Dance Hall Date

Started by Tommy Sloan at Jun 04, 2020 2:47 PM
January 28, 1924
766 Views
57 Posts

Tommy Sloan

Federal Agent
142
?Years Young
90 Posts

"Fulfill the prophecy;
Be something greater;
Go make a legacy;
Manifest destiny"


Well, of course she would have waited on him even if he'd had on a cop uniform. She would have had to. Tommy didn't say that, but he was thinking it.

"I'm glad we met though, Tommy, I really am. Yer a nice guy."

"And you're a sweet gal. Fun to be around." He flashed her a smile and put his other hand on top of hers.

If he didn't think she still was hung up on Johnnie even though he was dead, he'd already have asked to see her again. That plus the fact that they likely wouldn't see each other again in any capacity after he told her about getting pulled off the case.

He made a split-second decision, running his tongue over his lips quickly and taking a deep breath before going on, looking into her eyes. "I got somethin' to tell you...and I don't think you're gonna like it. You wanna hear it now, or you wanna dance some more first?"

Honestly, now that he'd brought it up, it would be better to get it over with, but it would also be nice to wait and put it off a little longer. He rubbed his thumb over the back of her hand, staring at the table before glancing back up at her.


Grace (Gracie) Stroud

Waitress
346
?Years Young
134 Posts

The song is done. The melody lingers on. You and the song are gone. But the melody lingers on.


"And you're a sweet gal. Fun to be around." He flashed her a smile and put his other hand on top of hers.

"Thanks, Tommy," she beamed at the praise, who wouldn't.

But something was going on? He seemed to get real solemn all of a sudden. That couldn't be good.

"I got somethin' to tell you...and I don't think you're gonna like it. You wanna hear it now, or you wanna dance some more first?"

A frown came over her pert features, "Oh? Ummm, sure...come on and spill it then. Though I think I got an idea of what it's all about, I'll just clam up and let you have your say."

She sat back then and picked up her drink then took a swallow but her eyes were fixed on him and she was listening.

 


Tommy Sloan

Federal Agent
142
?Years Young
90 Posts

"Fulfill the prophecy;
Be something greater;
Go make a legacy;
Manifest destiny"


Tommy wished he hadn't said anything now. But now that he had, he had to go on with it.

"Oh? Ummm, sure...come on and spill it then. Though I think I got an idea of what it's all about, I'll just clam up and let you have your say."

He took another deep breath, then moved his hand from on top of hers and made a flippant gesture. Best to get it over with. He blurted, "I got pulled off the case."

Once that was out, it was like some stopper had been pulled and he was telling her everything.

"He didn't even give me a full week on it, Gracie. Just told me we didn't have enough resources or there weren't enough leads or some hogwash like that."

He couldn't clearly remember what Morris had told him anymore and didn't want to. But he also thought it was important for Gracie not to get the wrong idea about Morris.

"And I get it. We're here to stop bootlegging, not any kid who wants to call himself a gangster. No offense," he said quickly, glancing at her to make sure she didn't look too upset. About that, anyway. She would have every right to be upset about him not being on the case.


Liked 1

Grace (Gracie) Stroud

Waitress
346
?Years Young
134 Posts

The song is done. The melody lingers on. You and the song are gone. But the melody lingers on.


At her urging, Tommy just came out with it then.

"I got pulled off the case."

Gracie nodded, "Oh? Ya did huh?"  

She was certainly not as surprised as he probably figured she would be. She had no faith in the feds anymore than the coppers.

"He didn't even give me a full week on it, Gracie. Just told me we didn't have enough resources or there weren't enough leads or some hogwash like that."

Once more she nodded, "Right."

"And I get it. We're here to stop bootlegging, not any kid who wants to call himself a gangster. No offense."

"Oh none taken but Johnnie wasn't a kid. He was an adult and he knew the risks he was taking. Being a gangster is a dangerous life and I wouldn't want anyone to try it. But by the time we met, he already was up neck deep in that sort of life. I couldn't change him anymore than you could turn a dog into a cat," Gracie replied, very calmly too.

"It's OK, Tommy, you tried. I know ya did. I appreciate that too," she smiled then gave a shrug.

"You know it's actually not as bad a news as I thought you were gonna tell me. I thought you were informing me you didn't want to see me anymore after tonight. Because of your career, your reputation. Being with some gangland moll might be damaging to that career."


Liked 1

Tommy Sloan

Federal Agent
142
?Years Young
90 Posts

"Fulfill the prophecy;
Be something greater;
Go make a legacy;
Manifest destiny"


Gracie didn't seem surprised at all. And she wasn't offended at his reference to Johnnie, although she did talk at him a bit about how her dead boyfriend knew the risks of the gang life. She had thought the world of Johnnie; it was obvious. And she still thought very highly of him.

He was relieved that she appreciated what he had tried to do, but her thanks seemed casual and offhand. Almost as if she had been expecting him to say that, or something worse. And it seemed as though she had.

"You know it's actually not as bad a news as I thought you were gonna tell me. I thought you were informing me you didn't want to see me anymore after tonight. Because of your career, your reputation. Being with some gangland moll might be damaging to that career."

"Well, it might be damaging to my career. It just might." He met her eyes, a hint of recklessness in his. "But I want to keep seeing you, Gracie. At this point, no one knows about us. And I'm gonna keep it that way."

He grinned suddenly. "And besides, if we're splittin' hairs, you're not technically a gangland moll anymore."

Maybe that was the sort of thing that stuck with you, though. Once a moll, always a moll. Well, however Gracie thought about that, he knew Morris wouldn't be too pleased that he was spending time with a moll. But who cared what Morris thought?


