There's The Problem

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

Maude McCarthy

Tart with a Heart
784
?Years Young
31 Posts

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


Strangely, it was the heavy set Hetty who opened the door to the two Smugglers, odder still, she was fully dressed. And normal clothes, too: no sign of leather or thigh boots or whips. She looked rather patrician, to tell the truth. She still didn't sound very patrician though.

"What do you two f_____rs want?" she asked them, in matter-of-fact tones that didn't match her fruity choice of language, as she led them to the kitchen.

Rather than offer them a drink, she collapsed on a chair and said "Jimmy, fix me a gin. You boys help yourselves to what you want. I'm all done in!" 

"I'm completely f____d boys, I've handed in my resignation. I'm officially retired as of today. Maude's having to fill in up stairs."

She took the glass of gin proffered gratefully. "Thanks,jim. I know I rag ya, but you're a good little f_____r really." she smiled like a sweet little, foul-mouthed, lady. 

 


Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
834
?Years Young
52 Posts

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


"What do you two f_____rs want?" she asked them, in matter-of-fact tones that didn't match her fruity choice of language, as she led them to the kitchen.

"Well, we come by lookin' to get some different rags that'd help us to fit in down on the Docks. Place called Chinese Charlies." Michael explained quickly taken aback by her appearance and the sound of her voice. He had never seen the dominatrix without her pain-providing accouterments.

Rather than offer them a drink, she collapsed on a chair and said "Jimmy, fix me a gin. You boys help yourselves to what you want. I'm all done in!" 

"Sure thing Hetty," Not the first time he'd been told to fix the dominatrix a drink, but then what was to fix. She liked her gin without ice in a water glass, so, that was what he did. Michael walked to the counter and poured himself a Walker Black Lable

"I'm completely f____d boys, I've handed in my resignation. I'm officially retired as of today. Maude's having to fill in up stairs."

The two men looked to one another in disbelief, Hetty was a fixture in the place, complete with a list of clients that kept her services in demand, and her a very busy woman.

She took the glass of gin proffered gratefully. "Thanks,jim. I know I rag ya, but you're a good little f_____r really." she smiled like a sweet little, foul-mouthed, lady.

"Yeah sure, Hetty. Sorry to hear you're throwin' in the towel. I mean, it's like you're a real part of this place. Won't be the same without you." The younger of the two said.

"So how long til' 'Twinkle Toes' descends from the 'pleasure place?" Michael asked, thinking that they needed to get a move on, yet, no one was expecting them, nor waiting on them. He took a drink of the room temperature scotch whiskey, leaning against the kitchen counter.


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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, Chinese Charlie's, huh?" ruminated Hetty "So you want disguising as Chinks?" 

"So how long til' 'Twinkle Toes' descends from the 'pleasure place?" Michael asked, thinking that they needed to get a move on, yet, no one was expecting them, nor waiting on them. He took a drink of the room temperature scotch whiskey, leaning against the kitchen counter.

A drink later, the plump 40-something Proprietress herself appeared, looking shopworn and exhausted and, instead of Hetty's dominatrix gear, wearing a school tie, a gymslip and straw hat perched on her peroxide blonde pigtails.

"Hey Maude! Mike and Jimmy here need some dressing up clothes!" bellowed Hetty as Ms McCarthy traipsed into the kitchen.

"Well, fellers, I hope you don't need to dress up as schoolgirls: we've only got three uniforms, I'm wearing this one, my John's wearing the other and the third one's at the Chinese Laundry next door." she said, giving the pair of them a wan wave and collapsing into a chair herself. 

"Say Jimmy, fix me  gin will ya, that was exhausting." she sighed, groping for a cigarette box on the table.

 


Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
834
?Years Young
52 Posts

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


"So, Chinese Charlie's, huh?" ruminated Hetty "So you want disguising as Chinks?" 

"Nah, nothin' like that. But we need to have the look of dock workers. Not looking like Mike here, all dapper." Jimmy responded, trying to make it clear what they needed and why.

"So how long til' 'Twinkle Toes' descends from the 'pleasure place?" Michael asked, thinking that they needed to get a move on, yet, no one was expecting them, nor waiting on them. He took a drink of the room temperature scotch whiskey, leaning against the kitchen counter.

A drink later, the plump 40-something Proprietress herself appeared, looking shopworn and exhausted and, instead of Hetty's dominatrix gear, wearing a school tie, a gymslip and straw hat perched on her peroxide blonde pigtails.

"Ah now, that sounds like her," Michael observed, setting his not quite empty glass aside and standing fully erect instead of leaning on the counter. He had always liked Maude, in spite of her profession, the parade of men that seemed to interrupt any conversation they might be having. Though it really was platonic in nature, they seemed to have an understanding, and the fact she danced supremely well well gave them something in common.

"Hey Maude! Mike and Jimmy here need some dressing up clothes!" bellowed Hetty as Ms McCarthy traipsed into the kitchen.

