The Set Up/Hello Club Lorelei

Started by Michael O'Rourke at Mar 30, 2020 6:29 PM
January 12, 1924
239 Views
7 Posts

Michael O'Rourke

Racketee, smugler, gun runner
144
?Years Young
108 Posts

"Do not mistake my friendly demeanor for weakness."


Leaving Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant/Smokie’s Smoke Shop

After One pm

He checked the time, nearly half-past one as he reached the Dodge and climbed in. He had time to get this job started with Eddie Walsh, and as he pulled his cigarette case and opened it, he could use some as there were none at his hotel room and he was low.

Once the cigarette was lit, he wheeled into traffic and drove away heading for ‘Smokies Smoke Shop,’ it had been some time since he’d seen Walsh, but curiosity demanded a re-visit. Michael had set up people before, it was all part and parcel of the business. He had no delusions about what he did or what might happen to him, but, it was what he did. He was good at it, all of it.

As he drove he thought about this evening and the Chanteuse and the possibilities, there were always possibilities. A nice steak, maybe meet someone, do a little dancing, anything could happen. He pulled up in front of Smokies and parked, shutting off the Dodge he got out and closed the door, then walked directly to open doorway of the shop, stepping inside. He was engulfed in the smells of various tobacco, noting immediately that his cigar display was painfully empty of Havanas

“Can I help you?” The man behind the counter asked pleasantly.

“A carton of Lucky Strikes would be nice,” Michael replied. "You the owner?”

“I am, Eddie Walsh." He set the carton on the counter, "That’s a buck fifty. ”

“I note you're out of Havanas, perhaps I can help you.” Michael said as he put the cash on the counter.

The man looked at him quizically. “How’s that?”

“I have a connection, he’s looking to unload two cases, cheap. Esplendido’s, interested?” Michael asked. The look he got told him the deal was all but done. Just talk price and where.

“How much, I mean they go pretty high, like two for a dollar,” Walsh asked.

He said he’s gotta dump two cases, sixty bucks a case, unopened, still sealed with the import tax stamps. You in?”

It took all of two seconds, “Yeah, yeah sure. Where and when, he bring them here?”

“Nah, he’s got them at a place on Roosevelt and Garmen, the watch repair place. Berkowitz. Tomorrow, say, what? Five-ish, after you close?” Michael paused, "he’s up to Orlando, be back tomorrow when I can call him.” Michael was smiling. “This is a good deal for you.”

“Yeah, yeah, five’s good. I’ll be there.” Walsh agreed.

"Be there on time. Nice doing business with you." Michael turned and walked out as Walsh agreed.

TBC/Tag @Players


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Michael O'Rourke

Racketee, smugler, gun runner
144
?Years Young
108 Posts

"Do not mistake my friendly demeanor for weakness."


Michael then drove to the Greystone Hotel where he kept a room. He parked the car in front and went inside. He had his own key so he took the self-service elevator to the third floor where his room was, overlooking the corner of Collins Ave and 20th Street. With a clear view of the ocean from there, as it was only a couple blocks from it. He shut the door and locked it.

He took off his hat and coat, followed by his shoulder holster, all of it thrown on the bed. He had clothes in the closet and things in the dresser. A handy accommodation when he was in Miami. Next, he took the piece of paper with Brazaga’s number and picked up the candlestick phone, lifted the handset and tapped the handset rest twice.

“Operator.” The female voice filled his ear.

“Riverside 0570.” He said.

“One moment please.” Came the reply. It began to ring on the other end.

Wayfarer


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Albert Brazaga

Gangster
364
?Years Young
5 Posts

"Let's you n' me go for a ride."


It took four rings but someone picked up. In the background O'Rourke could hear music playing, maybe a record, maybe the radio.

"Yeah, who is this?"

The voice was coarse, deep, sounding at least mildly irritated or grumpy. Though for anybody who talked to Albert Brazaga, that was about the best you could expect. Albert was not the pleasant sort. He was big and well built, when he looked at you it was like he was either glaring at you or he was sizing you up. The vast majority of people found him intimidating and that was exactly how he liked it.

