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~ ~ Lucky
EPIC*SODE 13 ~ ~
EPIC*SODE 13 ~ ~
"LUCKY FOR YOU?"
~ By Absolutely*Kate
Harry B. Sanderford
Harry B. Sanderford
In a sure-fingered digital maneuver of surreptitousity, the ever-on-alert Sergeant Dan Stine tapped the app on his iPhone to record within the safe realms of his lower left pocket. InterNoir's hotshot Caracas and investigative ace Payne were on a refrain decibels above the rat-a-tat-tat of their prior repartee reign. Now this could be something he could use . . . past the stingy ante-out of Commandant Phillips with local crime-scene clues. Dan was a driven man for pulling no punches while playing by the rules . . . and going after what he was after. He was nobody's fool.
Stine's smug smile at his own deft action, not being quite as surreptitious, did brook a notice, a notice now cross currenting from The Phantom on telepath to Ms Carrie all alone at her table . . . well except for her beer. She perked right up, leaned right in to the conversation and naturally, signaled the barkeep for another Coors, of course.
Stine and clever Clevenger heard it all. Sparks of Paul. Plenty of Penny grillin' on the spitfire:
He, smile simmering around his sipping: "But how will you tell if you can trust my intel?"
She, ignoring the ploy of his play: "Facts check themselves out. They're like library cards that way. I'll find you out and fine you if what you tell me is overdue as clue."
He: "Fair enough Ms Payne. Looking forward to the Penny of your thoughts on the exchange."
She . . . harrumphed.
He . . . quirked.
She . . . waited . . .
He . . . smirked. "Ladies first, you know. It's the lay of the land."
She: "Well the land deal was just part of it -- "
He: "Boss Gabardine you mean?"
She: "Precisely. Persistently. Purposefully. But what in particular would You say was his more powerful claim to corruption's fame?"
He: "Boxing me into a corner eh?" He smiled, warmer than he'd first expected he'd let show, lit a Gauloise with a handy pack of Lucky Shot bar matches the even more alert barkeep Anthony V had slid his way. Now there's an affable bartender tendering a shelf-full of secrets, he reminded himself to delve into. He fingered the pack, leaned back, didn't let on what the quick scrawl inside said to fire up more than just a nicotine fix. "You're asking me On the record or Off?" He blew a little smoke screen 'round the halo of her hair. He liked how it just hung there.
She, waving his wafting away: "Off -- I'd prefer you didn't hold back."
He: "We're still talking bad crimes, not good times . . . yet, righto doll?"
She . . . huffed.
He . . . puffed.
She: "C'mon Caracas, you magnificent misogynist. Give it up."
He, smile surging all the warmer: "No holding out on you Payne. You're some indirect direct dame. S'alright. I like you all the same. You've got gruff to your grilling. Heat to your -- "
She: "Drop the dance Spy-Guy. Spill."
He: "Here I was going to say what you gave heat was rather a thrill. You wound me Penelope. To the quick."
She: "Your quick has seen 'em all Paul. Save the line for a cheap thriller on a dark night when your luck's running out the door you came in out of the relentless rain from."
He: "Hmm, I see why your editors like you so well. You flair when you flare."
He: "Alright then. Most likely we've perused the same reports. Gabardine and his Gotham gang had been up to their nefarious neck-collars in the rackets for thirty some years before any threatening tampering from the outside."
She: "Other gangs? Crimestoppers? Press of the press?"
He: "All and more." He paused, watch his own smoke almost question mark his next remark. "And the call from on high."
She: "I'd heard the rumours of that call's connection. You unequivocably confirming?"
He: "Let's just say between two potential . . . uh . . . you know . . . " Looks were exchanged. More than mere smoke screens swirled. "Let's say you never heard nothing from me I didn't deny."
She, sorting that out somehow, but swallowing all the same, moved on in her thirst for black and whiting truth: "All the rackets?"
He: "All the rackets. Bookies, booze, vending machines in front lobbies to better haze backroom corporate come-ons, lucrative speculations on the Exchange, creative tax evasion, and even fixing international odds in their favour. You recall hearing of the brouhaha at the US Open in Forest Hills back in '77?"
She: "Oh, all the rackets -- so I'd heard. Even tennis rackets for the best net results. Something about Jimmy Connors and the move to Flushing Meadows?"
He: "You've got resources. Source the deed indeed. Who owns Flushing Meadows?"
She: "I get your lob. I see your backhand coming. But the overhead smash? What got to Gabardine to change how he used to work so smoothly behind the scenes?"
He, with a surge to a stare that just held the proud Payne there: "Cliche as it may be ~ Cherchez la femme." A pause in his heated consternation, "Wait. But you knew that. You just played me."
She, out of her barstool like a made-shot in the dark, a 10-spot on the counter, a little Revlon lingering now on his brow. "It's always a dame."
He, quick-clearing his head, yet feeling what lips could feel like ... potentially: "You pun well. You going now?"
She: "You make it too easy."
He, heedless of the self-control that always held his game in check, watched fascinated as his hand twirled a single strand of her hair, right there, where she kept her #2 Ticonderoga. "Doll, I never make anything easy."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Harry, thank Christian Dior! How on earth did you ever find me?” Jeanette excitedly exhaled.
“You just wait until my uncle hears about this Harry,” Sappy whined sitting up now and holding his ear.
“Who the hell do you think sent me Eugene? You had one simple thing to do. If you had a brain in that punching bag on your shoulders you’d know to steer clear of your uncle right now.”
“Wait, Eugene? Harry, you two know each other?” Jeanette’s jubilation was taking a turn she was becoming all too familiar with.
“I’m sorry, Jeanette meet Eugene. Eugene is just leaving,” Harry said hauling the man to his feet. Harry whispered in the ear the man was not holding. The man struggled to pull away like a boy who doesn’t like being told what to do. Harry clamped a hand on Eugene’s throat and finished what he had to say. Releasing him, Harry said loud enough for Jeanette to hear, “Leave the keys to the Charger in the ignition. Catch a bus or hitchhike, I don’t care but get some real gone between you and the boss,” and then he shoved the shaking, bleeding and stinking man in the direction of the door.
“Just a damn minute here Harry, that man’s not going anywhere. I’m calling the police!” Jeanette said fishing for her iPhone.
“Go!” Harry ordered and Eugene actually ran down the hall.
“I’m sorry Jeanette. I really am, but I’m going to need for you to give me that phone,” Harry said pulling the 45 from his waistband.
“You already know Jeanette,” Harry said with a sad smile. “He’s The Boss’s sister’s boy, 215 pounds of total fuckup. Eugene Gabardine.”
* C * L * I * F * F * H * A * N * G * E * R * !
* AT THE BIJOU *
Enjoyably return to next Sunday's Matinee
for the next gut-gripping epic'sode!
" The Prints and The Popper "