and of course, Quatro with the Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater area.

“You boys all know Dixon Steele here, right?” Quatro asked, there was a chorus of affirmative replies with nods and smiles all around. “Well,” He went on as both men took their seats. “The question is whadda we have on this Janos number?” Then suddenly, “Bruno, get the man a coffee.” The gunsel was quick to respond.

“Janos, yeah, says my boy Eddie Stiles I stashed at his place, escaped. Never seen hide nor hair of him since.” Ricci revealed. “Don’t make no sense, I owe him two large.”

“Nair met the man, meself, though I’d be missin’ a couple lads left in his care. A real knacker that bastard!” Cillian looked down the table at Dixon, “An’ why is it ya wanna know?”

“Michael O’Rourke has a Doctor friend, saved his life, he’s the one that wants to know,” Dixon answered. “Something about his partners' sister being in there, and they want her out.”

Dantee, a tall slender man who was generally quiet slid his eyes toward Dixon, without seeming to move his head. “If it was Miami, that would be Doc Steele.” There was a pause. You related?”

“Don’t think so. Got no doctors in my family that I know of.” Dixon replied, not the first time he’d been asked that. “Why? I look like him?”

Dantees eyes narrowed as he turned his head to look directly at Dixon. “Maybe around the eyes. This guy’s dangerous, like deadly. So maybe, he off’s the Doc, his partner, and the sister when they show up to get her. Been done before at that hell hole of an excuse for an asylum.” He looked to Jonny, “You tell um?”

“Nah, didn’t get around to it. Sorry, Dix, meant to let you in on it. We got us a little co-op goin’ on here. Currently, I’m runnin’ the show, but only by agreement. I was elected. We watch each other's backs, keep everything on the up and up. No hornin’ in on the other's territory or you get everybody on your doorstep.”

“Maybe, if we’s all in agreement, we put together some muscle and close the joint, permanent like. Get Mikey up here to ID the broad and she gets out, they get closed. The dump sits out in the middle of nowhere anyway.” Dantee said softly.

It was pin-drop quiet in the room, tendrils of smoke swirling toward the ceiling from several cigars and cigarettes.

“No!” Kaskie bellowed. “I ain’t about killin' innocent sick people. Janos, oh yeah, his staff, you bet, but that’s where I draw the line.”

Again the room was silent as the men thought over what had been said.

“Dixon my friend, we’ll let you go spend some time with that lady of yours. Seems maybe we got some talkin’ to do, and Dixon, call Michael, let him know we’re discussing things and we’ll meet with you again tomorrow. I’ll call.”

“Gentlemen,” he said as he slid his chair back. “Thanks for your time.” Then he turned for the door, which Bruno opened, and stepped out into the hotel and went to the elevator as the door was closed behind him.


Michael O'Rourke

Racketeer, Smugler, Gun Runner
?Years Young
185 Posts

"Do not mistake my friendly demeanor for weakness."

It took precious minutes to track down Dixon Steele but Michael got him on the line. “What’s the story with these guys?”

“Haven’t heard yet. And I can’t say I have a feel for which direction these boys are leanin’ at the moment. They were supposed to let me know today, likely soon, and I got no car, but it’s better than three hours down there from here. What gives?”

“Got a call from the Doc, the partner is going after her sister on her own. We’re on our way, if you make it, we’ll see you there.” Michael stated. “Gotta go!”

Dixon sighed, there was no telling what or when he’d hear from the Alliance. At least Michael and Jimmy were on their way, that was good, but inside the turmoil of missing this, backing up his compatriots as they would for him was hard.

Dixon Steele

Smuggler, alcohol, drugs, guns.
?Years Young
27 Posts

"If you need it, I got it, or I can get it!"

It was just past breakfast when there was a knock on the door, Dixon was startled at first but regained his composure and marched to the door, a gun under his jacket, then drawn and held behind his back. He turned the knob and took a step back.

“Good morning Dix, hope you slept well,” Quatro said with a smile.

“Come in,” Dixon said, stepping aside for the man. “And the news is?”

“What I like about you Dix, right to the point. Well, it didn’t go your way, exactly.” There was a pause as he stepped inside while Dixon closed the door. As Dixon turned, Nora stepped from the bedroom looking radiant.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” She said immediately, realizing that this was business and not room service as she had thought.

“Nonsense Miss Temple. I’ll only be a moment.” He turned back to Dixon. “Kaskie and Conner, myself, and Carmine Dantee are taking a ride that way. I’m afraid Aldo Ricci’s got business that has to be attended to.” He smiled. “What about you?” And there it was, how could he ask these men to risk everything and not go himself.

There was a slight grimace before he heard himself say, “Of course, I’m coming.”

Nora’s face never changed expression as she knew whatever this was about, he had asked for help, or a favor, or something that had drawn out the men mentioned. It was clear to her that he would be ‘going’ wherever it was with them.

“Jimmy and Nails are on their way as well, though they too are likely to already be there.” Dixon surmised.

“Good, good. Well, the boys are downstairs waiting in the car. When you’re ready we’ll go ahead and then meet you at the turn-off I’ve been told about.” Jonny stated. “Miss Temple.” nodded. “We’ll see you there then Dix.” And with that, he turned, and then let himself out.

Dixon turned and looked at Nora. “Slim, I’ve gotten us involved and I can leave you here until I get back, or-“

“No, you can take me with you, Dix. Put me up in a motor lodge, I’m not staying here.” She declared. “I don’t know what it is, but I am well aware of those men and who they are. So whatever you are involved in, I am coming along.”

So it was settled.

The Narrator

?Years Young
103 Posts

The End

Cutting to the chase. The timeline is a bit off, but it's fiction after all. :-)

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