There's The Problem

Started by Jimmy Drummond at Jun 30, 2021 10:09 AM
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25 Posts

Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
834
?Years Young
52 Posts

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


Jimmy sat at the bar, the corner of the bar where he could see just about everything, as well as Max. He was nursing a "La Tropical", a Cuban beer, his favorite which he brought in on trips to Havana. That was substantially cheaper than buying it from Miami distributors and Moss Gallegher was appreciative of the young man's efforts, which included Moss's only paying what Jimmy had paid for the cargo. None of the boys minded, as they would drink it when they were in Key West, especially Michael, who also patronized the Chart House when he was in town.

As he sat, he thought, what was he going to do with his agreement with Baxter? How would he ferret out what happened to the two women? It presented a problem, he knew he could get himself inside this Chinese Charlie's place, that would be no problem, but after that, what would be next? Maybe he needed to talk to Mike and Dix, those two were far more experienced than he was in things like that. Come to think of it, they were more experienced in most things than he was. Good council could pay big dividends on a clandestine operation, and that was exactly what this would be.

Michael was due back in town in a day or so, but Jimmy, who was really almost caught up at the shop, needed to make a run up to Miami, and he needed to do that in the morning. He could catch up with Michael if he left Key West early enough in the morning. He smiled to himself, maybe Michael would throw in with him on this adventure, though there was no telling what he would think or react when he learned that Baxter was involved. He would take his chances.

"Max?" He called, "I'm going to drive up to Miami and find Mike, maybe have a look at this Chinese Charlie's. Not sure how long I'll be, but I'll call."

She smiled. "Well, you did tell Lieutenant Baxter you'd try and find the two women, so sure, we'll have some time when you get back."

"Yep, we will, no doubt about it." He replied. Best head home, I'll need to be up early for this, if I hope to find him," He explained. "See ya cutie."

"Be careful, Jimmy." She cautioned.

TBC

 


Liked 1

Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
834
?Years Young
52 Posts

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


Careful of course was not in Jimmy Drummond's vocabulary. And he didn't fool himself one bit about what might lie ahead in Miami. The docks were rough and tumble, hard-working, hard-drinking longshoremen, ships crews, all congregated in a confined area of several blocks with cheap hotels and bars. And it wasn't like he had not heard of Chinese Charlies. The place was well known to everyone on both sides of the tracks and the law.

Morning dawned cool, but the day would be hot. He had called Artie Gilmore to come in and finish up what work there was at the garage thus freeing him to do what he had planned, and his customers would be happy. It was a good business, and he wanted to keep it that way.

The drive up was always faster than the bost, but hardly as much fun, and this was to be no joyride to Miami. Hardly, he was armed as one never knew about the docks area, but a daylight visit would be much safer, if one was looking for safety, than a night-time excursion. And, his intent was to get with Michael, explain what was going on, and just have a look-see at the place and surrounding area.

He realized he may well find nothing, that was always the risk. Or, he might just find trouble, another option that was available, because there was always a chance he could stumble onto, or into, something he shouldn't. But, he gave his word he'd do what he could to locate the two dames, and he intended to follow through.

Michaels Dodge sat at the curb when Jimmy rolled up across the street and parked. That meant there was a really good chance he'd find O'Rourke in his room at the Greystone.

TBC


Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
834
?Years Young
52 Posts

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


Careful of course was not in Jimmy Drummond's vocabulary. And he didn't fool himself one bit about what might lie ahead in Miami. The docks were rough and tumble, hard-working, hard-drinking longshoremen, ships crews, all congregated in a confined area of several blocks with cheap hotels and bars. And it wasn't like he had not heard of Chinese Charlies. The place was well known to everyone on both sides of the tracks and the law.

Morning dawned cool, but the day would be hot. He had called Artie Gilmore to come in and finish up what work there was at the garage thus freeing him to do what he had planned, and his customers would be happy. It was a good business, and he wanted to keep it that way. Dressed as usual, in dungarees, a t-shirt, and his Converse tennis shoes, with a light cotton jacket, Jimmy set out for Miami.

