Things don't always go as you would want them to go. I looked at the dead body of 26 year old Carol Fisher. She had been mutilated by someone. Stabbed a total of seven times and then shot once in the head. The local police knew who the killer was. The problem was finding him. They had a name. They had proof. They had physical evidence that linked him to the crime and witness evidence. It was enough evidence to put him a way for life.
I was worned that he is a master of disguises. He can disapper with the blink-of-an-eye.
Detective Thomas McDonald looked at me when I was finished examining the body. "I heard about your reputation around here."
"What about it?" I asked
"If you can catch our killer, Charles Craig, I can promise a handsome reward." he replied.
I thought about it. Money. I needed money real bad. I was behind on rent for both my apartment and my office. Money is good.
"Fine. I'll take it," I said and I left back for my office. I reviewed the background and case file of Mr. Craig. This wasn't going to be easy, that was for sure. I decided to make a phone call to a few friends of mine to see if they would be interested in making some decent money in helping to find a killer who could blend in to even the smaller crowds.
It was dark and there was nothing I could do for the night. I'd have to start in the morning. So I went home for the night to get some sleep. The next morning, went to my office to make a call to a few friends to see if they'd be interested in making a few dollars in helping to find this killer.
"We'll have to go and check it out-"
I was cut short by Charlie. "That's kind of a dangerous place for detectives to be snooping around don't you think?"
Molly and Vulkie both nodded. I agreed. "Yes, it is dangerous. I do know that town like the back of my hand. I grew up there so I think I know which bar that his mother was talking about. Which is why we follow him out of the city quietly. Don't attract attention to your self when we go. We go in quietly and anonymously and we leave that way. He can't stay in the city for ever. He hasn't got any money. Which means he'll probably go begging to mommy for money." I said
We stayed quiet for a full minute trying to assess how we were going to do this.
"How did you two do today?" I asked.
Vulkie was about to reply when Nellie burst through the door.
"You guys aren't going to BELIEVE what I found about Charles Craig!" She said excitedly. I knew it was good news...It had to be.
Molly looked up as Nellie burst through the door, but as she was speaking Molly saw the unmistakable flash of a gun being raised just before the door closed.
Without pausing for thought, she abruptly yanked Nellie unceremoniously backwards so they both hit the floor, shouting "Everyone get down!" as she did so.
Mere seconds later, a stream of bullets shattered the window they had been sitting near and peppered the table they had all been sitting at. Molly looked over and saw that Charlie had yanked Vulkie under the table, and Marc had found his way under there as well.
In a few short seconds, the sound of firing stopped and they could all dimly hear running feet pounding away outside. Charlie and Marc ran outside, presumably to see if they could catch the culprit but they were unsuccessful.
At long last, Molly sat up, brushing the glass from her clothing and taking stock of a few lacerations she had sustained here and there.
"New York needs better gun control laws." she muttered to herself, and then looked around to make sure Vulkie and Nellie were alright. Charlie and Marc entered as well, empty-handed, and they all stood around for a moment, silently soaking in what had just happened.
"Either Nellie was followed, or Craig's mother told someone about our visit." Molly mused. "Someone sure doesn't want us to find out too much more about Craig."
" My money's on mommy dearest darling" Charlie said to Molly. Charlie looked over to Vulkie and asked " Are we having fun yet?"
" Ha you know I live for this stuff Charlie. We have been it alot tighter spots than this." Vulkie replied giving Charlie a sly smile and a wink.
All the detectives turned and looked at Marc in unison......
" So whats the plan Marc?" Vulkie asked in a not too shy manner
" I mean your the boss where do we go from here?" she asked.
" I want you and Charlie to check the western half of the lower eastside and Nellie and Molly I want you to take the norther eastside. I will take the southern eastside. " said Marc giving out his instructions.
" Stay sharp out there. Remember this guy is a expert at disguises. Lets meet over at Paulie's Pizza shop on 9th ave. at 8 pm." said Charlie.
Charlie walked outside and lit a cigarette taking a long slow drag then slowly exhaling. Vulkie walked out to the curb and noticed something.
As she bent over to pick it up Charlie asked " Hey Vulkie what you got there?'
" Charlie it's a...............................
Molly exited the bar with Nellie at her side, nodding at Charlie and Vulkie as they passed and wondering what Vulkie was looking at.
"Perfect." Molly said matter-of-factly."Nellie, we're going to stop here for a moment." she said, gesturing to a small nondescript apartment building. "I've decided to pay Alexandre Santanelli a visit and I need to be in costume, as it were."