"Well, fellers, I hope you don't need to dress up as schoolgirls: we've only got three uniforms, I'm wearing this one, my John's wearing the other and the third one's at the Chinese Laundry next door." she said, giving the pair of them a wan wave and collapsing into a chair herself. 

"Hiya Maude, don't you look cute. Don't suppose you'd want to go dancing." Michael greeted the exhausted businesswoman, working both ends of the trade.

"Say Jimmy, fix me a gin will ya, that was exhausting." she sighed, groping for a cigarette box on the table.

Jimmy grinned, both at the repeated drink request and at the costume. "Sure thing Maude." He said going to the sideboard and pouring half a water glass full of the stuff. "we need to dress down the two of us." He turned and started toward the trollop.

"We need to look the part of the guys on the docks," Michael cut in. "You know, look the part when we're down there. Sort of undercover, you might say." He smiled. "I figured you might just have that sort of stuff left behind by guys in a rush to leave."


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Maude McCarthy

Tart with a Heart
784
?Years Young
31 Posts

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


"Hiya Maude, don't you look cute. Don't suppose you'd want to go dancing." Michael greeted the exhausted businesswoman, working both ends of the trade.

"Oh hi Mike!" Maude grinned as she slumped in "Anytime! Only give my dogs a week to recover first, will ya: people think this job is all lying on your back but they couldn't be more wrong: especially with Hetty's regulars. That Judge is a scamp!" 

Mike really was a great dancer, he could have been a professional 'taxi' in a dance hall. 

"Say Jimmy, fix me a gin will ya, that was exhausting." she sighed, groping for a cigarette box on the table.

Jimmy grinned, both at the repeated drink request and at the costume. "Sure thing Maude." He said going to the sideboard and pouring half a water glass full of the stuff. "we need to dress down the two of us." He turned and started toward the trollop.

"Thanks Kid, you're a star. Yeah, we can probably find something. Dress down, huh?" she asked frowning a little.

"We need to look the part of the guys on the docks," Michael cut in. "You know, look the part when we're down there. Sort of undercover, you might say." He smiled. "I figured you might just have that sort of stuff left behind by guys in a rush to leave."

That made Maude laugh, the ones who were bothered about being caught there were more the respectable types who wore fancy duds: besides, they had enough friends on the force to give them ample warning of any raid in the air. The last time they'd had a raid, the cops had found her and the girls sitting fully dressed around the kitchen table with Maude reading the Bible to them like the place was a convent school. 

"Yeah, I got some stuff an old boyfriend left behind" nodded Maude after she'd knocked back the gin. She hefted herself out of the chair and took Jimmy by the arm. "Come on through the parlour and up to my room boys, and careful not to recognise anybody on the way through!" she reminded them: what happened at Maude's stayed at Maude's!

She led them through the big parlour full of chaise-lounges, semi-clad flappers, a blaring gramophone and respectable men in unrespectable states of inebriation, and up some stairs to her room which, to be fair, did look like a tart's boudoir.

"All right boys, get em off and I'll throw you out some togs to try!" she laughed, opening an enormous wardrobe full of all sorts of different clothes.


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Michael O'Rourke

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

"Do not mistake my friendly demeanor for weakness."


"Jesus Christ, Maude! What's this a second-hand store?" He looked a Jimmy and added, "If we can't find what we need here, it just ain't available."

"Oh hell yes! Let's get to it. There has to be a bunch 'a stuff that'll work in there!" Jimmy added, but both paused before beginning to undress and looked at Maude.

"Now it ain't like you never seen either one of us in our underwear or less. So don't go gettin' frisky like it was a free sideshow.

The boys doffed their duds, Michael hanging up his suit to keep it from getting wrinkled any worse than it was. and they began trying on stuff that looked like it would fulfill their need to look the part. the fact was, there were just too many things that fit and looked the part. Too many choices were available.

After the umpteenth trial, both men looked to Maude, saying nothing, but their expressions saying everything.


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Maude McCarthy

Tart with a Heart
784
?Years Young
31 Posts

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


"Jesus Christ, Maude! What's this a second-hand store?" He looked a Jimmy and added, "If we can't find what we need here, it just ain't available."

Maude couldn't help smile at the pair of them: if her closet was like a clothes score, then these two were as excited as a couple of dames at a bargain sale.

"Oh hell yes! Let's get to it. There has to be a bunch 'a stuff that'll work in there!" Jimmy added, but both paused before beginning to undress and looked at Maude.

"What's up fellers, shy?" she laughed.

"Now it ain't like you never seen either one of us in our underwear or less. So don't go gettin' frisky like it was a free sideshow.

"Kinda a 'busman's holiday' fer me!" she humphed.

The boys doffed their duds, Michael hanging up his suit to keep it from getting wrinkled any worse than it was. and they began trying on stuff that looked like it would fulfill their need to look the part. the fact was, there were just too many things that fit and looked the part. Too many choices were available.

After the umpteenth trial, both men looked to Maude, saying nothing, but their expressions saying everything.