The drive up was always faster than the bost, but hardly as much fun, and this was to be no joyride to Miami. Hardly, he was armed as one never knew about the docks area, but a daylight visit would be much safer, if one was looking for safety, than a night-time excursion. And, his intent was to get with Michael, explain what was going on, and just have a look-see at the place and surrounding area.

He realized he may well find nothing, that was always the risk. Or, he might just find trouble, another option that was available, because there was always a chance he could stumble onto, or into, something he shouldn't. But, he gave his word he'd do what he could to locate the two dames, and he intended to follow through.

Michaels Dodge sat at the curb when Jimmy rolled up across the street and parked. That meant there was a really good chance he'd find O'Rourke in his room at the Greystone.

TBC


Michael O'Rourke

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

"Do not mistake my friendly demeanor for weakness."


It was not all that early, but early enough. Michael sat in the hotel coffee shop awaiting his bacon and eggs, sipping his coffee and looking at the front page of the Miami Daily News and Reporter. A grainy photo of some cop fished out of the Atlantic by an unknown good samaritan, included a boat, and a bad side photo of none other than Jimmy Drummond. It wasn't that he recognized Jimmy so much as the boat was unmistakably the Liberty, though the name couldn't be seen.

He looked up as the front door of the hotel opened and Jimmy walked in, lacing in the coffee shop he spotted Micheal and changed course.

"Hey Mike, what's up?" Jimmy asked. "I need to talk to you, glad I caught you."

"Hope nobody else sees you rescued a cop." Michael said.

"Wait wait, now that ain't how this went, Mike. The guy was in his boxers in a dinghy out in the bay. Man, I didn't know the cop was a flatfoot. But I wouldn't have left him either. You read the article, it should say all that and explain he was trying to paddle in, with one oar."

"Yeah yeah, I read it. Good thing you was there, and, how is it you was there?"

"I brought Max up to find you and have lunch, then this happened and blew that. Once we got free of the cops and all that we had to head back." Jimmy answered.


Wow! 1

Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
834
?Years Young
52 Posts

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


"Now that would'a been swell. I like Max. Well, the picture in the paper was crappy ain' it would be tough to identify you from it. I recognized the boat, but not too many would if any did at all."

"Wow, in papers, well, the cop on the pier said a couple dames were in trouble, but hey, ain't they always? Said they disappeared at Chinese Charlies on the docks, wanted to know if I knew anything about it. 'course I don't, but maybe we could get something on it, sortta lend a hand. Might be another mob tryin' to horn in on Miami. That would be our alibi."

Michael looked at Jimmy a long minute. "Get something on it? Are you crazy? Work for the cops? We'd get killed for it, Jimmy." But he was thinking about it, another mob they didn't know about? Now that did pique his interest.


Loved 1

Michael O'Rourke

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

"Do not mistake my friendly demeanor for weakness."


O'Rourke, never one to ignore any possibility whether in business or in crime was interested, very interested. What if Goldenberg wasn't their only problem? What if there was another mob, a secret organization, that to this point, no one knew about, not even 'Gags'. And the man had a way of knowing just about everything that went on in Miami.

"Hey, I get it, it's gonna look like we're helpin' out the cops, but that ain't it, ain't it at all. If there's another mob and we find out about it, or maybe we rescue the dames they supposedly are holding, who else would we turn them over to? Jimmy had a point, actually a couple of points.

"So we go undercover, as it were, see what we can find out about the other mob, maybe rescue the dames like you say, which means we get them to the cops, cuz that's what makes sense. Then sure, maybe somebody thinks we're working with the 'flatties', so what." Michael surmised. "It's a risk, but it just might pay off big time."

So, there appeared to be an agreement about the two looking into the new mob angle. Maybe it wasn't their business, but then again, maybe it was. Smuggling was a cutthroat racket to be sure, and if that was their game, then something needed to be done about it.

"Wanna call Dix?" Jimmy asked.