They climbed two flights of stairs and entered Molly's small but tidy apartment where she immediately disappeared into the back room as Nellie waited in the entrance. In record time, Molly reappeared dressed in a tasteful and obviously expensive suit, with her hair perfectly curled and styled. Her blue eyes sparkled mischeviously as she winked at Nellie.
"Now listen here, Nellie." she said, reclaiming her gun and coat as she locked up and descended the stairs. "When we're visiting Alex, you MUST remember to refer to me as Amelia. You cannot forget. And I know you're a reporter but you mustn't mention any of this in the article you write. It's very important. After we visit Alex, we'll continue on to the bar in the northeast side. I'm hoping Alex can give us some sort of information La Cosa Nostra might now but we'd otherwise be unable to find out."
Fairly soon they stood before another office building, which Molly entered and navigated with practised ease, Nellie following close behind. She led the way to a wooden door marked Alexandre Santanelli, and knocked twice. A male voice from within gave them permission to enter.
"Alex darling!" Molly called out, sauntering in the room to plant a kiss on his cheek. He was visibly surprised.
"Amelia! I thought you were...dead!"
Molly waved a hand. "Alex, you know the press exaggerate everything. Now listen darling, I can only stay for a moment, but I'm trying to track down a man...for my brother. He wants to do a business deal as it were. You wouldn't happen to know where I could find Charles Craig, would you?"
Everyone was on there way into the lower east side. Vulkie and Charlie had the western half, Nellie and Molly had the northern side of that area while I went alone into the southern most side. That side I had chosen to go alone was the most dangerous. It was risky going in alone like that but it had to be done. There was an even number of us, and so there was no choice.
No matter how we paired up, one would still have to be alone. We took three cars into the city. I made it to the city in less than an hour. The streets were crowded with people of the lower class. Everyone seemed to have it worse on this side of the city with the depression going on.
I stepped out of my car at my first stop. The bar. It was called "Luigi's". This was the bar that his mother was talking about. It was the kind of bar that thugs would hang out in. I walked in side. The place was barely lit. It wasn't hard to pick out the mobsters in this particular bar. They were easy to spot because the drank all the heavy liquor. There in the farthest backest corner just like in every bar, was the creepy "shady character". No matter what bar you go in, there is one. They were always creepy too. I approached him an sat at his table.
"Now what would a dick like youse want with a guy like me?" He asked with a sly grin.
"I want some information about a murderer; he goes by the name of Charles Craig," I said.
Shady Smiled. "Youse got a lot of nerve walking in here, dick-"
I cut him short of his sentence. "Have you heard of him?"
"Maybe I have, maybe I haven't. Whats in it for me?" He said.
"A life time out of prison with out being charged as an accomplice to murder. For all I know you helped him." I snapped.
The smile disappeared from Shady's face. "Hows about you-"
"Hows about you shut up and give my information Shady, or I'll become your worst nightmare."
"Fine. Here's what I know. He's already been in here today. He comes in once a day. Grabbs a few drinks, then he leaves..(Cont)
"he also has a little apartment here too. Stays there when he's here doing work for Luciano." Shady said.
"Luciano?" I asked, "He personally knows Luciano?"
"You bet he does," Shady said. "Rumor has it, that he's Luciano's right hand man."
"Do you believe that?" I asked.
"No, I believe Mr. Meyer Lansky is," Shady replied, "They're always together."
"There you go." I replied. "Those rumors aren't real."
There was a silence between us.
"Is that all the info, Shady?" I asked.
"That's all I know, dick" He replied.
"Where is his appartment?" I asked.
"Out about two blocks from the Costello's Italian Diner. Just west of it. You can't miss the appartments. Last I heard, his room number is 409." Shady said.
I slid him a $20 bill. "Thanks".
As I walked out, there he was walking forty feet in front of me, was Mr. Craig himself. I followed him. I kept my eye on him. We walked through alley ways, through buildings, and I followed him right into a crowd of people. As I made my way someone accidentally bumped into me and I quickly lost sight of Craig but found him shortly afterward.
I approached him. I put my hand on his shoulder and spun him around. "Game's over Craig," I said. I spun him around to find it was the wrong person. "Who are you?" asked the man. "Sorry," I replied. "Wrong person." I walked way cursing to my self.
Craig must have known he was being followed and pulled a magic trick to disappear like that. I was mad once again, but I did know where his appartment was.
"Charles Craig, the murderer?" Alex Santanelli asked, his voice dubious.
Molly sat on the edge of his desk and smiled down at him. "Oh, my brother doesn't care about all that, he's dealt with far worse, let me tell you. I just wanted to know if you had a way to find him?"
"I could tell you the place he usually hangs out most days." Alex's voice was still dubious but Molly could see the obvious trust in his eyes. "I don't know that you should be seeking him out though, Amelia. He's dangerous."