Albert had come to America as a boy with his family, off the boat from Sicily and straight into an impoverished neighborhood. Life had been hard, they practically starved. As Albert grew up, he learned he could get what he wanted thru violence. And as a bonus, he enjoyed it too. Currently Freddy Gagliano paid him well to be mean and do awful things. Life was good.

 


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Michael O'Rourke

Racketee, smugler, gun runner
144
?Years Young
108 Posts

"Do not mistake my friendly demeanor for weakness."


Greystone Hotel

Mid-afternoon

“Brazaga? Michael O’Rourke. Gotta message for you. The pigeon will be at the watchmaker after five tomorrow evening.”He explained. “He thinks he’s getting two cases of Havana cigars and was real excited about it, so he’ll be there.”

The voice sounded like that of a big man, a man that liked music. And, from what Michael knew of him, cold and efficient. Not someone you wanted to be on that bad side of. Michael was somewhat the opposite, glib, friendly unless he had reason not to be, but cold when he had to be. It was how he got where he was.

“Anything else?” He asked.


 


Albert Brazaga

Gangster
364
?Years Young
5 Posts

"Let's you n' me go for a ride."


Alberto had of course expected this call and now listened to O'Rourke give him the needed details. It sounded like a good setup. He had to give his boss, Freddy, credit for coming up with a smart idea. Bring in an Irishman to betray an Irishman.

"Cigars huh? Sounds good ta me," he replied.

"Oh, I'll make it real excitin' for that sonofabitch," a chuckle escaped him.

O'Rourke wanted to know if there was anything else.

"No, nothin'. Well, maybe just one thing. If this don't turn out like yer tellin' me....I will come looking fer you. So will my boss and all his men. Just so's you know," Albert couldn't leave well enough alone, he always had to make a threat. Maybe it was because he never cared whether people liked him, he thought it more important they feared him.

And with that charming closing line, Albert hung up the phone. He had business to take care of.


Michael O'Rourke

Racketee, smugler, gun runner
144
?Years Young
108 Posts

"Do not mistake my friendly demeanor for weakness."


“Yeah sure.” Michael said into a dead line. He hung up the phone and set it on the nightstand. So he wanted to threaten, will that was just fine with him, two could play the same game. But why? If Walsh didn’t show, he didn’t show, wouldn’t be his fault, and if gunsel wanted trouble, he would return it in kind.

So, the favor for Freddy Gagliano was out of the way, now he could relax before the evening's entertainment at this Club Lorelei, housed on an old steamer, he’d heard. He liked that idea real well. Take the party to sea, twelve miles out and anything goes, no coppers, no raids, nobody goes to jail, and everybody has a good time.

But it was obvious that the ship, the SS Chanteuse, sat in port most of the week, so all the risks were there unless they were paid off, which was highly possible. The brains of that operation was on the ball, that was for sure. In one way he could hardly wait. Dinner dancing, getting acquainted with some new dames, maybe. Better than a long drive back to Key West.


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Michael O'Rourke

Racketee, smugler, gun runner
144
?Years Young
108 Posts

"Do not mistake my friendly demeanor for weakness."


As Michael was getting ready the phone rang, which, in one way, was unusual, yet in another somewhat expected.

"Yeah?" He said as he answered.

" Mike," Only one person called him Mike, Jimmy Drummond. "Heard from Gloves, the order's in. He's on his way down from Pensacola." Drummond explained. "Should be here tomorrow night, he'll be in Orlando tonight."

"Good, If he calls again, I'll be out of here in the morning, so," Michael responded with a smile. Good old Gloves, the man was a magician! But then so was Jimmy. If it had an engine, he could modify it. His Dodge could cruise at sixty miles per hour now, instead of forty, and the top speed, he'd not had to try that, yet. "I'll be there before he gets there. The boat?"

"Purrs like a kitten. Ready when you are." Jimmy replied. "See you when you get here."

"Okay. Bye." Michael said and hung up and finished dressing.

 

TBC in "Club Lorelei (SS Chantuse)

 


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