A Surprise Visitor

Started by Jimmy Drummond at Jun 11, 2020 12:11 PM
January 20, 1924
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5 Posts

Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
110
?Years Young
13 Posts

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


It was a quiet Sunday, folks were either in church or home or at the water if not on it.

Jimmy Drummond finished up old man Duffy’s Chevrolet, the new glass was perfect and lucky for him, the bullet was buried in the wall as it had passed through the open driver's side window, causing no further damage.

He had called Duffy and apologized for the delay in repairing the car, explaining what had happened and the fact he had to be out of town for two days on a family emergency, which was not quite true. Such is the life of a racketeer.

In his time back he managed to complete the job for Duffy, cleaned up the dried blood, and straightened up the shop which called for a minor celebration. Such an event was, of course, up in the air as there were several places he could go, meaning there were several ladies he could pick from, but there was a favorite, Sandy Maxwell, who worked at the Chart House, a swanky steak house and speakeasy.

The idea was to give her a call later on and see if they couldn’t meet for dinner, provided she had the day off.  One of those things he could never keep straight. Since Duffy would pick up his car on Monday he need not stick around, but he did need to go check on the boat, as he did every day, multiple times a day.

“Hey, Jimmy!” A familiar voice called out, Ed Winter from the hardware store.

“Hi, Ed,” Jimmy called back, typical Sunday walker, soaking up the sun and sea breeze.

"Some guy down on the pier says he knows you, O'Rourke, and Steele. Sheriff has him detained.” Ed Explained. “Don’t think it’s anything serious, but you know how they are with Cubans.”

“Thanks, Ed, no idea who this is, but thanks just the same.” Both men waved to one another and Jimmy headed out of the shop where he could plainly see Sheriff Hancock’s car and a cabin cruiser he did not recognize, so he walked down to investigate.

TBC


Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
110
?Years Young
13 Posts

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


It was one of those days on the Keys a bright sun in a brilliant cobalt sky and light onshore breeze. The girls would be on the beach, but, whatever this was it was not about the beauty of the day or the girls.

Then he recognized Senior Edward Diaz and he smiled, picking up his step. “Hey Homer, he’s alright. He’s the guy we get our stoggies from.” He called out.

“Yeah, okay, there’s no law, but had to check. ‘sposed to be a criminal element tryin’ to get in.”

“Well, he’s just deliverin’ ceegars, want a couple?” Jimmy asked, knowing the man didn’t smoke. So whatever Diaz wanted, Homer would be gone and they could conduct whatever business brought him there.

“Nah, you know I don’t smoke,” Homer said. “Stay outta trouble.” And with that, he got in his car and drove off. The two men watching him go.

 “So my friend, what brings you here? We forget something?” Jimmy asked, actually concerned.

“No Senior Jimmy, everything is fine. Our Columbian allies have forwarded ten kilograms to you for sales. And, please tell your compadres, the price is as agreed, and there is no rush on payment, which of course, you make to me.”

“Wait, that’s like twenty-four pounds, give or take.”

“Si, you are correct. It has been transferred to your boat already, and, we will wait until you inspect the cargo before we depart.” Daiz assured him. That was when he saw the two men on board the cruiser.

“Well then, there, now, let’s have a look.” Jimmy led the way to the Liberty, went aboard, and sure enough ten bundles, each one sitting on the table. Quickly Jimmy used his pocket knife to sample each one, which would be expected. It was a taste test of just a small amount on the knifepoint from each. “Golden Senior!”

Jimmy watched the cabin cruiser motor away, the tiny Cuban flag fluttering from the hardtop, for the return trip home.


Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
110
?Years Young
13 Posts

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


With Diaz a dot on the horizon, it was time to get to work. And the trick would be to contact Dixon “Fingers” Steele. Fingers because he seemed to have his fingers in everything, though it was not often that Jimmy called him by that moniker. The same was true of Michael “Nails” O’Rourke. Then again, his own cognomen, “Ice” as I cool as was flattering, the ladies liked it, he could take it or leave it,

Once the goods were stashed safely on the boat, Jimmy headed back to the shop to run up the phone bill with a couple of long-distance calls to reach Dixon. He may still be in Hollywood, or, he could be in Sanford, but he would start with the number he had for Dix’s hotel in Hollywood.


Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
110
?Years Young
13 Posts

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


Once the goods were stashed safely on the boat, Jimmy headed back to the shop to run up the phone bill with a couple of long-distance calls to reach Dixon. He may still be in Hollywood, or, he could be in Sanford, but he would start with the number he had for Dix’s hotel in Hollywood.

That the three were always aware of where the others could be located, they would always try the most logical number first, And it was rare that any of them would make such calls unless it was important from life and death to expected or unexpected deliveries, and the recent delivery filled that bill to a “T”.

“Steele.” Dixon said as he put the receiver to his ear.

“Jimmy, hey, the Cubans delivered ten “cases” on account, courtesy of Edwardo Diaz.” Jimmy informed his partner. “They’re in the humidor, for now, any instructions?”

Use codes, like cases instead of kilos, and referring to the boat as the humidor were simple precautions in case the phones were tapped at either end, a trick the cops were beginning to use more and more.

At the beginning of the 20th  Century, about one in a thousand Americans had telephones, but by the 1920s one in a hundred had phones. During Prohibition, bootleggers used telephones to establish lines of communication between producers, distributors, and buyers.  Local and federal police agencies ignored laws prohibiting wiretaps and routinely eavesdropped on phone calls.  As local police increasingly used wiretaps, the federal government took actions to limits law enforcement agents’ uses of wiretaps. 

With support from the public, in 1924, U.S. Attorney General Stone forbid the Justice Department from conducting wiretaps.  The Treasury Department and the Bureau of Investigation resented Stone’s policy and both agencies continued to secretly employ wiretaps.
And so did some local police forces like Miami’s Dade County. The trio of gangsters was aware that the method was being employed and developed their code to thwart detection.

That should be good for now. We may have some customers ready to stock up, I’ll be checking on that in the morning.” Dion replied. “Good work, Jimmy, the cigar trade is picking up again for sure.”

“Thanks Dix. Let me know what’s needed and I arrange for delivery.” Jimmy added.

“Will do. Bye.” And hung up.

Jimmy replaced the earpiece on the hook and sighed. Then he smiled.


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The Narrator

Storyteller
110
?Years Young
40 Posts