Grace (Gracie) Stroud

Waitress
346
?Years Young
134 Posts

The song is done. The melody lingers on. You and the song are gone. But the melody lingers on.


So any scant chance that the Feds might uncover Johnnie's killer(s) was already brought to an inglorious conclusion by Tommy's superiors. Gracie was not upset though, especially with the young man. She believed he had tried and that's all one could do. She had no real expectations anyhow given it was Feds.

Gracie assured him it was alright and even confided in him, she half thought he was going to stop seeing her after this, their first, date. For the good of his rep with his employers. She was heartened by his answer though.

"Well, it might be damaging to my career. It just might." He met her eyes, a hint of recklessness in his. "But I want to keep seeing you, Gracie. At this point, no one knows about us. And I'm gonna keep it that way."

"Oh? Good, glad to hear it," she was honestly relieved. She was lonely without Johnnie and Tommy was filling a void she had realized this very night.

As to her being a gang moll, he quipped about that being a technicality which brought a grin from her.

" I don't know... maybe yer right? But not sure that something like this youcan ever live down. And I probably deserve it anyhow," she gave a shrug and became more solemn.

 


Tommy Sloan

Federal Agent
142
?Years Young
90 Posts

"Fulfill the prophecy;
Be something greater;
Go make a legacy;
Manifest destiny"


The evening was going a lot better than Tommy could have imagined. He and Gracie were having a swell time, she wasn't mad about the case, and she wanted to see him again too. The way she reacted to his news told him that even if she hadn't said it explicitly. And, to top it all off, nothing had gone wrong so far with the dance hall and juice joint being next door to one another.

His smile faded slightly as she grew more serious. He put his hand under her chin and tilted it up.

"Hey, now, don't talk about deserving things. The only person who deserves anything right now is whoever knocked off Johnnie. And he deserves a bullet."

His voice hardened slightly. Gangster, bootlegger, bank robber...whatever Johnnie was, no man deserved to die the way Gracie's boyfriend had.

And maybe...maybe even if he wasn't officially on the case, he could still help Gracie.

He took a quick drink of his whiskey and rubbed his thumb across her cheek. "I still have the file I typed up, with information about the case. It's not much...basically everything you told me, but it's all in one place. I can smuggle it out of the office if you want it."


Grace (Gracie) Stroud

Waitress
346
?Years Young
134 Posts

The song is done. The melody lingers on. You and the song are gone. But the melody lingers on.


"Hey, now, don't talk about deserving things. The only person who deserves anything right now is whoever knocked off Johnnie. And he deserves a bullet."

Gracie blinked at the last part of that statement, surprised at the vehemence of his sentiment. Oh she felt the same way of course, her personal crusade was all about justice but also it was about revenge. Her plan from the start was to find out the killer - or killers for it may well have been more than one - then do the very same to them - kill them. She already had the gun to do it, one that used to belong to Johnnie. She thought that would be a fitting touch.

As for the consequences afterward, she deliberately did not think about that. If caught she could face prison, possibly even the death penalty though being a woman that was rather unlikely. But hell, a life behind bars, you might as well be dead. She would deal with all that once she had done the deed.

"I think you'd have to try and arrest him or them, bein' yer an officer of the law," Gracie pointed out with a wry smile.

"Me, I don't have no rules," she added then sipped her drink.  That was certainly less than subtle on her part but quite intentional.


Tommy Sloan

Federal Agent
142
?Years Young
90 Posts

"Fulfill the prophecy;
Be something greater;
Go make a legacy;
Manifest destiny"


"Me, I don't have no rules."

Tommy's eyes narrowed. She didn't have rules about what?

He went back over her previous words in his head. Yes, if he figured out who Johnnie's killer was, he'd have to arrest him - or at least try to. There was always the possibility the killer or killers - Johnnie had been shot seven times, he reminded himself - would pull a gun on him. And if that happened - well, it wouldn't be a shooting he'd regret.

But he still hadn't figured out Gracie's comment. He would have to arrest the killer because he was an agent, but she wasn't. Which means she had no obligations to try arresting the killer first. And that meant...

He looked up at her, eyes still narrowed, and spoke slowly. "Are you sayin' what I think you're sayin'? You'd kill him if you found him?"

This was another shock to him. Not as big as when he'd found out she was Johnnie's getaway driver, but still a big one. He shouldn't have been surprised; not after her part in the robbery had come out. But he was.


Grace (Gracie) Stroud

Waitress
346
?Years Young
134 Posts

The song is done. The melody lingers on. You and the song are gone. But the melody lingers on.


The look on Tommy's face showed he got her meaning loud and clear this time. Not that it had been subtle. But again she had promised him back in her apartment she would be honest with him and she was keeping to that. Besides, she trusted him, well as much as anyone could trust a copper. He was one of the good ones.

He looked up at her, eyes still narrowed, and spoke slowly, "Are you sayin' what I think you're sayin'? You'd kill him if you found him?" 

"No, I'll read 'im a poem," Gracie met his eyes and did not blink.

"Even if I do find him and let the cops know, they might well not be able to prove it in a court of law. And you read the papers, hear the news. How often do gangsters get away with things? All the time."

"A few months ago two hoods chased a man down the street and shot him down when he couldn't open a door fast enough. They were arrested and pleaded self-defense. A jury found both of 'em not guilty," she gave an example.  ***

"If I want anyone to pay for killing Johnnie, I gotta do it myself. So...," she paused then, "I will."

 

*** This is fictional happening in Miami but I took this incident from a real case in Detroit in the 20s when two members of the infamous Purple Gang did exactly this in a daylight public killing. Both were acquited.