"Nah, not just yet, let's see what turns up first," Michael replied. there would be time enough to get Dixon Steel down to Miami if they found anything.


Liked 1

Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
834
?Years Young
52 Posts

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


"Wouldn't want Dix to miss any of the fun," Jimmy said. Then he looked to Michael, wondering why he wasn't more upset about the picture in the paper. "So, okay, what now?"

"Well, for one thing, there's no going in there the way I'm dressed, you'll do alright, but a suit and tie would be way out of place if we're to find out anything about these two dames you mentioned. I doubt we'll have any contacts in the place, and that's a drawback, but, who knows. At least we won't look like tourists."

Michael was thinking, thinking not about the women but about the possibility, there was yet another mob, or organization to deal with. And in one respect, depending on what they were about, customers. Chances of that were slim, that any other mob would be an enemy to deal with, and there were really only the three of them. That had been plenty for their operation, and plenty to get their job done, but not enough to go up against a good-sized gang, Tommy guns, B.A.R.'s or not.

It was a bit to think on.


Liked 1

Michael O'Rourke

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

"Do not mistake my friendly demeanor for weakness."


"What's important is that we get the lowdown on any other mob that might be using that place as their headquarters. We can see what can be done about the broads too." He said with a half-hearted grin.

"After last night maybe a little action would be good. 'member that broad that slipped Alvin the piece, well when I goes up to Doc Steele to let him know what's what with Gags and the Sorelys, that the heats off, well she's there."  He adds, " They're having dinner too. so I go back to my table thinking the woman and her sister, Doc Tillery are safe, and here comes the sister. Then, get this, tries to stab me with a steak knife, right there on the Chanteuse, in the Club Loreli for Christ's sake!"

"Crap! Man, what an evening. In front of all those people. Well, one thing's for sure, she'll be headed either back to the looney bin, or jail. So you're thinkin' we need to disguise ourselves?" Jimmy asked.

"Not so much a disguise, but more of a change to look more like them on the docks." Came the answer. "Let's ee what we got that'll work."


Great Idea! 1

Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
834
?Years Young
52 Posts

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


"Yeah, that's the ticket, maybe get dirty, worn clothes, like we were working the docks for a living. Sure, that oughtta work." Jimmy agreed with the idea wholeheartedly.

"So, I got nothin' that would work. I don't own no 'old' clothes." Michael said, realizing all he owned were suits, slacks, the expensive clothing, the other stuff, long gone. He was a success, and the trappings of toil were long forgotten. Even his leisurewear hanging in the closet in key West wouldn't work.

"My stuff'd never fit you." Jimmy pointed out, wondering how this was going to work because anything Michael might wear would be a dead giveaway.

"So listen, if there's a place to get what's needed, we'll head over to Maude's, they got stuff from guys jumpin' out the winda's in their underwear when there's a raid. Mostly, they just don't come back for it. Yeah, she can take care of us on this one, that's for sure."

Jimmy lit up. "Aw that's great news, yeah, I bet Maudes got a closet full!"

"Alwright then, let's head on over to her place and see what we can dig up. Not everybody that goes there is hoity-toidy, lots'a workin' stiffs drop in for the same relief. So we'll get outfitted."


Liked 1

Michael O'Rourke

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

"Do not mistake my friendly demeanor for weakness."


The Dodge rolled up in front of Maude's place and parked, the two men got out, this was going to be an odd visit, dressing men was not something that they normally did in her house. Though he suspected the girls would find the humor in it. Not that he, or Jimmy, found any such thing in what they were about to undertake down at Chinese Charlies.

As they walked to the porch and the front door Michael became to feel some apprehension about coming exploit on the docks. It took him back to his days on the docks in New York when exploits of this nature were commonplace, no less dangerous, just commonplace.

"Well, as the saying goes, here we go," Jimmy said arriving at the door, a deep breath, and Michael applying the knock that would guarantee entrance. Jimmy was always nervous in this place, until he had had a couple of drinks, and there would be no liquid courage this go round, they both needed to be on top of their game.