Back To Miami

Started by Dixon Steele at Mar 01, 2021 10:59 AM
January 0, 1924
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19 Posts

Dixon Steele

Smuggler, alcohol, drugs, guns.
834
?Years Young
27 Posts

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


They stopped in a roadhouse along the way to Miami. A place to get something to eat and some much-needed coffee. It had been an exhausting evening so far, so the break would be good before heading into the city and a meeting with Freddie Gagliano about what had happened with Alvin Sorley. Undoubtedly none of them, including Freddie was happy about the outcome, but they had been given no choice in the matter, especially Michael.

"So we eased up on the place after you went after the car that turned out to be the guy most of those boys wanted. But, they opened up for us, no trouble ." Dix was saying, "Fact is, they were glad to be rid of the customers that were pulled outta the joint. Damndest thing, the nurse brought us coffee while we waited." Dixon explained

"No gunplay, that's good, keeps the coppers outta the deal." Jimmy stating the obvious.

"No joke, but that big fella, the orderly, he was scary, I thought he was done for the way the boys from the north reacted, but the guy threw us a big grin, set the tray on the counter with the coffee, cream, and sugar. Yes sir, right happy bunch. I guess maybe the people that were stashed there weren't the best clients."

"Wonder what's next for that place with Janos iced?" Michael asked himself aloud. "Guess maybe some new shrink'll take over the place. Couldn't be any worse than Janos was."

"Don't think I wanna check in to find out," Jimmy added, causing them to laugh and break the tension they were all feeling.

"So, Gagliano's gonna be really unhappy about Alvin. That might have been a lead to the rest of the Sorleys. What I'm hearing they don't stay in one place too long, so that makes it hard to nail 'em down."

"Or nail 'em period!" Dixon added. They've caused a little too much trouble between the leggers for their own good. Maybe we can put out some word where Gagliano can't if there is such a place." He paused and suddenly changed the subject. "What about the chinks up in North Beach? They tryin' to horn in anywhere?"

"Not so far as I've heard, Gagliano would have a better feel for that than me. But I don't hear notin' about 'em." Micheal provided. "We can ask when we get there. Late as it is, maybe we hole up an' see him tomorrow."

TBC

 

 


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Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
834
?Years Young
52 Posts

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


"Hole up? Yeah sure, that sounds good. All we gotta do is find a couple rooms." Jimmy agreed. "Maybe at the place you stay, Mike."

"Always a chance, it's off the main streets far enough that they don't always fill up," Michael admitted. Maybe we stop by a friend's place, pick her brain, have a couple drinks." He added thinking if there was information, maybe Hudson and Landry, but late for them, now Maude McCarthy, there was a woman with her fingers in most anything that had to do with Miami's underworld.

If the Sorely's were anywhere in town, chances were she knew about it or could find out fast enough. 

"Yeah, a couple drinks sound good right about now. I mean when we get to Miami, no sense drinkin' and driven, well for now anyway." Jimmy commented. He was always reluctant to drink and drive, he said it affected his abilities behind the wheel. In fact, when in Key West he walked to whichever bar he decided on. Safer that way, was his reasoning.

"So what is it you're thinking Michael?"  Dixon asked, lighting another cigarette, exhaling the smoke quickly.

"We'll stop in at Maude McCarthy's joint. That woman could get information out of a rock." Came the reply, "If there's anything on the Sorelys, she'll have it, you can take that to the bank. And, she's a swell dancer to boot."

To that, they all laughed.

 


Dixon Steele

Smuggler, alcohol, drugs, guns.
834
?Years Young
27 Posts

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


"Well I hate to miss all the excitement but I need to get back to Tampa, Nora's waitin' on me. But I'll get her to Sanford and if you need me I'll buzz on down. Oh," He remembered, " Anything from our amigo, Edwardo Diaz?"

"Not since the last shipment, but we could always cruise on over there if you like. Bring Nora, we could have a great time." Michael invited. Thinking it would be good to get away, overnight? A few days? Whatever felt right at the time. Of course, that depended on any information they got from Maude McCarthy that was worth passing on to Gagliano.

"Yeah, sounds good, a real change of pace." Dixon agreed, "Gimme a call when you got it planned out. See what she says, but she's usually game for something like that."

Michael always hated it when Dixon headed back to Sanford, he felt like he was short one piece of his life. But, that was what it was like to be almost married, and Nora was well worth being a little tied down. She knew his line of work, she accepted it for what it was. And it did provide a comfortable life for the two of them.

