Reconnecting With Freddy GaglianoStarted by Michael O'Rourke at May 25, 2020 3:08 PM
January 15, 1924
"Do not mistake my friendly demeanor for weakness."
Wednesday, January 15, 1924
It was not like all Michael had to do was make a phone call, far from it. Yes he and Freddy Gagliano's acquaintance but not just anyone could reach the man by phone. No, it would take leg work, so Michael set out to get the straight of who rubbed out Johnny O’Doul.
And why was he interested in helping Gracie Stroud besides the fact she was a dish? Well, O'Doul was Irish after all, and he had not heard of anyone getting taken for a ride over it. It seemed like someone would have laid out a couple yards. He meant to find out. Maybe it was someone not to be messed with, in that case he could tell her, not the name, but the reason.
He would hit the bricks well healed after collecting on some numbers games he ran. There would be more coming in, but he had delivery boys for that. The fact that he went out on his own said he was a little flat, not a normal thing, but the expenses incurred of late put a drain on his finances.
The situation in Cuba promised healthy profits for him and his two compatriots. He wasn't spending the money just yet, but he was sure it was coming. With Dixon on the job, they couldn't miss. The killings, they needed to send the message before the Jews thought they could run over them. He didn't like the fact the message had to be delivered that way, not that he minded killing, he would have rather not had to.
Michael stepped out of the hotel and walked to the Dodge, getting in he started it up. Time to find Freddy.
I'm a businessman, see. It's just a rough business is all.
The sign on the door and the stenciling on the front bay window both identified the place as Gagliano Investments. It was a two floor building, the ground floor being the offices of the business and the upstairs being a private apartment. Those in the know would see it for what it was, a front for one of the biggest gangster operations in Miami. On this particular day, the owner, Freddy Gagliano, was in his personal office while a pair of women clerks typed away at their desks in the main office. Freddy was not alone, he almost never was alone but protected by grim looking bodyguards.
There was a knock on Freddy's door, he answered with a gruff, "What?"
"Boss, someone's here askin' for ya. O'Rourke, you wanna see 'im?" came the familiar voice of one of his most trusted thugs.
"Sure, have him come in," Freddy called back.
The bodyguard searched O'Rourke confiscating any gun he might find promising to return it or them when the meeting was over. Then he was ushered inside. Freddy was sitting behind his desk feet up on it and a racing form was in his hands though he put it down upon the Irishman's entry.
"Mikey! Come on in, have yerself a seat. Hot enough for ya or should we turn it up," he laughed at his own joke.
"Do not mistake my friendly demeanor for weakness."
“Plenty hot, Freddy. Fry an egg on the sidewalk out there.” Michael replied offering his hand. “Need to ask a question, could be touchy, maybe not, but you know me, I’ll drift with the flow.
Freddy shook hands then sat back down, "Oh yeah? Well ask away, can't promise I'll have an answer. But I can always listen."
There was a pause before the question. Michael knew better than to waste Freddy’s time. “So, I’d like ta know who chilled off Johnny O’Doul. I figure if anybody knew it’d be you. Now I know that it may not be for common knowledge, but there’s 'dis dame that was his girl 'n she wants ta know, meanin' she wants revenge. How she comes by that, I dunno. ”
“So I’m only interested if whoever 's not on a local payroll. I ain't for interferin' with somethings not my business.” There, that was done, now the answer, and either he could help her, or he couldn’t.
Freddy chuckled, "My wife would be celebrating if I got chilled. Course she thinks she'd be gettin' all my money which she wouldn't."
He then tossed the racing form aside and seemed to study the ceiling for a moment as he was deep in thought before replying.
"O'Doul? O'Doul. Don't really keep track of everybody who gets knocked off ya know," Freddy started.
"But yeah, I know...I mean I knew him. As in met him once. Cocky prick that one," he added.
"Now why do you care about this broad of his again? Lookin' for a little tail?" he leered.
"Yeah, sure. She's a real tomato that one and was it offered, sure, why not?" Michael responded. "And yeah, O'Doul was a prick, but like I said, the broad wants answers, maybe she goes to the wrong mug and gets iced for her trouble. Just hate to see it that's all" He paused, "But, you know, I ain't one for bargin' in where I don't belong. If it was somebody whats on a payroll, I don't need to know, but a freelancer? Maybe that's different."
"Well, I can tell ya this, Mikey. I didn't off the punk. None of my boys did either. Though as pushy as he was, that time mighta come but someone else did the job for me I guess. Just a minute..." Freddy responded.
Suddenly he bellowed out, "Vinnie! Get in here once!"
One of Freddy's thugs appeared, looking half afraid he was in some kind of trouble, "Yeah? Need somethin', boss?"
"Yeah, gotta question for ya. You remember that Irish bastard O'Doul right?"
"Sure, but he's dead," the mug nodded.
"I know that, Vinnie, I ain't stupid. But you have any idea who knocked him off? Like word on the street or something?" Freddy persisted.
"Not sure but if I had ta bet money on it, I'd say he got double crossed by some of his own," the hood answered.
Freddy glanced toward O'Rourke, "There ya go, Mikey. Not much help I guess but I got no reason to lie about this, he didn't mean shit to me."
“Well I guess that calls for a bit more digging then. Ain’t sure the dames worth it, but I said I’d check around for her.” It was disappointing, sure, Freddy had ears everywhere, but sometimes things happen that are just mysteries.
"Wimmen! Are they ever really worth it?" laughed Freddy.
“I got a connection or two out there, just thought I’d come to you first. Leg work, not my favorite thing to do, but sometimes it’s what’s gotta be done. Hey, I appreciate your time, Freddy I know you’re a busy man.” Michael got to his feet, “Anything I can do for you, just let me know.”
"Oh, good youse should say that, Mikey, for I might just do that sometime. I scratch your back, you scratch mine, ain't that the saying?" Freddy replied.
Just before O'Rourke left the office, the hood Freddy had hollered for sidled up to Michael.
"Hey, you want to know someone who just might have had his reasons to kill O'Doul? Just ask around for a mug named Turk...Turk Flagg. He ain't a mob member, he and O'Doul were part of a bank robbery according to word on the street. The split didn't go down well for Turk or so the story goes."
Michael cocked his head to the side and then smiled. A name, that would shorten the search dramatically. He had the contacts that would know the whereabouts of this flag character. That would be all he needed. The over dinner, while she served him, he could quench her thirst for information.
“Good info 's always appreciated. Havin' the monicker puts him where she can make her move, whatever that 's gonna be.” He touched the brim of his hat with an appreciative smile and walked out of the office to get the low down on this character.
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