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Episode Eight: Working The Heavy Bag


Tommy wanted to be early to his appointment with Frank so he could take a few moments to do some reconnaissance before stepping into a possible hornet's nest. He never liked Uncle Joey and definitely did not like that he tagged along with Frank when he stopped by his parents' house.

What the hell was Frank up to? It was definitely about that damned bag and now Uncle Joey was involved. Tommy knew this had become some serious business.

He parked his car in the alley behind the building across the street from Frank's place. He slipped down the side alley, looking neither hurried nor worried, but like he was supposed to be there. He peered out to see that no one was loitering in front of Frank's building. Everything seemed normal. He hustled across the street and into the adjoining alley. As hoped, the side door was still open.

He took the service stairs to the fifth floor and headed to the end of the hallway where he could get to the fire escape. He carefully opened the window, making as little noise as possible. He quietly headed down the fire escape, stopping just short of the third floor before peering into the hallway. No one waiting in the hall, either. He slipped the window up and stepped in. No noise, nothing but Tommy and his pursuit of survival.

By the time his ear was cocked to Frank's door, he still had no clues. Either he was walking into a bullet or a surprise party. He knocked.

"Tommy, man I am glad to see that pretty pie-face of yours. How's things?"

"Cut the crap. What the hell is going on. I went over to my parents' house today and Ma tells me you and Uncle Joey were looking for me the other day. I can't be known to know mob guys, Frank. The league don't like it."

"Come on in, Tommy, come on, don't be all pissed off. This is nothing. Settled easy. I'll make you a drink, you want a drink?"

"A drink? Do I want a drink? No, I don't want a drink. I want to know what the hell is going on."

"OK, OK, at least sit down for chrissakes."

"So I am sitting, now are you gonna tell me or am I going to have to beat you like Louis smacked Schmeling?"

"Here. Look in it."

"Is this all money? I mean, all of this is cash. All of it bundles of $100s?"

"Yep, the whole thing. Packed full. Near $2 million."

"What the hell, Frank? You said the bag was just sitting in the alley..."

"It was, well, it was in a car in the alley and I took it. I didn't know what was in it when I took it, but there was no way I could give it back. I couldn't give it back if there was $100 bucks in it."

"Who did you steal this from Frank?

"Little Tony."

"You stole this from Little Tony? Holy shit, Mr. Smiles. You're a dead man. Now I know why you lied to me that night. I would have beat you even more senseless. Does he know it is you?"

"Well, it is a bit more complicated than that."

"I'm sure, please tell. And while you're at it, get to how  this related to Uncle Joey going to my parents' house?"

"Well, that happens to be why it is a bit more complicated. See, Uncle Joey has out the word out that no one is to touch me so he was being my shadow that night until word could get around. No accidents, you know?"

"Oh, so you told Uncle Joey you didn't take Tony's cash — even though you did — and he was protecting your lying ass? Is that about right?"

"Pretty much"

"Pretty much?"

"Yea."

"And?"

"And, and, Vinny saw us getting in your car which got back to Uncle Joey. Since you were out of town on the trip, everybody is waiting for you to get back."

"Waiting for me? Damn it Frank."

"Well, I didn't know anybody saw me and I definitely didn't know anybody saw you. Uncle Joey told me he got a call from Tony and he was telling him I stole his money and he wanted to whack me. But I thought he just thought that because of what happened at the club?"

"What happened at the club?"

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