Jimmy grinned, that meant he could bring along one of the girls, but, which one, that was the question. He had Sandy and then there was Mary. He would have to think on this one, it could end up being a real problem.


Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
834
?Years Young
52 Posts

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


Jimmy cruised the roadster down U.S. 1, he and Michael were in no hurry, and the idea of taking the boat over to Cuba was still on his mind. Taking a girl with him meant missing out on the senoritas down there, but then, getting away with one of the women he chased, would be great too. Of course, which one, that was the dilemma.

"You know how to get to Maude McCarthy's joint?" Michael asked as they sped along the open road.

"Yeah, sure, Been there a couple of times." He responded. "Got some nice girls there, and cold beer. I hope she's got some dope on the Sorley's. Having to ice Alvin doesn't help, but you had no choice."

"Nope, I didn't. And damn it, that's the bad part, that the kid had a gun. he musta got it from the Sarah dame. What the hell's wrong with her? Here we are tryin' to help out and she's tryin' to get us killed! I'm thinking the Doc really knows how to pick 'em, or at least their family members."

They were entering Miami, well North Beach, or North Miami whichever, so they were almost to Maude's place. Just a few more minutes and they would know if she had anything of the Sorley family. If so, bright and early they would be knocking on Freddy's door.

Jimmy wheeled up in front as it closed in on midnight. There were not a lot of cars out front, on either side of the street. Though there could be some a block or so away in either direction. that was not uncommon among the married clientele. Both men got out and walked to the door, where Michael knocked that special knock.


Maude McCarthy

Tart with a Heart
784
?Years Young
31 Posts

"That'll cost you $50... but don't stop!"


Unlike the last time Mike had called, the eyes behind the peephole possessed a voice with a respectful tone. “Mr O’Rourke, one moment please.” the door guard intoned as a couple of bolts slid and the door cracked open. It was a far cry from the foul-mouthed banter Hetty had greeted him with on his previous visit, chasing clues for that blonde bombshell, Grace Stroud. The man recognised Jimmy but didn’t know his name, just an anonymous past customer, one of many, he just gave him a respectful nod.

Maude had a better memory for names, as evidenced by her cheery greeting as she sauntered in from the main room where the Johns perused the ‘goods’ on sale. As it was the evening, she was done up to the nines, about the only decently dressed woman in the place.

Jazz music played on a gramophone behind her, men drank overpriced drinks and behind Maude glimpses of pale skinned girls in immodest slips, rolled stockings and bobbed hair flitted between them.

“Well, if it ain’t the young and handsome Mr Jimmy Drummond” she drawled, taking a sip of something transparent with a cherry in it and eying the studmuffin up and down. “And ain’t that quaint…” she added, looking over her oldest and dearest gentleman acquaintance “… you’ve brought your Dad with you!” Only Maude could get away with jokes like that with Mike O’Rourke. Oh, and Hetty. Hetty could get away with anything.

“So, you mugs want a girlie each? Or, I can split one between you if business is bad. You can toss for who goes first.” She offered helpfully, finishing off her drink.


Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
834
?Years Young
52 Posts

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


The two entered the foyer of the place and bother had a good look around as they waited for the appearance of the madam, Miss Maude McCarthy.

Maude had a better memory for names, as evidenced by her cheery greeting as she sauntered in from the main room where the Johns perused the ‘goods’ on sale. As it was the evening, she was done up to the nines, about the only decently dressed woman in the place.

Jazz music played on a gramophone behind her, men drank overpriced drinks and behind Maude glimpses of pale skinned girls in immodest slips, rolled stockings and bobbed hair flitted between them.

“Well, if it ain’t the young and handsome Mr Jimmy Drummond” she drawled, taking a sip of something transparent with a cherry in it and eying the studmuffin up and down. “And ain’t that quaint…” she added, looking over her oldest and dearest gentleman acquaintance “… you’ve brought your Dad with you!” Only Maude could get away with jokes like that with Mike O’Rourke. Oh, and Hetty. Hetty could get away with anything.

"Hello Maude, been some time since I've able to drop by and see you and the girls. And yes, you could say that he's been like my dad for some time now." Jimmy swept her up in a hug.

“So, you mugs want a girlie each? Or, I can split one between you if business is bad. You can toss for who goes first.” She offered helpfully, finishing off her drink.

"Wisecracks aside, Maude, I was hoping we could slip away someplace quiet cuz  I gotta couple pressing questions I hope you got answers to. Of course, you know there's no other girl for me but you. Now Jimmy? He makes up his own mind on stuff like that."