"Oh, fer Chrissakes!" the middleaged schoolgirl sighed and stomped over pulling trousers out of hands an shoving jackets back in until they both looked 'normal' - the main problem was the hats: someone might keep a pair of serviceable but baggy trousers up with belt or braces, but nobody wore a hat that was too tight. Eventually she found a couple of flat caps that fitted.

"I always said you two were swell heads!" she laughed, standing back to take them in. She frowned at their feet. "Hmmm, work boots, I don't got."

 


Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
834
?Years Young
52 Posts

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


After the umpteenth trial, both men looked to Maude, saying nothing, but their expressions saying everything.

"Oh, fer Chrissakes!" the middleaged schoolgirl sighed and stomped over pulling trousers out of hands an shoving jackets back in until they both looked 'normal' - the main problem was the hats: someone might keep a pair of serviceable but baggy trousers up with belt or braces, but nobody wore a hat that was too tight. Eventually she found a couple of flat caps that fitted.

"I always said you two were swell heads!" she laughed, standing back to take them in. She frowned at their feet. "Hmmm, work boots, I don't got."

"I got 'em in the back of Mike's jalopy! No problem there. But I tell ya, Sis, I ain't wearin' no hat. I know, I know everybody else might wear one, but I don't. Jimmy protested, running his hand through his hair. "Just never took to wearin' a hat. Doubt that would be trouble." He adjusted the overalls, rolled up his sleeves, and appeared ready to go.

Michael first gave Jimmy a look for the crack about the Dodge, then grinned, that was when he spotted it, a hat that was more his style. He tossed the flat cap and put on the fedora, not exactly to his liking, being beat up and all, but close enough. "See now Maude, this works for me, maybe we add some dirt an' grease, presto, just a couple of stiffs looking for a drink and some company." He snatched back the jacket and pulled it on. "We owe ya big time, doll face. I know you think the other way was better, but hey, it's us, and you know us."

Now they were ready for the evening at Chinese Charlies, Knowing that there was danger ahead both men would be armed and on the lookout for trouble. Charlies was a dive of the worst kind, Men had been shanghaied out of there, others beaten and robbed, and still others, killed. So there was no fooling themselves about the evening ahead.


Maude McCarthy

Tart with a Heart
784
?Years Young
31 Posts

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


"I got 'em in the back of Mike's jalopy! No problem there. But I tell ya, Sis, I ain't wearin' no hat. I know, I know everybody else might wear one, but I don't. Jimmy protested, running his hand through his hair. "Just never took to wearin' a hat. Doubt that would be trouble." He adjusted the overalls, rolled up his sleeves, and appeared ready to go.

"OK, OK!" laughed Maude, holding up her hands in surrender. She knew Jimmy was vain about his locks, forever running his fingers through his hair and trying to make it look 'accidentally' ruffled. Well, as far as attracting the girls went, it certainly seemed to work!

Michael first gave Jimmy a look for the crack about the Dodge, then grinned, that was when he spotted it, a hat that was more his style. He tossed the flat cap and put on the fedora, not exactly to his liking, being beat up and all, but close enough. "See now Maude, this works for me, maybe we add some dirt an' grease, presto, just a couple of stiffs looking for a drink and some company." He snatched back the jacket and pulled it on. "We owe ya big time, doll face. I know you think the other way was better, but hey, it's us, and you know us."

"Well, if you two Prima Donnas have finished prettying yourselves up, we'll go show Hetty. See, I'm too kind and soft-hearted. She'll tell ya what you really look like!" she gurgled with chuckles: the two of them worried a lot about presenting a snappy appearance, seeing them try, against the grain, to make themselves look a little scruffy: well, it all handed her a laugh. 

When they went downstairs Hetty actually folded her arms and appraised them properly. Maybe there was something about wearing clothes that make her less irascible. "O'Rourke's all right, but he needs a hat!" she barked, pointing at Jimmy. 

Maude shook her head "Ha! Listen Hetty, didn't you know? Everybody else wears one, but Jimmy just don't. Just never took to wearin' one, see!?"  

Hetty peered and then ran her fingers through her own barnet "OH! The Hair!" Maude nodded and they both laughed. Poor Jimmy, but they knew the kid'd take it on the chin.


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Michael O'Rourke

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

"Do not mistake my friendly demeanor for weakness."


And they were right, Jimmy tilted his head back to look at the women and wiggled his eyebrows twice, then broke into a wide grin.

Michael smiled and said, "We need to get rollin' kid, we gotta hunch there's a mob we ain't heard of before operatin' out of Charlies, and they ain't Chinks neither. They snatched some dame and a copper who turned up in boat out in the bay. Jimmy made himself a hero pullin' the guy outta the drink."

"Nah, he was in a dingy, but just the same, whoever snatched them was organized. Ol' Baxter asked me to see what I could find out, Mike here agreed to help, and we gotta thank you, girls, for the loan of the clothes. They should make it easier on us to get inside."

As far a Maude and Hetty letting on to anyone about what they had been told, neither would ever say a word, not that either Michael or Jimmy thought anyone would be asking after them. That just didn't make sense.


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