Molly waved her hand. "Don't worry about it, I wont go alone."
Alex leaned back and thought. "Well, he hangs out in Luigi's bar most days in the south side. His brother Kevin however, might be able to tell you more if you track him down. I dont' know his address though."
Molly stood up and gave him another kiss on the cheek. "Thank you Alex, you've been a big help."
She gathered her things and ushered Nellie out the door before her, when Alex's voice stopped her.
"I'll ask around Amelia, I'll leave an envelope for you at the Tricky Mister if I find out anything you can use."
Molly winked at him. "Thanks, handsome."
And they left, Molly quietly pleased as they went on their way to scour the northeast side for any news of the murderer.
"Charlie,it's a note" I said and showed it to Charlie. It read : "Don't go to Luigi's bar,stop. It's a trap,stop. With sincere,Mother Goose".
"What does it mean?" Charlie asked. It wasn't hard to figure out. Mother Goose means probably Mother Craig,Luigi's place was rigged for a trap and Charles wasn't going there".
"We've got to warn the gang!" Charlie said and began to try and phone to the possible places they could be.
10 minutes later...
"No luck" Charlie said and I slammed my fist in thin air. "Quick,get in the car!" I said and we drove towards Luigi's.
20 minutes later...
"Charlie,look out for Marc. He could be in danger..." I said and drove past Luigi's.
"There he is!" Charlie cried out and I screeched the tires and turned around,while Charlie opened the window and shouted : "Get in!"
Marc looked around and saw that two guys were rushing towards him. Immediately,he began to run for the car and the two guys pulled out their pistols and fired shots at Marc.
One shot missed Marc and shattered a window. The second shot missed Marc also,hitting an orange in a market stall. The third one was a hit,ripping through Marc,making him fall. The fourth bullet yanked through his leg and the fifth bullet nearly missed his head.
"Charlie,cover me!" I shouted and I stepped out of the car,returning fire. The gangsters immediately ran for it and I dragged Marc in the car.
"He's spitting out blood" Charlie said,as I laid Marc flat on the backseat.
"Hold on Marc... Just hold on..." I said and I immediately drove towards the hospital,going 90 miles per hour in the city,switching lanes and honking my horn...
Suddenly Molly stopped.
"I have a feeling we might want to go to Luigi's." she told Nellie thoughtfully. "After all its the first solid clue we have, plus Marc's all alone around there, it could be dangerous."
"Yeah, I think you're right. I can't imagine what the northeast side could hold for us in all of this." Nellie said, and Molly quickly hailed a cab and directed the driver to take them to Luigi's.
10 Minutes Later
Molly was startled out of her pensive reverie as Nellie suddenly sat forward.
"Was that Vulkie?" she demanded, and Molly craned over to see what she was looking at.
"It is!" Molly exclaimed, frowning slightly. "She's driving like a hellion. Is that blood...on the window?!"
Nellie gasped. "They must be going to the hospital. I see Charlie in the front, that could only mean..."
"Take us to the hospital!" Molly barked, then turned around in her seat to look at Luigis as it receded in the distance. A window was shattered, and there was obvious evidence of some sort of fight.
"This is not good." Molly said, her voice matter-of-fact as she stared grimly out the front window.
As the car sped down the busy street we all heard a loud explosion from behind us. Vulkie was swerving in and out of traffic sometimes in the wrong lane. Driving straight at on coming traffic.
" HOLD ON MARC!" I yelled over all the noise. Marc was going in and out of consciousness.
Vulkie looked back at me and I could only shake my head
" Vulkie you've got to step on it he's losing alot of blood." I said looking at my own clothes that were covered in Marc's life blood.
" Were going as fast as this bucket will go!" Vulkie yelled back at me.
When we finally got to St. Cathrine's Hospital we were being trailed by what seemed like the entire police force. Doctors and nurses were running around us poking and jabbing at our friend.
4 hours later.....
Dr. Robertson came over to us in the waiting room I stood up " How is he Doc?" I asked......
" He'll be fine you guys did really good getting him here as fast as you did."
By this time Molly and Nellie joined us......... " The whole town is buzzing about what happened. Sorry I missed the party." Molly said. Nellie was off talking to one of her police friends.
She returned to us a few minutes later I filled her in she told us " The police said were free to go. But they did tell me Craig's mom was found murdered someone strangled her with a garrote."
"A garrote?" I repeated " That sounds like Micheal "The Bulldog" Gambetti's signature peice of work" I said.
Vulkie looked at us and said " With Marc laid up we need to get out there and find out whats going on. We need to move now. Lets meet back here in 4 hours."
We all took off trying to get ahold of informants who could help us in anyway possible.....
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