"Nope, might have to pass on the ladies for the evening. Business being what it is, seems you've got a full house, anyways." Jimmy said seriously.

"Like I said, we need to discuss this in private, no other ears hearing what's being said. Not even Hetty." Michael added.


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Maude McCarthy

Tart with a Heart
784
?Years Young
31 Posts

"That'll cost you $50... but don't stop!"


"Wisecracks aside, Maude, I was hoping we could slip away someplace quiet cuz I gotta couple pressing questions I hope you got answers to. Of course, you know there's no other girl for me but you. Now Jimmy? He makes up his own mind on stuff like that."

Maude had known Mike since the Bowery days and she knew when he was deadly serious about things. She’d also never known him to ever pay for sex. In fact, she’d known a few dames who would have been willing to employ him as a gigolo, if he’d been so inclined.

"Nope, might have to pass on the ladies for the evening. Business being what it is, seems you've got a full house, anyways." Jimmy said seriously.

“Yeah, business is good: must be Spring in the air or something! So, what’s this all about?” she queried.

"Like I said, we need to discuss this in private, no other ears hearing what's being said. Not even Hetty." Michael added.

“That’s all right, Hetty’s busy upstairs anyway.” As if to corroborate this, the distant crack of a whip was heard, followed by a man’s yelp of pain. “She’s laying it on heavy with the Judge tonight! All right boys, come into the kitchen!”

She sashayed into the oddly domestic looking area with its big dining table where Maude and her bevy of beauties sat and ate an incongruous breakfast every morning: the girls fully dressed up, ready to out for the day and their Madame, usually sans makeup and in her slip. Shutting and bolting the kitchen door behind them, she proffered them a seat on the wooden dining room chairs and moved over to the Frigidaire.

“Drink?” she asked, almost redundantly. Free? Of course they would!


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Michael O'Rourke

Racketeer, Smugler, Gun Runner
834
?Years Young
185 Posts

"Do not mistake my friendly demeanor for weakness."


“Drink?” she asked, almost redundantly. Free? Of course, they would!


“Sure Maude, wouldn’t mind a stiff one, been one hell of a night!” Jimmy accepted. He liked Maude. Like the fact she was who she was in public and private, maybe not his type, but he liked her all the same.

“Sure, I could use one as well.” Michael agreed. They were old friends, the kind one could count on before either was successful. He knew that what he would ask would put her on the spot, yet both had been on the spot for each other many times over the years. He exhaled deeply as she poured and delivered the drinks.

“So here’s the thing, the Sorelys, Alvin was rubbed out this evening in a shootout with me.” He shrugged. “Pull a gat on me, gave me no choice. So I gotta tell Freddie Gagliano what happened, be swell if I had news of where the rest of the family might be hiding out.” He knew what he was asking, and she would know he would not mention her name or implicate her in any way. Michael didn’t work like that.

“Alvin somehow got tied in with a couple of people that were trying to pull one of ‘ems sister out of Pembroke Pines asylum up around Hollywood. Not sure what happened, but they were all in the car with Janos This friend of ours gave chase, with us right behind ‘em. Long story short, Janos wrecks and is killed.  The woman that was rescued must have slipped Alvin the piece which he pulled on me.”Michael explained at length. “So that’s where we’re at.”


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Maude McCarthy

Tart with a Heart
784
?Years Young
31 Posts

"That'll cost you $50... but don't stop!"


“So here’s the thing, the Sorelys, Alvin was rubbed out this evening in a shootout with me.” He shrugged. “Pull a gat on me, gave me no choice. So I gotta tell Freddie Gagliano what happened, be swell if I had news of where the rest of the family might be hiding out.”

Maude looked him up and down. He knew how important it was that a woman in her position, who received ‘visitors’ from all sides, to stay strictly neutral and to remain completely silent about what went on under her roof. He must be in a fix to ask her that. But in her heart of hearts, she was still in love with the big lug, and she’d take a bullet for him quicker than blink an eye. Unluckily, or was it luckily, she couldn’t help him.

“Haven’t seen any of them since this little bush war with the wops broke out.” She answered. She held up a hand “That’s on the level. I’d swear it on you and Jimmy’s life!” she joked mirthlessly. This might indeed cost them that. Then she thought about Alvin. “Poor kid. He must’ve been, what, sixteen, seventeen? I remember a couple of ‘em dragged him here once, Ardy and their hired hand Bobby Dunn” (as she called R.E.) “They took a couple of girls upstairs and I brought Alvin in here and gave him milk and cookies.” She recalled, staring thoughtfully at the chair where he had sat.

“How the Hell did he end up with you two.”

“Alvin somehow got tied in with a couple of people that were trying to pull one of ‘ems sister out of Pembroke Pines asylum up around Hollywood. Not sure what happened, but they were all in the car with Janos This friend of ours gave chase, with us right behind ‘em. Long story short, Janos wrecks and is killed.  The woman that was rescued must have slipped Alvin the piece which he pulled on me.” Michael explained at length. “So that’s where we’re at.”

Maude lit a cigarette and had nearly finished it by the time Nails had finished this long-winded tale. “Jesus, Mike, you explain things so clearly, you should be on the wireless or something!” she commented sarcastically, then frowned in thought. She wanted to say something about what a coincidence that Pembroke Pines had reared its ugly head again, after O’Rourke’s visit to see Lenny Renfield, but something else was more important.

“Listen, you goof, it’s staring you right in the face: these two birds that Alvin was with, they must’ve picked him up from somewhere, they must know whereabouts the family was hiding out. These hillbillies never stray far from the family hearth, y’know, it interferes with the inbreeding.” She glanced at Drummond, who still retained his strong Missouri accent, “No offence, Jim."


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Michael O'Rourke

Racketeer, Smugler, Gun Runner
834
?Years Young
185 Posts

"Do not mistake my friendly demeanor for weakness."


“So here’s the thing, the Sorelys, Alvin was rubbed out this evening in a shootout with me.” He shrugged. “Pull a gat on me, gave me no choice. So I gotta tell Freddie Gagliano what happened, be swell if I had news of where the rest of the family might be hiding out.”

Maude looked him up and down. He knew how important it was that a woman in her position, who received ‘visitors’ from all sides, to stay strictly neutral and to remain completely silent about what went on under her roof. He must be in a fix to ask her that. But in her heart of hearts, she was still in love with the big lug, and she’d take a bullet for him quicker than blink an eye. Unluckily, or was it luckily, she couldn’t help him.

“Haven’t seen any of them since this little bush war with the wops broke out.” She answered. She held up a hand “That’s on the level. I’d swear it on you and Jimmy’s life!” she joked mirthlessly. This might indeed cost them that. Then she thought about Alvin. “Poor kid. He must’ve been, what, sixteen, seventeen? I remember a couple of ‘em dragged him here once, Ardy and their hired hand Bobby Dunn” (as she called R.E.) “They took a couple of girls upstairs and I brought Alvin in here and gave him milk and cookies.” She recalled, staring thoughtfully at the chair where he had sat.

Michael half listened to Maude while he was thinking, then he said, “A mistake, a real mistake pickin’ the kid to go along on whatever Doc Tillery’s plan was. Yeah, Arthur, Arden, Dunn,  or even the dame, Avis, would have been a better choice.”

“How the Hell did he end up with you two.”

“Alvin somehow got tied in with a couple of people that were trying to pull Tillery’s sister out of Pembroke Pines asylum up around Hollywood. Not sure what happened, but they were all in the car with Janos This friend of ours gave chase, with us right behind ‘em. Long story short, Janos wrecks and is killed.  The woman that was rescued must have slipped Alvin the piece which he pulled on me.” Michael explained at length. “So that’s where we’re at.”

Maude lit a cigarette and had nearly finished it by the time Nails had finished this long-winded tale. “Jesus, Mike, you explain things so clearly, you should be on the wireless or something!” she commented sarcastically, then frowned in thought. She wanted to say something about what a coincidence that Pembroke Pines had reared its ugly head again, after O’Rourke’s visit to see Lenny Renfield, but something else was more important.

“Yeah sure, that’d be the life for me. Nice and quiet.” Michael said. “I’d have ended up in some joint like Pembroke with no rescue in sight.”

“Listen, you goof, it’s staring you right in the face: these two birds that Alvin was with, they must’ve picked him up from somewhere, they must know whereabouts the family was hiding out. These hillbillies never stray far from the family hearth, y’know, it interferes with the inbreeding.” She glanced at Drummond, who still retained his strong Missouri accent, “No offence, Jim."

“None taken, Maude.” Jimmy stated flatly, then smiled. “Ain’t no hillbilly, I’m from Saint Jo.”

“Say, cutey, you’re right on the mark. One of the girls knew the kid, and that would have to be the Doc’s partner. I mean how the hell does Sarah engineer her own escape?” He asked himself out loud. “Means we gotta pressure Doc Tillery without upsettin’ the apple cart with Doc Steele. Say, maybe Tillery patched up one of the Sorely’s and Alvin thought they owed her.”


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